Best Amsterdam Travel Guides and Travel Books

Visiting Amsterdam can be more than a bit overwhelming. It is not just the hustle and bustle of a busy European city. There are lots of fellow tourists, things work differently than what we are used to and there is an immense number of different activities to choose from. With large crowds and too many options availabe, you will have to make choices. We highly recommend properly planning your visit to the Netherlands. The travel books and travel guides in this post are here to help you on your way. We have hand picked all of these books!

Amsterdam is one of Europe’s most famous destinations. It is also a city that has become known for overtourism. Being Dutch, and growing up just south of Amsterdam, I know the city very well. I have worked in Amsterdam for multiple years and ever since my first visit as a child, I have seen the city change. Tourists now rule the streets around the train station and there is too much going on to grasp for my let alone for regular tourists. If I would go to Amsterdam for multiple days now, even I would need a travel guide.

We are a big fan of Lonely Planet! We use Lonely Planet Travel Guides for basically every destination that we visit. This Lonely Planet Pocket Amsterdam is a smaller edition and is purely focused on the Dutch capital. The book comes with full colour maps, highlights, itineraries and what we like the most about the entire Lonely Planet series: reviews for eating, drinking, hidden gems and going out. All Lonely Planet books from the Pocket series are easy-to-use and -unsurprisingly- fit in your pocket. These books are small enough to handle with ease but big enough to contain all the essential tips and tricks for your perfect trip to Amsterdam. Lonely Planet also has a guide that covers the entire country or even the entire region: Lonely Planet Western Europe.

If you need a bit more than just the pocket edition, you can also go for the traditional Lonely Planet guide. This book comes with the colour maps, highlights and itineraries that we are used to from our favourite travel book brand. What is especially useful about Lonely Planet are the reviews for different budgets. The book covers all major areas of Amsterdam including the city center, the Red Light district and the up and coming regions that are just a bit away from the city center. Lonely Planet also has a guide that covers the entire country or even the entire region: Lonely Planet Western Europe.

When we travel, our Fitbit will register well beyond 20,000 to 30,000 steps per day. We are the kind of tourists that simply walk everywhere. Amsterdam is made for walking and this book by Moon, tells us exactly where to walk to. The book has different walking routes for each of Amsterdam’s neighbourhoods. The book comes with detailed maps, tips on where to eat and drink as well as smart ways to avoid crowds. The book is printed in a handy format so you can take it on your walks through the city.

Rick Steves is a famous American travel author and TV personality. Steves has published strong and useful travel books for many destinations in Europe. This travel guide for Amsterdam is most definitely not an exception. The book is written for travellers that stay a week or longer in Amsterdam. It includes Steves’ ‘strategic advice’ on how to best spend your time and money during your stay in the capital of the Netherlands. It also has an overview of top sights and hidden gems. Some of those tips even include leaving the lagoon for a quick trip just outside the city. Each book by Rick Steves also comes with a chapter on how to beat the crowds, skip the lines and avoid tourists traps, which we absolutely recommend reading upon. Although the book is written with an American audience in mind, it doesn’t matter where you are from, you will find this book both entertaining and useful.

There is also a pocket edition of this book.

Fodor’s Amsterdam: with the Best of the Netherlands is a travel guide for the Dutch capital but it offers just a little bit more. This book also has the main highlights of the rest of the country, including Haarlem, the Hague, Delft and Rotterdam. The book comes with a handy pull out map with top attractions that you can’t miss. Most importantly, the book has indispensable planning tools such as major attractions, top itineraries and dining recommendations.

By reading up on history of our travel destinations we can better understand the behaviour of those living in the places that we visit. Every place that we visit has its own unique history. Amsterdam has a long and rich history. This book, by famous Dutch historian and author Geert Mak, walks you through centuries of history about Amsterdam. On Amazon the publisher writes ‘In this fascinating examination of the city’s soul, part history, part travel guide, Geert Mak imaginatively recreates the lives of the early Amsterdammers, and traces Amsterdam’s progress from waterlogged settlement to a major financial center and thriving modern metropolis’.

In all our overviews of travel guides, we include a travel book that is made for children. This Amsterdam for Kids Travel Book is easy to use for children and will be really entertaining for kids making the life of parents much easier, even on longer trips. The book includes: 120 pages, 6×9, cream paper and a beautiful matte-finished cover. The book will help making the trip to Amsterdam fun, easy and entertaining for you and the kids.

Over the years, more and more people started traveling and overtourism became a growing issue. Although the coronavirus pandemic has forced us to change our travel behavior for now, we believe that we will travel again and that the return of crowds is inevitable. This book helps you to Avoid Crowds and is your guide on what (not) to do when it’s busy. The book includes a special chapter on traveling during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. It also includes lots of information about Amsterdam!

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