Posted on: Apr 04, 2013

7 free and fun things to do in Amsterdam

Harmonia Coaching

1. Get lost in Albert Cuijp market

The market began trading in 1904, now over 300 stalls are lining both sides of the Albert Cuyp street in the neighbourhood of De Pijp. You can find anything you imagine, from fruit, vegetables, cheese, fish and spices to clothes, cosmetics and bedding. The prices are among the cheapest in Amsterdam. The market gets very crowded especially on a sunny day and Saturdays. Open from 9:30 am to about 5 pm, Monday to Saturday.

2. Sit, relax and watch the view

Go to the Magere Brug ("Skinny Bridge") over the Amstel river and see the Carré theater on one side and the Stopera (Ballet/Opera/City Hall) on the other and just stand for a few minutes to enjoy the view.

3. Sneak in the Red Light district

A bittersweet taste of Amsterdam, is the Red Light district with the notorious reputation. When you visit, you'll discover that the reality is a bit different. Is situated in a rough triangle formed by the Central Station and it's the oldest part of the city. Along its streets, the multi-cultural community of prostitutes, junkies, clerics, carpenters and cops freely intermingle, exhibiting a strange kind of social cosines.

4. Check out the art scene

Spui Square has a book market on Fridays and an art market ( http://www.artplein-spui.nl/ ) on Sundays where local artists show off their work, much of it affordably priced. It's a pretty, peaceful place to relax and browse for fresh art.

5. Lose yourself in a maze of canals

Criss-crossed by bridges, 165 canals encircle the city of Amsterdam and keep the sea at bay. Within the small roads and alleys you can find shops, galleries and authentic cafés. The most picturesque of canals is Prinsengracht, lined by shady trees and funky houseboats. Smaller canal areas that are worth visiting include the historic Brouwersgracht and retail area of Leliegracht.

6. Hang out in Vondelpark

The largest green space in Amsterdam, the park is named after its best-known poet Joost van den Vondel. Free concerts are given at the open-air theatre or in the summer at the park's bandstand. It is always full of people - enjoying a sunny day, dog-walking, jogging, roller-skating, listening to music, people-watching, or just lazing about in grass.

7. Go to a free concert

The Concertgebouw ( http://www.concertgebouw.nl/) and the Muziektheater ( http://www.het-muziektheater.nl/) have free 30-minute rehearsal concerts once a week (most weeks) from 12:30-1 p.m. You can hear the resident (occasionally guest) orchestra play at the Concertgebouw on Wednesday and the Muziektheater on Tuesday.

Photos by: @rgs, marcccy, Bogdan Migulski, Marco Raaphorst, mattmangum, Olivier Bruchez, Retinafunk