Canal boat tour
A tacky canal boat round-trip is actually very interesting and nice! You will see a lot of the city in one hour, and hear a lot about the history and the reasons why the houses stand crooked, or how many bikes are stolen or thrown into the canals every year. The companies on Damrak are cheapest but have explanations over the speakers in multiple languages, causing lots of repetitions, and short explanations in your own language. I know that ‘Blue Boat’ and ‘Lovers’ offer headphones so you’ll have longer explanations in your own language only. Others may do so as well.
There are also dinner cruises in the dark. The city is like a fairytale with all the little lights.
Or if it’s dry you can consider the smaller open boats run by Friendship tours for example, with live explanations from the guide.
When you pass nice places you want to visit more indepth later, just write down the names and go there afterwards.
Climb Westerkerk tower
From April through October you can climb Westerkerk church tower (right next to Anne Frank House) and have amazing views over the old roofs of the Jordaan area and canal belt. Anne Frank describes the sound of these church bells in her diary. Tickets can only be bought on the day itself (not online) and are €8 per person. Only 6 people get to go up with a guide every half hour, you will hear explanations about the 400 year old church, the bells etc. You go up to a viewpoint at 42 meters height.
EYE Film institute
This funky building is bliss for modern architecture fans. But it also has a sunny terrace and indoor restaurant with amazing views across IJ. It’s also a film museum and cinema. You can have a mini flipbook made with a short ‘movie’ of yourself for only €4.95. Go to EYE’s shop for examples and instructions.
A fairly new sight in the city is A’DAM tower which will hosts hotels, nightclubs, and has a rooftop viewpoint and restaurant. However, personally I prefer the views from DoubleTree hotel’s rooftop bar.
Go to a Boom Chicago comedy show on Rozengracht 117. It’s in English and takes the piss out of both American and Dutch culture. It’s half improvised. You can also take improvisation classes.
Go to the page with recommended museums.
Other things to see and do
- my pages about parks & city beaches
- and about other things to see and do
- Iamsterdam’s pages about things to see and do
- “what’s on” > see which festivals, concerts, temporary exhibitions, sports events are taking place
- what’s on in East > even smaller and quirkier events that lots of locals go to
- what’s on in West > dito
- the app ‘2days‘
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