Why visit Amsterdam? 12 Honest reasons

If you are reading this, you might be looking for reasons to visit Amsterdam. The answer can be short as in “because”. But here are 12 honest reasons to visit Amsterdam. If this destination was not yet on your list, you might want to add it after reading this. After going to Amsterdam, seeing and experiencing a lot ourselves, but also talking with people we’ve met we came with these reasons to visit Amsterdam. There is a separate story on what to do in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is progressive

Amsterdam is progressive and multicultural

By the time of writing it’s 2020. What do we mean by “it’s 2020”? It means the future was already many years ago in Amsterdam. Despite that, the city has an old and charming look (actually another reason), it is very progressive in the state of mind. The tolerance towards marijuana and hashish for example. Where most places would not even think about this subject since it’s taboo, Amsterdam tolerated it.

Another subject of Taboo in many places: LGBT. Amsterdam has 2 popular Pride events (previously known as Gay Pride) where people from all over the world, straight and whatever preference would come and just walk in the city, venture the canals and make a big party. This has been going on for years.


With 176 different nationalities living in Amsterdam, it makes it the most multi-cultural city to live and be in the world. (source, dutchamsterdam.nl) By visiting Amsterdam you get to experience parts of other cultures as well. You can, for example, eat excellent Indonesian food here and it doesn’t stop there. You can visit the Chinese area near Amsterdam Central where you can find the best Chinese restaurants. There are so many restaurants and cuisines available with tastes from all over the world.

Cycling capital

Bicycle in Amsterdam
Cycling is very popular in Amsterdam

One of the (fun) things to do in Amsterdam is cycling. Amsterdam has a lot of people cycle to go to work, class, dates or to free your mind. In Amsterdam, you have most of the time your own cycling lane and are protected with many laws, which makes other participants in the traffic pay extra attention to cyclers. This does not mean however that you can be reckless. Please don’t. As a participant in traffic, you should also be paying attention. It can be challenging at times since there are busses, trams, pedestrians, cars and other cyclers around you. For a lot of people, it’s fun and adventurous to discover Amsterdam by bicycle.

Restaurants catering to every kind of tourist

If you are a picky eater, you will find comfort in Amsterdam. There are more than 1000 different restaurants for different types of budget, mood and diet restriction. So being a picky eater (or not) won’t be a reason not to go. The food varies but you can find almost any cultural food from any place, and there is also plenty of vegan/vegetarian nowadays. If you don’t like to eat at restaurants, there are enough supermarkets (mainly Albert Heijn) to buy your food which you can stock up. This is cheaper so for rainy days this might be an excellent way of saving money.

Party and Nightlife

reason to visit amsterdam. Big Party
Party in Amsterdam

There is a lot of nightlife in Amsterdam, especially in the weekend. Although it stops around 4 am (abruptly), you can dance your heart out, sing along with the song, or go to a festival and party several days straight. The people of Amsterdam know how to make a well-organized party. If you are not interested in the party scene the nightlife is also interesting. You can just stroll through the city at night and see the vibrant nightlife come in to being.

Arts, History, Culture, and Museums

Nemo Science museum Amsterdam
Nemo Museum

Yes, culture is being mentioned again. But did you know that Amsterdam has about 75 museums? There are so many things to see, learn and visit. Be it historical, or science, there is a museum that you like. TaleTravels covered 20 best Museums of Amsterdam. The museums target young and old, even the ones with arts dating back several hundred years ago. The great thing is, that the tours are available in multiple languages. They make it well worth it and fun to visit the museums.

It’s always a good time to visit Amsterdam

Amsterdam has 4 different seasons, and most of the time it would even rain (except summer the high season). Despite the weather, there are always seasonal bound things to do. Some would come just to this worldly place for the winter. More about this is covered in When to visit Amsterdam. Any season is a good time to visit Amsterdam, even during the winter, because it’s less crowded and cheaper hotels. If you come for the flowers, that’s in spring and for a party that’s the summer. Culture and sightseeing are great all year around. Sometimes it could rain for several days so keep that in mind that you dress appropriately for the season.

Canals of Amsterdam

Amsterdam Canals

The Canals are recognized by UNESCO for its historical and cultural value. The great thing is you can take a boat tour and learn directly more about culture, history, function about the canals. TaleTravels covered 10 best boat companies for canal cruising for you. Taking a tour via the boat allows you to see a lot of highlights of the city, and during the winter there is a chance that you can see the Amsterdam Light Festival. A bonus! but it might be colder at that moment, so dress well but it’s worth it.

Romantic getaway or honeymoon

Have you thought about having a romantic getaway in Amsterdam? Or even now you might be thinking about having a honeymoon there. Just for the sake of romance, there are a lot of romantic things for couples to do in Amsterdam. Dine at the skyline of Amsterdam at a 2-star Michelin restaurant. Or take a private canal tour on a romantic boat. Amsterdam has the right ambiance, atmosphere when it comes to romance. The best hotels are all in the center and some come even with butler service. So prepare for a lush and adventurous honeymoon, Amsterdam is a perfect choice.

A destination for all kinds of travelers

Are you a solo backpacker? Or maybe a couple? It doesn’t really matter because Amsterdam is great for everyone. Families with children as well. Plenty of things to do and see for all ages, young and old. The accommodations can be cheap to very expensive as well. Hostels for those in need of a cheap place to stay. Or you can take a hotel outside of the ring of Amsterdam, almost everything will be cheaper here. Inside the city center is where the prices are going up.

Suggested read: How to get around in Amsterdam

Short or Long vacations

Maybe you are planning a Europe trip! Amsterdam makes a great stop for several days’ vacation. It will be a busy vacation with lots of sightseeing packed in a few days, but then you can go to your next destination of your Eurotrip. Perhaps Brussel, Paris or going to Cologne!

For longer stays Amsterdam is also great, you can take it easier and also unwind a little bit more then. This way you don’t have to jampack all the activities onto each other. The advantage of a longer stay is that you can also visit neighboring cities/places like Zaanse Schans for the cheesemaking.

Cross it from your bucket list after visiting

Tulips in a bucket Amsterdam. Bucket list Amsterdam
tulips in a bucket

Many people have Amsterdam as a vacation destination. So for the 12th reason, you can finally cross this destination from your bucket list if you have visited. There is a reason why this is on your list right? And if it’s not on your list yet, it’s because you are about to add it right? Well, in any case, Amsterdam is a great place to visit and I hope this has helped you.

Summary: yes you should go

So with twelve honest reasons to visit Amsterdam, you should be convinced. Most people are already convinced with one reason to visit Amsterdam. If you are not convinced yet I suggest reading some of the articles about Amsterdam on this website. There is a lot going on in this lively city. After writing this story, I think we’ll go back here soon.

Have you visited Amsterdam? what were your reasons? Leave a comment and I’ll answer/reply.

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