With centuries-old canals, an acclaimed museum quarter, and gabled houses straight out of a Dutch Golden Age painting, Amsterdam is both the official and cultural capital of the Netherlands. The Red Light District and coffeeshops are still central to the city’s vibe, but it’s attractions like Anne Frank House, Rijksmuseum, and the Van Gogh Museum that draw visitors in the millions. Sightseeing tours help travelers stay ahead of the crowd, with skip-the-line privileges (essential even outside of high season) and in-the-know guides. And for those looking to explore further afield, Zaanse Schans—with its postcard-worthy windmills, clogs, and cheese factories—The Hague, Rotterdam, and Keukenhof Gardens (March to May only) are easy day-trip options.

Rijksmuseum

Home to more than 8,000 works of art spread over 80 galleries, Rijksmuseum initially attracts visitors with works by Flemish and Dutch masters such as Vermeer and Rembrandt, and continues to impress with its expansive gardens and Michelin-starred restaurant. Skip-the-line tickets save travelers hours of waiting, while tours led by art historians provide a more in-depth experience.

Skip-the-Line Rijksmuseum Amsterdam Admission

A popular package, this self-guided tour combines the benefit of priority entry with the freedom to explore independently.

Skip the Line: Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum Tour Including Amsterdam Canal Cruise and Lunch

This activity-packed tour breaks up visits to the museums with a cruise, and is perfect for clients with limited time.

Read more about Rijksmuseum tour options here.

Amsterdam Red Light District

Known throughout the world, Amsterdam’s Red Light District epitomizes the Netherlands’ liberal ideals. Guided tours share the history of the area’s sex trade in a welcoming environment. For partygoers, the Red Light District forms a central hub for nightlife and bristles with bars, the best of which are revealed on a pub crawl.

Red Light District Tour with Holland’s Most Famous Sex Workers

This tour, led by two women who have worked in the Red Light District for 50 years, gives a unique insider glimpse into the area.

Amsterdam Red Light District 2-Hour Walking Tour

Clients can get a more in-depth understanding of the Netherlands’ liberal attitudes towards the sex industry during this small group walking tour of the Red Light District.

City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Tour with Boat Option

This hop-on hop-off option allows travelers to customize their own itinerary and explore highlights such as the Red Light District at a relaxed pace.

Read more about Amsterdam Red Light District tour options here.

Amsterdam Canal Ring

Dating back to the 17th century, the UNESCO-listed canal ring is probably Amsterdam’s best-known attraction. The waterways are bisected by quaint bridges, and can be explored on foot, by bike, or during a canal cruise. Hop-on hop-off cruises give visitors the flexibility to disembark at canalside attractions such as Anne Frank House and West Church, while evening cruises show off Amsterdam in its luminescent beauty.

Amsterdam Evening Canal Cruise with 4-Course Dinner and Drinks

This evening cruise combines culture and cuisine with a 4-course dinner freshly prepared on the boat, plus free-flowing drinks.

Amsterdam Combo: Heineken Experience and Canals Pizza Cruise

This combo lets clients experience two best-selling tours at a discounted rate. It’s a great way for travelers on a tight schedule to check off more sights in less time.

Amsterdam Canal Cruise by Semi-Open Boat

Exploring on a semi-open boat gives clients the best views of canalside attractions for unobstructed photographs without the blur of a glass window.

Read more about Amsterdam Canal Ring tour options here.

Zaanse Schans

The picture-perfect village of Zaanse Schans encapsulates Dutch traditions. The open-air museum is an hour’s drive from Amsterdam and the journey—which winds past green pastures and flower-filled fields—is just as enjoyable as the destination. Visitors can go inside working windmills, watch clogs being made, or sample cheese. Taking a day trip from Amsterdam means that clients don’t have to worry about arranging transportation or missing trains.

Zaanse Schans Windmills, Marken and Volendam Half-Day Trip from Amsterdam

This fast-paced tour, designed for those who are short on time, offers both a morning and afternoon departure, making it easy to fit into any travel itinerary.

Dutch Countryside and Culture Tour from Amsterdam including Zaanse Schans, Edam, and Volendam

This tour allows clients to travel between three Dutch villages without the hassle of hiring and driving a rental car.

Amsterdam Super Saver: Zaanse Schans Windmills plus Delft, The Hague and Madurodam

If your clients want a holistic overview of the Netherlands, this tour packs in four cities in just one day.

Read more about Zaanse Schans tour options here.

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Things to Know

When to Visit

Spring is one of the best times to visit Amsterdam, as the tulips and flowers of Keukenhof Gardens are in bloom. From the end of November to late January, Amsterdam’s magical light festival is in full swing.  

Getting Around

As one of the world’s most cycle-friendly places, Amsterdam is best explored by bike. Cycle routes line the canals and provide a safe place to bike that doesn’t involve dodging traffic.

Things to Bring

Amsterdam’s weather is unpredictable, so suggest clients bring a raincoat and warm jacket even if they’re visiting in summer. During the freezing winter months, gloves, a scarf, and a hat are musts.

Local Customs

For many, the Red Light District is a place of work. Visitors to the area should exercise respect and refrain from taking photographs of the red-lit windows.

What the Locals Know

Escape Amsterdam’s crowded center by hopping on a ferry to the north of the city, a former industrial area full of hip cafes and vintage shops.

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