Heading to Amsterdam? Get yourself on a bike and go see these iconic places. We spent almost eleven hours biking all around the city visiting key sites and checking off famous locations. Bikes are available for rent next door to the Centraal Station.
From the train station, head down towards the Red Light District. Be respectful of the workers and don’t stare or take photos, and check out the alleys boasting shops full of everything from cannabis ice cream to exotic sex toys. It’s an experience.Take caution not to stare in the windows out of respect for the workers, but do take the time to appreciate the exotic atmosphere. This area is particularly endearing at night, but be cautious of your surroundings in the dark.
Head past the harbour where all the canal tour boats depart and on to Damrak Street where you can find plenty to eat. If you follow the tram tracks, you’ll reach Dam Square, home to the Royal Palace in the centre of a bustling plaza.
Just opposite the Palace, the steps of the Monument are a nice place to sit for lunch with views of the square and Amsterdam’s Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum.
From Dam Square, make your way to the tower on Amstel, then turn right down Vijzelgracht. On your way, you’ll cross various canals such as Herengracht, Kiezersgracht, Prinsengracht and Lijnbaansgracht, but that means ample photo opportunities!
Turn right at the big round about along the waterfront and then looming on your left side you should see the Rijksmuseum. You can bike straight underneath and peer into the massive glass windows. Directly on your left upon exiting the passage is the garden of statues, picturesque flower beds and a massive interactive fountain.
The climbable I Amsterdam letters sit directly opposite the museum in the middle of the Museumplein and are really hard to miss! You will likely find the massive letters crawling with people – join them but be careful and climb at your own risk. Which we did.
The canals of Amsterdam are famous: Prinsengracht and Spiegelgracht may be some of Amsterdam’s most beautiful and there are so many things to see as you wander along. Turn left after walking back under the Rijksmuseum and over Lijbaansgracht while taking your time to drink in all the sights.
A further way down Prinsengracht, you’ll come across a 2-3 hour line up outside the Anne Frank Huis. You can still take a photo with the official sign outside and there is a beautiful statue of her just around the corner of the house without needing to wait in line. If you have the time and energy to wait, I am sure it is an incredibly moving experience.
The city’s largest park, Vondelpark is a gorgeous place for a picnic, for a bike ride, for a walk, and for numerous other outdoor activities right in the city.
A city secret is up on top of the Nemo Science Centre, where you can enjoy the sunshine with views over all of Amsterdam.
A delightful place for a meal and often bustling with street markets selling their wares, Waterloopleinmarkt is a quirky place to bike through.
Served by underprivileged youth, Jamie Oliver has done a beautiful job with this warehouse-style restaurant at Fifteen.
An incredible exhibit in the original house of the famous Dutch painter Rembrandt, you can tour the museum and view what his life was truly like, and see his works in their original home.
*Including photos by Lot, Diede & Tom