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Destination Guide: Amsterdam

Amsterdam on the canal
Allianz - Amsterdam on the canal

Amsterdam, like many other European destinations, is being loved to death by tourists. But it’s still possible to have a meaningful experience in this lovely and historic city! Our advice: book your trip from October to March, outside the high season. Skip the most touristy parts of the city (the Rijksmuseum, the red light district) and try to experience Amsterdam like the locals do. Rent a bike. Hit the flea markets. Walk along the water and try to decide where you’d rather live: in an elegant canal house or a gently bobbing houseboat?

In this five-minute travel guide, we’ll suggest some of the very best places to see, stay and eat in Amsterdam.

3 Reasons to Buy Travel Insurance for Your Amsterdam Trip

People often ask, “Do I need travel insurance for Europe?” The answer is always yes — even if you’re traveling to a city that’s widely considered tourist-friendly, like Amsterdam. Here’s why.

  1. Travel insurance can safeguard your vacation expenses. Amsterdam is one of the most expensive cities to visit in Europe, so you may be spending a lot on your vacation.1 Don’t risk losing that investment! Travel insurance with trip cancellation benefits can reimburse you for your prepaid, non-refundable trip costs if you must cancel your trip for a covered reason.
  2. Travel insurance can help you in an emergency. While violent crime is rare in Amsterdam, the U.S. Department of State advises tourists that petty theft and pickpocketing are common in tourist areas, markets, train stations and airports. There’s also an increased risk of terrorist attacks in the Netherlands.2 If you’re the victim of a crime, or if you lose your passport, call our 24-Hour Hotline Assistance for expert help in a hurry.
  3. Emergency medical benefits are crucial. Medicare does not provide coverage in other countries, and most hospitals overseas require cash payments up front.3 Travel insurance with emergency medical benefits and emergency medical transportation benefits can ensure you receive appropriate care.

What’s the best travel insurance plan for the Netherlands? Our most popular plan is OneTrip Prime, which includes a broad array of benefits and also covers kids 17 and under for free when traveling with a parent or grandparent (not available on policies issued to Pennsylvania residents). If you travel frequently, whether in the U.S. or overseas, an AllTrips annual travel insurance plan might be your best bet. To find the right plan, get a quote!

3 of the Best Things to Do in Amsterdam

  1. Learn about the Dutch resistance in WWII. An alternative to the always-crowded Anne Frank House, the Verzets Resistance Museum tells the inspiring story of those who fought back against the Nazi occupation in World War II. Among the exhibits is a hollow chessboard used to smuggle documents and a farewell letter from the condemned publisher of an underground newspaper.
  2. Cruise the canals. The best way to see Amsterdam’s iconic townhouses and charming houseboats is from the water. Not all cruise operators are the same; some have pre-recorded narration, while others offer live guides, private tours or meals on board.
  3. Seek treasure in the street markets. Albert Cuyp, the largest day market in Europe, has more than 250 stands selling jewelry, flowers, clothing, artwork, and snacks from raw herring to sweet stroopwafel. Bargain-hunters will love the daily flea market on the Waterlooplein.

3 Boutique Hotels in Amsterdam

Looking for serene luxury? The Dylan welcomes guests with a team of Les Clefs d’Or concierges and an ideal location in the Nine Streets shopping district. The rooms include thoughtful touches like Bose sound systems, James Heeley bath products and 24-hour room service.

Immerse yourself in history at the Seven Bridges Hotel, a boutique property in a 300-year-old canal house. The hotel is furnished with antiques, and you can request breakfast in your room, to be served on fine china. All this luxury isn’t as expensive as you’d imagine; rooms start at under 100 euros per night.

For travelers on a budget, Cocomama is one of the best boutique hostels in Amsterdam. There’s a range of rooms, from private doubles to 6-bed dorms; a fresh, free breakfast served daily; friendly staff and a resident cat named Joop.

3 of the Best Places to Eat in Amsterdam

The Dutch are justly famous for their floppy, crepe-like pancakes. At the wildly popular Pancake Bakery, you can order them any way you like: sweet (with banana, apple, peach, chocolate or syrup) or savory (with chicken, cheese, salmon, veggies, beans, bacon, and even spicy curry).

How about lunch? For delectable tastes of all that the city has to offer, one of the best places to eat in Amsterdam is De Foodhallen, a vast food hall. There you’ll find Dutch classics like sausages and bitterballen meatballs, as well as sushi, dim sum, tacos and more.  

If you’re hoping for an unforgettable fine-dining experience, consider Restaurant Vermeer in the NH Collection Barbizon Palace hotel. Chef Christopher Naylor serves an ever-changing tasting menu inspired by the fresh produce he finds. Guests praise the wine list, the service, and the unpretentious yet gorgeously composed dishes.

Wherever your next adventure takes you, be sure to protect yourself with travel insurance. There’s a plan for every budget and every destination. See your options here.

What Do I Need to Travel to Amsterdam?

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Jun 04, 2019