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Things to do in Amsterdam for Couples (2024)

by Mandy
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Are you looking for some fun things to do in Amsterdam for couples? Or are you looking to tick off some fun bucket list activities? Then you have come to the right place! Amsterdam is known for its scenic canals, beautiful town houses, tulips, fun bike rides and pretty park strolls. But its also known for its “culture”. Dutch beer, “coffee shops”, the Red Light District and museums galore! This may sound like an unconventional couples weekend for some, but the point is there is something for everyone in this amazing city!

With so much to do, where do you start? Below is our bucket list of fun things to do in Amsterdam for couples, as tried and tested by us! Including everything from the main sights and bucket list activities, to some hidden gems.

1. Take a free walking tour

First on our list of fun things to do in Amsterdam is a free walking tour! It’s a fantastic way to learn more about the city and get your bearings – plus it’s free! (Unless you choose to tip your guide of course – which you should).

We booked with Freedam Tours. This was our first ever free walking tour, and we loved it! The tour covers the history of Amsterdam and some fun facts along the way! It lasts 2.5 hours and covers miles of the city centre’s iconic sights, such as De Wallen (the Red Light District), China Town, Begijnhof, the Singel Canal and Dam Square.

We found that the walking tour set us up perfectly for the rest of our trip, and in our opinion, is a great way to start your weekend trip!

2. Check out the museums

With over 75 museums, Amsterdam has the highest concentration of museums per sqm than anywhere else in the world! These range from art museums and canal boat museums, to sex museums and everything in-between. However, none are quite as iconic as the famous Rijksmuseum – the National Museum of the Netherlands. Located along Museumplein, the museum is home to over 8000 works of art and historic artefacts!

Also on Museumplein is the Van Gogh Museum, with the world’s largest collection of Van Gogh works of art and more. The museum is a wonderful tribute to the artist and his life. Alternatively, if modern, contemporary art is more your thing, then visit the Stedelijk Museum, also located on Museumplein.

3. Visit Anne Frank House

This isn’t something that immediately springs to mind when you think of “fun things to do in Amsterdam”, but a visit here should absolutely be on your Amsterdam bucket list.

For those not familiar with the history, Anne Frank and her family were a Jewish family who took refuge from the Nazi’s. They lived in hiding for 2 years in a secret attic during the Second World War, until they were eventually betrayed and found by the Nazi’s. They were all sent to concentration camps, with only Anne’s father, Otto Frank, being the family survivor. Anne was 15 when she died; her diary was discovered and published after her death. It is the most famous first-hand account of Jewish life during WWII.

The museum is a poignant tribute and memorial to the family’s life during this time. There are audio guides to walk you through each section of the building, eventually working your way to the very attic the family lived in hiding. Whilst a somber experience, it will certainly be a memorable and worthwhile experience.

Top tip: Make sure to buy your tickets online in advance, to avoid lengthy queues on the day!

4. Take a bike ride through the city

Amsterdam is pretty compact as far as cities go, with everything within easy cycling distance. With it’s pretty leafy canals, picturesque townhouses and festoon-lit bridges in the evening. Amsterdam is literally picture-perfect! Hiring a bike and exploring the city on 2 wheels should definitely be on your bucket list of activities! You will see all the well dressed locals each day dinging their bicycle bells on their way to work. So what better way to explore the city, than to do as the locals do?

Did you know? There are more bikes in Amsterdam than there are people! And apparently every year thousands of bikes are retrieved from the canals (oops!). Where else can you travel to in the world where this is a thing!?

5. Explore the Red Light District (De Wallen)

Amsterdam is known for its Red Light District. Featuring live sex performances, erotic shops and sex workers posing in rows of red windows. This may not be an obvious choice if you’re looking for things to do in Amsterdam for couples! You may also assume it will be cheap, tacky, and overly touristy. While it is some of those things, The Red Light District is actually a very misunderstood part of Amsterdam.

In 2000, Amsterdam legalised Prostitution, allowing the Dutch government to give sex workers more autonomy, reduce criminal activity, offer unions, and improve working conditions. Sex work is now seen as a profession. For those moving to Amsterdam to follow this line of work, they must register with the Chamber of Commerce with a hefty amount of savings in their bank too! Sex work may still feel taboo, but there is certainly less stigma now, and women can make a respectable career for themselves in this space.

If Amsterdam’s nightlife has peaked your curiosity, then you can go one step further and watch one of the many live sex shows in The Red Light District. This can include stripteases, peep shows, live couple sex, and even some audience interaction! So whatever you’re into, there’s lots of interesting things to do in Amsterdam for couples. Moulin Rouge is the most famous and iconic, followed by theatres such as Casa Rosso. We went to Casa Rosso and we have to say we were surprisingly entertained! Don’t knock it till you’ve tried it!

6. Take a private tour inside a sex workers room

This is our top hidden gem on our list of fun things to do in Amsterdam!

The Prostitute Information Centre (PIC) is a charity set up by a former sex worker, Mariska Majoor. PIC’s aim is to help society break stigma and barriers associated with sex work and prostitution. They sell books and work with the government on support and legislation for sex workers. But most interestingly, they also offer tours inside working sex rooms! This was a bucket list activity we never knew we needed!

PIC offer group tours, however only private tours give you access into the working rooms. A private tour costs €100 and lasts 2.5 – 3 hours. We cannot recommend this tour enough! It was easily the highlight of our trip and was incredibly educational and insightful.

During the tour we went behind the window to see what life is like in a real working sex room. This included the bed, in a room out of sight behind the window. There was also the communal kitchen and lounge areas, with interconnecting doors so all the women can hang out together between shifts. Our guide was really transparent with us and welcomed any and all questions, which we asked throughout the entirety of the tour.

things to do in amsterdam for couples - tour the red light district

7. Wander along Amsterdam’s canals (and why not stay in one?)

Referred to as the “Venice of the North”, Amsterdam has over 160 canals! This totals over 60 miles (100km), with over 1,700 bridges. Your choices for exploring are endless! Some of the prettiest spots are Singel (the inner ring of canals) or the Jordaan area, which is a pretty suburb filled with leafy canals, boutiques and cute cafes.

There are also over 2,500 houseboats in Amsterdam! So it makes sense that one of the best things to do in Amsterdam is to stay in one yourself! We stayed in the very lovely Houseboat Little Amstel, located south of the canal district, 30 minutes walk from the city centre. There’s nothing better than being gently rocked to sleep, and sharing breakfast with the neighbours (the ducks) first thing in the morning.

Top of your bucket list for fun things to do in Amsterdam for couples is to stay in houseboat on one of Amsterdam's famous canals!

8. Experience the Stroopwafel

A weekend away is all about indulging, right? Amsterdam is known for all manner of fried foods and goods, but one naughty treat you absolutely must try is a Stroopwafel. This is a thin, round waffle cookie, made from layers of sweet waffle, with a thin, gooey syrup filling.

Top tip: place the Stroopwafle on top of your mug of tea or coffee for a few minutes to soften up and warm up the syrup filling for an extra gooey treat. It’s delicious! You can get lots of different flavours and toppings, but in our opinion, the plain Stroopwafles are the best!

9. Visit one of Amsterdam’s many coffee shops

For first-timers, it’s worth noting that Amsterdam’s terminology can be quite confusing! A place where you can go to smoke weed legally is called a coffee shop. If you are genuinely looking for a place to just grab a cup of coffee then that’s called a café. Then finally, a local pub is called a brown café. Very confusing!

There are roughly over 160 coffee shops in Amsterdam, so you have more than enough choice if you’re looking to experience some Amsterdam “culture”!

You can do a lot of research about “which coffee shops are best for beginners?” “Which has the best atmosphere?” Or the “best range / choice available?” We personally recommend waiting until you’re in the city to see which coffee shop you most like the vibe of. We researched ahead of time and popped into a coffee shop that we had read loads about and which had really good reviews. However, the vibe was a bit “off” for us and Mandy had a bad experience. During our time in Amsterdam, we walked past many other coffee shops which looked more up our street. It’s important to be somewhere you feel yourself and most comfortable. We think had we gone off gut feel and atmosphere alone, we think we would have had a much better experience.

On our bucket list of fun things to do in Amsterdam for couples is to explore the city's beautiful canals, which Amsterdam is known for.

10. Sample some Geneva

Geneva / Jeneva (sometimes called Dutch Gin) is a juniper flavoured spirit. It’s most well known in the Netherlands, but some parts of Belgium, France and Germany drink it too. Similar to gin, it’s typically enjoyed neat, but you can mix it in cocktails. There are lots of tasting houses around Amsterdam where you can sample some Geneva yourself. We personally liked Wynand Fockink Proeflokaal and Spirits, just outside of the Red Light District.

If you’d like a bit more of an experience, then House of Bols is worth a visit. Not far from Museumplein, House of Bols offers an interactive tour, where you will learn about the history of Bols, the distillation process and the history of the Geneva drink.

The tour is a wild treat for your senses! It is a visually beautiful tour, with things to smell and taste along the way. After the tour you can enjoy a Geneva cocktail in the Mirror Bar, courtesy of the bartenders who will make you a drink based on your personal tastes. The tour is a lot of fun and offers something a little bit different to other distilleries and drink brands. House of Bols is also strangely under the radar. When we visited we had the whole place to ourselves!

House of Bols is a unique and fun activity to add to your list of things to do in Amsterdam for couples.

11. Stroll through the beautiful Vondelpark

Covering over 120 acres of beautiful green space, Vondelpark is Amsteram’s largest and most popular park. Just a short walk from Museumplein, the park has some beautiful cycling and walking routes, large lakes, and is a haven for wildlife. There are lots of cute bridges offering scenic views, plus picturesque cafes where you can people watch with a nice cuppa and enjoy the scenery.

12. Grab a drink at a windmill

Okay not exactly… But windmills and the Netherlands have always been bucket list activities for many, and Amsterdam is no exception to the rule.

Located in Amsterdam-Oost, the local brewery Brouwerij ‘t IJ is actually directly next to a windmill, called De Gooyer. The brewery offers organic blonde and dark beers, plus guided tours. Once a flour mill, De Gooyer is the tallest wooden mill in the Netherlands at 26.6m high and is the closest windmill to Amsterdam’s city centre. Unless you travel outside of the city to places like Zaanse Schans (about a 20 minute drive away), this is a quick and easy way to get a taste for those iconic Netherland windmills.

On our bucket list of fun things to do in Amsterdam for couples is to visit a brewery by a windmill! A unique experience in Amsterdam's city centre.

13. Head to A’dam Lookout for some rooftop views

Across the river from Amsterdam Centraal Station, via a free ferry (the F3), is the Amsterdam Tower (A’dam Toren), featuring a 360-degree observation deck on the top floor. At 100m high, A’dam Lookout offers unrivalled views across Amsterdam’s historic city centre, plus some of the northern suburbs.

The top floor offers panoramic views, plus Europe’s highest swing – “Over the Edge”. As you’ve probably guessed by the name, the swing is located right on the edge of the observation deck , and swings you out over the edge with a 100m drop below! Not an experience for the faint hearted! But it’s certainly something a bit different to add to your list of fun things to do in Amsterdam if you’re up for it!

If you’d rather enjoy the views with your feet firmly planted on the ground, then there is a restaurant and rooftop bar on the top floor too.

On our bucket list of fun things to do in Amsterdam for couples is the A'Dam Lookout, offering sky-high views across Amsterdam's city centre.

Get in touch

We hope you found this round-up of fun things to do in Amsterdam for couples helpful, and you’ve got some new bucket list ideas for your trip! If you’ve visited any of the sights we’ve suggested, please share your experiences! Or if there’s something missing that you’d recommend, feel free to share them in the comments below – we’d love to hear from you!

Also, if you found our blog helpful, check out our Insta @welovetravel.in and if you give us a follow don’t forget to say hey! ✌️

For more travel inspiration, fun things to do, and travel guides, check out our other posts below:

Things to do in Amsterdam for Couples

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