From its canals to world-famous museums and historical sights, Amsterdam is one of the most romantic and beautiful cities in Europe. It is also a city of tolerance and diversity. It has all the advantages of a big city: culture, nightlife, international restaurants, good transport - but it is quiet, and largely thanks to its canals, has little road traffic. In Amsterdam your destination is never far away, but transportation by bike offers the most authentic experience. Museums are the main tourist attraction in Amsterdam. Everyone knows the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Stedelijk Museum, but there are many more. Amsterdam has over fifty museums, which attract millions of visitors each year.
Discover the city with City Sightseeing's 9 Hop On Hop Off stops, located about the city. Marvel at the original works of the famous Dutch artist in the renowned Van Gogh Museum and Contemplate the heart-rending history of the Jewish community with a visit to the home of the diarist Anne Frank. There are plenty of museums to explore including the Amsterdam's Historisch Museum, Rembrandt House Museum, Madame Tussauds, the Diamond Museum and the Jewish Historical Museum. Other must-see attractions include the Amsterdam Dungeon, the Royal Palace, and Madame Tussauds.
Laugh the evening away at Boom Chicago in Amsterdam! This popular English-language comedy show is an exhilarating spectacle of sharp writing and quick improvisation with music, video and multimedia. This improvisational group, which began in 1993, is especially known for incorporating suggestions from the audience and addressing the issues of the day. Boom Chicago performs four nights a week at the historical 250-seat Rozentheater, located in Amsterdam's famous Jordaan Quarter in the canal district.
Combine admission to the Van Gogh Museum with a 24- or 48-hour Canal Bus hop-on hop-off pass, and you've got the best of Amsterdam covered. Explore the extensive collection of famous works such as 'Sunflowers' at the Van Gogh Museum, and see major landmarks including the Rijksmuseum and the Anne Frank House as you cruise Amsterdam's scenic waterways with your hop-on hop-off Canal Bus day pass. Get off at any of the 7 to 9 stops (depending on the season) to explore further.
Get a comprehensive overview of Amsterdam's top sights on this 1-hour canal cruise. See the Golden Bend, the Anne Frank House, the Skinny Bridge, Reguliersgracht and other top Amsterdam attractions as you glide along the picturesque waterfront aboard a classic glass-enclosed river cruiser. Amsterdam's UNESCO World Heritage–listed canals are a delight to explore, and this 1-hour canal cruise makes it easy with regular departure times throughout the day.
A valid Canadian passport is required for Canadians intending to visit the Netherlands. The passport should be valid for at least the expected duration of stay in the country. For all other nationalities, consult your consulate or tourist board for details. You can also visit http://www.voyage.gc.ca/ for up-to-date information.
Amsterdam boasts an impressive public transport network including metros, buses, trams, ferries and trains to help you get around the capital.
If arriving in Amsterdam by train, it's likely that your journey will terminate at Amsterdam Central Station. However, in total, Amsterdam has nine train stations.
For those wishing to navigate Amsterdam by car, the most important road to be familiar with is the A10 Ring Road, which loops around the city. This road is intersected by 18 S-routes, each offering a direct path into a separate district of the city. If you know which S-route to use, your journey is likely to be much simpler. Before arriving, it is advisable to learn about the city's motorways, roads and parking options in order to make the most of your trip.
Public transport – tram, metro, bus and ferry
Travelling within Amsterdam is straight-forward and convenient. There is an extensive transport network connecting city districts, and commuters can choose a variety of methods to reach their destination as efficiently as possible. Passengers can purchase an OV-Chipkaart (chipcard) for use on all public transport in Amsterdam including buses, trams and metros.
Trams are common in Amsterdam, with routes heading out from the centre in all directions. Trams are ideal for short journeys around the city centre, as well as for travelling to other districts.
Amsterdam's metro runs from Central Station to the outer districts. This can be a fast and efficient way to travel, though the trains only run overground away from the centre, so you lose out on the picturesque view.
Amsterdam operates a full bus network, which will take you anywhere you have to go.
Behind Central Station, ferries hustle their way across the River IJ, transporting passengers to various locations in the north of Amsterdam. Some specialist ferries also travel along the river to other districts of the city.
Cycling is a fun, efficient and easy way of getting around Amsterdam – just like the locals do! With bicycle rental shops all over the city, it’s quite simple to pedal away. And it’s quite safe if you follow a few simple rules! Also, follow any instructions the vendor might give you to park and lock-up the bike in authorized locations only. MacBike offers a free multi-lingual leaflet on how to cycle safely through Amsterdam.
Taxis are a popular form of transport in a city where many residents don't own a car and tourists are plentiful. You don’t have to search far if you want to travel by taxi in Amsterdam. About 3000 taxis were registered in the city as of August 2009. These taxis can be hailed on the street or found at one of more than 50 official taxi ranks located around the city.
Amsterdam is a cultural and, consequently, a culinary melting pot. There are plenty of restaurants and cafés specialising in every cuisine your pallet desires.