Amsterdam: Know Before You Go

Looking for inspiration for your next European trip? Explore Amsterdam!  Known for its rich artistic heritage, thousands of beautiful canals and narrow gabled houses, the Dutch capital has something for all visitors. So why not experience this extraordinary city for yourself? Here, we tell you everything you need to know to plan a successful trip to Amsterdam, and how to get a Schengen visa.  


Holiday in Amsterdam - Must-See Places



These iconic sites make Amsterdam a must, with something for lovers of history, art and nature: 

Named for the poet Joost van den Vondel, Vondelpark is a haven of peace in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the city. Take a relaxed stroll or share a picnic surrounded by the expansive green areas, shady paths and calm lakes.  

Art lovers should be sure to visit the Rijksmuseum. Dedicated to the country's fine arts, crafts and history, this huge museum boasts a remarkable collection from the Dutch Golden Age (17th century). You can see works by great masters such as Rembrandt and Vermeer. 

The Van Gogh Museum transports you into the vibrant, tormented world of the famous Dutch post-impressionist artist. This largest collection of works by Vincent van Gogh is a captivating experience, including The Potato Eaters, The Sunflowers and The Sower. 

The Anne Frank House, on the banks of the Prinsengracht, is a museum dedicated to the young Jewish writer. It was in this historic location that Anne Frank and her family were forced into hiding from the Nazis for two years during the Second World War. Visitors can tour the secret annex in which they lived, plunging into the emotional depths of this dark period in history. 

The Amsterdam Begijnhof, where the beguines once lived, is one of the city's oldest inner courtyards.. Visitors love the peacefulness of this space dating from the Middle Ages, in stark contrast to the hustle and bustle of the city centre. Take a stroll, enjoy the serene atmosphere and spend some time in quiet contemplation. 

In the town Lisse, about 40 km from Amsterdam (accessible by public transport), you can explore Keukenhof Gardens. When spring arrives, this 32-hectare garden explodes in dazzling colors. Thousands of tulips, daffodils and other flowers create a living work of art, for a floral experience like no other. 

 The Best Time to Visit Amsterdam 


The best time to visit Amsterdam is spring. From mid-March to mid-June, the weather perfect for exploring the city, canals and green spaces, and you’ll be able to experience Amsterdam's festivals.  


Between mid-March and mid-May, you can attend the famous Tulip Festival. As millions of spring flowers bloom, including the famous Dutch tulips, there are floral events all over Holland. This is a great opportunity to combine your visit to Amsterdam with a visit to the blooming tulip fields and Keukenhof Gardens (late April).  

For total immersion in Dutch culture, plan your visit around King's Day, currently celebrated on April 27, the birthday of King Willem-Alexander. The festivities begin the day before with shows, parades, concerts, and more, and continue the following day. This event is a national holiday in Holland, and the Dutch are allowed to sell whatever they want in the streets at the Vrijmarkt ("free market"), a giant flea market that spreads joy throughout the capital. 

 Getting Around Amsterdam 

Walking is the best way to explore the city's picturesque streets and iconic canals. Amsterdam's historic district is relatively small, making it easy to explore the main places of interest on foot, such as the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank House.  


For a more local experience, cycling is popular in Amsterdam. The city, dubbed the "bicycle capital of the world", has an excellent network of cycling paths, a fun and efficient way to get around. Finally, boats are a great way to admire the city from the canals, for a different perspective.  


Which Visa for a Trip to Amsterdam?



As member of the Schengen Area, the Netherlands adheres to the short-stay visa policy of this area of free movement of people, meaning that foreign travelers from certain countries are subject to Schengen visa requirements. 


Are you a citizen of the European Union or Schengen Area (or Associated States)? No need for a Schengen visa. You can come to Amsterdam and the rest of the Netherlands, as well as all Schengen Area countries, with a national identity card or passport valid for the duration of your stay. 

Are you a citizen of a country outside the EU and Schengen Area? Depending on your nationality, you may need a visa to travel to the Netherlands and the rest of the Schengen Area, even for a short trip for tourism. See whether your country is on the Schengen visa-free list or not here.   




Do you need a short-stay Schengen visa to visit Amsterdam? Go to the Dutch consulate's website for your country of residence to find the information you will need and start your Schengen visa application. Please note: if you wish to visit several countries in the Schengen Area, you must specify this in your application.  


Once you have obtained your Schengen visa, be sure to keep your supporting documents with you, including your proof of insurance covering medical and hospital expenses for a minimum of €30,000. The border police may request them when you enter the Schengen Area.  


 Which Schengen Visa Insurance Should You Choose? 


Choose peace of mind for your Schengen visa application and when crossing the border with Schengen travel insurance policies from Europ Assistance.  


Starting at 3 euros, Europ Assistance's Schengen visa travel insurance covers you for medical expenses of up to €60,000 in the event of illness or accident, as well as additional coverage in all Member States of the Schengen Area and European Union (as well as the United Kingdom). 


Apply online and get your proof of insurance immediately, recognized and accepted by Schengen embassies and consulates worldwide.