Explore Amsterdam

Amsterdam offers a lot: the unique inner city is basically an open air museum with lots to do that is both educational and fun. After a busy day you can have a bite at one of our numerous restaurants and at night visit a club or one of the many bars on Leidseplein or Rembrandtplein. There are also many attractions in Amsterdam. Each attraction is easily reachable by bicycle or public transportation. Most attractions are located in the city center.

Planning to visit a concert during your stay in Amsterdam? Take a look at all events close to us here.

Highlights of Amsterdam

Amsterdam has a lot of different attractions and interesting places to visit. Because there are so many options, we from Hostelle have made a list of the absolute must visits in Amsterdam.

Grachtengordel (the canals of Amsterdam)
The canals of Amsterdam are an attraction by itself. These unique canals are best to be experienced on a boat, which is actually one of the most visited attractions in the Netherlands. By doing a canal tour you will pass the most beautiful, historic buildings from the ‘Golden Age’ with all their stories. The three main canals are Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht. Seeing Amsterdam from the water is a special experience and an absolute must!

Anne Frank House
In this house the Jewish girl Anne Frank was hiding in the occupied Netherlands during WW2. This is where she wrote her famous diary. The Frank family sadly got caught and deported to Auschwitz. Only Otto Frank, Anne’s dad, survived and he published the diary. Shortly after the war ended, the Anne Frank Foundation saved the building from demolition. Since 1960 it is on display and you can visit the house with its famous hiding place.

Due to renovation work, the Anne Frank House is only accessible with an online ticket with time slot until 1 May 2018. The Anne Frank House sells tickets for a specific date and time. Note that the tickets cannot be swapped or returned.

The Rijksmuseum is quite possibly the most prestige museum in the Netherlands. There are about 200 rooms filled with over one million objects from collections of 17th century Dutch masters. The collection also includes Italian masters and Asian art. The absolute masterpiece of the museum is Rembrandt’s ‘Night Watch’.

You can buy your tickets online or at the reception of Hostelle, so you can skip the line during your visit. It’s also possible to buy tickets at the museum.

This square right in the centre of Amsterdam is a place where something is always happening. Leidseplein is a hotspot for culture, nightlife and entertainment. There are many terraces, restaurants, clubs and theatres. For a night out, this is definitely one of the places to visit.

Koninklijk Paleis op de Dam (the Royal Palace on Dam Square)
This palace was once designed as a city hall for the administrative and legal power of Amsterdam. In 1655 the building was almost ready and could be put to use. Around the year 1808 the town hall had another purpose: that of the third imperial palace of the Napoleonic Empire. For around 200 years it has been used as the official reception place where world leaders are being received. And nowadays it is available for the public to visit when it is not in use by the Dutch Royal Family. King Willem-Alexander and his family live in Huis ten Bosch in The Hague.

ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo
The famous Amsterdam zoo has been around since 1838 and is the oldest zoo in the Netherlands. With its historic buildings from the 19th century, this is a modern zoo with an old world charm. Natura Artis Magistra, which is the founding name of Artis, has an impressive list of animals. Wander around the ‘Artisplein’ without needing a ticket, or go inside and connect with living nature while being in the middle of the city.

This beautiful park is named after the poet and playwriter Joost van den Vondel, a statue of whom stands in the park. It is the largest park in Amsterdam and welcomes approximately 10 million people per year. This park is popular by the citizens of Amsterdam and tourists. Besides walking in the Vondelpark there are a lot of other things to do ranging from free concerts to bicycle tours.

Van Gogh Museum
You can find the world’s largest collection of the works of Vincent van Gogh at the Amsterdam Van Gogh Museum. Besides paintings there are also drawings and letters showcased, and it is completed by the art of his contemporaries. The modern main building is designed by Dutch genius architect Gerrit Rietveld. Even though the museum is one of the most popular in the entire world, it is designed in such a way it is still possible to have a private moment with Van Gogh’s masterpieces.

To get in the museum it’s better to buy the tickets online or at the reception of Hostelle. The Van Gogh Museum sells tickets only for a specific date and time!

Markets & shopping

Albert Cuyp Market
The origins of the Albert Cuyp Market lie in 1804. With over 300 stalls on either side of the Albert Cuyp street a huge variety of products can be found from food to cosmetics, and even bedding is for sale. Also typical Dutch treats can be found at the market. A definite must is buying a warm fresh ‘stroopwafel’, the caramel will be dripping from the waffle!

The Northern market, called Noordermarkt in Dutch, originates in the 17th century. It takes places on Mondays and Saturdays on the square of the Noorderkerk (Northern church). It actually exists of a couple of markets, one being a farmers market where you can buy biological food, and another one being an antique market. On Monday mornings it only exists of the antique market.

Waterloo Square, named after the battle of Waterloo, houses a flea market of around 300 stalls. It is open from Monday to Saturday. Besides unique stalls selling a variety of products, there are also various food trucks.

Flower market
The flower market at the Singel, also known as the floating flower market, is one of Amsterdam’s most colourful markets. There are plenty of seeds, house plants, gardening essentials, and cut flowers on sale.  No matter what your favourite flower is, or which colour tulip you want, you are bound to find it here. A number of shops sell fun souvenirs as well besides flowers.

The biggest flea market of Europe is located in Amsterdam. To be exact, in the IJ-Hallen in Amsterdam Noord. From Amsterdam Central Station you can take the free ferry to the NDSM Werf.

Markt bij Amsterdamse Poort
On Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays a market takes place at the Anton de Komplein. It is part of the so-called World Markets in the neighbourhood Amsterdam southeast. The market is diverse and multicultural, offering various products from food to clothing and electronics.

The market at shopping centre Amsterdamse Poort is open from 09.00 till 18.00 and right around the corner of Hostelle.

The Nine Streets
‘De Negen straatjes’ as these streets are called in Dutch, might be the best shopping hub in the whole of Amsterdam. It is a charming mixture of art galleries, vintage clothing stores, designer boutiques, gift shops and places to eat and drink. The monumental streets are the perfect place for photos as well, some call it the most photogenic micro-neighbourhood in Amsterdam.

History of Amsterdam

The origins of Amsterdam lie in the 12th century. Amsterdam was the centre of world economy in the 17th century, which is also called the ‘Golden Age’ in Dutch history. It was when Dutch trade, science, military, and art were among the most acclaimed in the world.

Other attractions

Tassenmuseum Hendrikje (Museum of Bags and Purses)
The museum of bags and purses in Amsterdam is special as it is the only museum in the world with over 3000 bags and purses. In Dutch, the museum is named after its founder Hendrikje, who started collecting as a hobby. Because her collection kept on growing, she decided to start showcasing items to the public with great success.

KattenKabinet (Cat museum)
The cat museum is an art museum in Amsterdam completely dedicated to cats. In its collection are paintings, drawings, statues, and other art instalments. The KattenKabinet even owns an artwork from Picasso. Bob Meijer is the founder of the museum, he opened it in memoriam to his cat.

Rembrandt house
This museum was actually the house where the painter Rembrandt lived between 1639 and 1658. The house was sold in 1639 for thirteen thousand guilders (around 6000 euros), which he was allowed to pay in installments. In that same year he was commissioned to create the painting “Night Watch”. Because he finally could not or would not pay, he was forced into bankruptcy in 1658 and he moved to a small rented house on the Rozengracht.

You can buy your tickets online or at the reception of Hostelle, so you can skip the line during your visit. It’s also possible to buy your tickets at the museum.

The Amsterdam Dungeon
This attraction takes you back 500 years into the creepy history of the city. Lots of information will pass, as the dark secrets of Rembrandt and the executioner Peter Title Mann are shown. You have to be a brave to enter.

You can buy your tickets online or at the reception of Hostelle, so you can skip the line during your visit. It’s also possible to buy your tickets at the Amsterdam Dungeon for a few euro’s more.

Stedelijk museum
The Stedelijk Museum, or just Stedelijk, is the premiere contemporary and modern art museum in Amsterdam. Located in the heart of the Museum Quarter in the city, it displays international art from the twentieth and twenty first centuries. This place provides a distinctive experience that will open
the mind and heart to new styles.

You can buy your tickets online or at the reception of Hostelle, so you can skip the line during your visit. It’s also possible to buy your tickets at the museum. The cash register closes half an hour before closing time.

Heineken Experience
The original brewery in the centre of Amsterdam has been transformed into an interactive tour after being shut down as it could not meet the high demand anymore. During the experience you will learn all about the brewing process, but also about Heineken’s heritage and innovations. It is a unique way to gain insight into the popular beer brand.

You can buy your tickets online or at the reception of Hostelle, so you can skip the line during your visit. The Heineken Experience sells the tickets only for a specific date and time. You can also buy the tickets at the Heineken Experience, but this doesn’t guarantee you an entrance.

Madame Tussauds
Located in various cities all over the world, Madame Tussauds is also to be found in Amsterdam on Dam square.

You can buy your tickets online or at the reception of Hostelle, so you can skip the line during your visit. It’s also possible to buy your tickets at the Madame Tussauds for a few euro’s more.
Please note: if you buy your tickets online for the same day that you will visit Madame Tussauds it’s the same price as buying it at the door.