6. A Quiet Canal Tour
Trade glass-domed tourist boats for an intimate experience winding through Amsterdam’s Grachtengordel neighborhood, a UNESCO World Heritage site, aboard a small boat or barge. Then hop off to enjoy the area’s rich shopping, dining and nightlife among other things to do in Amsterdam.
7. The Negen Straatejes
If commercial shopping is up your alley, head for Kalverstraat, Leidsestraat or chic P.C. Hoofstraat, where upscale chains and designer outlets vie for business. For more one-of-a-kind finds, explore the Negen Straatjes (Nine Streets), where unique boutiques, vintage shops and cozy cafés line the cobblestones of one of Amsterdam’s hippest neighborhoods.
8. The Jordaan Food and Canal Tour
Dutch cuisine is fascinating thanks to its diverse roots and flavors. Taste the full range on the Jordaan Food & Canal Tour, which showcases Dutch apple pie, Indonesian satay, raw herring, drop, bitterballen, poffertjes and other specialties. Visit family-run establishments, from the city’s oldest brown café to an old-fashioned candy store and Amsterdam’s best delis. Expect an ample lunch with a side of history on seven tasty food stops and an hour-long cruise on a salon boat that’s hosted the likes of Winston Churchill and Queen Wilhelmina.
With no entry sign or billboard, one of Amsterdam’s most innovative nightclubs is hidden to tourists not in the know—so be sure to add it to your list of things to do in Amsterdam. At this edgy venue in the heart of the city, savor a five-course meal on sultans’ cushions as belly dancers, aerial artists and drag queens vamp and twirl. Part culinary journey, burlesque club, cocktail bar and experimental free state, supperclub is the perfect place to spend an evening with friends or a significant other.
10. Literary and Cultural Walking Tours
Did you know the mosaic at Hazenstraat and Lauriergracht is one of 26 installed in 1999 by French urban artist Invader? Or that eccentric Harry Mulish, one of the “Great Three” Dutch postwar writers, penned novels at Leidseplein’s American Hotel when he wasn’t womanizing in the bar? Strolling through the Jordaan, you’ll also learn about the ‘60s squatting movement; the Felix Meritis building, an independent center for art, culture, science; and Multatuli, a civil servant who wrote the 1860 book Max Havelaar, which sent shock waves through Holland.