Amsterdam Bucket List

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If there is any other city in Europe quite as alluring as Amsterdam then I’d love to hear about it. Amsterdam has all the charm of a small town with all the benefits of a large capital. Here’s everything you should try to see and do in Amsterdam to make the most of your time here!


1. Eat Patatje Oorlog from any “snackbar”

Not just any frites – but frites with mayonnaise, sate sauce and onions. A feast for the eyes AND tastebuds.

2. Cruise the Canals

Nothing could be more iconic than to cruise the canals of Amsterdam – after all, this city is best seen from the waterways!

3. Visit the Anne Frank House

A visit to the Anne Frank House is an absolute must for visitors to Amsterdam. The museum is informative and touching – a strong reminder that in order to change history, we need to understand it.

4. Meander the streets of Jordaan

Arguably the best neighbourhood in Amsterdam and full of charming boutiques, Jordaan is a great area to spend a few hours.

5. Stroll through Vondelpark

This city is full of gorgeous parks but none more so than Vondelpark – the most popular park in the city.


6. Rijksmuseum

If you go to just one museum in Amsterdam, make it Rijksmuseum. The exterior of the building is just as impressive as the collections inside.

7. Van Gogh Museum

For Van Gogh fans, there really is no way you can come to Amsterdam without stopping in at the museum which hold’s the largest number of his works.

8. Walk over Magere Brug

Translated as skinny bridge, this is recognised as Amsterdam’s most romantic bridge.

9. Eat Cheese from De Kaaskamer van Amsterdam

Because you’ll find any and all varieties of cheese here. Seriously, it should be dubbed some sort of monument of national importance or something.

10. Visit the Flower Market

Located on the edge of a canal, the flower market is enjoyable throughout the year but especially so in tulip season!


11. Visit a “cafe”

Yep, you know what I mean. “Cafes” in Amsterdam are where mostly tourists go to smoke up and take benefit of the relaxed attitude the Dutch have to the plant. If it isn’t your thing, don’t worry. A real (drug free) cafe in Jordaan will suffice (caffeine works just as good for most of us!)

12. Eat Poffertjes from The Pancake Bakery

You know those mini pancakes covered in butter and sugar that you’ve tried at a local fair? Here’s the real deal!

13. Walk through Dam Square

You can’t go far in Amsterdam without crossing through the main public square at least once or twice.

14. Ride a bike through the city for the day

Do as the locals do and hop on two wheels to make your way around the city for the day. Just don’t run anyone over and stick to the bike lanes (trust me, it happens!)

15. See the Red Light District

Even if you just pass through to say you’ve been there, done that. Yep, it really is as there and still somehow alive and thriving.


16. Try the Heineken Experience

If you’re into your beer, then you’ll be delighted to know the headquarters of Heineken are located here and as such, you can try the full experience.

17. Skate the Canals in winter

If you’re visiting Amsterdam during the colder months this is the only way to see the canals!

18. Try a walking tour of the city

When you’re travelling, what is better than “FREE”? Try a Sandeman’s New Amsterdam Tour for free and learn much more about the city than you can learn from a brochure.

19. Visit Albert Cuypmarkt

Do as the locals do and head to Amsterdam’s most popular street market: Albert Cuypmarkt.

20. Shop for Clogs

Because… clogs. Because… Amsterdam.


Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!





    April 16, 2016

    Please don’t ride a bike in Amsterdam if you’re a tourist and you don’t have a lot of experience riding bikes. It’s honestly dangerous and everyone will hate you (sadly). If you do know how to ride a bike, by all means go ahead! Also, the canals unfortunately rarely freeze over, hasn’t happened for the past 2 or 3 years I think.


    redouane menad

    April 12, 2016

    I’m menad from Algeria
    I’m really like Amsterdam is most beautyful
    Ilike to recidence and life a need to you help my for pirmit visa please thanks


    Sugar Love Designs

    February 21, 2016

    I love Amsterdam, I will make it back there someday!


    Fiona {TheChicItalian}

    February 16, 2016

    Love this bucket list! I must admit that I haven’t done all these things {I’m Dutch, live near Amsterdam}. I mostly visit the city to see friends or go shopping so I don’t go to the tourist hotspots. However, there are other things you should definitely do when you visit Amsterdam. You must not miss out on eating red velvet cake at De Drie Graefjes {on Rokin}! Also get dinner at de Bazar {Albert Cuypstraat — where the market is as well}. And if you get the chance, go to a concert at de Paradiso {Leidseplein}. It’s an old church that now functions as a music hall.


    Salman Dean

    February 15, 2016

    Amsterdam is on my travel list. I’m coming for you soon!

    Thank you so much for doing this post!



    February 11, 2016

    So glad you did this article, I already told you I love this Bucket List article but with one of my favorite city in the world it’s even better !

    I went there a few times since it’s not soooo far from Paris and I don’t know why but I find it sooooo romantic. 🙂

    Thank you for sharing.

    Kenza from



    February 11, 2016

    oeeh I love Amsterdam, eventhough I am Dutch, I still love going there and wandering around the city! You should definitely try poffertjes and pannenkoeken but also stroopwafels! theyre like flatwaffels with caramel in the middle.



    February 11, 2016

    Awesome! I’ll be there next weekend great timing!



    February 11, 2016

    So nice!!! And so nice to read those positive comments about Amsterdam, they feel like compliments haha. I’m Dutch and live near Amsterdam. I have to admit that I haven’t done most of these things, but for me they’re normal (like eating poffertjes). I went to the Rijksmuseum and that was definitely worth a visit, I would go again in fact.
    It’s funny to read that those cafes are so special for others, when we think it’s just normal that it’s legal (and still the locals are complaining about hard drugs which are not legal, be satisfied with what you have guys!!).
    For us Dutchies Amsterdam is a big city and I’m not used to all the tourists and how busy the streets are. In my opinion Rotterdam is a much nicer city, because it’s more modern, I think it’s almost the opposite of Amsterdam.



    February 10, 2016

    Amsterdam is definitely one of my favourite cities. Me and my other half have visited far too many times in the last few years – taking the plunge and moving seems to be the next step 🙂
    I’d also really recommend trying out a sushi bar that seem to have popped up in the centre in recent months – they’re reasonably priced and so yummy!

    I’d also recommend checking out the fantastic sandwhich shops on the edge of Vondelpark – its a great place for a picnic! 🙂



    Jennifer @ This Off Script Life

    February 10, 2016

    Amsterdam was such a beautiful surprise for me, and I can’t wait to return. My favorite neighborhood for cafes, restaurants, and shopping is De 9 Straatjes (“the nine little streets”). It’s adorable.


    Megan Indoe

    February 10, 2016

    I went to Amsterdam for a weekend back in 2007 and fell in love with the city. Although, I need to make my way back to see some of these great suggestions you’ve made and spend more time there! I did get to see a few of these, but some we missed out on! I’ve read that the Red Light District has changed a bit over the years, so it will be interesting to compare to my visit years ago! The Van Gogh museum was a highlight, there was also an Andy Warhol exhibit while we were there that was actually a bit terrifying! I wasn’t expecting that, but perhaps we shouldn’t have had the space cake beforehand!



    February 10, 2016

    Amsterdam is on my to-travel list for this year! X



    February 10, 2016

    I friggin’ love Amsterdam! The people there are so friendly.



    February 10, 2016

    I’ve done all of this when I was in Amsterdam a few months ago (and also blogged about it)! Well, except for The Pancake Bakery, which, sadface 🙁 I think my favourite museums was the Van Gogh & Anne Frank – something that you just have to go to when you’re in Amsterdam.

    I pretty much agree about the fries, soooo good with mayo especially. And dear God the stroopwaffles… I’m tempted to have a layover in Amsterdam just to buy those heavenly biscuits.

    And I do highly recommend the Sandeman’s free walking tour! I enjoyed the tour greatly – even with the large group of people, the places the guide will take you to will still feel special and I really like all the tidbits of quirky Amsterdam history our guide shared with us. (And even though it’s “free”, you’re highly encouraged to tip your guide based on your rating – I personally wouldn’t be too stingy but YMMV.)



    February 10, 2016

    The most beautiful place I’ve ever been! I love, love, love Amsterdam!


    Kendall Simmons

    February 10, 2016

    This is great timing for me! I’m going to Amsterdam in July and absolutely cannot wait! I’ll only have 1 week, but I plan to make the most of it, and this list is very helpful! Thanks as always!



    February 10, 2016

    Love this guide so much. Wish I had this when I was in Amsterdam.

    Kisses from ❤



    February 10, 2016

    Amsterdam is such a beautiful city. Only one hour travelling for me 🙂 Don’t forget the Haarlemmerbuurt. Lovely shops and restaurants, one of my favorite parts of the city!



    February 10, 2016

    I love Amsterdam! Jordaan is so pretty! 🙂


    Another Ranting Reader

    February 10, 2016

    Amsterdam looks like a really beautiful city!

    Jemima x



    February 10, 2016

    And eat stroopwafel from “the guy in Albert Cuypmarkt”! They’re AMAZING!


    Jessica C. (A Wanderlust For Life)

    February 10, 2016

    As someone who lives in Amsterdam, this is the ultimate tourist bucket list! Sadly though, the canals rarely freeze over…but the Dutch are SO ready for when they do. Really, any excuse to get outside and they are there!

    Might I recommend the apple cinnamon pannenkoeken from The Pancake Bakery as well? It’s truly heavenly to eat!

    Quick note though, the “cafes” mentioned aren’t called cafes, they are called “Coffeeshops”. But you’ll probably smell it before you think it’s just for coffee. There’s plenty of coffee houses and cafes throughout the city…some with amazing coffee from what I hear (I’m not a coffee drinker ).

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