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First Timer's Guide To Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Noelle Ong

Klook Travel Curator

The capital of the Netherlands is filled with culture, history and its famous coloured houses. Home to the famous Anne Frank House, this Dutch city is famous also for it’s beautiful windmills, tulip gardens and rows of canals waiting to be sailed on.

If you’re a first timer in Amsterdam, read on to find out some of the must visit places and must eat foods!

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Klook activities to check out


1. Amsterdam Canal

Constructed during the Dutch Golden Age, these famous Amsterdam canals are hard to miss. The best way to see the city is through a cruise on the waterways of these UNESCO World Heritage canals.

Klook your canal cruise for a complimentary audio guide detailing the different districts of Amsterdam as you sail along its waterways under the bridges. Meet up with your guide at the Prins Hendrikkade pier - justa 1-minute walk away from the Central Station.

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2. Day trip to Zaanse Schans

Explore the picturesque neighborhoods of Amsterdam on a day trip out of the city! Zaanse Schans is famous for its postcard-worthy windmills and charminuteg green houses. Watch local craftsmen at work and buy a pair of wooden clogs home as a souvenir! Have a taste of the world famous Edam cheese and bring a wheel of it home with you! The cheese gets better with age so you won’t have to worry about it not lasting the flight home.

Klook your day trip out of Amsterdam and enjoy a a two-way transfer to Zaanse Schans. On top of that, you’ll also get to stop by Volendam, home to the popular Visafslag fish market and Stolphoevekerk - an old wooden church. Let the guide tell you all about the character of the places you’ll be visiting and get ready to learn more about this quaint town.

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3. The Rijksmuseum

A visit to the Rijksmuseum will take you through over 800 years of Dutch culture. Learn about the history of The Netherlands in the largest museum in the country. Admire celebrated pieces of art like Rembrandt’s The Night Watch and other pieces from the Dutch Golden Age.

If you’re planning to visit both the Rijksmuseum as well as hop on a canal cruise, Klook your museum and cruise package for the full experience! Don’t forget to redeem your ticket from the Damrak 26, located a 5-minute walk away from Amsterdam Central Station. You’ll even get to skip the long ticketing lines at the museum!

The Rijksmuseum Address: Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam, Netherlands.

How to get there: 1 minute walk from Rijksmuseum Station

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4. Day trip to Keukenhof

Known as the garden of Europe, no trip to Amsterdam is complete without a visit to Keukenhof to see the famous tulips. Featuring breathtaking tulip plantations and other stunning floral hybrids covering 32 hectares of land, this vibrant floral carpet will surely leave you in awe! Apart from the flowers, there is also a petting zoo featuring llamas and goats for the little ones to get in touch with nature.

Since Keukenhof is located about an hour away from Amsterdam, it might be a little difficult to get to on your own. Instead, Klook your Keukenhof visit and enjoy a 2-way transport and free entry to Keukenhof for a hassle-free experience. Meet your guide at the various meetup points and let them take you to Keukenhof.

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5. Amsterdam Red Light District tour

I’m sure many of us are curious about the notorious Amsterdam Red Light District. Learn the history behind one of the world’s oldest professions and experience the Red Light District yourself. Since it might be slightly awkward for you to head into these streets alone, Klook your Red Light Districts tour and let your experienced guide tell you more!

Not only will he take you to the Red Lights Secrets, Museum of Prostitution and of course the streets of the Red Light, you’ll even get to talk to some of the workers and get first hand accounts of the trade.

P.S. It’s extremely important you don’t take any photos of the workers.

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6. Ice Bar Xtracold

Step into Amsterdam’s coolest (literally) bar, the Xtracold Icebar! The Icebar is kept at a constant -10°C as everything is made of ice, including your glasses. If you can’t stand the cold, don’t fret, you can always warm yourself up at the room temperature lounge before heading back into the Icebar!

Klook your Icebar visit to enjoy 3 free drinks, thermal jackets and even gloves to use at the bar. Don’t forget to pick up your tickets at Damrak26 near Amsterdam Central Station before heading over to skip the queues!

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7. Anne Frank House

I’m sure many of us have read the diary of Anne Frank as a child. Well, here’s your chance to get to know the real story and visit the sights behind the lines in the books. Spend the day walking through the streets of her childhood as you learn more about her as well as the Holocaust. Visit the Anne Frank house and get an idea of what her early childhood was like as well as the families she hid with.

If you can’t get enough of the Anne Frank story, Klook your Anne Frank tour and let your guide tell you more about her childhood. Meet your guide at the statue of Anne as the tour begins there. Take the tram (Line 4) or bus (No. 62/65/245/754) to Waalstraat stop and walk for 1 minute to reach the statue of Anne.

Photo Credit : https://www.iamsterdam.com/en/see-and-do/things-to-do/top-20-things-to-do-in-amsterdam

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Other things to do in the city


9. Albert Cuyp Market

The Albert Cuyp market is the best place to experience all that Amsterdam has to offer whether you’re a bargain hunter, a hungry soul or just bored! You’ll find fresh fruits, freshly cooked food, trendy clothing, beautiful leather goods and a few humorous phallic shaped chocolates.

With 260 stands, the Albert Cuyp market is Europe’s largest day markets so you won’t have to worry about not finding anything you like.

Getting there: Take tram number 16 - stop at Albert Cuypstraat or tram number 4 - stop at Stadhouderskade

Photo credit : https://www.instagram.com/p/BevJU2PAsoS/?taken-by=albertcuypmarkt

10. Dam Square

The site of the Royal Palace, Dam Square, is one of Amsterdam’s most important locations as it is used for commemorations of those who died during World War II. This large square is usually also home to funfairs, sports event and even protests. The National Monument, standing tall in the middle of the square was erected to reflect the freedom that the people now enjoy.

Location: 5 minute walk down the Damrak from Centraal Station

Photo credit : https://www.royal-house.nl/topics/royal-palace-amsterdam/history

Amsterdam Must Eat


1. Stroopwafel

You have not experienced Amsterdam until you’ve sunk your teeth into a Stroopwafel. Made from 2 thin layers of dough sandwiching a thick caramel syrup, trust us when we say you can’t stop at 1. Have these freshly made piping hot at Albert Cuyp market and bring a pack home for the family!

Photo credit : https://www.instagram.com/p/BieveDEH-XP/?hl=en&taken-at=639796118 and https://www.instagram.com/p/BgolyfaAQKj/?taken-by=albertcuypmarkt

2. Poffertjes

These Dutch baby pancakes are so good you’ll easily pop 20 of these into your mouths without noticing. Pronounced “poffer-jers”, these little pancakes are served blanketed in warm butter, powdered sugar and other toppings of your choice, making them the perfect snack while walking through the streets of Amsterdam. These can also be found at Albert Cuyp market.

Photo credit : https://www.instagram.com/p/BggtqZ2jg8g/?taken-by=albertcuypmarkt

3. War Chips

Nobody hates french fries. Head to **Manneken Pis **for some of the best fries you’ve ever tasted! These are called “war chips” because of its Dutch name “patat oorlog” where oorlog means war. With 22 different sauces to top your freshly twice fried potato strips, you’ll be munching non stop on your walks around the city. Check out their locations and find the one nearest to you!