Amsterdam offers a world of sightseeing opportunities. The main Amsterdam sightseeing locations and the most iconic points of interest are found in the historic center. These include the world-famous canal ring, the picturesque Dam Square, the lively Red Light District and the impressive Museum Square (Museumplein). So what should you definitely not miss when sightseeing in Amsterdam? Here are our top picks for Amsterdam sightseeing (in no particular order):
- Dam Square. This is the main town square in Amsterdam, where you’ll find the Royal Palace, the 15th-century Gothic ‘New Church’ (Nieuwe Kerk), as well as the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.
- The historic canal ring, particularly the Herengracht, Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht canals. These beautiful canals separate dozens of little islands connected by old stone bridges. The narrow streets on either sides are mostly car-free and home to a large number of magnificent 17th-century merchant houses.
- Your Amsterdam sightseeing experience would not be complete without a walk through the Red Light District. This district comprises a large portion of the city center and was once a disreputable neighborhood. It has become quite safe and tourist-friendly over the last few decades. It offers some unique Amsterdam sightseeing opportunities, as well as a glimpse into the so-called “oldest profession in the world” and some of the city’s best nightlife.
- The Museumplein is home to several world-famous museums such as the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum, as well as the Royal Concert Hall (Concertgebouw). There is a large green space at the center of it which is an ideal place to rest for a bit and take some pictures.
Ways to get around and booking cheap tickets in advance
As Amsterdam is relatively compact, it’s possible to explore the city by foot if you don’t mind walking. You can do it on your own or by going on one of several guided walking tours. If you prefer not to walk, there are also guided bike tours and Amsterdam sightseeing bus tours available. To explore the canals, the best option by far is to go on an Amsterdam sightseeing canal cruise. By the way, you don’t have to wait until you’re actually here to book cheap tickets to museums, attractions, etc. You can find cheap tickets to these and all kinds of day trips on our website!