Amsterdam is one of Europe's most famous cities. Canals, the Red Light District, and cafes all come to mind when you think of this fascinating city. The best way to get around is on a bike, so that you can beat the crowds and get more out of your day! There is a bike rental shop next door to the Centraal Station.
Red Light District
From the train station, head down towards the Red Light District. Check out the alleys boasting shops full of everything from cannabis ice cream to exotic sex toys. It’s an experience, to say the least. 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.
Dam Square & Royal Palace, €10 per adult including audioguide
From the Red Light District, bike past the harbour where all the canal tour boats depart. If you're hungry, as you bike along Damrak Street you can find plenty to eat. Follow the tram tracks until you reach Dam Square, home to the Royal Palace and Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum on two sides of this bustling plaza. Just opposite the Palace, the steps of the Monument are a nice place to sit and eat with views of the square.
The Rijksmuseum, €17,50 per adult & free for under 18s
From Dam Square, make your way to the tower on Amstel, then turn right down Vijzelgracht. Bike straight ahead, crossing various canals such as Herengracht, Kiezersgracht, Prinsengracht and Lijnbaansgrachtl lots of photo opportunities! Turn right at the big roundabout 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; if you have more time in Amsterdam then I definitely recommend going in! Directly on your left upon exiting the passage is the garden of statues, picturesque flower beds and a massive interactive fountain.
I Amsterdam Letters
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 huge letters crawling with people – join them but be careful and climb at your own risk.
Prinsengracht & Spiegelgracht
Head back through The Rijksmuseum and over Lijbaansgracht. Turn left and bike along some of Amsterdam's most famous canals, Prinsengracht and Spiegelgracht.
Anne Frank House
A further way down Prinsengracht, you’ll come across a the line up outside the Anne Frank House. You need almost a whole day to wait outside and then have a proper look around once inside, so if you're short on time, 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.
Make your way to the city's largest park; a gorgeous place for a picnic, for a bike ride, for a walk, and for numerous other outdoor activities.
Nemo Science Centre Roof
A city secret view deck is up on top of the Nemo Science Centre, where you can enjoy the sunshine with free views over all of Amsterdam.
Head to this quirky place for a meal and you may be lucky to catch the bustling street market with vendors selling their wares.
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.
For dinner, I highly recommend Fifteen, a warehouse-styled Jamie Oliver restaurant served by underprivileged youth.