With summer around the bend, the already tourist-packed city of Amsterdam is about to see some of its busiest days. The capital of the Netherlands has everything one could want from a fun, vibrant, odd and historically rich European city. It might seem a bit overwhelming for first-time visitors but we’ve constructed a flexible itinerary to recommend where to eat, what to see and where to have fun at night.
On most days Amsterdam will be busy, so you need to start with a good meal in your stomach. Depending on where you’re staying, what you like and when you wake up will have a say in what you eat – but here are a few quality suggestions.
Jacobs is a New York style breakfast and brunch spot specialising in huge servings of fried chicken and waffles. They’re located a bit outside the bustling central district near Vondelpark by the canal in Overtoombuurt. In case you find the place too full an alternative is the all-day breakfast spot, The Breakfast Club just a few streets away. They serve every type of breakfast at any time of the day.
Omelegg has two locations, one in Pijp, and one in the city centre. Whichever you decide to visit you can expect every type of egg dish and omelette combination imaginable. What’s also good is their friendly team work tirelessly to get orders out quickly so you’re not stuck waiting too long for a table.
If you want something a bit fancier the five-star hotel Okura Hotel does an exquisite breakfast buffet. You don’t need to be a guest with the hotel to enjoy the food at restaurant Le Camelia, open between 6.30 am to 10.30 am on weekdays, and until 11.30 am on weekends.
When visiting Amsterdam there is a selection of ‘main’ sites that most would recommend out of cultural and historical significance. This would be Anne Frank’s House, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Rijksmuseum. To make the most out of one single day it’s recommended that only one or two are visited during the afternoon.
While Anne Frank’s House and the Van Gogh Museum are relatively small they are often busy with long queues. On the other hand, the Rijksmuseum is very large and an entire afternoon can easily be spent exploring it.
This way you have more time to explore a bit of Amsterdam. A walk from Oosterpark, then around the central canals and then through Vondelpark is perfect on a nice day, and allows for shopping or simply taking in the beautiful architecture, cafes, bars and restaurants.
If you’re exploring the canals then you’re sure to find a lot of places with tasty food, whether it’s to go or sit down. A local favourite is Umaimon, a Japanese Ramen house right next to Vondelbuurt park and the Van Gogh Museum.
One last option that a lot of groups love is the Heineken Experience. Visit the old distillery of one of the world’s most famous beers, see the process, and enjoy some of the brews with an included tasting at the end!
In the Evening there are some incredible restaurants in Amsterdam that cater to many different tastes. Although the Netherlands typically cook with meat and root vegetable the influx of foreign inspiration has made for some incredible cuisines and variations.
For meat lovers, Cannibale Royale is a city favourite serving up huge portions of meat variations from ribs, steak, brisket and more. It’s also a very fun restaurant that’s open late and has a great selection of craft beers, cocktails, and even if there are vegetarians in the group there are some very tasty options on the menu.
Sotto Pizza is another city favourite serving traditional wood fire cooked delicacies along with incredible wines. On peak seasons it might be full in the evenings so it’s recommended to book a table beforehand.
And for something a bit different there’s a great seafood restaurant that can be quite romantic at night. Stork is set where an old office park once stood, now completely renovated and modern. From the main station, you can take a (free) ferry trip across the river to reach it and enjoy their superb and varied fish menu.
Once you’re full of food and ready to hit the town get ready for an experience. Amsterdam is known for having one of the wilder nightlife in Europe. To begin, walk through the Jordaan district in the centre, lined with interesting pubs and cafes that artists and students alike tend to frequent.
For some other specific locations, we could recommend Cafe de Beling, a hip neighbourhood bar that’s been famous since the ’90s. It’s recently been renovated and has additional areas for eating, dancing and enjoying a New York style cocktail.
Waterkant is an excellent choice for long summer evenings. It’s nestled right by the canal and operates day and night. Look out for their special events or public holidays where they always plan something. Though if you want something more relaxed but with good beers, then Beer Temple is another great option.
For clubbing, there’s a lot of options but a few to look for are Chicago Social Club, Jimmy Woo and De School. Each with their own distinct style and ambience. Chicago Social Club is for techno and hip-hop, with two floors and Jimmy Woo is much smaller and ambient, though pretty selective at the door. With everything done, it’s time to wake up, rinse and repeat the fun in this glorious city.
Get around Amsterdam with ease in a Sixt car hire
With our convenient rental branches around the city and in Amsterdam Schiphol Airport and across the city. Of course, if you’re planning to extend the trip and visit the beautiful surroundings, then we have many mobility options in the city and the rest of the Netherlands.