As the pint-sized capital of The Netherlands, Amsterdam is not a massive metropolis in the fashion of London or New York – and most of the major attractions are walkable – but nevertheless an Amsterdam hop on hop off tour on an open-top bus is the ideal way to great to know the layout of the city and to pinpoint its treasures.
Lasting an hour, a Amsterdam hop on hop off tours take in nine stops, including Centraal Station (for Science Center NEMO, Red Light District), the Westerkerk (Anne Frank Huis, Jordaan), Museumplein (Coster Diamonds, Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum), and Waterlooplein (Jewish Historical Museum, Rembrandt House, Hermitage Amsterdam). There are only 30-minute intervals between departures, so if you miss one bus, just leap on the next.
Tickets are valid for 24 hours after first use, so you don’t even have to complete the loop in one go; just jump off at any stop and simply pick up the service when you’re done sightseeing. There’s no pressure and no time limit so create your own sightseeing schedule. Alternatively stay on the bus for the full 60 minutes to see all the sights and listen to the multi-lingual audio-guide before cherry picking the attractions you want to return to.
This being Amsterdam, a city riven with more canals than Venice, it also has a hop-on, hop-off canal bus service, with stops around the canal network from the NEMO Science Center on the IJ in the north down to major museums in the Museumplein. This way you’re in pole position to admire close up the façades of the vast mansions of the Canal Ring (Herengracht, Prinsengracht, and Keizersgracht). This can also be combined with the bus tour to cover all bases.
Tip: Booking online enables you to jump the lines at extremely popular venues like the Anne Frank Huis and the Van Gogh Museum.
Contributed by Sasha Heseltine