I’ve organized a list of what I would consider the top 24 attractions in Amsterdam by proximity and grouped them into 5 color coded groups to help you maximize your time in Amsterdam. The idea is that you could do each color in a day, as all attractions of the same color are a very short walk away.

Click to enlarge.
  • many of the titles contain links to the website where you can purchase your ticket
  • although I tried my best to place locations on the map, anything marked with * shows an approximate, rather than exact, location.
  • for a reference, on November 1, 2014 (the day I’m writing this) €15.00 = $18.79 =£11.74
  • For more info on Amsterdam, check out this page

1. Van Gogh Museum                                                                                        €15.00 Arguably the greatest attraction in all of Amsterdam, you don’t want to miss the museum that houses many of the works of Vincent van Gogh and many of his contemporaries.                                                             open 9 am – 5 pm (and until 10 pm on Fridays)

2. Stedelijk Museum                                                                                          €15.00                                                                                                                      (students: €7.50)      Amsterdam’s modern art museum showcases a style of artwork different from what you would find in the Van Gogh Museum.  A world class museum, the Stedelijk avoids the trend of displaying an orange circle on a canvas and calling it modern art.                                     open 10 am – 6 pm (and until 10 pm on Thursdays)

3. Rijksmuseum                                                                                                     €17.50     The Netherland’s national art and history museum boasts a wide array of exhibits.                                                                                                                  open 9 am – 5 pm 

4. Museumplein                                                                                                    FREE         Relax in this iconic spot and take a picture in front of the famous “I AMSTERDAM” sign.

5. Vondelpark                                                                                                        FREE         This famous park is a great place to get away from the bustle of Amsterdam. The perfect spot for jogging or a picnic.

6. House of Bols Cocktail and Genever Experience*               $13.83       As described on expedia, you will “learn about Lucas Bols, one of the oldest spirit brands in the world, going back to 1575 A.D. ” Although this might not be a must-do on its own, this can be a nice way to round out a day at the museums. Must book in advanced.      open 12 am – 6 pm (and until 10 pm on Fridays)

7. Canal Cruise                                                                                                 see below I only paid  €5.00 for the hour and a half evening cruise because I told the woman at the ticket desk I was studying at a university in the European Union. However, I got the sense that the discount didn’t actually exist and the woman was just really confused. If you don’t want to test your luck, the website says tickets are around €15.00 if you buy them online and around €17.00 at the ticket stand. Either way, this is still a great deal given the quality of the cruise.

8. Bicycle Tour*                                                                                                 €19.00                                                                                                                     (students: €16.00)       Bikes are an integral part of the culture of Amsterdam. Why not hop on a bicycle (available at the meeting place) and spend two hours learning about Amsterdam on a guided tour?                                                         4:00 pm departure

9. Bloemenmarkt*                                                                                            FREE         Frankly, I found Amsterdam’s famous flower market to be a bit overrated, but I visited in September. The shops mostly sold fake flowers for decorations and bulbs for planting.  However, it’s famous, free, and doesn’t take long, so I would recommend swinging by if it’s somewhat on the way to wherever you’re going.                                           open 9 am – 5:30 pm (11 am – 5:30 pm on Sundays)

10. Begijnhof                                                                                                       FREE           Escape the sounds of Amsterdam’s traffic and relax in this historic courtyard.

11. De 9 Straatjes*                                                                                          FREE             Explore Amsterdam’s famous shopping area! Note that while exploring is free, making purchases is most certainly not, so this might not be for you if you’re an impulse buyer. Check out this guide.

12. Anne Frank House                                                                                 €9.50           One of Amsterdam’s most famous attractions, the Anne Frank house receives over 1 million visitors per year.                                                   open Nov 1 – Mar 31: 9:00 am – 7:00 pm (until 9:00 pm on Saturdays),  Apr 1 – Oct 31: 9:00 am – 9:00 pm, (until 10:00 pm on Saturdays and in July and August).

13. Westerkerk                                                                                              FREE             See the historic church were Rembrandt is buried.                                     open 10 am – 3 pm (Sundays: services only)

14. The Jordaan*                                                                                           FREE               Why not check out the beautiful architecture in this swanky neighborhood?

15. Royal Palace                                                                                           €15.00                                                                                                                      (students: €7.50)   Learn more about the Netherlands’ much adored royal family and visit this Dutch landmark.                                                                                                    open 11 am – 5 pm, but often closed for royal events; check HERE to see when you can visit

16. Nieuwe Kerk                                                                                         €15.00             The “New Church” of Amsterdam boasts a rotation of art exhibitions. Currently on display is “Magical Africa.”                                                          open 11 am – 5 pm

17. Sandeman’s Tour                                                                                see below This incredible tour of Amsterdam costs  €3.00 to book, and you are expected to tip your tour guide around €11.00. Tour lasts a few hours and is really incredible.                                                                                      11:15 am & 2:15 pm departures

18. Cannabis College*                                                                              €3.00?               This definitely might not be for everyone, but considering I’m probably the only American college student who didn’t smoke while in Amsterdam, I think a lot of young people will probably enjoy this unconventional educational experience.                                                                    open 11 am – 7 pm

19. Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum*                                      €9.00             Similar to the Cannabis College – great activity for those who were mainly drawn to Amsterdam for its local delicacies. Also, don’t worry, it’s free for children under 13!                                                                                  open 10 am – 10 pm

20. Oude Kerk                                                                                              €7.50                                                                                                                         (students: €5.00)       Tour the historic church that has become an important monument. For an additional  €7.00, you can tour the church’s tower (the tallest in Amsterdam) on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays in April through September from 1 pm to 5 pm.                                                                             church open 10 am – 6 pm (until 5:30 on Sundays)

21. Condomerie*                                                                                        FREE         This famous condom shop is great for anyone with the maturity of a twelve–year–old. If the human body makes you giggle, the condomerie is definitely for you! You might want to address that at some point, but in the meanwhile why not enjoy this shop?                          open 11 am – 6 pm (until 1 pm – 5 pm on Sundays)

22. Rembrandt House                                                                              €12.50             Tour the home of the famous artist and learn about his life.                    open 10 am – 6 pm

23. Portuguese Synagogue                                                                  €15.00           A ticket to the portuguese synagogue comes along with the tour of the former Jewish Quarters. Only €12.00 until January 1, 2015.               open in Apr – Oct from 10 am – 5 pm Sun – Thu (10 am – 4 pm on Fridays), Nov – Mar from 10 am – 4 pm Sun – Thu (10 am – 3 pm on Fridays), closed/different hours on Jewish Holidays (list can be found HERE).

24. The Resistance Museum*                                                             €8.00               A chance to learn about the brave people who risked their lives to join the resistance during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. Only with an €5.00 International Student Identification Card.                   open 10 am – 5 pm Tue – Fri, 11 am – 5 pm Sat – Mon.