• 08/19/2023

Plan Your Amsterdam Bucket List With These Tips

A sunny day in Amsterdam

Revivalist is a reader-supported endeavor and our posts may contain affiliate links. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Amsterdam is both the most populous city in The Netherlands and its capital. Due to this location’s rich history, abundant cultural activities and beautiful sites, many people decide they must visit Amsterdam in their lifetimes. Here are some of the best ways to create an Amsterdam bucket list that leads to a memorable experience.

Plan to Visit Attractions That Fit With Interests

It’s easy to find lists of Amsterdam’s most recommended attractions. There’s no harm in adding a few of those to an itinerary. However, visitors will likely have even more satisfying experiences if they focus on doing things that match their interests. 

For example, an art lover might decide they can’t go to the city without checking out the Van Gogh Museum and marveling at the work of the famous Dutch painter. Animal lovers may understandably make beelines to De Poezenboot, also known as The Catboat. As the name suggests, it’s a floating shelter for cats. Although this attraction welcomes visitors at specific times, it also aims to get the felines adopted into suitable homes. 

Anyone creating an Amsterdam bucket list should prioritize going to attractions related to their interests and passions. They’re then most likely to spend their time in the most meaningful ways. 

Rank the Bucket List Entries

Many people could easily find dozens of things they want to do in Amsterdam. However, trying to do them all in a short time could turn an exciting adventure into a highly stressful experience. 

One of the first things to do is decide on the length of the Amsterdam trip. People’s itineraries will be much different depending on if they’re staying for 10 days versus three weeks. The budgets will be, too. One source suggests setting aside $2,255 for a one-week, solo Amsterdam trip. 

One easy and effective strategy is to rank the Amsterdam bucket list items in order of importance. For example, if someone could only go to five major attractions, which would those be, and why? Narrowing down the reasoning for prioritizing something on a bucket list is important for justifying a decision. 

Planning bucket-list trips doesn’t necessarily mean a person will only visit a destination once. But most travelers who do this try to make the most of the trip in case they never return. It’s always smart to stay in the moment as much as possible, taking in all the sights, sounds and smells of a new place. 

However, people can also capitalize on their trips by ranking the attractions on an Amsterdam bucket list. They should also consider categorizing the options by characteristics, such as things that are good to do on rainy days or activities best suited for when people feel especially energetic. Creating alternatives to pursue if the initial plans fall through is a practical way to build flexibility into a trip.

Be Adventurous But Respectful 

Ask someone to mention the first thing that comes to mind about Amsterdam, and many are likely to say something about legal cannabis or the red-light district. Indeed, those things attract many tourists to Amsterdam. Anyone thinking about checking those out should feel free to explore the options. However, they shouldn’t use the offerings as chances to engage in bad behavior that could disrupt others. 

A recently launched campaign targets visitors from the United Kingdom who enter specific search queries while planning their trips to the city. City officials started the “Stay Away” initiative to inform people of the fines and legal consequences that can result from one night gone wrong. The emphasized message is that people should not come to the city if they plan to cause trouble. 

Of course, such visitors are in the minority. Even so, people should make plans so their adventures don’t go off-track. For example, travelers who are excited to go to one of Amsterdam’s famous cannabis coffee shops may want to indulge carefully until they feel the extent of the effects. 

Another possibility is to go with someone who has decided not to smoke or try edibles. That person should be more able to monitor the situation and intervene by suggesting t it’s time to go home, if necessary. 

Consider Choosing Unusual Accommodations

Some people prefer the consistency that comes with staying in a chain hotel. However, an Amsterdam bucket list trip presents the perfect opportunity to choose unforgettable places to spend a night or two. The city has plenty of options to consider. People can stay in houseboats or inside a national monument, for example. 

Alternatively, think about only staying in out-of-the-ordinary accommodations for a couple of days during the overall trip. That approach could create more overall anticipation. It’s also a wonderful way to celebrate special occasions, such as birthdays or anniversaries. 

Some accommodations may sell out quickly. People should ideally book them well in advance of their trips. The other best possibility is to have some flexibility with dates. Being willing to book less-popular days can save money and make it easier to secure places in the most popular rooms. 

Enjoy the Rich Perspective of a Guided Tour

Apps and guidebooks are great, but it’s usually even better to go on at least one tour led by a well-informed local. Some of them can customize the stops based on preferences, and they’ll answer specific questions. 

One of the best things about a guided tour is that it’ll give additional context about the places visited. People can also choose excursions offered in various formats, such as by bike or on foot. 

Buying tickets to guided tours can also save time. That’s because they often allow travelers to skip the lines at the most popular attractions. If some of the most-frequented attractions are on your Amsterdam bucket list, see if you can book tours that let you go immediately inside rather than waiting in lines. 

Another possibility is to use things learned during guided tours as travel journal prompts. What did you learn during a particular day that was most surprising or interesting? Doing that can give you detailed memories to refer to while recalling your trip years later. 

Boldly Stray From the Norm

Every destination has specific attractions people generally say not to miss. But that doesn’t necessarily mean people have less-fulfilling experiences by skipping them. After all, a destination’s most well-known attractions are often crowded. Many people would rather go to less prominent, more peaceful places, especially if they want time for reflection and relaxation. 

The main thing to remember is to make the Amsterdam bucket list yours and not primarily based on what others suggest. Getting some recommendations is fine — and expected. But if you prefer to see and do things that are not among the most common diversions, that’s a valid way to personalize the trip. 

Subscribe to Our Weekly Newsletter

We would love to connect deeper with you!

Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.