#Innsider’s guide to Amsterdam

Amsterdam. Famous for its picture-perfect canals and laid-back coffee shops. It’s a city teeming with rich artistic and architectural heritage. It pushes boundaries with its vibrant party scene and illicit alter-ego. A true Jekyll and Hyde city, it’s a top global destination that revels in its high and low culture. So if you’re thinking of visiting, take a look at our guide to Amsterdam.

Plus, if you’d like somewhere to stay then choose Park Inn by Radisson, Amsterdam City West, not only a beautiful hotel, but located just 7 minutes away from the center via train.

Getting about

Experience the city as the locals do; by bike. Cycling is quintessentially Dutch and is the best and most efficient way to see the city. Cycle on over to the picturesque Jordaan district. This neighborhood, near the Anne Frank House, is full of quaint streets and historic canal houses. Mac Bike has outlets all over the city with hire prices from less than €10 a day. Just remember a couple of golden rules. Lock your bike up securely, use your lights at night, and never be afraid to use your bell.

Bike Amsterdam

© Dennis van de Water / Shutterstock

For those who prefer exploring by foot. The Sandemans Free Walking Tour departs twice daily (11:15 and 13:15) from the National Monument in Dam Square. It’s a whistle-stop tour that covers all the major sights. Also offering paid tours to the infamous Red Light District, for €12 or €10 for students, your guide will take you to the lesser-known ‘elite street’, explaining the thought process behind the impressive array of colorful goods available at the ‘Condomerie’ condom store. See newamsterdamtours.com

If you want to see the city from the water without parting with a cent, catch one of the regular free ferries from behind Centraal Station.

Take in the culture

Catering to the cultural connoisseurs, Amsterdam is full of world-class museums. The Museumkaart offers one year’s unlimited entry to the majority, which is available to purchase from the museums. For a weekend-only alternative, the I Amsterdam card also combines free tram travel. Competing with art gallery heavyweights such as the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. Some smaller museums are not to be missed. The intriguing hidden church Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer Op Solder (Our Lord in the Attic) and the preserved 19th-century affluent canal house Museum Van Loon are both highly recommended.  Also take in the impressive view from the famous Dutch Golden Age painter, Rembrandt’s front room. Marvel at how small his bed is at the Rembrandt House Museum.

Amsterdam Museum

 © S-F / Shutterstock

The I amsterdam City Card might be also quite interesting. You can visit world-class museums. Take a cruise through the charming canals. And sample the local delicacies, all for almost/completely free! In addition, the City Card gives you unlimited access to Amsterdam’s public transport system from 24 to 96 hours.

Retail therapy

Amsterdam’s shopping scene is nothing if not eclectic. There’s something for everyone along the busy Kalverstraat. But for a more upmarket experience head to P.C. Hooftstraat in the museum district. Hidden away in the Jordaan district are the ‘9 Straatjes’ (9 little streets). It’s full of specialist boutiques and independent second-hand stores. It’s also dotted with some really cool cafés and chilled out spots to grab lunch. Vintage lovers shouldn’t miss the Monday morning market held weekly at the Noordermarkt. Don’t forget your haggling skills and you could pick up a bargain.

Amsterdam Shopping

© Ivan V. Lebedev / Shutterstock

Thirsty work? Follow that with a trip to the nearby Café Winkel 43. Grab a coffee and (what is widely renowned as) the best traditional apple pie in the city.

A place to stay

Park Inn has two hotels nearby, that you can choose from, our first being Park Inn by Radisson, Amsterdam City West. A favorite for Instagrammers and just 7 minutes from the center via the Sloterdijk train station. Our Park Inn by Radisson Amsterdam Airport Schiphol Hotel is ideally situated just minutes from the Schiphol rail station taking you straight to Amsterdam City Center within 15 minutes. Perfect for stopovers and explorers. 

What are your favorite Amsterdam hang out spots? Let’s hear your #Innsider tips to help others when planning a visit.