Amsterdam is a typical entertainment city full of endless things to do, restaurants to visit and museums to explore but the Dutch capital also has a myriad of fun things you can only do in Amsterdam.
And the best part is that not only are they extremely fun but some are also typical Dutch like taking a boat ride along the many canals of the city, buying food from a slot on the wall, explore around at the world’s most bike-friendly city and my favourite, spending an evening at a cool beach-bar located at an old port.
Here are reasons why you would love it too.
1. CANAL CRUISES
Cruises are a great way to explore the city from a different perspective while also exploring Dutch cuisine with authentic drinks and course meals. The cruises are available both during the day and night. Personally, I enjoy the night cruises much more because of the romantic atmosphere and if you are with a group of friends, its the perfect pre drinks activity before hitting the bars and clubs of the city.
If I were to name all of the cruises it would take longer than a cruise ride itself, which lasts minimum 2.5 hours, so instead here are all my favourites and most enjoyable.
– Eating cruises: How many Dutch pancakes (salty and sweet) can you eat in 75 minutes? The Pannenkoekenboot is an old Dutch themed ship will take you along the IJ river while you can try all the classic Dutch pancakes with sausages, cheeses, fruits and many other flavours.
Price: Adult €17.50 Child (3 to 11) €12.50 Duration: 75 minutes Departures: NDSM port, get there by taking the free ferry from the north exit of the central station.
– Romantic cruises: Take date night to the next level with a four-course dinner cruise along the beautiful canals with delicious Dutch dishes, wine and dessert. If you prefer a lighter dinner, there is also the cheese and wine cruise under candlelight. During the day there are also romantic ways to explore the canals with a pedal boat for just 10 euros.
Price: Adult- €115 Under 17- €93 Child- €69 Duration: 4 hours Departures: Tues – Sat at 10.30AM
– Cultural cruises: Eating Europe has a tremendous cultural tour along the Jordaan neighbourhood which includes a guided walk amongst historical sights, tastings along the way at authentic Dutch places and an hour-long private boat trip. The perfect cruise for history and food lovers.
– Drinking cruises: All you can drink cruise along the Unesco canals or Old city for just 15 euros from Boat Amsterdam.
If you are looking to try local beers, check out the cruise by Taproom, a local beer bar that provides four deliciously local drafted beers during the cruise along with pizzas, burgers, bitterballen (Dutch fried meatballs) and other delicacies. As you cruise around the city, the staff not only gives you a guide of the city but also of the history of the beers.
Price: 12 per person Location: Nieuwe Vijzelstraat 1 Departures: Mon – Thurs 15.00 to 01.00
Fri – Sat 12:00 to 3.00 Sun 12.00 01.00
– Hire your own boat: You can also plan your own canal cruise by hiring a boat with a driver or reserve a private tour such as Café Complex‘s breakfast cruise which includes unlimited coffee, tea and water during your ride along the canals. This is perfect for big groups and you get to pick the route of the cruise as well!
Price: €25.75 per person
2. EAT, EAT AND EAT SOME MORE!
Amsterdam is considered to be one of the ultimate foodie destinations in the world due to its large variety of international cuisines. There are restaurants, cafes, bars and food stands literally on every street.
The crazy thing about this city is that as soon as you get out of a restaurant after having a delicious meal, you’ll pass by so many bakeries and sweet shops full of desserts with Nutella, such as waffles, pancakes, cupcakes, muffins and anything else you could possibly dream of trying.
3. BIKE AROUND
With 16,500,000 cyclists in the country, the Netherlands couldn’t be a better place to bike. All cities including Amsterdam, are entirely bike-friendly with red biking lanes, parking spaces everywhere and easy-to-learn rules that make biking the best form of transportation.
There are many rental companies, but the one I’ve heard the best reviews from is YourCityBike, where you can rent city, geared, dirt and double bikes for a couple of hours and days.
4. SPEND A DAY AT NDSM
After five years of visiting Amsterdam, I have just recently discovered this impressive beachy warehouse port just behind the central station. As a tourist, I was not aware that you can take a FREE ferry ride from the north exit of Centraal Station to the former shipyard that is today an alternative area with great cafés where you can sit outside on the sand and enjoy the summer days. When I was there, I visited the Pllek cafe which had a great atmosphere with an incredible view of the city and even better drinks. Throughout the year, Pllek also hosts many events such as international film screenings, art exhibitions, mini-festivals and much more which I am super excited to check out when I revisit this beautiful city.