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In a few days I'm flying to Amsterdam. We will spend there a fun weekend as I repeatedly mentioned in previous questions. But nevertheless a little bit of sightseeing is also necessary. I don't know a lot about Amsterdam, so I'm looking forward for typical sightseeing suggestions. So far, I have only one point on my list, the "Anne Frank Huis".

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If you're like most people then see the prostitutes in their windows and go to a coffee shop that doesn't sell coffee but does sell marijuana... If you're not like most people then add more detail to the question. How different from Anne Frank's house are you still interested in? –  hippietrail Mar 5 '13 at 8:12
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Definitely plan for strolls along the canals, and possibly a canal tour.

Amsterdam has many major art museums, and I recommend visiting at least some of them, even if you're not generally fond of staring at paintings (I'm not). The two most important ones are the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum (they are practically next door to each other, on the Museumplein), then possibly Rembrandt's house. Also consider the Hermitage Amsterdam, which shows collections from the Hermitage Museum, rotating every few months. If you're into modern art, don't miss the Stedelijk, normally also on the Museumplein but currently closed with its collections travelling from temporary location to temporary location.

If you're interested in history, apart from Anne Frank's house (whose value is more as a memento than to see unique artifacts or presentations), the major museums are the Amsterdam (history) Museum, the National Maritime Museum (Het Scheepvaartmuseum), and perhaps the Jewish Historical Museum. Also consider the Palace and the major churches and the Portuguese Synagogue (worth at least a quick visit). Somewhat lesser known, but definitely interesting, is the Tropenmuseum, a large ethnological museum (as it is located somewhat off the beaten path, you may not be able to fit it into a three-day visit).

For the young and hip crowd, Amsterdam also has some less conventional places to visit. You can tour the old Heineken brewery just south of the central district. Depending on your tastes, you might visit the Hash, Marihuana and Hemp Museum, the Tattoo Museum, the Torture Museum, the Eroticism Museum, or the Sex Museum.

Given your posting history, I guess you'll want to have dinner in the station/Dam area then head east into the main red light district (worth a visit even if you aren't interested in the wares).

I very strongly recommend getting a museum pass. Partly because you won't have any qualms visiting a minor museum for only half an hour, but most importantly because the major museums can have very long queues, which you can completely bypass if you have free entry. Some museums now allow you to buy tickets online in advance, but not all, and this requires planning. For up to three days in Amsterdam, get the I Amsterdam Card, which includes free transportation on board the trams (and buses and metro) and free entrance to most major and many minor museums. For a longer stay in the Netherlands, get the Museumkaart¹, which grants free entrance to all public museums (which is most of them) in the whole country, and purchase transportation separately. There's also the Holland Pass, which may concievably be worth it in odd circumstances. You can buy the tourist passes (but not the Museumkaart) at the tourist office outside the central station (only until 18:00 on Friday and Saturday, 17:00 otherwise), at the Schiphol airport, in the participating museums (tip: if you're on the Museumplein, the Diamond Museum is just opposite the Rijksmuseum on the Van Gogh Museum side, and there's hardly ever a queue) and other locations.

Depending on your tastes, you'll either mostly travel on foot and in trams, or cycle (there are plenty of bicycle rental places).

Finally, as Amsterdam has many things to offer and you won't have time to see them all, I recommend getting a guidebook on paper (or e-book) and planning your stay.

¹ For some reason, many guidebooks don't mention the Museumkaart, even though it is good value if you're spending more than a week-end in the country. Although the website is in Dutch, the card is not reserved to residents.

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not sure if it's still the case, but the Heineken old brewery used to be available for prearranged tours by groups only. –  jwenting Feb 6 '13 at 9:38
    
Did you get a museum card as a non-resident? It's true that it says nowhere that you cannot get one but it seems designed for residents as it's actually a subscription, automatically extended every year. How does it work at the end of the year? –  Relaxed May 17 '13 at 23:03
    
@Annoyed The subscription is optional. I've never tried to buy the card online and have it mailed to me, only bought it in person (which carries a €5 surcharge). –  Gilles May 17 '13 at 23:08
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Amsterdam is a relative small city, you can basically tour around for just 1 day.

  1. Van Gogh Museum

    Paulus Potterstraat 7, 1071 CX Amsterdam, Netherlands This 4 storey building contains largest collection from Dutch artist, Van Gogh. A pre-recorded guide can be rented for around 10 euros.

    enter image description here

  2. Nemo Museum enter image description here A science museum. Suitable for children and the young. Ticket is around € 13,50 per person. Opens Tuesday to Sunday from 10 AM to 5 PM. (Closed in Monday)

  3. Reypenaer Cheese Tasting Rooms

    Singel 182-Huis | Amsterdam, Amsterdam 1015 AJ

    a place where you can taste various Cheese from Netherland

  4. Saint Nicholas Church

    Prins Hendrikkade 73, Amsterdam, The Netherlands The biggest church in Amsterdam. Nicholas

  5. Dinner/Winetasting ship tour along the canal enter image description here List of tour can be found in The Aviator

  6. Anne Frank Museum

    enter image description here

    It's actually a small building. The place where Anne Frank wrote her diary during World War 2. The diary is one of the best selling books of all time, placed third just after the Bible and Harry Potter.

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Amsterdam has much to offer. When I lived there, I always took visiting friends on a boat trip through the canals. In about 1 hour you get a nice overview over the city.

You could also consider the "5 hours in Amsterdam question on this forum.

You already found the "Anna frank huis", so I guess you already have some travelguides.

If you are looking for something odd and the weather permits, you could consider renting a bicycle and go to Marken Island. If you exit the city on the Schellingwouderbrug, and you follow the waterside, you have a very nice typical dutch scenery. Also you can experience the sensation of the land being below the waterline.

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It will depend on the time of year obviously but the easiest thing to do is just to rent a bike and bike around.

  • On saturdays there is a very lovely food market in the northern part of the Jordaan area (called the Noordermarkt).
  • If you want to go to the van Gogh museum I insist you go early. Same for the Anne Frank (although Anne Frank was disappointing for me). The waiting line becomes VERY long VERY fast.
  • You may want to skip the vondelpark. It is the biggest park in Amsterdam for sure but it is also very very crowded. I may recommend you to go to the Safati park, which also has a very nice foodmarket next to it.
  • Beer tasting while getting a cheese platter is a thing here. Here's a list of places I can really recommend: de bekeerde suster (the best), skek, irish pub at marie heineken square, katoen or cafe gollum.
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The above posts cover a lot, but I would also recommend venturing outside of Amsterdam into the countryside - there are some amazing sites to see (like the traditional windmills Holland is known for!) Check out this tour which is my very favourite, but would probably work best if you are going during the warmer months: Aside from that, a dinner cruise on a canal boat definitely does credit to night time Amsterdam - the canals and bridges are lit up and the spectacle is mesmerizing. Hope you have a great time!

NOTE poster is affiliated with the website linked - it's their website

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Welcome to our site. As per our faq, promoting your own website is frowned on without specifically stating your affiliation. Please do so in future! I've updated your post accordingly. –  Mark Mayo Feb 7 '13 at 8:00
    
such a tour is indeed a good idea, but book locally and check out the different companies offering them (there are several clustered around the central railway station). –  jwenting Mar 4 '13 at 7:15
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