For those of you who plan an extended stay in Amsterdam and who plan on crawling the city’s pubs and bars in the evening, we have prepared a curated list of things to do.
Most hotels, cafés and restaurants, as well some parks in Amsterdam have free Wi-Fi available. Inter-city trains also have free Wi-Fi available. If being always connected is really a must for you and you do not want to rely on public Wi-Fi networks, we recommend using My Webspot, a portable Wi-Fi device enabling you high-speed internet access everywhere. Please also note that 4G data network is completely covering Amsterdam.
As a clash of cultures and with an 800-years long history, Amsterdam has plenty to offer to visitors with different kinds of interests. For those likely to go exploring most of the well-known Amsterdam attractions we strongly recommend to purchase the I Amsterdam City Card as it gives you access to public transport and more than 120 different touristic attractions, including most of the museums, the zoo and the botanical garden.
The Rijksmuseum (Dutch National Museum) contains an extensive collection of 16th and 17th century Dutch works, with paintings from Rembrandt, Hals and Vermeer. It administers more than 6000 paintings, over 1000 sculptures, and has extensive more than 11,000 pieces big collection of costumes, accessories, watches and jewellery from different periods. A must-see for artsy people.
While Rijskmuseum is more focused on classical art, Stedelijk Museum is the best place to go if you are a fan of modern art, from 1880 to now. Stedelijk Base is the permanent collection with more than 700 works from the likes of Jeff Koons, Anselm Kiefer, Maarten Baas and Marlene Dumas.
For art lovers, The Van Gogh Museum and the Rembrandt House Museum are two other destinations to be included on your to do list. Both give a very interesting glimpse into the life and art of the perhaps two most important Dutch artist of all time, but they also offer interesting workshops, so make sure to check out their availability.
NEMO Science Museum – For the science lovers among you. Rescue the Earth from outer space dangers as part of the “Life in The Universe” exhibition, or master all things energy in “Energetica”. A special recommendation goes for the NEMO chemistry laboratory workshop (duration: 30 minutes) which gives you the opportunity to work on your own experiments.
The Anna Frank Museum and the Jewish Cultural Quarter give a reprehensive overview of Jewish history in Netherland and Europe. While the House of Anna Frank gives an extensive overview of the short life of one of the most famous Holocaust victims, the Jewish Cultural Quarter offer entrance to five separate buildings with only one ticket (the Jewish Historical Museum, the JHM Children’s Museum, the Portuguese Synagogue, the Hollandsche Schouwburg, and the National Holocaust Museum)
Located just outside Amsterdam, Castle Muiderslot is over 700 years old, which makes it one of the oldest castles in the Netherlands. It was renovated and turned into a museum, which offers exhibits from the middle ages to the Golden Age. Besides the history, you can also enjoy the beautiful gardens of the castle.
Although in daily use by the Royal Family, it also possible to visit the Royal Palace Amsterdam, which is the largest building from the Golden Age. Besides enjoying the beautiful architecture and furniture, the Palace regularly hosts different exhibitions, most commonly featuring artwork from the Royal collections.
With an Aquarium and Planetarium, the Amsterdam Royal Zoo gives you plenty of stuff to look at, besides the usual zoo suspects – gorillas, lions, penguins, etc. Check their daily schedule to be sure to be at zoo when your favourite species is being fed and presented.
Amsterdam is also the home of one of the oldest botanical gardens in Europe – Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam. It features collections of medicinal, carnivorous, South African, and tree plants, all within three different garden and an orangery. It also holds a collection of more than 2,000 titles of plant-related literature.
For those who like more edgy things, we recommend visiting The Embassy of the Free Mind, a museum library imagined as a journey through 2,000 years of wisdom. Based on the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica, the library gives access to more than 20,000 books and manuscripts from 15th-18th century. Micropia (part of the Zoo), on the other hand, focuses on the invisible – microbes. Besides the amazing collection of microbes on display, you can enjoy the Artisplein garden free of charge. And for the cat lovers among you, you will enjoy the Cat Cabinet, a small museum featuring a collection of paintings, sculptures, photographs and other artwork with, what else, cats in all sizes and colours.
If you would like a sneak-peak of Amsterdam’s dark side, you can visit the Amsterdam Dungeon, which will give you a daily dose of scary. An interactive experience, you will be blown away by the actors and an exploration of mora than 500 years of Amsterdam’s dark history. Amsterdam is also the home of one of the most famous and recognizable beer brands in the world – Heineken. The Heineken Experience gives beer lovers the chance to tour though the legendary brewery and to learn more about its brewing process and heritage.
For the curious ones, of course there is the Red Light District, which is most interesting to visit in the evening, but it will also be more crowded at that time. However, peep shows and strip clubs are the only thing “worth” the visit. There is also a Museum of Prostitution – Red Light Secrets, the Erotic Museum or the Museum of Cannabis.
Our venue is in the heart of the De Baarsjes district, which is regarded as the art and culture melting pot of Amsterdam, also home to the probably best nightclub in Amsterdam, De School. However, there are other interesting neighbourhoods to crawl during your stay.
The De Pijp neighbourhood is recognisable for its narrow townhouses, built mostly during the 19th century. The central part of the neighbourhood is the Albert Cuyp Markt, which is probably Amsterdam’s most iconic market. Also, you’ll find a plentiful of cool restaurants and cafés in the area and all the major museum must-sees – the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk and Van Gogh Museum.
Then there is the De Wallen district, also known as the Red Light District. We do not need to explain why this is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the Netherlands, but it it’s worth emphasizing that this is also the oldest district of Amsterdam.
Westerpark is considered one of the greenest parts of Amsterdam. It is a clubbing area, but also home to the Westergasfabriek, a multi-functional cultural centre.
Amsterdam Noord (North) is considered as the avangarde part of Amsterdam, which is home to Europe’s biggest flea market – IJ Hallen. Besides, you can visit EYE Film Institute for arthouse movies and go up the A’Dam Tower for spectacular skyline views of Amsterdam and a turn on the “Over the Edge” swing, Europe’s highest swing.
Jordaan is the market-galore neighbourhood where you can find the Antiekcentrum for antiques shopping and the Noordermarkt, which is a flea market on Mondays and a farmers market (with organic produce) on Saturdays.
Amsterdam’s cultural diversity means that there are many different national kitchens which you can try out as well as a lot of street food outlets. We have compiled a short, but sweet list of not-so-obvious winners.
Just across our conference venue is Coffeecompany, a small, not-so-crowded coffee place. Around 15 minutes walking from our venue, you’ll find White Label Coffee, for the hard-core coffee lovers among you.
For a take on the traditional Dutch Stroopwafels , in the middle of the Albert Cuyp market you can find maybe the most famous Stroopwafel place in Amsterdam - Original Stroopwafels. Raw herring is the Dutch equivalent of a hot dog, so as weird as it may sound, if you want the Dutch experience, definitely try it. We hear a lot of people saying that Lucky's Vispaleis may be the best place to have a taste, however it is a bit far away. You can find an equally good herring at Frens Haringhandel which is more central and closer.
Healthy eaters will be loving D'Juice House, which is one of the best rated restaurants in Amsterdam, and pretty cheap. You can enjoy smoothies, sandwiches and salads. It’s located right in the heart of Amsterdam.
If you are more into experimenting with food, you can try out Japanese Pancake World, which is going to redefine your concept of a pancake. However, be prepared to wait for around 30 minutes for the food to be served – it’s worth it.
For a good night out you can visit Melkweg, a very popular concert venue and cultural centre, housed in former milk factory. In close proximity of Melkweg is the Bourbon Street club is a more intimate venue, which usually hosts a very refreshing line up blues, jazz and soul artists. For a funkier take on Amsterdam nightlife, there is also the The Waterhole, a rock bar with live gigs every night.