Amsterdam , the capital of Holland (or the Netherlands), is one of the best places in Europe to enjoy a city break for a few days. The city of a thousand canals has something for every traveler: culture, nightlife, romantic places, green areas, boat rides, a large gastronomic scene, urban art , etc. If you like to travel, in any of its facets, Amsterdam is a destination that will not disappoint you.

However, the first time I traveled to the Dutch capital – back in 1997 – I would have appreciated having a small guide with the best tips for traveling to Amsterdam at hand . So, now that I know the city well, here are a few of them, so that your trip begins as well as possible:

What is the best time of year to travel to Amsterdam

Although a getaway to this city is always worthwhile, the truth is that the best time of year to visit Amsterdam is between the months of April and September . During spring, flowers bring joy to a city that has one of the most important flower markets in the world. In summer, the weather is usually better, although it is also true that you will find more people in all the tourist attractions.

How to get from Amsterdam Airport to the city center

Schiphol airport serves the city of Amsterdam and is the main airport in the Netherlands, with a traffic of about 70 million passengers a year (fourth in Europe) .

Amsterdam airport is located about 17 km from the city and, although you can get from the airport to the center by taking a train or bus, there are not a few who – especially if they have a lot of luggage – prefer a comfortable door transfer service. 

Where to sleep in Amsterdam

Amsterdam.

In addition to the conventional hotels, there are a good number of very original places to sleep in Amsterdam . Because not every day you can say that you have slept on a boat, rocked by the waters of the canal, right? Well, in Amsterdam, yes.

In the city center you will find options for all tastes and almost all pockets : from the typical hotels of the big chains, to hostels for backpackers, through boutique hotels and luxury hotels.

Safety tips in Amsterdam

In general, Amsterdam is a fairly safe city , and you will only have to be careful with your belongings when you are walking through the busy areas of the center and the famous Red Light District. It is here that the pickpockets that exist in almost any large city in Europe operate.

Another thing you should keep in mind is that Amsterdam is a city taken over by bicycles. Look carefully to both sides when you go to cross, because you can find bicycles, motorcycles, cars and the tram. There are not a few tourists who have had a scare by wandering down the street without paying attention to the traffic.

For all this, another of our tips for traveling to Amsterdam is to take out good travel insurance.

Rent a bike and discover the city

Bikes in Amsterdam.

What to wear on a trip to Amsterdam

The issue of what to wear when you travel to Amsterdam is an absolute puzzle. Our advice is that you bring everything, since the Dutch capital is one of those places where all four seasons occur on the same day. Then, in winter, the closed places have the heating working full blast, and you can be in them in short sleeves.

Then, the ideal is that you wear different layers of clothing and play with them according to the temperature you find.

How to take the Amsterdam City Card

I amsterdam City Card

Another of our fundamental tips for traveling to Amsterdam is that, if you want to get the most out of your visit to the city, get an I Amsterdam City Card.

This tourist card will save you a good amount of money and time during your stay in the Dutch capital. It will give you free access to the best museums in Amsterdam, important discounts in a good number of attractions and events, and, in addition, you will be able to use public transport whenever you want.

The best free things to do in Amsterdam

The simple fact of walking around Amsterdam is already worth it and tells you a lot about the city. If you are one of those travelers who likes to contemplate local life in one place, visit its parks and markets.

There’s no charge to browse the stalls of the city’s wonderful floating flower market , the Bloemenmarkt (open daily 9am-5pm, though some stalls are closed on Sunday), which is stretches along the south bank of the Singel.

Distinguish between a Coffee Shop and a Cafe

Amsterdam coffee shops.

A common mistake for those who travel to Amsterdam for the first time is to confuse a coffee shop with a café. 

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