Tourism in Amsterdam has been spiking in the past few years. In 2018, it is estimated that 17 million people visited Amsterdam. To put that in perspective, Amsterdam doesn’t even have a million residents.
While this has led to some rowdy tourists and the expected pushback against them, the city’s tourism industry is still booming. This is probably owing to the many things to do in Amsterdam.
A person could keep themselves entertained for weeks and even months in the city. We’ll talk about just a few attractions and activities in the following paragraphs.
A Note on Conduct
We’ve already mentioned that there has been some pushback against the tourism industry. This is because of the small number of tourists who decide to make a nuisance of themselves.
While everybody has their own set of rules for how to not be a bad tourist, there are a few guidelines that seem like common sense. The first rule is to not get too drunk or high.
Yes, marijuana is legal in coffeehouses, and yes, Amsterdam does have a Red Light district, but you still need to be cordial. Contrary to popular belief, the Red Light district does have residents, and many of them are raising children.
The second bit of advice is to not be annoying. Annoying might be a hard term to define, but it involves not inconveniencing others.
Don’t hold up a line because you just had to get a picture of something. Don’t add to an already-massive crowd just so you can see Van Gogh’s Self-Portrait as a Painter. You don’t have to see everything for it to be an amazing trip.
The Rijksmuseum is the state museum of the Netherlands, and it’s earned the title. The Rijksmuseum is technically an art museum, but it uses art to document the history of the Netherlands dating back to 1100.
Many of these works are from master painters such as Rembrandt and Van Gogh. One of the most famous exhibits at the Rijksmuseum is a painting by Rembrandt that has been inaccurately dubbed The Night Watch.
If art isn’t your thing, there are a few more things to see there. The museum also boasts a collection of historical costumes, weapons, and armor.
2. The Anne Frank House
Understanding art, culture, and humanity can sometimes mean confronting the darkest aspects of the human condition. The Anne Frank House has become an important historical site for all the wrong reasons.
The legacy of Anne Frank, attested to by her writings and the house in which her family hid, is a testament to some of the best qualities of humanity in a time when some of its worst qualities were at the forefront. Hers is a story of love, courage, and hope when the world around her was engulfed in hatred, fear, and resignation.
The house has since been turned into a museum where visitors can learn about her life and the lives of her family and friends. It also serves as an important reminder of the Holocaust, and the lives that were lost in it. Of all the things to do in Amsterdam, this may be the most life-changing.
Tickets for this museum must be booked in advance, and there is high demand. The house typically takes only an hour or two to see, but prepare for crowds.
A day in the park may seem like a strange thing to go all the way to Amsterdam for, but Vondelpark is no ordinary park. In addition to natural beauty and incredible scenery, this park also contains rollerskate rentals, an outdoor theater, sculptures, and even a few places to eat.
There are also several playgrounds and other child-friendly activities, so you can see one of Amsterdam’s famous sites without hiring a babysitter.
Though the park is a national treasure today, it has an interesting history. During the 1960s and 70s, the park was a place for the youth to use marijuana and have romantic encounters.
The government has since cracked down on this to an extent. Sex in the park has been declared illegal and remains so to this day. It is still legal to buy less than 5 grams of marijuana from coffee shops.
If you’re not keen on marijuana, there’s always CBD. CBD, or cannabidiol, is a component in marijuana that you can’t get high off of. The Dutch still classify it as cannabis, but they tend to be tolerant of both.
Some CBD, known as full-spectrum CBD, can cause a high. You may want to check the color of your CBD oil so you know what you’re getting.
The park is free, but if you’re willing to pay there are guided tours. There are also a few trams in Amsterdam that can take you almost right to the park.
4. The Jordaan
Every country seems to have an area that exemplifies what it means to be a citizen of that country. For the Dutch, this area is called the Jordaan.
The Jordaan is a neighborhood in Amsterdam that is a tourist’s dream, and it’s family-friendly. It’s packed with top-notch restaurants and shops. There are also several art galleries and a few bars for the adults.
The Best Things to do in Amsterdam
If you’re lucky, you may get to see Amsterdam a few times in your life, but there’s no guarantee. That’s why it’s important to know about the best things to do in Amsterdam now.
We’ve talked about some of our favorite activities in the paragraphs above, but there are plenty of others out there. We encourage you to do more research on your own if you’re interested.
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