Sensation's travel guide

There are a lot of places you could stay when coming to Amsterdam for Sensation. Whether you’ve decided to stay at the official Sensation hotel in Amsterdam-Oost, at a hotel conveniently at Schiphol, or directly in the heart of Amsterdam, the sights of the city are all within reach from all locations. If you’re hoping to combine your Sensation experience with an Amsterdam getaway, you’re in luck. We’ve compiled a list of things for you to see during your visit to make your getaway complete.

Tip: Wondering how to get between destinations by public transportation? Check to plan your travel throughout the city.

1. Go on an interactive audiovisual trip at AMAZE
Found in the Elementenstraat, an industrial nightclub spot which used to host techno parties, now hosts AMAZE, an immersive indoor light and sound experience. Lasting just over one hour, the ‘journey from head to heart’ takes you through seven areas spread across 3000 square meters filled with state-of-the-art technology in audiovisuals. The feeling of being at a festival, falling down a hole and escaping from reality, is the basis of this experience. The difference here is that shows at events are pre-programmed, where AMAZE visitors influence the show themselves. Sensors and cameras respond to behavior with sound, light, video, and other effects. Not to mention that AMAZE comes from the ID&T team, you know, the one behind Sensation, so you’re sure to expect a groundbreaking experience.

2. Get a panoramic rooftop view of the city at A'DAM Lookout
Are you dying to ride Europe’s highest swing, where you’ll dangle more than 100 meters over the edge of a tower? It might sound oddly specific, but you’ll find it in Amsterdam North at the A’DAM Lookout. And for those who don’t have the feint of heart, don’t fret, because the Lookout also offers an unparalleled panoramic view over Amsterdam in safety. Enter the A’DAM tower and its elevator, where you’ll be dazzled by a light show while you casually fly up 100 meters in 22 seconds. At the top you’ll find the sky deck, where you have a 360-degree view of beautiful Amsterdam and its port. Enjoy learning about the city through the interactive binoculars and free audio tours. If you’d like your adrenaline rush without hanging 100m over the building, you can even take a VR rollercoaster ride through Amsterdam. And if you want to enjoy the phenomenal view with drinks, breakfast, lunch, or dinner, you’ll be pleased to find the panorama rooftop bar and restaurant. Convinced yet? We’ll let you experience it for yourself.

3. Heineken Experience
While Heineken is now one of the three largest beer producers in the world, it all started more than 150 years ago as what was once a small brewery in Amsterdam. The original, first-built brewery was closed in 1988 as it could no longer meet the high demand. But that’s good news for the rest of us, because it means it’s possible to take a trip through the place that started it all. Learn about the story behind the star, the brewing process, heritage, wild innovations, and sponsoring in a guided tour lasting one and a half hour. You’ll even learn the best way to taste and enjoy a Heineken! Are you wondering if you get to drink a beer after being taught how to enjoy one? You’ll be happy to hear that your journey is rewarded with 2 Heinekens at the end of the tour. Can you taste it already? Get your taste buds ready because you can visit the Heineken Experience with a discount using the code [CODE].

4. Capture the culture at the museums and landmarks
There are so many museums and landmarks in Amsterdam that we can’t fit them in one list, so we’ll just recommend a few. The Museumplein is a square bordered with fantastic museums and situated between the Concertgebouw, one of the finest concert halls in the world, and the Rijksmuseum, the Dutch national museum dedicated to history and arts. At the Museumplein you’ll also find the Van Gogh museum and many more, and if you need a moment to process all the history, wander to the nearby Vondelpark for a stroll in Amsterdam’s largest municipal park. When you’re ready to jump back into taking in the history and culture, the list continues. From the Anne Frank house, Rembrandt House museum, or even the Kattenkabinet - the cat museum - your list of choices feels almost infinite.

5. Enjoy the canals in many different ways
If there’s one thing Amsterdam is known for, it’s the canals. Amsterdam has more than 100km of canals, which even surpasses Venice, and there are a lot of ways you can enjoy them. You certainly won’t miss them just simply by walking through the city. You can easily tour the canals by foot and take it all in by finding a seat along the water. If you want to get your sea legs, it’s possible to rent a rowboat or motorboat from multiple rental places for you and all your friends to cruise the canals at your own pace. Or maybe you prefer a boat tour through the canals? That’s also possible! There are again a large selection of tours which range from short trips in the sun to long evening cruises. You can even treat yourself to a combined canal cruise and dinner at sunset on the boat.

6. Find the perfect gift or get a bite at a street market
Again, the choices are on your side when it comes to our third topic: markets. Visit the Albert Cuyp Market, where you can get some Dutch street food and other unique things for cheap. At the Bloemenmarkt in the center you can visit the world’s only floating flower market and pick up various beautiful flowers and bouquets, or grab the obvious tulip bulbs for a gift. When you’re hungry from walking, hit up the Foodhallen, an indoor street food market where you can score cuisine from all over the world, from tacos to dim sum and from ribs to Italian. You can then venture out again to find various other markets, whether you’re looking for a flea market or antiques, souvenirs, or some snacks and desserts, you won’t be disappointed.

7. Let someone guide you through the city with a tour
We’ve mentioned canal tours, but if you’d prefer to tour the city on land, there are multiple tours, from private to free. These tours won’t skimp, even the free ones can cover 2.5 km and last over 2 hours! If you don’t feel like walking, you can also travel like the Dutch by taking a bike for a tour through the city. If you want to make up your own itinerary, you can also rent a bike and create your own route. For those who haven’t gotten enough of the history, you can take many tours, such as a tour to learn more about Anne Frank and the history of Amsterdam in WWII, or a tour through the many museums. For the foodies out there it’s also possible to get a taste of the Netherlands, from stroopwafels to bitterballen. Not to mention a wine or beer tour, such as the Heineken Experience.

8. Venture out on your own for windmills, cheese, the beach, and nature
Did you finish everything in our list and you’re ready to explore the area around Amsterdam? You can either take a bus or rent a bike for a ride through the countryside and escape the city. Wander a bit north and you’ll find the charming harbor towns Marken and Volendam, as well as the cheese town Edam. For the classic Dutch windmills, go to the Zaanse Schans where you’ll also find characteristic green wooden homes, mills, and barns. You can also find yourself going for a stroll along the beach when you go west to hit the coast at Zandvoort. This area is also surrounded by plenty of nature reserves, with the National Park Zuid-Kennemerland on the north and the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen on the south.

9. Get some retail therapy in the shopping streets
Are you arriving a bit early and want to get some shopping in to find the perfect white outfit? Or maybe you want to pick up a gift for someone? You definitely won’t have a problem getting some retail therapy in Amsterdam. At the 9 Straatjes you can find plenty of fashion options, along with galleries, gift shops, and plenty of boutiques from locally made ceramics to hand-crafted jewelry. If you get hungry or need a pick-me-up, you won’t struggle to find a cute café or restaurant terrace to take a breather in. Besides the 9 Straatjes there are also so many other shopping streets to get your retail fix, from the luxurious P.C. Hooftstraat to the charming Haarlemmerdijk, and everything in between.

10. Experience the nightlife
Amsterdam transforms into a different city at night. The Red Light District is one of Amsterdam’s most infamous areas, full of bars, red windows and coffee shops and is naturally a popular spot to visit. But there are also plenty of other venues to explore, such as the Leidesplein, an area where the bars and clubs offer something for everyone. The Rembrandtplein is another area offering some of Amsterdam’s great bars and clubs, where you’ll find the best gay clubs directly next door at the Reguliersdwarsstraat. Be it clubs and bars, comedy, live music, and/or theater, you’ll be experiencing what the city has to offer until the sun comes up. And if there’s one thing we can recommend, don’t forget to end the night with the ultimate drunk food to feed your soul, like a delicious kapsalon or a snack from FEBO.