Relax as a local
Amsterdam is certainly not known for its great weather, but whenever Dutch people see the sun peeking through the clouds, they sit wherever they are or run to the nearest park or beach.
Vondelpark – This is the most famous park in Amsterdam. It’s a great window to the diverse people of Amsterdam. You will see and hear a homeless man playing the guitar, children screaming, young people enjoying an improvised barbecue, and much more. It is highly visited by locals and tourists, during summertime it is insanely packed.
Westerpark- This is a good option if a touristic park is not your cup of tea. The park is somewhat touristic with many attractions throughout the year, but still a pleasant place to sit, drink something and read a book. At night it is very lively with the few bars and clubs available.
Oosterpark- This is considered one of the most multicultural parks in Amsterdam. It is not very touristic, but it is extremely beautiful with its ponds, walking paths, green grass and free Wi-Fi! There is also a “speaker’s stone”, where people speak their minds every Sunday at 13:00
Blijburg Ann Zee- If you are more the beach type and do not feel like going to the coastal beaches, you will definitely enjoy Blijburg. This urban beach is one of the few swimmable beaches in Amsterdam, and it has a very Bohemian vibe. It hosts several events throughout the year and it’s definitely a good spot to relax.
Of course you are going to the Anne Frank’s house, Rijks and Van Gogh museum! They are on top of every list of any travel guide, but if you sleep in and do not feel like facing huge lines, maybe visiting a more alternative museum is a good option.
FOAM – This is the photography museum of Amsterdam. They have very unique and interesting exhibitions. This museum is not very big but definitely not too small, you can come for a quick hour and see it all, or you can come for a good three hours and experience it all.
Stedelijk Museum – This museum is dedicated to modern and contemporary art and design. It provides a strong overview of late 19th century and 20th Century art. It is well laid out and has very informative annotations. It’s a good place if you enjoy non-traditional art.
Tropen museum- This is one of the often forgotten museums in Amsterdam, but definitely a must-see if you enjoy learning about distant and exotic countries. The show is divided by continents. It begins with South America and through Africa reaches Asia and the Antilles on the first floor. Additionally, on the ground floor, there is an exhibition on Man & Environment and to the left from the entry Tropenmuseum Junior – a separate part of the museum dedicated for children, but aimed at mainly Dutch schools, less at the young international guests.
Nemo – If you are a travelling with children, do not miss this science and technology center. Visitors are engaged in these hands-on displays, computer simulations and various kinds of experiments. Visits may range from 2 to 3 hours; it is a unique experience for science and technology fans.
Rembrandt house- This is a very popular museum, and sometimes the lines can get quite long. But it is well-worth it, especially if you are a Rembrandt fan. This museum is an incredible insight on his creative process.
Tip: If you are visiting for a longer period of time or plan on visiting several museums, it is maybe worth investing 49,90 for adults and 27,45 Euros for youngsters (up to 18) in a Museum Pass. You can enter 34 of the most famous Amsterdam museums for free.
Party as a local
Amsterdam has one of the most diverse partying scenes of Europe.You can go from mainstream bars and clubs to more alternative squat parties, from upscale and trendy places to the most traditional brown bars. There is something for everyone in the city. If you choose wisely, your night is going to be unforgettable.
Hanneke’s Boom- This is a very famous bar among locals. The bar has a beer garden with wooden tables and a scenic view of the harbor. During summer time it can get very crowded, but it is worth visiting it for a drink or two and mingling with the friendly locals. During winter time, you can sit next to a wooden stove and enjoy the view.
Melkweg and Paradiso – These are the most famous venues of Amsterdam. These interesting ex warehouse and church house big names of music, dance, theater and art installations. It is worth checking what is going on in these places before visiting Amsterdam. Tickets for bigger bands get sold-out very quickly.
Maloe Melo – This is a very alternative blues bar/club. If you don’t mind hanging out with tough looking but very friendly men and women, this is the place for you. Everyday it’s different, with unknown local artists giving their best shot to blues legends. Check their agenda before going.
Trouw- This former newspaper printing factory is very famous among locals in Amsterdam. It is reference in electronic and minimal music, and one of the few Dutch clubs in the DJ MAG Top 100 clubs. If you like techno and minimal, Trouw is definitely the place for you.
Roest – It is a self-service bar and it is located on the eastern side of the city. It has a very minimalist but cozy environment. Roest has it all, a city-beach, a café, a theater and during the weekends a nice club to chill.
Café Alto – This is a cozy brown bar in the hectic Leidse square. It has attracted Jazz enthusiasts from all over the world with performances of legendary jazz musicians. If you are still craving for more jazz, Cotton Club and Bourbon Street are great options.
There is much more to see and do in Amsterdam! Please leave your personal favorites or questions on the comments below.