canal boats buildings reflection 5488271
canal boats buildings reflection 5488271

Discover Amsterdam: The Top 10 Must-See Attractions For First Time Visitors

Are you planning a visit to Amsterdam for the first time? From historic museums to beautiful canals, this city has something for every visitor. Read on to discover the top 10 must-see attractions for first-time visitors and make sure you don’t miss out on anything!


Are you planning a visit to Amsterdam for the first time? From historic museums to beautiful canals, this city has something for every visitor. Read on to discover the top 10 must-see attractions for first-time visitors and make sure you don’t miss out on anything!

boats on river between buildings

Introduction to Amsterdam

If you’re planning a trip to Amsterdam for the first time, you’re in for a treat! This charming Dutch city is known for its canals, laid-back atmosphere, and abundance of things to see and do. And while it may be small in size, there’s definitely no shortage of things to keep you busy during your stay.

To help you make the most of your time in Amsterdam, we’ve put together a list of the top must-see attractions for first-time visitors. From world-famous museums to historic neighborhoods and everything in between, this city has something for everyone.

So without further ado, here are our top picks for things to see and do in Amsterdam:

Top 10 Must-See Attractions:

If you’re planning a trip to Amsterdam for the first time, there’s no shortage of things to see and do. To help you make the most of your visit, we’ve put together a list of the top 10 must-see attractions in Amsterdam.

Van Gogh Museum

Whether you’re a seasoned art lover or someone who just appreciates a pretty painting, the Van Gogh Museum is worth a visit. The museum houses the world’s largest collection of Van Gogh’s paintings and drawings, as well as personal letters and other relics from his life. Even if you’re not familiar with Van Gogh’s work, it’s impossible not to be awe-struck by the vibrant colors and energy of his paintings.

If you can, try to arrive when the museum opens at 9am to avoid the crowds. Once inside, make your way to the “must-see” works on the upper floors first, including “The Potato Eaters,” “Sunflowers,” and “The Bedroom.” Then take your time meandering through the rest of the galleries at your own pace. Allow at least two hours to explore everything the museum has to offer.

Admission to the Van Gogh Museum is €17 for adults and free for children under 18. Admission includes an audio tour (available in multiple languages), which is a great way to learn more about Van Gogh and his work as you go.

Anne Frank House

If you’re interested in learning more about the history of World War II, a visit to Anne Frank House is a must. This museum is located in the building where Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis for two years. You can learn about Anne’s life and see what the living conditions were like for those hiding in the secret annex.


The Rijksmuseum is home to some of the most iconic Dutch art in the world. Rembrandt’s ‘Night Watch’ is on display, as well as works by other masters such as Vermeer, Hals and Steen. The temporary exhibitions are also not to be missed – check the website in advance to see what’s on. Even if you’re not particularly interested in art, the Rijksmuseum is worth a visit for its stunning architecture alone.


If you’re looking for a breathtaking park to relax in during your trip to Amsterdam, look no further than Vondelpark. This popular spot is perfect for picnicking, people watching, or simply taking a peaceful stroll. Although it can get crowded on sunny days, the park is still worth a visit – especially if you want to experience some of Amsterdam’s famous Dutch culture.

In addition to being one of the most scenic parks in Amsterdam, Vondelpark is also home to several museums and art galleries. If you’re interested in learning more about the history and culture of Amsterdam, be sure to check out the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden or the Stedelijk Museum. And for those who want to see some world-renowned art, don’t miss the Van Gogh Museum or Rijksmuseum – both of which are located within walking distance of Vondelpark.

Red Light District

First-time visitors to Amsterdam are often surprised by the city’s Red Light District. This area is famous for its many sex workers, who stand in windows to advertise their services. While the Red Light District can be a bit overwhelming, it is also an incredibly interesting place to visit. Here are some of the top things to see and do in this unique part of Amsterdam:

  1. Visit the Sex museums: There are two sex museums in the Red Light District, which are definitely worth a visit. They offer a fascinating insight into the history of sexuality and prostitution in Amsterdam.
  2. Take a walking tour: There are several walking tours available that will take you around the Red Light District and explain its history and significance. This is a great way to learn more about this unique area of Amsterdam.
  3. Watch a live sex show: One of the most popular attractions in the Red Light District is live sex shows. These shows are often quite explicit and not for everyone, but they can be an interesting experience nonetheless.
  4. Window shop: Even if you’re not interested in paying for sex, it’s still fun to window shop in the Red Light District. The women (and sometimes men) working in the windows are typically very attractive, and it’s interesting to see what services they offer.
  5. Visit a brothel: If you want to see what goes on inside a typical Amsterdam brothel, then you can visit one of the many in the Red Light District. Again, this isn’t for everyone, but it can be an interesting experience.
  6. Eat and drink: The Red Light District is home to some great bars and restaurants, so make sure you check them out during your visit. You’ll find everything from traditional Dutch pubs to trendy nightclubs.

Dam Square

It’s the unofficial heart of the city, a gathering place for tourists and locals alike. It’s also one of the most popular places to take photos in all of Amsterdam! The large open space of Dam Square is home to many notable landmarks and things to see.

The Royal Palace (Koninklijk Paleis) is located on the edge of Dam Square. This former city hall was built in the 13th century, and it’s now used by the Dutch Royal family for various events and functions. Visitors can tour some parts of the palace, including the beautiful Mauritshuis wing.

Nearby is the National Monument (Nationaal Monument), a war monument dedicated to those who died during World War II. The 52-meter high stone obelisk is an impressive sight, particularly when it’s illuminated at night.

If you’re interested in learning more about the history of Amsterdam, be sure to visit the Amsterdam History Museum (Amsterdamse Stadsgeschiedenismuseum). This museum is housed in two different buildings on Dam Square: the old city hall known as Het Schip and De Bazel, a beautiful examples of Dutch Renaissance architecture.

Last but not least, no visit to Dam Square would be complete without seeing Madame Tussauds Amsterdam Wax Museum. This attraction is perfect for selfie-lovers, as you can pose with life -like figures of famous celebrities.

No matter what you choose to do at Dam Square, you can be sure that it will be a memorable experience.

Albert Cuyp Market

The Albert Cuyp Market is one of the most popular markets in Amsterdam, and for good reason! This sprawling open-air market is full of fresh produce, flowers, delicious Dutch food, and more. It’s the perfect place to wander and explore, and you’re sure to find something to take home with you.

Heineken Experience

Welcome to Amsterdam! This vibrant and picturesque city is home to a plethora of must-see attractions, and we’re excited to share them with you.

To help make the most of your visit, we’ve put together a list of our top picks for first time visitors. From iconic landmarks to world-renowned museums, there’s something for everyone in Amsterdam.

One can’t-miss attraction is the Heineken Experience. This interactive museum chronicles the history of the Dutch brewing company and its impact on Amsterdam. Visitors can learn about the brewing process, enjoy a taste test at the end of the tour, and even pour their own pint of Heineken beer.

Whether you’re looking to explore Amsterdam’s rich culture or simply relax in its charming cafes, this city has something for everyone. We hope you enjoy your stay and create lasting memories in Amsterdam!

Rembrandt House Museum

Just a short walk from the Dam Square, you’ll find the Rembrandt House Museum. This is the house where Rembrandt van Rijn, one of the world’s most famous painters, lived and worked for 20 years. Today, it’s been turned into a museum where you can see some of his original etchings and lithographs, as well as temporary exhibitions.

Artis Zoo

If you’re looking for a dose of culture during your trip to Amsterdam, don’t miss the Artis Zoo. This zoo is one of the oldest in Europe and is home to over 700 different species of animals. Highlights include the Aquarium, where you can see sharks, penguins, and other sea creatures; the Insectarium, which houses butterflies, beetles, and spiders; and the Planetarium, where you can learn about the constellations and planets.

Tips for First Time Visitors in Amsterdam

If it’s your first time in Amsterdam, you’ll want to make the most of your trip and see all the city has to offer. To help you plan your visit, we’ve put together a list of our top tips for first time visitors in Amsterdam.

  1. Get acquainted with the city’s layout. Amsterdam is a small city, but it can be easy to get lost if you don’t know your way around. Familiarize yourself with the main streets and canals so you can navigate your way to the must-see attractions.
  2. Plan ahead and book your tickets in advance. Many of Amsterdam’s most popular attractions sell out quickly, so it’s important to plan ahead and book your tickets in advance. This includes attractions like Anne Frank House, Rijksmuseum, and Keukenhof Gardens.
  3. Make use of Amsterdam’s excellent public transportation system. The best way to get around Amsterdam is by using its excellent public transportation system. With trams, buses, and trains all running frequently, you can easily get from one end of the city to the other without having to walk long distances.
  4. Don’t forget to pack a map! Even if you’re familiar with the city layout, it’s always a good idea to bring a map with you when exploring new places. This will help you orient yourself and avoid getting lost.
  5. Amsterdam is a walking city…but beware of bicycles! Since Amsterdam is a very walkable city, don’t forget to bring comfortable shoes with you. But be aware that in Amsterdam, bicycles rule the roads – so make sure to look both ways before crossing any streets as cyclists may come from unexpected directions!
  6. Try local cuisine and explore markets. Amsterdam has a great selection of local cuisine, such as poffertjes (small pancakes), herring, raw herring sandwich (‘haringhandel’) and stroopwafels. Make sure to also explore the city’s many markets where you can find fresh produce, cheese, flowers and more.
  7. Explore the city by boat or bike. Amsterdam is best seen from its canals and waterways – take a boat tour or rent a bike to get around the city faster and see more sights in a shorter amount of time.
  8. Watch out for pickpockets. Unfortunately, there are pickpockets in Amsterdam, so always keep an eye on your belongings when out exploring the city. Keep wallets and phones well hidden from view and watch out for anyone suspicious lurking around tourist spots like museums or markets.
    Following these tips will ensure that you make the most of your visit to Amsterdam and have an unforgettable experience!


Amsterdam is a vibrant, lively city with something to offer every visitor. From its distinctive canals and incredible art galleries to the picturesque parks and buzzing nightlife, there’s no shortage of things to do in this beautiful Dutch city. Whether you’re looking for an adventure-filled holiday or just want to take a leisurely stroll through Amsterdam’s winding streets, it should definitely be at the top of your travel list!

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