An Unforgettable Weekend in Amsterdam: Discover the Best Places to Eat, Visit and Relax!
Welcome to Amsterdam, a dynamic and culturally rich city full of treasures to discover. Whether you’re a culinary enthusiast, a history buff or simply looking to relax, Amsterdam is sure to seduce you. In this blog, we’ll guide you through the best places to eat, visit and relax for an unforgettable weekend.
Day 1: Explore Amsterdam's historic charm and urban art / Immerse yourself in Amsterdam's history and hidden treasures
Start your day with a visit to the Begijnhof, a hidden gem in the heart of Amsterdam. Stepping through the entrance gate, you’ll find yourself transported to a serene oasis with a rich history. This inner courtyard, founded in the 14th century, was originally home to the Beguines, a community of religious women. Today, it remains a tranquil haven amidst the bustling city.
Take your time to wander through the Begijnhof’s picturesque paths lined with charming historic houses, many of which date back to the 17th century. Admire the well-kept gardens and the vibrant colors of blooming flowers. As you explore, you’ll feel a sense of tranquility wash over you, providing a respite from the outside world. Find a bench tucked away in a quiet corner, where you can sit and soak in the peaceful ambiance.
Nearby, you’ll find the Amsterdam Museum, located just a short walk from the Begijnhof. Housed within a historic building, the museum provides a captivating journey through the city’s past. Explore interactive exhibits, artifacts, and multimedia presentations that bring Amsterdam’s history to life. Learn about the city’s growth, its Golden Age, and its vibrant cultural heritage.
After immersing yourself in the history of Amsterdam, head towards the Jordaan neighborhood, a charming district known for its picturesque canals, narrow streets, and quaint shops. Stroll along the Prinsengracht, one of the city’s main canals, and soak up the atmosphere of this quintessential Amsterdam neighborhood. Stop by the Anne Frank House, located on Prinsengracht, and delve into the poignant story of Anne Frank and her diary. Explore the museum, which offers a powerful and thought-provoking insight into the history of the Holocaust.
- Tip: Book your Anne Frank House tickets in advance, as it is a popular attraction and tends to have long queues. Consider purchasing a ticket with a specific time slot to skip the lines.
- Tip: If you’re interested in contemporary art, check the calendar of events for art performances, temporary exhibitions, or cultural festivals happening in the NDSM district. You may stumble upon live art demonstrations, captivating exhibitions, or even outdoor concerts that further enhance your experience. Beyond the NDSM district, you can also venture to the nearby EYE Film Museum, located just a short walk away. This architectural marvel houses a vast collection of films, both Dutch and international, spanning different genres and eras. Explore the museum’s exhibits, attend screenings of classic and avant-garde films, or simply enjoy the stunning panoramic views of the city from its terrace.
For a nature-filled escape, make your way to the nearby Vliegenbos, Amsterdam’s oldest city campground and a green oasis within the city. Take a leisurely stroll through the wooded park, where you can relax, have a picnic, or simply enjoy the tranquility of nature.
By exploring the NDSM district, visiting the EYE Film Museum, and taking a refreshing nature walk in Vliegenbos, you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in Amsterdam’s alternative art scene, delve into the world of film, and connect with nature—all within close proximity to each other.
Venture into the vibrant and alternative NDSM district, located just a short ferry ride away from the city center. This former shipyard has been transformed into a dynamic and creative hub, offering a unique perspective on Amsterdam’s art and culture scene.
As you disembark from the ferry, you’ll immediately notice the industrial charm that permeates the NDSM area. Explore the open-air street art gallery, where massive murals adorn the sides of buildings, showcasing the creativity and talent of local and international artists. Each mural tells its own story and adds vibrancy to the neighborhood’s atmosphere.
Take your time to wander through the streets, discovering surprising sculptures and interactive art installations that add an element of surprise to your exploration. The NDSM district is known for its offbeat and experimental nature, attracting artists, designers, and creatives from various disciplines.
After immersing yourself in the art scene, take a moment to explore the local boutiques and vintage shops that dot the area. From unique clothing and accessories to one-of-a-kind pieces of art, you’ll find treasures that perfectly encapsulate the creative spirit of Amsterdam.
Indulge in a memorable dining experience at Café In de Waag, located in the historical building of the Waag, one of Amsterdam’s most iconic landmarks. Dating back to the 15th century, this former city gate now houses a restaurant that beautifully combines history, ambiance, and culinary excellence.
Step inside and be enveloped by the enchanting atmosphere created by the building’s centuries-old architecture. The interior features impressive vaulted ceilings, exposed brick walls, and a warm, inviting ambiance. The flickering candlelight adds a touch of romance, making it the perfect setting for a memorable evening.
Start your evening with a tantalizing selection of Dutch appetizers, such as bitterballen (fried meatballs) or Hollandse Nieuwe (salted herring). Then, move on to mains that showcase the finest ingredients sourced from local suppliers. Delight in a succulent piece of locally caught fish, such as haring or kibbeling (battered cod), or indulge in hearty meat dishes like stamppot (mashed potatoes) served with tender braised beef or smoked sausage. Vegetarian options are also available, with creative dishes featuring seasonal vegetables and flavorsome sauces.
- Tip: Complement your meal with a carefully selected local craft beer, chosen to perfectly pair with the flavors of your dish. Alternatively, opt for a glass of genever, a traditional Dutch spirit with juniper notes that adds a touch of authenticity to your evening.
After your sumptuous meal, take a leisurely stroll along Amsterdam’s enchanting canals, as the city comes alive with the soft glow of streetlights reflecting off the water. Marvel at the picturesque bridges and the illuminated facades of the historic buildings that line the canal belt. This is the perfect time to capture the essence of Amsterdam’s romantic charm.
For those seeking an extra evening adventure, consider a visit to the nearby Vondelpark Openluchttheater (Open-Air Theater). During the summer months, this outdoor amphitheater in Vondelpark hosts a variety of cultural performances, including concerts, dance shows, theater performances, and comedy acts. Grab a blanket, find a cozy spot on the grass, and enjoy an evening of entertainment under the stars.
End your evening with a relaxing drink at one of Amsterdam’s traditional brown cafés. These cozy establishments exude a warm and welcoming atmosphere, offering a chance to unwind and engage in lively conversations with locals and fellow travelers alike. Sip on a locally brewed beer or try a jenever, the traditional Dutch liquor, as you immerse yourself in the convivial ambiance of the city.
Add a karaoke session to your itinerary to end the day on a high note of fun and entertainment. Amsterdam offers several karaoke venues where you can showcase your singing talents and have a memorable evening with friends or fellow travelers. Here are a few popular options:
- Casablanca Muziek Café: Located in the city center, Casablanca Muziek Café is a lively spot known for its karaoke nights. Sing your heart out to a wide range of songs while enjoying a vibrant atmosphere and friendly crowd.
- Duke of Tokyo: This Japanese-themed karaoke bar in the De Pijp neighborhood offers private karaoke rooms equipped with state-of-the-art sound systems. Gather your group, select your favorite songs, and enjoy a private karaoke session in a stylish setting.
Remember to check the opening hours and make reservations if necessary, as karaoke venues can get busy, especially on weekends. Whether you’re a karaoke pro or just looking to have a laugh, this extra evening activity will add a touch of excitement to your Amsterdam experience.
Other events in Amsterdam in July:
6th of July – Live music night in Manhattan Lounge bar. Book your table.
11th of July- Walker / Schubert / Beethoven / Sibelius / Tchaikovsky. Book your ticket.
13th of July- Live music night in Manhattan Lounge bar. Book your table.
15th of July- Coldplay . Book your ticket.
20th of July- Live music night in Manhattan Lounge bar. Book your table.
21th of July- SPECIAL EVENT : Salsa Zuidas presents Manhattan Latin Night. Book your tickets.
27th of July- Live music night in Manhattan Lounge bar. Book your table.
Read our other articles
Did you find our things to do in Amsterdam in february 2023 guide useful? If so, check out our articles below for inspiration on what to visit in different parts of Amsterdam and find the best way to explore Amsterdam.