Amsterdam – Top 10 sights to visit for a weekend

by Anni & Wladi

Experience Amsterdam in summer. “That would be something…” we thought to ourselves and put our thoughts directly into action. On a beautiful summer weekend in July, we headed* to the capital of the Netherlands on a Friday. Amsterdam, known for its picturesque canals, fascinating architecture and relaxed atmosphere, invited us to immerse ourselves in its charming streets, historic sights and cultural diversity. The city of two-wheelers has something for everyone and we are looking forward to introducing you to the “Top 10 Sights” of this wonderful city. Let’s go on a discovery journey together!

We chose our accommodation a little away from the city center and opted for the INNSiDE by Meliá* not far from Zuid station. It was easy to get to the city center by public transport and is also highly recommended due to the traffic and parking options. The hotel is really recommendable with great simple rooms and a breakfast buffet with a view. There was also an underground parking space. As always, the basis was laid for two great days in Amsterdam.

1. Canal Cruise

The boat glides gently over the calm waters of the canals as the picturesque backdrop of Amsterdam slowly unfolds. We pass charming bridges and admire the elegant gabled houses that stretch along the banks. The water reflects the hustle and bustle of the city as we cruise leisurely past cafés, restaurants and stores. Along the way, we hear the distant sound of bicycle bells and the laughter of people strolling along the banks. Our boat guide shares interesting stories and anecdotes about the history of the canals and the famous sights we pass.

We enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and magnificent views of the city as we glide through the heart of Amsterdam, taking a moment to enjoy the beauty and charm of this unique city from a different angle. A canal cruise is certainly a must when visiting Amsterdam. We booked our Blue Sky Boat ticket in advance and enjoyed the approximately 75-minute ride early in the morning, watching the city wake up. We chose an “open sloop” with as few passengers as possible and as much view of the city as possible. Don’t miss the photo spot with the bridges.

2. Jordaan (neighborhood)

A walk through the Jordaan district in Amsterdam is a journey through an oasis of calm and charm. We stroll through narrow streets lined with historic gabled houses and flower boxes in bloom. The atmosphere is lively but relaxed, with cozy cafés, vintage stores and art galleries to browse through. We discover hidden courtyards and picturesque squares that invite us to linger and observe. The canals sparkle in the sun and offer a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. With every step, we experience the unique atmosphere and unmistakable character of this historic district, which feels like a journey into the past while at the same time reflecting modern Amsterdam.

3. Dam

As you leave the Jordaan district towards the city center, you will inevitably walk past the Anne Frank House. Make sure you get your tickets well in advance of your visit to the city and gain an insight into an unimaginable era of mankind.

Dam Square is the beating heart of Amsterdam and an important historical center of the city. Here you will find the Royal Palace, which was once built as a town hall and now serves as the royal residence. The imposing palace dominates the square with its impressive architecture and royal coats of arms. In addition to the palace, there are other sights such as the National Monument, which commemorates the victims of the Second World War, and the magnificent De Bijenkorf department store. Dam Square is also a popular meeting place for locals and tourists alike. With street performers, cafés and stores creating a lively atmosphere. No matter what time of day, Dam Square is a fascinating place that reflects the history, culture and vitality of Amsterdam.

From here we felt the summer, the joie de vivre and the pulse of this wonderful European city. Every corner invited us to linger and enjoy. A beer here, a coffee there and a snack there – life can be so beautiful. Especially in Amsterdam on summer days, the city is wonderful and well worth experiencing.

4. Damrak

Damrak is a lively street in Amsterdam that runs from Central Station to Dam Square and forms one of the city’s main arteries. Along the Damrak stretches an impressive row of houses with characteristic gabled houses that rise majestically above the canal. These historic buildings characterize the cityscape and offer a fascinating insight into Amsterdam’s traditional architecture. The colorful variety of facades and the reflection of the houses in the water give the Damrak a very special atmosphere that delights visitors from all over the world. It is a place where the past meets the present and reflects the vibrant life of the city.

5. De Oude Kirk

De Oude Kerk, or the Old Church, is a fascinating Gothic church in the heart of Amsterdam. It is the oldest church (and oldest surviving building) in the city and an important historical landmark. With its striking architecture and imposing tower, it rises above the surrounding buildings and dominates the skyline of the city center. Inside, the Oude Kerk impresses with its imposing size and rich interior, including ornate stained glass windows, tombs and an impressive 16th century wooden floor. The church not only serves as a spiritual center, but also as a lively venue for concerts, exhibitions and cultural events. With its rich history and unique atmosphere, the Oude Kerk is a fascinating place that attracts visitors from all over the world. Happy fact: The church is located in the middle of the red light district.

De Oude Kerk

6. Red Light District

A guided tour* of Amsterdam’s Red Light District is a fascinating journey through a unique and controversial world. As we stroll through the narrow streets and along the canals, we learn more about the history and rules of this famous neighborhood from our knowledgeable guide. We pass the illuminated windows where the prostitutes work and learn more about their daily lives and rights. We hear stories about the origins of the Red Light district, its cultural significance and the challenges it faces today. At the same time we also discover the colorful diversity of the district. From trendy bars and cafés to historic buildings and hidden squares. Our guided tour of the Red Light District offers us a unique insight into a world that is often misunderstood and allows us to better understand the complexity and human side of this famous neighborhood.

7. A’DAM Lookout Swing

The A’DAM Lookout Swing experience is an unforgettable adventure full of thrills and breathtaking views. First, the ferry takes you to the northern bank of the city. After climbing the impressive tower, the A’DAM Lookout, you are rewarded with a spectacular panoramic view of the city. But the highlight still awaits: the swing on the rooftop! With a courageous leap into the depths, you swing over the edge of the building. You experience an incomparable adrenaline rush as you float high above the rooftops of Amsterdam.

The feeling of freedom and weightlessness is indescribable as you glide through the air and see the city from a completely new perspective. An experience that will stay with you for a long time and brings you closer to the beauty of Amsterdam in a whole new way. The 60 seconds of swinging feel like an eternity when the fear of heights kicks in. It was brutal. Brutal, but damn good. Get the combo ticket with LOOKOUT + Swing + Amsterdam VR Ride – it’s worth it.

8. Rembrandtplein

In the evening, Rembrandtplein in Amsterdam transforms into a lively meeting place for locals and visitors alike. The surrounding cafés, bars and restaurants come to life and fill the air with music and laughter. The colorful lights of the surrounding buildings bathe the square in a warm glow as people enjoy the pleasant atmosphere and take in the vibrant hustle and bustle of the city. Street artists entertain the audience with their performances as people stroll along the busy streets and admire the lively atmosphere. Rembrandtplein is a place where the energy of the city is palpable and where you can experience the vibrant heart of Amsterdam up close.


Alternatively, you can end your day in Amsterdam at the Nieuwmarkt. But there’s one thing you shouldn’t forget: If you’ve been smart enough to carry a cell phone charging cable with you all day. Then please also be smart enough to check whether your cell phone is charging when you’re sitting in a bar and need your digital ticket for the return journey to your hotel. Speaking of “safety first”… be sure to visit the Condomerie for a bit of variety.

9. The Rijksmuseum

A visit to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is an impressive experience that takes visitors on a fascinating journey through Dutch art history. Upon entering the magnificent building, you are greeted by an impressive collection of 17th century masterpieces. Including paintings by Rembrandt (The Night Watch), Vermeer and Frans Hals. The opulent galleries offer a variety of works of art, from historical paintings and sculptures to ornate furniture and handcrafted objects. In total, there are four levels and from the 11th century to the 21st century. As you wander through the exhibition rooms, you will be mesmerized by the beauty and detail of the works and gain a deeper appreciation for the rich cultural heritage of the Netherlands. A visit to the Rijksmuseum is an unforgettable experience that enriches visitors with a deeper understanding and greater admiration for the country’s art and history.

10. Vondelpark

A visit to Vondelpark in Amsterdam is a refreshing and relaxing experience. The park offers a green oasis in the middle of the city. Here you can escape the hustle and bustle and enjoy nature. Upon entering the park, you are immediately enveloped by the calming atmosphere and the scent of fresh greenery. You can walk, jog or cycle along the well-kept paths and canals and enjoy the lush vegetation and picturesque views of flowerbeds in bloom and shady avenues. The Vondelpark is also a popular meeting place for locals and visitors alike who want to sunbathe on the wide lawns, have a picnic or simply enjoy the peaceful atmosphere. With its idyllic ponds, sculptures and events, Vondelpark offers a variety of ways to experience nature and escape the busy city life for a while.

A weekend in Amsterdam is a journey full of unforgettable experiences and discoveries. From the picturesque canals and historic sights to the vibrant streets and cozy cafés, the city offers a wealth of opportunities to experience the diversity and charm of Amsterdam. Whether exploring the sights, sampling the local cuisine or simply enjoying the flair of the city, a weekend in Amsterdam is a trip that will live long in the memory.

Be inspired by other trips here.

What is a must-do in Amsterdam?

You should have done these 10 things in Amsterdam:
– Take a canal cruise
– Walk through the Jordaan district
– Visit Dam Square
– Explore Damrak Street
– Admire the Oude Kerk
– Take a tour through the red light district
– Swing over the rooftops of Amsterdam (A’DAM Lookout Swing)
– Eat at Rembrandtplein
– Visit the Rijksmuseum
– Stroll through the Vondelpark

When is the best time to visit Amsterdam?

We particularly recommend visiting Amsterdam from April (when the tulips are in bloom) until late summer.

Can you explore Amsterdam on foot?

Yes, the main sights are all centrally located and within walking distance.

*The links to Check24, and Getyourguide contained in this article are so-called affiliate links. With these links, receives a commission for brokered purchases. This does not increase the price for the customer.

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