Amsterdam is one of those cities that has something exciting in every nook and cranny. Canals that flow through neighborhoods, castles from distant time periods, statues and paintings created by legendary artists – we could honestly go on and on singing this city’s praises. Or, we could show you the best way to explore Amsterdam on foot.
Strap on your shoes and fill up your water bottles because we’re going on a walking tour of Amsterdam. We’ll highlight some of the city’s most famous sites, ranging from historic landmarks to popular restaurants. By the end of this tour, you’ll understand why people call Amsterdam “the Venice of the North.” Just don’t forget to store your excess luggage somewhere safe before heading out.
The first stop on tour is Vondelpark, a 47-hectare park named after Joost van den Vondel. This place is extremely biker-friendly, with multiple paths that cover the entire park. Vondelpark is also a popular bird watching and picnicking spot.
Last but not least, Vondelpark doubles as an open-air theatre. There’s a chance that you might even catch a glimpse of a production during your walking tour.
Next, we’re heading to Rijksmuseum – a famous Dutch national history and art museum. Pierre Cuypers was commissioned to design this building in the 18th Century. The Rijksmuseum opened its doors in 1798 and has remained popular with visitors ever since.
Some of this venue’s features include:
- The Research Library and its ever-increasing catalogue of books
- Arts and crafts centers for children and adults
- Exhibitions dedicated to Rembrandt
There’s always something exciting going on at the Rijksmuseum. Visit their website to see which events will be happening during your walking tour.
Our next stop is the Heineken Experience at the first Heineken brewery to ever open for business. This Dutch beer company is known all around the world. Wouldn’t it be awesome to learn how Heineken became such a beloved brand?
Well, now you can! On this hour and a half self-guided tour, you’ll learn about Heineken’s humble beginnings as well as how they craft their beer. You’ll find it a unique and fun stop.
It’s a bar. It’s a restaurant. It’s a bar and a restaurant. It’s Escobar! We’re talking about a joint that serves Latin-inspired dishes and refreshing drinks. Whether it’s a full meal or a hearty brunch you seek, you’ll find plenty of options here.
Here are just a few things on the menu:
- Tropical pancakes
- Crispy shrimp
- Avocado toast
- Bayo short ribs
A smorgasbord of cocktails await, too. Head online to book a reservation at Escobar, and to see what’s on the menu for yourself.
Magere Brug is Dutch for the “Skinny Bridge.” This is one of Amsterdam’s most iconic and easily recognizable landmarks. The Magere Brug has been featured in everything from postage stamps to movie posters. There’s probably a cereal box or two with the Skinny Bridge plastered on it.
This next stop on our walking tour might be the briefest. But, just because it’s brief doesn’t mean it isn’t memorable. Magere Brug is a prime example of Amsterdam’s amazing architecture. It also leads to a few of Amsterdam’s other famous landmarks, including our next destination.
Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam
It’s rare trees and exotic plants galore at the Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam.
This massive botanic garden is located in Amsterdam’s Plantage district. It’s also one of the oldest gardens around, with its roots (puns, we’ve got them) stretching back to 1638 at least.
Here are just a few of Hortus Botanicus’ biggest attractions:
- The endangered Persian Ironwood tree
- A hothouse with three distinct climates
- Exhibitions like Moam in de Hortus
The Hortus changes with the seasons, so there’s always something fresh and new to appreciate. Depending on which time of the year that you visit, you might even be able to see the butterfly farm! These incredible gardens have been developing under careful curation for over 400 years.
Rembrandt House Museum
What was once the home of the legendary Dutch painter Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn is now an art museum that guests can explore.
The Rembrandt House Museum has dozens upon dozens of the late Dutch artist’s paintings, statues, and drawings. That’s to be expected, it’s literally the man’s house after all. However, you might not have expected the Rembrandt House to have a collection of paintings from other 17th Century Dutch artists.
The works of Abraham Van Dijck and Aat Veldhoen are also on display at this amazing museum. In his golden years, Rembrandt collected pieces from artists who inspired him early in his career. The museum hosts tons of exhibitions throughout the year. The Rembrandt House Museum also doubles as a great place to grab souvenirs near the end of your walking tour.
De Waag, or “the weigh house,” was one of Amsterdam’s three city gates – you know, back when the city still had a gate. Whenever someone wanted to enter or exit the city, they likely had to pass through de Waag. Records show that somewhere around 169 weighing houses were built in Amsterdam and its neighboring cities. However, de Waag is one of the last structures of its kind that’s still standing.
That’s really what makes de Waag so special; it’s still standing despite the various trials that the Netherlands has endured over the years. De Waag didn’t fall during WWII. De Waag didn’t crumble during global economic crises. It’s endured all sorts of trying circumstances, yet doesn’t look any worse for wear.