Our top 10 free things to do in Amsterdam


Museumplein

This wide, open space surrounded by Amsterdam’s most popular museums, such as the Rijksmuseum and the Stedelijk, is always buzzing with activity. Museumplein is a great place to take children; the jungle gyms, swings and skate park will keep them entertained for hours! The vibrant street musicians situated around the plain perfectly suit the languid, easy-going atmosphere. It would be a crying shame to miss out on taking your picture with the famous Iamsterdam sign!

New Amsterdam walking tours

Every day, at 11:15 and 13:15, a guide conducts a walking tour through the central part of Amsterdam, beginning at Dam square. These free tours are packed with information about the history of the city, as well as other topics such as prostitution and the drug industry in Amsterdam. It is definitely one of the most informative and interesting free things to do in Amsterdam!

Markets

Wandering through one of the city’s many street markets is one of the most rewarding free things to do in Amsterdam. Each one has its own atmosphere, from the languid, bohemian vibes of Waterloopplein market, to the bustling feel of the flower market.

Parks

Scattered throughout Amsterdam are beautiful parks that offer respites from the chaos of the city. There are play areas for children, exercise courses, picturesque scenery and lakes – especially captivating in the long days of summer. Some of the more popular parks include Vondelpark and Oosterpark.

Openbare Bibliotheek (Public Library)

Located a five-minute walk away from Central station, the openbare bibliotheek has so much more to offer than one might expect. As one of the tallest buildings in Amsterdam, it offers stunning views of the city’s historical center from the restaurant on the top floor. The library has many little areas within it that function as spaces of seclusion; deep leather chairs that envelope you are perfect for curling up with a book or magazine. On the lower floors, the gentle sounds of piano, which is available for anyone’s use, float up from below. It is even possible to take online Dutch lessons on one of the computers available for use! The public library is perfect for those seeking peace and quiet.

Jazz nights at Bimhuis

Every Tuesday evening, jazz fans (both young and old) gather in Bimhuis to appreciate the good sounds of musicians pouring their hearts into their gleaming brass instruments. The bands who play are of the highest calibre, showcasing their talents with pure sophistication and soul. This is definitely one for the music buffs!

Begijnhof

Nestled in one of the busiest parts of Amsterdam is an oasis of peace: the Begijnhof. Once home to Catholic nuns, this inner court is steeped in rich history. There is something magical about the dreamy face of Maria as she stares passively facing a quaint chapel, softly lit by hundreds of candles. Also home to the English Reformed church, the Begijnhof has many interesting features to discover.

Cannabis College

For many of the visitors of Amsterdam, one of the most interesting aspects of the city is the marijuana factor. Cannabis College provides information about marijuana, its effects, and its place in the city of Amsterdam. For one of the more informative free things to do in Amsterdam, particularly for those trying marijuana for the first time, Cannabis College is definitely a must!

Nightlife

When the sun sets on the city of Amsterdam, the clubs and bars come alive. Most of the smaller clubs around Rembrandtplein and Leidseplein offer free entrance, and many of the bars often have free performances. The nightlife of the city, contrary to popular belief, offers some of the best free things to do in Amsterdam!

NDSM-werf

Accessed by a free ferry trip over the water from behind central station, NDSM-werf is for those visitors who are a little more adventurous. A derelict shipyard turned has into an avant-garde public area, it is often a host to a range of cultural activities and events, such as one of Europe’s biggest monthly flea markets, IJ Hallen.

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