A Perfect Weekend in Amsterdam – What to See and Do

Waseem Jalal

No trip to Amsterdam is complete without exploring the picturesque canals. Rent a bike or join a canal cruise to see the city from the water. The major canals form a circle around the city center, lined with charming houses and shops. It’s a relaxing way to soak in the scenery.

The Rijksmuseum

This world-class museum houses many famous works of art, including masterpiece paintings from Rembrandt, Vermeer, and other Dutch masters. You could easily spend a whole day exploring its vast collection. Buy tickets in advance and arrive early to avoid the biggest crowds.

Anne Frank House

A sobering but moving place to visit is the Anne Frank House, the secret annex where Anne Frank and her family hid during World War II. Walk through the small rooms and climb the narrow stairs to get a glimpse into Anne’s life. Entry tickets sell out early, so book ahead.

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Dam Square

Right in the heart of the city is Dam Square, Amsterdam’s central square. Flanked by the Royal Palace and New Church, it’s a popular spot for people watching. Grab a drink at one of the cafés, do some shopping, or just sit and take in the atmosphere.

Red Light District

For an eye-opening stroll, check out the Red Light District. Centered on the Oudezijds Achterburgwal canal and Zeedijk street, it’s known for its provocative window displays. While it can certainly be an eyebrow-raising experience, the area is quite safe if you exercise normal big city caution. An unforgettable glimpse into Amsterdam’s liberal culture.

Food and Drink: Indulging in Amsterdam’s Best Cuisine

Amsterdam is a food lover’s paradise. From savory snacks to world-class cuisine, this city has it all. Here are some of the foods you simply can’t miss on your perfect weekend getaway:

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Poffertjes

These miniature Dutch pancakes are fluffy, spongy, and served warm with butter and powdered sugar. Grab an order from one of the stalls along the canals or at the Albert Cuyp food market.

Stroopwafels

Two thin waffle cookies sandwiching a sweet caramel filling. This classic treat is delicious with coffee or tea and can be found at bakeries all over the city.

Cheese

With over 100 varieties of Dutch cheese, you’ll want to do some sampling! Head to De Kaaskamer or Reypenaer Proeflokaal, cheeseries that offer tasting flights and cheese-centric small plates. Or visit the Noordermarkt farmer’s market on Saturdays for a huge array of locally-made cheeses.

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Indonesian Cuisine

A popular cuisine in Amsterdam due to historical colonial ties, you’ll find many casual eateries serving up Indonesian fare like nasi campur, gado gado, and satay. Head to Restaurant Blauw or Tempo Doeloe for an authentic rijsttafel (rice table) experience featuring many small dishes to share.

Craft Beer

Amsterdam’s craft beer scene is booming. Check out Brouwerij ‘t IJ, an organic brewery located in a historic windmill. Or visit the annual October Beer Festival for the chance to sample beers from over 60 Dutch brewers. Proost! (Cheers!)

With cuisine influenced by its trading port history and a passion for high-quality, locally-sourced ingredients, Amsterdam will satisfy any food-focused traveler. Come hungry and leave happy – that’s the only way to spend a perfect weekend in this gastronomic capital.

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