How to Plan A Perfect Trip to Amsterdam

By: Lindsay Cohn and Evie Carrick | Pulished on 2023-11-30

Discover the best hotels, restaurants, and things to do with this highly curated Amsterdam travel guide.

How to Plan A Perfect Trip to Amsterdam-Trip AdvisePHOTO: GAUTIER HOUBA/TRAVEL + LEISURE


Iconic canals, centuries-old townhomes, cobblestone lanes, and flower-adorned bridges. Amsterdam is as pretty as a postcard with charm in spades. It’s also one of the rare places that attracts history buffs, luxury-minded travelers, couples seeking romance, and backpackers alike.

Besides cultural attractions like the Anne Frank House and Rijksmuseum, the Dutch capital has leafy parks, hip shops, and an enduring sense of the past that thankfully never fades. With world-class museums, bicycle tours, and a thriving arts scene, it's really just a matter of culling it down to a select few activities. Since wandering around the city’s quaint streets and sitting outside at a sidewalk cafe is so appealing, you won’t want to cram too much into your daytime itinerary.


In fact, Tesa Totengco, a member of Travel + Leisure’s A-List Travel Advisor Board and the founder and CEO of Travels with Tesa, told T+L that what makes Amsterdam stand out from other European cities is “Their iconic canal network and how walkable the city is if you’re not biking.”

How to Plan A Perfect Trip to Amsterdam-Trip Advise



On the F&B front, this burgeoning culinary mecca boasts world-class restaurants that make every meal a gourmet adventure. When the sun goes down, there’s no shortage of things to do either (think: cozy speakeasies, bustling bars, and plenty of nightclubs). Lastly, you can’t talk about Amsterdam without mentioning “coffee shops” — and not the kind that strictly brews espresso.


Totengco says these “coffee shops and the city’s long-established attitudes towards tolerance and diversity,” make the city truly special. She notes that “Amsterdam is also one of the earliest places to adopt progressive policies regarding marijuana, sex work, and same-sex marriage.”


Simply put: whatever your idealized version of a European getaway entails, Amsterdam won’t disappoint.

More Article