Amsterdam is like a good outfit; appropriate year round and goes seamlessly from day to night. No matter your travel style, pace, or experience, Amsterdam greets visitors with open arms and provides the kind of effortless encounter that jetsetters dream of. Whether your jam is food, museums, music, or a solid aged gouda, Amsterdam is yours for the taking, one canal at a time?
For the art buff, Museumplein is your one stop shop for the best works Amsterdam has to offer. The Rijksmuseum boasts over 8,000 pieces on display from their collection of over 1 million objects including Dutch masters like Rembrandt and Johannes Vermeer. The building itself, designed by Pierre Cuypers in 1885, is a sight to behold and worth getting lost in on the hunt for national favorite, “The Night Watch" by Rembrandt..
The Van Gogh Museum unpacks the man, the myth, the legend through its thoughtful audio guide and honest telling of Vincent’s personal and artistic struggles. See famed works like pieces from the “Sunflowers” series and early days attempts at capturing the common man in “The Potato Eaters.” Considered the most visited museum in the Netherlands, the museum covers the full span of his art and life as well as that of some of his closest contemporaries.
Hours of art appreciation is sure to make anyone hungry and Amsterdam has a cure for that, too. Enjoy the national junk food staple: frites. These plump butcher fries are paired with a side of mayo of all kinds including truffle, curry, or even pesto. Variety of sauces and lines abound at Manneken pis Verse Vlaamse Friet located just a short walk from Amsterdam Central Station and makes for a great late night snack. For a more laid back experience, meander around the Waterlooplein Market where frite stands punctuate the eccentric flea market.
Pancakes Amsterdam has multiple locations (including next-door to the famed Anne Frank Museum) and is a go-to for the traditional Dutch pancakes both savory and sweet. Plate-sized and crispy, Dutch pancakes are embedded with everything from baked apples to ham, spinach to smoked salmon. Eyes bigger than your stomach? Try the Poffertjes or baby pancakes topped with powdered sugar.
For the real cheese connoisseur, swing by Reypenaer Cheese to get your gouda fix or, better yet, sign up for a cheese tasting class. Over the course of an hour or two, learn what goes into a real good gouda, how to pair with beverages and spreads, and cut like a pro using le guillotin.
While the Red Light District gets all the attention, nightfall is also a great time for jazz, especially during the various jazz fests that take place throughout the year. Between festivals, try Bourbon Street Music Club, Jazz Cafe Alto, and Bimhuis; well known staples of the scene with some creative surprises.
Looking to dance the night away? Greet the morning sun at a number of cool, original venues that each bring something new to the nightlife. House and techno music reign at Shelter which, as the name might imply, is accessed through a trapdoor. Located in a former technical school, De School is open 24 hours and doubles (triples?) as a restaurant and art exhibit. AIR is grand in square footage as well as design. Founded in 2010, the club is all about inclusivity and makes everyone feel at home amidst hip hop and R&B tracks.