A week in Amsterdam

by Tanja

So here you have it. A list of things to do in Amsterdam on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The suggestions include where to eat, neighborhoods to see, villages to bike to, areas to shop, bars to listen to music to, clubs to dance and places to have dinner, lunch and to eat your favorite Dutch apple pie!

Things to do in Amsterdam on Monday

If you are looking for things to do on Monday in Amsterdam, be aware that shops open later than on other days, at around 13.00 (1 pm) as well as museums. Many smaller museums in Amsterdam are closed on Monday. This means that the large Amsterdam museums that do open on Monday, are busier. It’s best to stay away from the museum if you can.

Noordermarkt, a vintage market in Amsterdam

Things to do in Amsterdam
Things to do on Monday morning: hit the Noordermarkt.

Monday morning there is the only option for things to do because attending the Monday morning Noordermarkt market is a must-do in Amsterdam. The market is located in the Jordaan Quarter.

The best part of the market takes place around the church Noorderkerk. Here you will find the best in vintage clothing and vintage shoes, as well as new clothes. There’s also a lot of antiques and curiosities.

The market stands run all the way up the Westerstraat. This part is the traditional textile market, for obvious reasons. Your chance to get some buttons and fabrics.

The Amsterdam Noordermarket is only there in the morning, from 9.00 to 13.00. Come early, because, on nice weather days, it can get quite busy. After the market, you will have homemade apple pie in one of the many surrounding cafés, which are all good and nice. The Jordaan is a lovely district to wander around, take a picture of the nice houses.

What to do on Monday night in Amsterdam

For disco, boogie, funk, and house, you go to Disco Dolly, where the DJ actually still has vinyl on the decks and the entertaining (young students, but everyone fits in) crowd is good for the party almost every night of the week. Voetboogsteeg (near Spui).

2. Things to do in Amsterdam on Tuesday

Out of curiosity, touring the red light district is probably one of the first things you did when you arrived in Amsterdam. It’s always safe and busy and at night the red lights certainly have their charm. Remember to look upwards in the Amsterdam Red light district, though I understand it’s hard to resist the tempting ladies trying to haul you in.

A visit to the Amsterdam Red light district

Oude Kerk in the Amsterdam Red Light District
Oude Kerk in the Amsterdam Red Light District

Because the Red light district is actually the oldest neighborhood of Amsterdam. Many of the characteristic façades have been kept in good condition. The gobbled stones, the small bridges, the Old Church, it’s all on your list of things to see when you visit Amsterdam.

Try the Museum Our Lord in the Attic if you want to see a wonderful old 17th century Amsterdam house with the interior intact. There is a spectacular hidden church in the attic!

Tour guided by a homeless person

If you want to understand the background of this strange combination of religion and prostitution and the fame and glory of Amsterdam during the Golden Century, when the Dutch ruled the waves, I advise you to take a good (paid) tour. ( I do tours!)

Or try something different and let a homeless person be your guide to see the city from a whole different perspective.

Amsterdam Chinatown

The Zeedijk is also Amsterdam’s Chinatown, so getting good and cheap food is easy to get by in this street. For breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you’re sorted any day of the week here.

The Zeedijk has turned very gay-friendly and new gay bars keep opening here if that’s what you’re looking for. The Warmoesstraat used to be a bit dodgy but has now some really wonderful shops with biological bread and such. There is a cool place where you can taste chocolate.

Amsterdam chinatown
View on Nieuwmarkt from Zeedijk, Amsterdam Zeedijk

Live music all night long

At night, if you like live music, try The Last Waterhole or blues café Maloe Melo or any of the live jazz bars in Amsterdam and finish the night off at Bourbon Street. All of these are located near Leidseplein, have live music every night, are free of entrance, and are open every night, till late. Can’t go wrong there on any day of the week really.

3. Things to do on Wednesday in Amsterdam

So, curiosity led you into an Amsterdam coffee shop and you saw the whores at Amsterdam’s red-light district, and now you are ready to explore a little bit more of Amsterdam. Why not try the East?

Explore Amsterdam East

From Nieuwmarkt or Waterlooplein, just walk east, right into the heart of the Jewish Quarter A ticket sold at the Amsterdam Jewish Museum gets you also into the Children’s Museum, the Portuguese Synagogue and the Dutch Theatre. That’ll keep you busy for the morning.

Amsterdam Portugese Synagoge
Synagogue at Amsterdam Jewish Quarter

Amsterdam East is also called Plantage. It’s a beautiful 19th-century area, with broad avenues and a lots of green. There are some nice restaurants in the main street Plantage Middenlaan.

Here you will find also the Hortus Botanicus, the Amsterdam botanical gardens. The hortus also has an impressive greenhouse with tropical plants. With kids, you can spend some time in Amsterdam Zoo Artis.

You can even go deeper into Amsterdam East. Either walk all the way up the Plantage Middenlaan, at the end of which you cross the water twice (pass the old gate) and there, the enormous building of the Tropical Museum appears.

The entrance of the Tropenmuseum is around to your left of the building. In the back, you will find an entrance to the Oosterpark, a really wonderful park and good for a picknick in nice weather.

Movie & dinner

For dinner, why not try a movie and dinner at one of Amsterdam’s art film houses? I’m sure there must be something playing you like and with a film and dinner at one spot, you are set for the night.

Irish music @ Mulligans

If you prefer to stay in the centre and just hang ot with the tourist, while listening to some live Irish music while you sip on a beer, go to Mulligans on the Amstel for the Open Irish Sessions. (Wednesday from 19.00, Thursday 21.30, Friday and Saturday 22.00).

4. Things to do on Thursday in Amsterdam

If you forgot to go to the Noordermarkt on Monday, or you have only just arrived in Amsterdam and you are looking for things to do on Thursday, you might wanna try one of the other daily markets of Amsterdam. At the Albert Cuyp Market you can eat typical Dutch food like poffertjes (small pancakes) and hot stroopwaffles.

After wards, you might enjoy a walk around this neighbourhood, De Pijp. In the south side of de Pijp, there are some stunning social housing complexes from the 1920s.

Amsterdam School in De Pijp
Amsterdam school: Complex De Dageraad

Living room restaurant

For dinner, may I suggest you try one of the huiskamerrestaurants, or, in English, living room restaurants. You might have to make a reservation in advance. Read the blog about Living room restaurants for more info and addresses.

Thursday night, student’s night

Thursday it is shopping evening. The shops in Amsterdam are open until 21.00. Thursday in Amsterdam is also a good night to party. Because Thursday night is Student’s night.

A classic students party that has been going for years and years (when I was a student….) is Paradiso. Paradiso still does a popular student’s night every Thursday. Music played are the hit records of today.

Paradiso is a legendary club in Amsterdam that stages live music every night of the week. If it’s sold out, you can often get tickets for the ‘upstairs room’. Check out the Paradiso agenda. The other famed concert’s place in Amsterdam is Melkweg. Check out their agenda.

English speaking comedy

If music is not your style, maybe some English speaking comedy in Amsterdam will be fun for you?

5. Things to do on Friday in Amsterdam

If the weather is nice, you might enjoy a bike ride or walk along the canals of Amsterdam. Don’t get lost, but follow these directions to see the charming Western Islands, it’ll make you feel like you are in the Dutch countryside.

Dutch hanging bridge
Dutch hanging bridge at Western Islands, Amsterdam.

Take your bike on the ferry across the Northern IJ-waters, to the NDSM or to the North-East, to the small village of Durgerdam, it’s not far and at Durgerdam there is a charming little brown café waiting for you that serves homemade apple pie. Follow these directions for a great bike ride along the IJ-water. 

Things to do in Amsterdam: Bike ride to Ouderkerk aan de Amstel

Or bike down south, even easier. Just follow the river Amsterdam all the way down to Ouderkerk aan de Amstel and have lunch (or dinner) this charming village. Along the water in Ouderkerk there are some really fancy restaurants.

Cross the bridge and drive down to the right. There are two bars in this street. Have a beer with the locals and bike back. Or just take a nice walk in the centre of Amsterdam along with the new East architecture. Plan a side trip to Marken or Volendam, hit a Dutch beach or, in april, the tulip fields in bloom.

Friday nights at the Van Gogh Museum

Friday night is a good time to go see the Van Gogh Museum. You can not only see the works of this Dutch master, but the museum has a special night planned every Friday. There is a lecture or a workshop, a live band, or a tour, vj’s and a dj.

6. Things to do in Amsterdam on Saturday

Shopping in the city centre of Amsterdam is not recommended in Amsterdam on Saturday. The city is swamped with shoppers, not just locals and tourists, but also many locals.

Amsterdam 9 Streets

Instead, shop in the side streets of the Amsterdam canal belt in between Dam Square and the Jordaan. It’s full of quirky and cozy boutiques, selling stuff and fashion, from vintage to design. All set in the narrow streets with abundant chaos of outdoor terraces, lunchrooms, bars & bikes and trend-setting shoppers. The area is named 9 streets.

Lunch at the Amsterdam Food Halls

Or hop over to the Kinkerstraat and have lunch like all the hipsters in the latest craze, the Amsterdam Food Hall (De Hallen). Nice food and nice beer and nice wine and a cinema, all in the same old building!

For the Amsterdam nightlife, choose the Amsterdam club of your fancy. Like urban style, people & music? The Melkweg hosts Encore, Holland’s home of hip hop & R’nB.

7. Things to do in Amsterdam on Sunday

Check out the Amsterdam Calendar of Events list to see if there is some nice food market at the Westergasfabriek. You easily spend an entire day there and hang out at the adjoining park.


Things to do in Amsterdam on Sunday
Het Blauwe Theehuis (blue teahouse) in Vondelpark, Amsterdam.

In summer, the Vondelpark is a must to see and be seen. Of course, in summer, there are so many nice terraces and summertime hangouts and city beaches in Amsterdam.

Live jazz on Sunday

Sunday afternoon is best spent while listening to some lazy jazz. Or take the ferry to NDSM. This is where the locals go to enjoys live music and enjoy grand views.

For more things to do in Amsterdam, check the Amsterdam Events Calendar, the Amsterdam Music Festival calendar and keep posted on Facebook.com/whatsupwithamsterdam and Twitter.


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Leave a Comment


Michelle January 19, 2017 - 21:45

Hello, anything recommendation for a week end of Jan. Particularly non touristy things where the locals will be so we can experience some true culture? Cheers in advance, M

Jonathan Barker November 15, 2016 - 20:09

Any suggestions for a week during the winter? Over New Year’s Eve for instance.

Tanja December 9, 2016 - 13:25 Reply
Michael K July 31, 2015 - 12:00

This is a fabulous guide to the week in Amsterdam. I have discovered *some* of these characteristics of the days but putting it together like this is inspired!

Again, many thanks for your gifts!