Known as “broodje bali”, meaning meatballs. Meatballs are sandwiched in the middle of bread, add some vegetables and speacial sauce. The special thing of this attractive dish is that the meatballs are as big as holding hands and being stewed for nearly a day so it is very soft and fragrant, combined with bread to create attractive taste, making diners fall in love.
- Amsterdam 2 days itinerary — What to do in Amsterdam in 2 days & how to spend 2 days in Amsterdam?
- How to get around Amsterdam cheap? — 7 cheapest & best way on how to travel cheap in Amsterdam
- Zaanse Schans blog — How to visit the windmill village of Zaanse Schans
- Giethoorn blog — The Dutch Venice in the heart of the Netherlands
- Sofia blog — The ultimate Bulgaria Sofia guide for first-timers
Where to eat?
- Lots of delicious drinks, ice cream cakes and apple cakes at Café Winkel 43
- Waffle, Crepes, fresh ice cream, mixed fruit super delicious at IceBakery shop, right near Bloemenmarkt flower market.
- Grilled ribs at the Satellite Sports Cafe are very delicious, the price of €12/part that you can eat as much as possible, the evening is usually quite crowded.
In Amsterdam there is also a chain of food stores called FEBO, where they equip many vending machines that serve continuously with cheap cakes and food. When looking for restaurants or buying souvenirs in Amsterdam, you will see a lot of shops close on the afternoon at 5-6pm every day, but on the Thursdays they will open until 9pm.
Amsterdam travel guide blog: What to do?
Must-see attractions in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is captivating right from the canals, the bikes loosely set on the bridges that I thought of standing in the second Venice. In fact, Amsterdam is much different from Venice, it bring a quiet, tranquility as a romantic French-style setting, with yellow leaves falling in the fall sometimes wet because of sudden rain. Take a bicycle and cycling around wherever you want, you won’t be much different from the real Dutch people.
The city of Amsterdam is divided into different areas and districts, which are the central area and the remaining areas of East, West, South and North surrounding the city. Usually when we come to Amsterdam, we only wander around in the central area, this area includes the following main districts.
- Old Center: The old town and the main tourist attraction. There are lots of shops, canals, traditional buildings and many famous attractions like Dam Square, Nieuwmarkt, Spui and Red Light District red light district.
- Canal Ring: UNESCO’s cultural heritage, which is the 17th-century canal system built to attract wealthy people. Currently this is still a bustling area with vibrant night streets like Leidseplein or Rembrandtplein.
- Jordaan: This area was built in the 19th century by the working class, famous for art galleries, souvenir shops and statues of famous singers.
- Plantage: Known by many museums, Artis Royal Zoo and Botanic gardens.
Amsterdam is known as a city of museums with more than 60 large and small museums, and many of them are “must-see” museums such as Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh, Stedelijk, … These museums allow buying ticket online, so you should consider buying tickets in advance before visiting to avoid long queues. Large museums gather at the museum street – at 50 Van Baerlestraat Street.
The Rijksmuseum (€17.50 entrance ticket) displays artifacts of Dutch art and history from the Middle Ages. Van Gogh Museum (€17 admission ticket) showcased the works of the most famous artists with a variety of artistic areas such as painting, sculpture, …
This is probably one of the most famous tourist attractions in Amsterdam. Founded in 1809, the Rijkmuseum is the home of the most important artworks of this city, with a total of over 7 million works of art, of which more than 5.000 paintings are distributed over 250 rooms and a library with over 35.000 books. This is also the only museum in the world that you can visit by bike.
Address: Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam, Netherlands
Van Gogh Museum
Van Gogh Museum is the number one priority because it is icon of Dutch painting background, coming here you can hire headphones and when watching each painting you choose language to hear introduction about that picture. There is also a concierge desk to paint in Van Gogh style, ..
Every year, about 1.5 million tourists flock to this museum to admire the remain artworks of one of the most talented artists in the world. Because of that, the Van Gogh Museum is rated as hosting one of the world’s most important art collections (it is also the second most visited museum in the Netherlands).
Address: Museumplein 6, 1071 DJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
Some other museums you refer to:
- FOAM Photography Museum (€10 admission ticket), showcasing photographic works.
- Stedelijk Museum with architectural shape is like a bath, admission tickets €15.
Anne Frank House (€14 entrance ticket) takes you to visit the attic that the Frank family hid from Nazi era.
- Amsterdam Museum (€12.5 admission ticket) displays the history of Amsterdam’s formation and development.
- In addition to this neighborhood, Amsterdam has many unique museums such as cats museum, bags museum … ready to meet all the needs of visitors.
If you want to visit many museums, you should buy the Holland Pass, this pass is valid within 1 month and can visit many museums for free, not queuing, and also get free a 24-hour travel ticket in Amsterdam and many other incentives. Details you see on this website, after choose the card, you choose some museums that want to go on the list they give.
Oude Kerk (The Oude Church)
This was originally a church with many small houses in the inside, considered a peaceful paradise located in the center of the red light district famous for prostitution and drugs. The architecture here, especially the octagonal bell tower was built in Gothic architectural style, used by sailors to determine the direction. The original building was built in the early 13th century, originally built entirely of wood. Later in the 14th century, the building was rebuilt in Gothic style and strictly preserved today. A special feature of this church is shown in the high windows, the remain decorations of the Middle Ages, the tombs and painted wooden arches are impressive.
Address: Oudekerksplein 23, 1012 GX Amsterdam, Netherlands
Height: 67 m
Opened: September 17, 1306
Architectural style: Hollandse gotiek
Unlike the Begijnhof garden, Rembrandtpleinth Square is actually the most bustling play area in Amsterdam. Many restaurants, pubs, cafes or cinemas here can associate to Khao San Road (Chinatown) in Bangkok but it is much bigger and cleaner. Tourists also like this area, sipping a cup of coffee and watching the streets, in the evening go to pubs, clubs or bars … Referring about entertainment at night, you should explore Leidseplein square area, bustling not less than Rembrandtplein.
Not only has taverns, Rembrandtplein Square is also attracted by street artists, like carnival artists in Venice, or body painters on LaRambla Avenue – Barcelona. They can perform circus, make fun or simply selfie with tourists.
De Wallen (Red Light District)
This is probably the most haunting point in every visitor when coming to Amsterdam, it is not only special, but also a rather strange spot, different from other places. There is no place where prostitution is completely legal and is allowed by the government to practice publicly as a normal job like in the Netherlands. I also went to red light district in Pattaya in Thailand, the red light town of Pigalle in Paris but it was not as obvious and civilized as in Red Light Amsterdam.
For the natives, there is nothing strange about it, travelers who want to discover go to know it, the lanes are small. The price may be around 50 euros/time (the staff here have to pay full taxes) or cheaper if you know how to negotiate. If you so curious, remember to not raise your camera here if you do not want to bad thing happen to your camera, many police and even security. In the middle of the neighborhood with the girls peeking behind the glass doors in red light to greet guests, a specialty of Amsterdam.
You can see the red light street as a sexual amusement park in this country. Red lights from the window in the houses here have created a mysterious appearance for this area. Although it is considered a very safe place, you should be careful when walking through deserted streets here. And you should remember not taking pictures here.
According to history, Dam Square was the first point in which Amsterdam was built and formed. The name “Amsterdam” is taken from Dam and the name of the Amstel river flowing in the city. Reach to Dam Square takes only 10 minutes walk from the central station via the main road Damrak, where there are many restaurants and cafes, suitable for those who are walking and resting, taking photos in front of iconic buildings of Amsterdam, watching the pigeons swooping down on tourists for food.
It used to be associated with many historical events of the country, such as having welcomed the emperor Napoleon with his army to take over the city in the 1808s.
From Dam Square you can visit the Royal Palace and National War Memorial (a 22-meter-high stone pillar), New Nieuwe Kerk Church, many shopping streets. The Royal Palace is quite striking from its architecture and grandeur, seeming to represent a magnanimous era of the city, filled with classic details by sophisticated sculptures.
Located just off Dam Square, the Begijnhof garden is quite isolated and quiet compared to the adjacent neighborhood squares. Called a garden, but I realized that this is mainly the green grass around the colorful houses built by a fairly similar architectural style. It is free admission but you should not loud and make noisy.
Westerkerk (Western Church)
This is the most famous church in the city, and also the venue for the wedding of Queen Beatrix in 1966. Completed in 1630, this Renaissance-style church has many architectural features Gothic style on the outside and interior.
Canals and bridges in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is famous as the city of canals, beautiful little bridges. Not much will be felt about Amsterdam if you have never wandered through the interlocking canals, or sit on a small boat circling through these endless canals.
Like many other cities in Europe, besides to visit some main tourist attractions, it is no better place to learn more about the lives of indigenous people than to visit their markets, to see how their daily life and trade. The Albert Cuypmarkt Market (Address: Albert Cuypstraat, 1073 BD Amsterdam, Netherlands / Hours: 9AM–5PM; Sunday: Closed) is known as one of the largest markets in Europe, open in the week from 9am to 5pm, in addition to a large variety of shops and goods of all kinds, visitors to the market are also very crowded, both Amsterdam people and tourists.
Albert Cuypmarkt Market is considered the busiest outdoor street market in Europe. It attracts thousands of tourists every day, especially on Saturday of the weekends. With more than 300 stalls selling fresh fruits, fashionable clothes …, this market attracts a lot of tourists because of the cheapest prices in the city of Amsterdam.
In addition there are some other markets you can refer to such as Noordermarkt market (open 9am-3pm) selling fresh food, Marqt market (open 8am-9pm), … For those who likes to watch flowers should go to The Amsterdam Flower Market that opens all days of the week, a very suitable spot to see Tulip flowers, the famous flower of the Netherlands.
First of all, not to mention Vondelpark, the famous and largest park in Amsterdam. It is very suitable for weekend picnics, because there are lots of trees, lawns and roads, lush shade trees suitable to lie back and relax.
Museumplein park located next to the Van Gogh museum is also where you can find after a tiring visit to the nearby museums, and the Sarphatipark park near Albert Cuyp market.
Other places and must-do activities to do in Amsterdam
If you come to Amsterdam and go with your kids, consider visiting the famous Dutch Artis zoo, Nemo museum for young children. Coming to Amsterdam is not only to visit the museums, the busy streets but also the place where you feel the rhythm of the city with full of canals. Try a short boat tour on the Amsterdam River, a Red Light city tour, or take the bus to the peripheral villages of Amsterdam like the windmill village Zaanse Schans, Keukenhof flower garden, etc.
Note: To take the most economical boat trip on the Amstel River, you may should not buy a tour but rent a boat to paddle yourself, of course, you have to know how to control it. The rental boat service can be found at www.bootjehureninamsterdam.com or www.amsterdamrentaboat.com
Windmill village – Zaanse Schans
The Zaanse Schans windmill village is very famous in the Netherlands and is only 45 minutes away from Amsterdam by bus. You can spend from half a day to a day to discover this village, watching the signature windmills and enjoying local specialties like Chocolate, wood shoe workshop, …
If you want to explore the most famous places to visit and travel in the Netherlands, then go to the village of Kinderdijk, which is known as the windmill village like Zaanse Schans village above. With 20 large windmills from the 18th century, where the battle against the foreign invaders took place, this place is considered a pride of the Netherlands and moreover, the village of Kinderdijk is also recognized by UNESCO as World Heritage in 1997. That’s why you must visit here when you have a chance to travel to the Netherlands.
This is a beautiful and interesting place to visit in the Netherlands that attracts many tourists are interested in. Here, you not only admire the romantic space, enjoy the fresh air of the lake, but also have the opportunity to experience many interesting activities, attractive entertainment games here such as: Surfing, sailing …
Hoge Veluwe National Park
One of the famous tourist attractions in the Netherlands that you should not miss is the National Park Hoge Veluwe, only 40km from Amsterdam. This is the largest nature reserve in the Netherlands, with a total area of up to 50km2. When you come here, you not only can see the poetic natural scenery of the primeval forests, beautiful plateaus but also have the opportunity to see and interact with the animals here such as red deer, wild buffalo, boar … very interesting.
Keukenhof flower garden
Keukenhof in Lisse City – The Netherlands is considered one of the largest flower gardens in Europe, open only from March 22 to May 20 every year. Come here to see hundreds of different flowers blooming, to feel why people say the Netherlands is the land of flowers.
Giethoorn Village, Overijssel
Perhaps you have heard about the village of Giethoorn, known as the Venice of the Netherlands. This village has no roads that every means of transportation is by boat. Spend a day here from Amsterdam to feel the peaceful, uninhabited life and full of experiences when sailing through every canal and corner of this unique village.
Amsterdam visitor guide: Shopping in Amsterdam
You can buy small souvenir items at busy markets like Albert Cuyp or Bloemenmarkt, or any of Amsterdam’s street markets. A few typical wooden clogs here, windmills or delicious cheeses are the favorite gifts of tourists. However, the gift that we always love and bring back after every trip to Amsterdam is the cake Stroopwafels.
There are many things to explore in Amsterdam in particular and the Netherlands in general, but I think spending a week maybe is not enough! Even waking up early in the morning, wandering through the canals, the bridges in Amsterdam also gives a very different, peaceful feeling and you wants to stay in this beautiful city forever …
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in and from Amsterdam you can refer to
- Private Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) Transfers for Amsterdam
- Keukenhof Skip-the-Line Ticket and Direct Transport from Amsterdam
- Keukenhof Gardens Fast Track Entry Ticket with Round Trip Bus Transfers from Amsterdam
- Brussels Day Tour from Amsterdam
- Amsterdam Guided Half Day Tour
- Small Group Full Day Tour to Giethoorn from Amsterdam
- Bruges Day Trip From Amsterdam
- Volendam, Edam & Zaanse Schans Windmill Village Day Tour from Amsterdam
- Giethoorn and Enclosing Dike Day Tour
- Amsterdam City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Bus & Boat Pass
- The Rijksmuseum Skip-the-Line Ticket and Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Pass in Amsterdam
- Red Light Secrets Museum and Hop-on Hop-off Bus Pass in Amsterdam
- Amsterdam Public Transport 1-7 Day Ticket
Are you looking for more Amsterdam travel guide and top things to do in Amsterdam: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Let’s check it out here.