10 Things to do in Amsterdam

If it’s a cheap weekend retreat you’re looking for, then Amsterdam is the place to go. Catch the booking agents on a good day, and you’ll bag yourself a flight and hotel for less than the price of a train ticket from London to Manchester.

To make the thought of a weekend retreat even more tempting (not that you need persuading, you’re reading this for a reason, right? 😉), you can fly from Gatwick Airport to Amsterdam from as little as £36.

In keeping with the theme of cost effective weekend retreats, did you know you can get cost effective, premium valet parking at Gatwick Airport with Help Me Park, you heard right, both cost effective and premium in the same sentence. Don’t believe us? Get a quote for yourself,

Amsterdam is a beautiful city. With a wealth of things available to you, it’s hard to know where to start this blog. Whether it’s history, culture, romance or booze you’re after, Amsterdam has something for everyone. So, sit back and relax, while we take you through our top ten things to do while in Amsterdam.

The coffee shops

Stunning little coffee shops are littered throughout the streets of Amsterdam, with quaint little seating areas, and vibrant music playing, it’s enough to pull anyone in, so pull up a pew and watch the city pass by. For the innocent among you, Amsterdam has a bit of a reputation for cannabis cafes - if you’re offered a chocolate brownie with your cappuccino, make sure you ask the relevant questions before accepting.

The Botanical Garden at Vrije University

The Botanical Gardens at Vrije University are truly a spectacular attraction. This sanctuary of peace and reflection houses around 10,000 species of plant, some of which are endangered. The garden itself is the ideal space to spend the day wandering around and soaking up nature’s beauty. There is even an inside area where butterflies fly around you. This stunning setting is also host to a number of concerts and workshops, so plan your visit in advance and you may have the opportunity to partake in some interesting workshops.

Try the street food

Amsterdam is a bit of a hotspot when it comes to delicious street food. Whether it’s something sweet, like caramel waffles, or the savoury favourite, salted frites, there’s something to tickle the taste buds of everyone.

Waffles are one of Amsterdam’s more notorious street foods, found at pretty much every street market you’ll attend, not to mention all of the local cafes, souvenir shops and grocery stores. Really, if there’s one thing you’re going to have the opportunity to try while in Amsterdam, it’s the waffles.

Another staple dish in Amsterdam is herring. These little pieces of diced herring come pickled and garnished with onion and pickled cucumber - served with a toothpick, it’s the perfect snack to indulge in while roaming the markets in Amsterdam. 

Take a brewery tour

If there’s one thing you’ve got to do while in Amsterdam, it’s to go on a guided tour of the Heineken brewery, aptly named, ‘The Heineken Experience’. This tour comprises of a virtual reality ride, a history of the Heineken family and, to top it all off, a free beer tasting session at the end. Each person on the tour gets to indulge in three pints of beer.

Explore the Red-Light District

Before we point out the obvious, let’s not forget, the Red-Light District is the oldest part of Amsterdam, so before you write-off this area of the town completely, why not take a stroll down the cobbled streets and soak in the history, and beautiful architecture.

Now, on to the obvious, the Red-Light district is notorious for its sex shops, peep shows, brothels, a museum of weird and wonderful condoms, a very interesting sex museum and, of course, prostitutes.  This particular area of the city has become an extremely popular tourist attraction, and it’s something worth passing through given the opportunity.

Visit the Vondelpark

Open air and Mother Nature at their finest, The Vondelpark, named after Amsterdam’s most famous poet, Joost van den Vondel, is the most idyllic green space in Amsterdam. Perfect for a romantic stroll where you’ll be amongst a variety of sculptures, including one by Picasso, or a family picnic. In the summer months, the park is filled with people who gather to soak up the sun and relax with family and friends. If you’re in the area between June and September a variety of music, dance and children’s activities are on too.

Anne Frankhuis (Anne Frank’s house)

One of Amsterdam’s most renowned tourist attractions is Anne Frank’s house. The exact house where Anne Frank wrote her diaries and hid with her family during WW11. Although this attraction can get exceptionally busy, it is an atmospheric and emotional experience that isn’t to be passed up lightly. 

The Van Gogh Museum

The Van Gogh Museum is home to a vast collection of paintings, prints, etchings and other works by the exceptionally talented Van Gogh.

Interestingly, Van Gogh only ever sold one of his paintings during his lifetime. He only really came to fame after his death. If you are at all interested in art, the Van Gogh museum is well worth a visit.

Rembrandthuis (Rembrandt’s house)

This stunning restored building is where Rembrandt van Rijn once lived. The house doesn’t actually house any of Rembrandt’s paintings. However, it does house the world’s most complete collection of his brilliant etchings and interesting objects he once owned.

Artis Royal Zoo

Artis Royal Zoo is home to around 750 species, amongst these are lions, tigers, penguins and snakes. Thinking of visiting the zoo? You won’t be disappointed, there’s an aquarium, butterfly garden, planetarium, insectarium, ample restaurants and eating areas. You’ll spend the best part of your day making your way around all there is to see here, and if you’re with the kids, it’s an ever better option to keep the little ones entertained.

Help Me Park

So, if this blog has persuaded you to take a trip to the beautiful city of Amsterdam, don’t forget, there’s no better place to book your airport parking at Gatwick Airport than with Help Me Park. With friendly and professional chauffeurs, ready and waiting for you at the terminal forecourt to help unload your car, before taking it off to our secure car park ready for your return. Book your airport parking with us, and start your holiday off the right way.