Visiting Amsterdam, Venice of the north is great because it offers a unique blend of culture, history, and a vibrant atmosphere with its beautiful canals, charming architecture, and world-renowned museums. If all of the above sounds like music to your ears, then this Amsterdam Travel Guide: 12 Charms of the Venice of the North will show you exactly what you must cover to make the most out of your visit here.
Disclaimer: Opted against including the Red Light District in this list as I hope to showcase the other activities in Amsterdam that make this city worth visiting.
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Table Of Contents
Plan Your Amsterdam, Venice Of The North Visit
Where To Stay In Amsterdam
This modern hotel is set in an artificial island that is close to attractions and the main central station in Amsterdam city center. An affordable hotel with upscale vibes so you won’t break the bank or sacrifice comfort during your visit .
If you want to up-level your stay in the Venice of the north then this is the hotel to stay at. Rooftop pool, fantastic location and delicious breakfast. Go ahead, treat yourself.
Flying Pig – For solo travelers looking to make friends or those on a budget, Flying Pig is the spot for you. This hostel is known around the world as one of the top hostels to visit and thus fills up quickly due to its popularity but need not stress as they now offer two additional locations in Amsterdam.
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When visiting the vibrant city of Amsterdam, tourists should expect to embrace walking or biking as the primary modes of transportation. (Grab bikes from a trusted bike hire company HERE.)
It’s worth noting that during the busy travel season, hailing an Uber or getting a car can be challenging, so I strongly advise doing this. While the train is available as an option, it may not necessarily save you time, as the distances within the city are often comparable to walking. If you choose to take the train, you can conveniently pay the fare with cash or card with the staff person inside the train.
12 Charms Of The Venice Of The North
A MUST VISIT! STRAAT is the museum dedicated to graffiti and street art and located on NDSM wharf. Exhibition displays more than 160 artworks by 150+ artists in an open-air gallery. Make a day out of this by visiting Pllek for lunch and exploring this side of the waterfront.
Save money and combine a canal tour with a visit to STRAAT by booking this Amsterdam: STRAAT Museum and Canal Cruise Combination Ticket
Vondelpark in Amsterdam is a summer paradise for locals and tourists alike. In this green oasis you will spot people cycling, having a picnic, and enjoying other outdoor activities. If visiting in the summer, this is a must-visit destination for a vibrant and refreshing holiday experience in the Venice of the north.
While here, cool off with a refreshing beer and snacks from Proeflokaal’T blauwe Theehuis‘s beer garden.
Fabrique des Lumieres is located in another lively park in the city, Westergas park with restaurants, shops and where many summer festivals occur. Expect an impressive art experience featuring a rotating collection that one cannot explain for yourself. (A you have to see it to get what I mean.)
Be sure to book in advance to book in advance HERE.
The place for the ultimate panoramic views of Amsterdam from its sky-high observation deck. For those brave souls, swing over the edge of the building. Additionally, the observation deck has a trendy rooftop bar, MaDam, where tourists can sip on cocktails.
This is a micro neighborhood bursting with character that offers cozy cafes, unique boutiques, vintage shops, and artisanal food stores. Walk around and discover all the little gems that make this such a quaint neighborhood in the city.
The hiding place of Anne Frank during WWII now turned into a museum. (If you want to enter the museum, be sure to book tickets in advance HERE or expect to wait.)
NDSM-Werf is across the water and now a very hip area with lots of street art, groovy restaurants, cafes, shops and accommodation. STRAAT museum and PLLEK are all here. To get here, you can easily board one of the free ferries from Amsterdam Centraal to NDSM-Werf (4 or 5).
8. MOCO Museum
MOCO Museum in Amsterdam, an independently owned art destination that stands out with its impressive contemporary art collection and Instagrammable art themes on the bottom floor. Expect to see new artists but also an NFT collection and Banksy. One other thing worth noting is that there is also another MOCO Museum located in Barcelona, offering its unique art experience in another vibrant city.
Grab your skip the line entry ticket HERE.
While a bit outside of the city center, this interactive museum sparks curiosity and engages visitors of all ages. With its mind-bending illusions, immersive installations, and hands-on exhibits, AMAZE provides a one-of-a-kind experience in Amsterdam.
Pre-book your experience HERE.
10. Stedelijk Museum
Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam is worth visiting for its exceptional and largest collection of modern and contemporary art in the Netherlands. Its unique architecture, resembling a bathtub, adds an extra touch of why it’s worth a visit while you are here.
Grab your ticket HERE.
11. Eye Film Museum
The Eye Film Museum in Amsterdam is a cool and surprisingly immersive destination for movie and non movie lovers alike. I found myself very captivated here during my visit. With its state-of-the-art technology, interactive displays, and extensive film collection, visitors can dive into the world of cinema in a fun and unique way. You can easily get here by also catching one of the free ferries across the water.
Get your eye on the prize and book your ticket in advance HERE.
12. Van Gogh Museum
This museum holds the largest collection of works by artist Van Gogh and is very popular with tourists visiting Amsterdam. Located in the beautiful museum plaza, you will easily be able to visit multiple museums in one day without walking far.
Can’t stress enough to book tickets in advance for these tourist favorite museums especially in the summer. Grab your entry ticket and skip the line by booking this ticket HERE.
Other Amsterdam Attractions & Things To Do In Amsterdam Offered By Viator
Top Places To Eat & Drink In Amsterdam
To discover the vibrant foodie scene of Amsterdam Venice of the North, check out the complimentary blog post – Amsterdam Travel Foodie Guide. Whether you’re a returning visitor seeking hidden gems or a traveler planning your visit, my article on food and drinks in Amsterdam has got you covered.
My assortment of recommendations have been sourced from the best including local and friends who have explored this remarkable city. More importantly, I’ve tested these myself to ensure only the best made my list.
Read the full Amsterdam Travel Foodie Guide here.
Looking to combine tours, drinks and bites during your visit. Book these experiences below and maximize even more of your stay in Amsterdam.
- Looking to all the Dutch food hot spots in one. Try this The Grand Dutch Food and History Tour.
- Craft your own Dutch themed cocktails at home. Book this Amsterdam: The Dutch Cocktail Workshop.
- Learn to make your own Dutch pancakes with a local with this Private Dutch Pancake Class With A Local In Her Home In The Heart Of Amsterdam tour.
- Want to explore the city and fill your belly with all the local treats you can imagine. Book this Food Lovers Tour in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam, Venice Of The North Attraction Map & Guide – Google Map
This handy Girltakesmundo Amsterdam Google Map lists the top 40+ locations in Amsterdam. This includes restaurants, attractions, bars, coffee shops, etc. and has even more tips in the notes section. Be sure to add this list to your Google Maps.
Want to discover where else you can visit in Europe?
See my TRAVEL GUIDE SECTION for tips and recommendations for other bordering cities from Amsterdam. Learn how to get there, where to stay, eat and what to do!