What to Book in Advance When Visiting Amsterdam

Is Amsterdam on your bucket list? Well, it should be! However, this isn’t a city you can just pop into – you need to plan ahead. This is such a tourist hotspot that many of the attractions require advanced, online booking before you arrive (some up to weeks ahead of time). So if you’re planning a trip to Amsterdam, this is what you need to know before you go.

We’re going to look through some of the top sights in Amsterdam and I’ll tell you if it’s an attraction that needs attention ahead of time.

Anne Frank House: Yes

The Anne Frank House is the most popular attraction in Amsterdam. The book “Anne Frank’s Diary” depicts the life of a young Jewish girl during World War II, and you can go and visit the house she and her family were hiding in for years during the war. These tickets sell out 3+ weeks in advance. If you know the days you’re going, look online the month before so you can ensure you have a spot!

Cost: €10

Hours
1 November – 1 April:
daily from 09:00 to 19:00
Saturdays from 09:00 to 22:00
1 April – 1 November:
daily from 09:00 to 22:00

Buy tickets here

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Van Gogh Museum: Yes

The Van Gogh museum houses the largest collection of his works in the world. It also houses works from other artists who were inspired by Van Gogh. I loved the history I learned here, and knowing more about his life and his relationships, especially with his brother. Even if you have the Amsterdam City Card, you need to book this in advance. You can only buy tickets for this museum online, and you can only arrive within 15 minutes of your time slot, so it’s vital you plan accordingly. Book a time you know you can make.

Cost: €19

Hours:
Open daily from 9 am – 5 pm. On Fridays until 9 pm

Buy tickets here

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Canal Ride: No

There are many cruise companies in Amsterdam so you don’t need to book this ahead of time. There is no change in ticket price if you order at the docks, so this is a great option to simply arrive when you’re ready to go. However, if you want to book ahead of time you can. You can look into food cruises too!

Cost: Regular 1-hour cruises are usually under €15, but the extravagant cruises can get upwards of €70.

Hours: Daily, depending on each company.

You can look into more cruises here.

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ICEBAR: Yes

Source

This bar is unique because the temperature of the bar is -10°C! It’s so cold inside you get a coat and pair of gloves when you enter. You also get three free drink tokens with your ticket! I tried to arrive here and get in, but there was a waiting time of almost three hours, so you need to book in advance to avoid missing this cool attraction. You can be denied entrance altogether if you don’t have a reservation. Sometimes you can book same-day tickets, but it’s best to book at least the day before. You also need to arrive at the Icebar 20 minutes prior to your reservation.

Cost: €19.50

Hours:
Mon – Thu: 11:45 AM – 1:00 AM
Fri – Sat: 11:45 AM – 2:40 AM
Sun: 11:45 AM – 1:00 AM

You can buy tickets here.

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Rijksmuseum: No

This museum is all about the Netherlands history, centring around art from the Middle Ages to present day. Unless you’re going on a weekend or in high tourism season, you’ll be find purchasing your tickets at the museum. Just arrive earlier in the morning. However, just to be safe you can always book your tickets online ahead of time.

Cost: € 19.00

Hours: Open daily from 9am-5pm.

You can buy tickets here.

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IAmsterdam Sign: No

This red and white sign is extremely popular, and luckily for you it’s a free public statue! It’s just outside of the Rijksmuseum and you can come and go as you please. As you can see, people crowd around the sign and climb all over it! If you want a photo all to yourself, plan to get here very early in the morning.

Cost: €0

Hours: Open daily, no set hours

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Prostitution Museum: No

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The Museum of Prostitution does not require any advanced booking. You buy tickets right at the door and can walk through the entire museum. While it was busy when I went, it wasn’t too crowded however the rooms are small so you can feel rushed by other people trying to work their way through the museum. This is definitely something you’ll want to do in Amsterdam if you’re interested in learning more about the Red Light District. If you want to book tickets online ahead of time you can and you get a small discount.

Cost: €12.50

Hours: Open every day from 10:00 to 24:00

Buy your tickets here

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Heineken Experience: No

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The only advantage to booking this ticket online is getting a €3 discount on the museum. It’s a little pricey so it could be worth it! This is a self-guided museum and at the end you get two beers to enjoy.

Cost: €21

Hours:
Monday to Thursday – 10:30 till 19:30 (Last admission 17:30)
Friday to Sunday – 10:30 till 21:00 (Last admission 19:00)

Buy tickets here

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These are a few of the most popular things to do in Amsterdam, so to be on the safe side I would recommend purchasing tickets in advance, no matter what. Amsterdam is such a popular city that it won’t hurt to be prepared! You don’t want to arrive and miss out on things to do because its all booked up.

If you really want to make sure you can do everything, purchase an I Amsterdam City Card. This gets you into over 60 museums, it includes canal rides and you’ll feel better about your trip. This you can order ahead of time too!

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