And while I could do without the “touristy” spots of the city like Dam Square, the I Amsterdam sign and the Flower Market, the rest of the city is truly a gem and one that is best explored on foot or on bike. We walked everywhere and with flat streets and picturesque spots around every turn, it was the perfect way to explore. We found lots of spots we loved, but for us, these were the very best of Amsterdam.
The 9 Streets + Jordaan
This gorgeous area of the city with few cars and cobblestoned streets is not to be missed. Because it’s farther out of the “tourist center” it’s quiet, peaceful and untouched. Filled with bikers, little restaurants and gorgeous architecture, the 9 Streets area and the Jordaan in general is perfect to just wander for hours, taking photos and sipping lattes at the occasional café. The 15 minutes walk up from the main center of the tourist areas of Amsterdam to this area is more than worth it.
A quiet, wealthy residential area next to the De Pijp area of the city and bordering Vondel Park, the Oud Zuid is lovely. The tree lined streets and gorgeous walk ups make this area feel similar to the West Village of New York City. Spend an hour just wandering the streets here, stopping for dinner at a local café and then continue on into Vondel Park to explore.
This offbeat and up and coming area of Amsterdam is one that is often missed by tourists because it’s farther from the center of the city, but it’s also one with charming townhouses, tram lined roads and quirky restaurants along the way.
River Boat Cruise
While the ultimate touristy thing to do in Amsterdam, it’s well worth the time and money. There is no better way to see all of the city and to see if from a different vantage point than from the canals. It’s great especially on cooler, rainy days to get inside and yet still be able to see a lot of the city. We used the Explore Amsterdam company, but there are a few others that do different routes as well, so check into all the options.
A gorgeous city park, Vondel Park is vast and beautiful. Rent a bike and cycle through or just wander on foot, you won’t be disappointed. The park is especially beautiful in the Fall as the leaves are falling, but I’m sure it’s lovely all times of the year as well!