With its tree-lined canals and wonderfully well-preserved buildings, Amsterdam is a tourist’s dream come true. People flock to this city – which is the capital of the Netherlands – for many great reasons: to party, to immerse themselves in a bit of history and to engage in some wonderful shopping opportunities. The city’s 17th century Golden Age had a major impact on its architecture and style – and much of it remains to this very day. In many ways, Amsterdam is a kind of fairy tale port of call, combining friendly, English-speaking locals with amazing and unique attractions. Best of all: Amsterdam is a pedestrian’s delight, with easily navigable streets and frequent shops, cafes and restaurants.
Sightseeing & Things To Do
Whether you choose to spend your time in Amsterdam roaming its lovely canals, shopping in its small but unique shops or taking a ride along a canal in a glass-topped boat, you will find this city to be the perfect icing on the cake of a great cruise. From compelling historical sites like the Anne Frank house to the plethora of well preserved old churches that can be found all over the city, Amsterdam is teeming with unbeatable attractions and things to do. Don’t miss out on all the fun!
Compelling historical sites, gorgeous old churches, phenomenal art museums and picturesque canals all converge to make Amsterdam a traveler’s delight. You’ll never find enough time to see all of Amsterdam’s charming attractions, but here are a handful of its most popular ones:
The Anne Frank House
Visit and tour the house where a thirteen year old girl wrote what would become the world’s most famous diary. Indeed, Anne Frank and her family hid in the attic of this house – which is today a historical museum – in a desperate, and ultimately futile, bid to elude the Nazis. Few historical sites in the world are as poignant, touching or unforgettable.
Ride On The Canals
Glass-topped boat rides along the city’s canals are a popular way to see another side of Amsterdam. Throughout the city, you can find places that offer this service. It’s a great way to get a feel for the lay of the land, and a wonderful option for people with little time to spare.
The Van Gogh Museum
Housing the largest collection of works by the famous Dutch painter, the Van Gogh museum is a true delight. In addition to works by the tortured artist, the museum features several paintings by many of van Gogh’s contemporaries.
The Oude Kerk
You can’t walk a few feet in Amsterdam without coming across another charming, old church. If you only have a bit of time to spare, though, make it a point to stop at the Oude Kerk. As Amsterdam’s oldest church, it is a great place to get a feel for the long-ago architecture of this riveting city. The tower here also offers a great chance to get another view of Amsterdam.
The Nine Streets – known locally as De Negen Straatjes – are nine very long, narrow lanes that fall between some of the city’s most famous canals. Here you can enjoy the genuine Amsterdam shopping experience. All along these streets, an eclectic mix of boutiques, shops, restaurants and art galleries vie for your attention. Whether you choose to spend a bit of money and pick up something special – or if you choose to just do a bit of window shopping – the Nine Streets is a great place to do so.
Best Souvenir To Bring Back To the Cruise Ship
Pick up a few genuine Dutch tulip bulbs while in Amsterdam and plant them when you get home. Year after year, you will have a cheery and colorful reminder of your visit to the capital of the Netherlands.
Eating – Sample the Local Cuisine
When it comes to eating in Amsterdam, cheese is the name of the game. Dutch cheese is known around the world for being delicious and truly gourmet; Amsterdam is chock full of shops, stores and other places selling mouth watering examples of such cheese. Goat’s cheese – called geitan cheese – and cumin – called Komijn – are two varieties that aren’t to be missed.
When, Where, and How
When To Go
Milder weather – and longer days – are a great reason to visit Amsterdam between April and September. That way, if your cruise ship docks late in the afternoon you will still have plenty of daylight to enjoy. Winters are by no means terrible here, either, so don’t despair if that is when your ships comes around to Amsterdam.
Where You’re Docked
Amsterdam’s relatively new Eastern Docklands development is where most large cruise ships dock. Fortunately, this state of the art facility is only a ten minute walk from Amsterdam’s Central Station, where boat, trolley and bus lines can be found. Even people with very limited amounts of time will be able to get off the ship and experience Amsterdam.
Which Cruise Ships Go Here?
Many of the most popular cruise lines have itineraries that include stops at Amsterdam. A few of the major cruise lines that stop in Amsterdam are MSC Cruises, Cunard, P & O Cruises and Royal Caribbean. However, there are many other options available in terms of dates, ships, days at sea and in port when it comes to Amsterdam.