Travel Guide

Amsterdam Travel Guide

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Travel Guide

With a rich culture, diverse art scenes, olive-green canals, world-famous museums, and vintage-filled shops Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful and delightful cities in Europe. Its urban vibe is dynamic because you don't know what you can stumble upon—jazz gigs, world-class theatres, charming neighborhoods, courtyard gardens, and open markets. That sums up that this small-city keeps a solid interest in art, music, dance, theatre, film, photography and architecture.

The city nurtures its culture and binds it together with the art to hold its communities together. Home to 180 nationalities, long and eventful history, a strong tradition as a center of culture, and diverse population, Amsterdam is vibrant, thriving and multi-faceted. Its impressive diversity, active daily life, different lifestyles, and welcoming locals make it one of the happiest destinations in the world. Dutch is the local language while English is a business dialect.

You can acknowledge how serious does the city takes the art by ducking into the Van Gogh Museum which holds the world's largest exhibition of the artists' paintings. Also, the fantastic road and rail links, a peaceful and crime-less environment to live in, freedom to practice own faith, large-scale festivals, plenty of family-friendly cafes and one of the most unique landscapes have the tourists come back again.

Knocking out the fact that the Netherlands is a small country, it is a big and substantial player in the world's trade. Amsterdam has been a powerful capital right from history, boosting the overall economy. The official currency of Amsterdam is Euro.

1EUR= 4.17AED
1EUR= 1.12USD

There are 8 coins; 1, 2 and 5 cents, 10, 20 and 50 cents, 1 and 2 Euro coins. You can get the bigger denominations as 5, 10, 20 and 50 Euro, 100, 200 and 500 Euro notes. 500 Euro is not very acceptable around the city, while the small shops hesitate to take the 100 and 200 bills. Summing up to the fact that the most common and convenient denomination is the 50 Euro bills.

In the case of exchanging the currencies, there are ATMs sprinkled throughout the city making the process easier and available at one's doorsteps.

Although, credit cards are widely used in Amsterdam and the rest of the Netherlands.

The top-notch companies, banking giants, biggest traders as Shell, Unilever, Aegon N.V., Philips, ING Group and ABN AMRO are based in the Netherlands. Also, it's friendly ties with other major partners as the EU and the USA have helped to evolve and gain incessantly. Some industries that play an important role in upsurging wealth and employment are electronics, chemical industry, automobile, shipping, agriculture, horticulture, service industries, banking, and media.

There is no dearth of natural resources, as the country owns the stocks of natural gas and petroleum, peat, limestone, salt, sand, and gravel. With no ifs and buts, Netherlands is acclaimed as one of the most developed countries in the world.

Amsterdam's history has been long with unique turns of events. It was in the 13th century, that the two fishermen discovered this city. They were living along the banks of the River Amstel and then built a bridge across the waterway near IJ, which previously was a large saltwater inlet. The city developed around this 'dam'— no bonus points on how the name of the town was kept.

The documents dated October 27, 1275, proved the settlement of "Aemstelredamme", whose inhabitants were fishermen and merchants. They received a concession from the bridge toll in the County of Holland by Count Floris the 5th. It prospered as a trading center.

Somewhere between 1613 and 1633, the city started witnessing rapid development and urban expansions. It was all heyday and era of the Golden Age during 1585-1672 as Amsterdam's commercial sector was booming. And unexpectedly, the last year of the period was a calamite for the Dutch Republic, nevertheless, after the defeat of Antwerp by the Spanish in 1685, Amsterdam dethroned everyone and became the biggest and one of the richest cities of the world. It had a strong grip on finance and diamonds.

Back to square one, in 1795-1813, it faced recession and declination. Prosperous and lavish days were not long gone as the years of 1813-1940 saw the stage of recovery arriving. The bottom line is that the history of Amsterdam has been a sequence of affairs and waves of up and down. The economical success, the largest share in both the Dutch East India Company and the Dutch West India Company, strong trade links, religious tolerance, growth of architectural masterpieces- overall contributed to the wealth and prosperity of Amsterdam.

A bit of research tells that Amsterdam is interesting. Here are a few amazing facts about the 'fun' capital of Europe-

1. Amsterdam was founded as a fishing village in the 13th century, by the Amstel river, and this is how the city got its name.
2. It is a city where houses and buildings are built on poles, for example, the train station of Amsterdam Central alone needs 9000 poles.
3. Amsterdam witnesses around 14 million tourists each year, of which 4.5 million are Dutch and the rest are foreign.
4. It is located on 90 small islands.
5. The average Dutchman measures in at 1.83 m and females scale at 1.71 m.
6. There are over 881,000 bicycles in Amsterdam, which is more than the population. That’s also four times the number of cars.
7. About 57% of Amsterdammers use their bicycle for their daily runs.
8. The famous floating flower market exists since 1862.
9. There are 165 canals in Amsterdam making up over 100 km of waterways. Out of the 1281 bridges, 80 can be found within the canal ring. The Canal Ring came under the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2010.
10. The city has more than 7000 monumental buildings, 40 parks, 8 windmills, 400 kilometers of cycle paths, 55 theatres and concert halls, 38 markets and 300 coffee shops.

Influenced by the Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea, the weather in Amsterdam is windy, cold, rainy, humid and sub-oceanic. The summers aren't scorching and winters do not go beyond the freezing point.

It is a breezy city and wind always blows; it becomes intense during November to March. Every season there is a chance of rain and it's unpredictable, but November is the wettest month with an average precipitation of 90 mm. April remains the driest of all with blooms of Tulips and Daffodils everywhere.

Summer months are July, August, and September featuring good weather, bright days, frequent rainfall and chilly evenings.

Autumn in late September, October, and November have mild weather and highest precipitation.

Winter lies from December to February, with snowfalls, wind, fading sunlight and persistent rains at night.

Spring lies in April, May, and June which have moderate temperatures, less rainfall, and colorful blooms.

Here are the month-wise temperatures (in Celsius) of Amsterdam
  • January: 0.5-5.4
  • February: 0.2-6
  • March: 2.4-9.2
  • April: 4-12.4
  • May: 7.8-17.1
  • June: 10.4-19.2
  • July: 12.4-21.4
  • August: 12.3-21.8
  • September: 10.2-18.4
  • October: 7-14.1
  • November: 3.9-9.2
  • December: 1.9-6.5

Boasting such industrial to commercial dominance, Amsterdam attracts a sea of tourists. It is one of the most influential cities in Europe, which is very well connected with the rest of the continent and the world.

Air: The most popular and convenient choice to reach the 'Dutch of Venice' is to reserve a seat in flight. Located 9km southwest of Amsterdam is the Schiphol Airport which is the main international airport in the Netherlands. There are many European Airlines in connection with the USA, the Middle East, and Asia, making the movement between these countries hassle-free. Two large airlines that have their base in Amsterdam are KLM and Jet Airways. Getting tickets in advance or during the low season can help you travel without blowing off the budget.

Trains: If you are in Europe, trains from across the continent, as Belgium, France, and Germany are very common. Amsterdam is a crowd-puller and thus, it doesn't come as a surprise that several direct, high-speed trains run from popular cities like Paris, Berlin, Brussels, London, Frankfurt, and Manchester. These are the cheaper alternatives to airlines and are not much time-taking.

Cars/ Buses: Car rental in Europe in an interesting choice to travel different cities. The roads are well-constructed and obstruction-less which makes the trip effortless. There are international bus services which run daily from the iconic cities to Amsterdam and vice versa.

Local Transport: The widespread transport network in Amsterdam is extraordinary. The various landmarks of the city are well-connected via buses, trams, ferries, and metro—all of these use OV Chipkaart smart card system. Make use of its artistic canal system and cruise around the city in luxury. Bicycles are other favorites to travel within the city.

For the majority of the foreigners who are willing to tour or stay in Amsterdam, apply for the Netherlands Schengen visa. This allows a foreign national to stay and travel to 26 Schengen countries, for a maximum period of up to 90 days.

Where to Apply for Schengen visa?

If you are visiting one Schengen country, apply for a visa at the Embassy or Consulate representing the particular country. And in case there is more than one Schengen country, visit the Embassy or Consulate of the main destination where you intend to have a longer stay. In the latter case, if you have an equal duration of stays at all places, contact the Embassy or Consulate of the country where you have to enter first.

Foreign nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland as well as some other countries are exempt from these visa requirements.

For staying in the Schengen area for over 90 days, you must apply for a residence permit.

How to apply for a visa?

Contact a reputed agency and apply for a visa online. Fill the application form duly, submit it with requisite documents and pay fees online.

The documents include-
  • Passport with at least two blank pages and valid for at least three months
  • Two photographs as per specifications
  • Flight itinerary
  • Proof of accommodation
  • Personal Covering letter from the applicant explaining in detail the purpose of the visit
  • A medical cover with minimum coverage as per guidelines.
  • Proof of sustenance stating that you can afford this trip financially.

The processing of visa applications usually takes up to 15 days; but it can sometimes hold up to 60 days, for instance, if additional inquiries are necessary.

The beautiful beaches, historical spaces, incredible arts, wide-varying galleries, artistic canal routes, and heavenly churches—Amsterdam is one of the impressive cities in the world. Although the city is dynamic, there is something beyond it that you should check out. You won't regret staying an extra couple of days in the Netherlands and Europe to explore its neighbors.


The fourth-largest in the Netherlands, and built almost 5000 years ago, Utrecht has bountiful cultural offerings. Except for the hordes of tourists, this city has been following the trails of Amsterdam. It has gorgeous canals, sidewalk cafes and ancient architecture.


Tucked in the most southern part of the country, at a 2.5-hour distance by train from Amsterdam, Maastricht boasts medieval architecture, Gothic-style church, old town, and vibrant cultural scene. Its proximity to Belgium and Germany makes it one interesting stopover.

The Hague

Located on the western coast of Netherlands, the Hague is the home to the Dutch royal family. Previously, it was an expanse of forest famous for hunting. Today, it hosts international organizations and peace conferences. You can stumble upon 30 theatres, more than 40 museums, seaside resorts, the largest collection of vintage cars, and prominent universities.


A 35-minute train trip from Amsterdam would take you to the world's largest harbor city Rotterdam. It has a 'modern' present backed by a tragic history. In World War II, the center of the city was destroyed. To see how it has grown and developed, visit the Maritime Museum. A view over the Maas river is inescapable.

Tasting the food is one of the perks of visiting a new city. Whether you are on the hunt for a Michelin-starred restaurant or casual cafes, cruise restaurants or stylish bars, rooftop dining or canal-side cocktails, Amsterdam has a lot of places to dine and drink. No matter what budget, dining style, favorite cuisine, and time of the day you're looking for, you'll find a perfect place to eat and relax here.

Dutch cuisine is mouth-watering. These savory to sweet options might not be a highlight of the tour but are worth seeking out. Bitterballen are deep-fried crispy meatballs, Dutch pancakes are topped with fruit, cream, and syrup and are thicker than French crêpes, croquettes are crunchy outside and smooth on the inside, stroopwafels are the sweetest bites, and Apple Pie tops most of the dessert menu here. Use those vending machines for instant quick-bites.

From hot, rich and comforting food in winter to sips and slurps by the beaches in summer, all tastes are catered for in the city's wide-ranging restaurants. For mini-breaks, head towards those breezy bistros, artsy coffee houses, and hot cholate spots.

And you can even tempt your taste buds with Amsterdam's annually held food festivals and bonanzas. Taste of Amsterdam, Chocoa Chocolate Festival, Rolling Kitchens, and Restaurant Week are few food fairs where you can satiate your taste buds.

Go out and discover from the favorite comfort food to unusual experiences in Amsterdam's gastronomical journey.

Part of the fun of visiting a new city and exploring a new culture is rejoicing in the multicultural and energetic festivals. From art shows to wine and food tours to week-long spectacles, painting the town red in Amsterdam is an experience unlike any other. No matter what time of the year it is, the variety of events and festivals held in the regime are broad and awe-inspiring.

The Amsterdam Light Festival returns every year in December and January to sparkle up the city, streets, and waterways as the international artists turn up to install the lavish system of countless lights. The same month sees Amsterdam's Dam Square filled with approximately 200,000 tulips on the National Tulip Day. Start relishing the Christmas joy from late November, as the city hosts the Christmas markets.

Another acclaimed extravaganza in the city is the Chinese New Year, which is quite a show with fireworks, dragon dances, and sumptuous food. The largest public event is the Amsterdam Gay Pride spanning for a week and including exhibitions, parades and various activities for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender. Enjoy the summers in the open-air theatre of Vondelpark, organized free for all ages.

Held every five years, Sail Amsterdam deserves huge appreciation. Around 20 large ships along with smaller sailboats and motorboats sail through the Amsterdam harbor. Amsterdam Bodypaint Art Event, Grachtenfestival, De Parade, Little Italy Taste & Travel, The Amsterdam Beer Festival are other in the list that could promise a jaw-dropping impression of the city.

While the morning is spent admiring its rich landscape, countryside, windmills, galleries, beaches and plethora of majestic attractions, Amsterdam's nightlife is equally startling. There are lively and enthusiastic venues, nightclubs, casinos, movie theatres, and dance festivals to impress every kind of taste. Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein are one of the city's grooving party hotspots. Dotted with coolest clubs you can hang out with friends and chat over your favorite drinks.

But there is much more than crawling to pubs and the coffeeshop culture. Take a look around the infamous Red Light District. Yes, you are right to assume that this is a place dedicated to sex workers, featuring window brothels. The place spruces up with boisterous bars and smokey coffeeshops. And without a doubt, this could sound awkward to the new tourists—but this provocative neighborhood entertains the guests with an array of activities. Wander around to see the city’s oldest building Oude Kerk, checkout museums based on various subjects, and devour pancakes and snacks at cafes and pubs.

Follow the magazines or newsletters which can update you about the weekly, on-going parties and DJ concerts you can attend. Well, the people here are fond of dance, and this could be observed by the fact that the dance festival season stretches from the beginning of summer through to the end of autumn.

Slip on your shopping shoes, load your wallet and hit the streets of Amsterdam. This Dutch city is a happening city for shoppers. From the open-air markets to high-end department stores, there is a retail fix for every kind of buyer. Trendy, modern, antique, branded, cheap, second-hand, whatever you look for could be found here. Whether you are out for browsing products or dropping some serious cash, there is an enticing range of products.

For all the upscale towners who look to buy something from the coveted brands like Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, DKNY, Mulberry, Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, head to the museum district, which has all brands lying within the distance of few blocks. The other areas famous for luxury shopping are De Bijenkorf, Magna Plaza tucked inside a historic building, and De Kalverpassage containing 45 shops. And if you want to have an off-beat shopping, flock to The Nine Streets intersecting the main canals and featuring fashionable jewelry, designer boutiques, vintage stores, and cozy cafes. The Spiegelkwartier has gradually emerged as the city's center for antiques and art. And if crowds don't bother you, there is no better deal than Kalverstraat.

Thriving with bicycle-happy locals, great canals, and cheery flower gardens, there is something for everyone in Amsterdam. There are plenty of things to do and see here in any weather and for anyone. Here are the best places


A 16-acre green retreat and the largest park in the city, Vondelpark invites both tourists and locals alike. People come here to bask in the afternoon sun, jog, do cycling, run, play sports, listen to music, have a picnic, or simply laze about in the grass. If you are lucky, you would be a part of an audience to a special impromptu show in the open theatre.


When you have little time on hands, take the chance to delve into Amsterdam’s major museums. There is no dearth of grand, classical museums, and one of the prominent names in it is Rijksmuseum. It has a huge collection of Dutch arts from the Golden Age.

Van Gogh Museum

Vincent Van Gogh was a 19th-century Dutch painter. Today his art invites 2 million visitors each year in this amazing museum. Besides his famous works as Sunflowers and The Potato Eaters, you can also discover paintings of his friends and influencers.

Anne Frank House

Dedicated to Jewish wartime diarist Anne Frank, this used to be a secret annex for her and her family during World War II. As you walk all through the museum you can see the traces and personal belongings of people who hid here. The exhibitions tell about Anne from the mouth of her well-wishers, authors, writers, and visitors.

Artis Zoo

One of the oldest zoos in Europe, Artis is a great place for a family day out. This is home to a range of wild animals, aquarium, a planetarium and Micropia (the only microbe museum in the world). You can get special tours, and also order a barbecue in advance.


Stroll around the popular neighborhood of Amsterdam which is packed with galleries, eateries, bars, shops and represents a cool vibe. If you have a thing for history, culture, and food, this is an amazing spot to hangout.

Canal Tour

Amsterdam is recognized for its charming canals. Although the city's bikes are iconic, the best way to explore the town is to hop on a cruise and sail along the canal. It is the most relaxed and sophisticated way to be touring and ticking off the landmarks.

Albert Cuyp Market

Love bargaining? This is a buzzing market that has flanked the street with an attractive range of food, clothes, knick-knacks, and souvenirs. And if shopping is not on your mind, it is also a great place to meander, soak and interact with locals.

Amsterdam is an exciting pack of punch. And to have the best of its experience, Rayna Tours offers you the well-curated packages and tours based on the budget, preferences, and duration. With a wide range of combo tours, excursions, and activities, choosing an ideal option becomes easier. For extensive support, our experienced team interacts with you and help you plan a perfect itinerary.

Whether your stay is for one day or a week or longer, we have got an Amsterdam package for you that fits right in your bill. The pre-defined tours are available for instant booking. But what makes our services top-notch is the benefit of customization. Our priority is to let you experience your dream tour. And thus, you can add an activity to the built package or pull out the option you aren't interested in. The team takes care of everything, from stays and sails to sightseeing and savoring. From us, comfort and convenience are bought at an affordable range without compromising on security and safety. Also, warm hospitality and professionalism come in handy with our services. Find us reliable as you go on reading our happy reviews and testimonials and how we handle the time of crisis.

Did you know that in 2020 Amsterdam's popularity is sought to skyrocket like never before? With more than 300 festivals celebrated all over the year, the entire social calendar is packed. Its hospitable weather, outdoor adventure, and amazing sightseeing let you have fun in rainy summers and windy winters.


One of the best time to be in Amsterdam are the spring months of March, April, and May. The climate is pretty, the crowd is less and days are longer. Mid-April is the alluring tulip season when you have the chance of witnessing these colorful blooms across the city. The city spruces up with color, crowd, and festivities, as the three-day-long National Festival King’s Day (Koningsdag) is celebrated on April 27th.


August is the hottest month in Amsterdam with an average temperature of 16.95°C and not rising above 24°C, making it the best month to dip in the gorgeous waters of the city, swim and scuba dive. You would experience bright days with a slightly higher amount of precipitation. These summer months of June, July and August are the favorable duration for happy outdoors like in-line skating in Vondelpark, basking on cafe terraces, and alfresco dining in the night. A light jacket and umbrella would be handy.


Milder weather, fewer crowds with reasonable prices of hotels and attractions, autumn is another great time to be here. The cold weather could sneak around sometimes, so have a jacket along with you. In September, October, and November, unwind in cozy cafes and explore museums with ease.


If a traveler is running on a strict budget or aspires to have a peaceful vacation, the winter season is perfect. Along with the drop in the prices of accommodation and airfares, there is also a fall in the temperature lying between -1°C to 4°C. When the city is covered with snow, the Amsterdam Light Show illuminates and beautifies the canals and architecture. The ice rink pops outside the Rijksmuseum to let everyone skate and have fun. Enjoy the Christmas Market and don't forget a warm coat.

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