How to Make the Most of 2 Days in Amsterdam

Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands, is a vibrant and culturally rich destination that offers a perfect getaway for a weekend trip. With its picturesque canals, historic architecture, and world-class museums, it is worth visiting.

As I strolled through the charming streets of this beautiful city during my weekend adventure, I couldn’t help but be captivated by its unique blend of history and modernity.

So you can relax and follow this ultimate 2 days in Amsterdam Itinerary for your trip to Amsterdam.

In this article, you will receive a comprehensive overview of the various attractions, dining options, accommodations, and day trips available in Amsterdam. With this ultimate travel guide, you’ll be able to make the most of your time in the city and indulge in delicious treats like a hot, caramel stroopwafel.

Key Takeaways

  • Amsterdam is a great destination for a weekend getaway, with plenty to see and do in just 2 days.
  • The best time to visit Amsterdam for a weekend trip is in the spring or fall, when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller.
  • There are many options for getting to Amsterdam, including flying, taking the train, or driving.
  • When choosing where to stay in Amsterdam for a weekend trip, consider staying in the city centre to be close to the top attractions.
  • Don’t miss out on exploring Amsterdam’s canals and waterways, and be sure to try some of the city’s famous food and drink.
2 Days in Amsterdam Itinerary
2 Days in Amsterdam Itinerary

The Best 2 Days Itinerary for Amsterdam

When planning your itinerary for a two-day trip to Amsterdam, it’s important to prioritize your must-see attractions while leaving room for spontaneous exploration.

Day 1: Exploring the Heart of Amsterdam

Morning:

  • Start your day by visiting the Anne Frank House. This historic site provides a poignant glimpse into the life of Anne Frank during World War II.
  • Afterwards, take a stroll through the charming Jordaan neighbourhood. Explore its narrow streets, browse local boutiques, and visit the Noordermarkt, a vibrant market offering a range of goods.

Afternoon:

  • Head to the Museumplein, where you’ll find three major museums: the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and Stedelijk Museum. Spend the afternoon immersing yourself in art and culture.
  • Enjoy a leisurely picnic in Vondelpark, a beautiful green oasis located nearby. Relax, people-watch, or rent a bike to explore the park further.

Evening:

  • Experience Amsterdam’s vibrant nightlife by visiting the lively Leidseplein square. Enjoy dinner at one of the many restaurants offering diverse cuisines, followed by drinks at a trendy bar or a live music performance.

Day 2: Canal Cruise and Cultural Exploration

Morning:

  • Begin your second day with a scenic canal cruise. Admire the iconic canal houses, picturesque bridges, and historic landmarks as you navigate Amsterdam’s UNESCO-listed canal belt.
  • After the cruise, visit the famous floating flower market, Bloemenmarkt. Browse the vibrant stalls selling tulips, bulbs, and other floral delights.

Afternoon:

  • Make your way to the Museum Van Loon, a beautifully preserved 17th-century canal house. Explore the opulent interiors and gain insights into Amsterdam’s Golden Age.
  • Continue your cultural exploration by visiting the Rembrandt House Museum. Discover the life and works of the renowned Dutch master painter.

Evening:

  • Conclude your Amsterdam adventure with a visit to the trendy neighbourhood of De Pijp. Enjoy dinner at one of the local eateries offering international cuisine or sample traditional Dutch dishes.
  • Wrap up your evening by checking out one of Amsterdam’s famous brown cafes, such as Café Hoppe or Café ‘t Smalle. These cosy pubs offer a quintessentially Dutch experience.

Please note that this itinerary provides a general overview of some of the top attractions and experiences in Amsterdam. Feel free to customize it based on your preferences and interests.

Wondering how much the tickets are for each of these museums? We give you the breakdown below in “How Much Money Do I Need for 2 Days in Amsterdam?”.

Budget Tip: You can avoid ATM Fees by using a Wise Travel Card. You can check more about that in our in depth review.

Best Time to Visit Amsterdam for a Weekend Trip

Amsterdam experiences a moderate maritime climate with mild summers and cool winters. The best time to visit depends on your interests and budget. Spring (April-May) is particularly beautiful as the city comes alive with blooming tulips and vibrant colours. However, this is also peak tourist season, so expect larger crowds and higher prices.

If you prefer fewer tourists and lower prices, consider visiting during the shoulder seasons of early autumn (September-October) or late spring (late May-June). The weather during these months is still pleasant, allowing you to enjoy outdoor activities without feeling overwhelmed by crowds.

For those on a tighter budget, winter can be an excellent time to visit Amsterdam as hotel rates tend to be lower compared to other seasons.

Just make sure you pack warm clothing as temperatures can drop below freezing.

How to Get to Amsterdam for Your Weekend Getaway

Transportation MethodTravel TimeCost
Flight2 hours100-500
Train3-4 hours50-150
Bus6-8 hours20-80
Car4-5 hours50-100 (gas and tolls)
This is from Frankfurt 🙂

Getting to Amsterdam is relatively easy thanks to its well-connected transportation network. Schiphol Airport serves as the main international gateway with direct flights from major cities worldwide.

Once you arrive at Schiphol Airport, there are several transportation options available for reaching the city centre. The most convenient option is taking a train directly from the airport’s train station which connects you directly with Amsterdam Central Station in just 15 minutes.

Alternatively, taxis are readily available outside the airport terminals but can be quite expensive compared to public transportation options.

If you prefer more flexibility in getting around during your stay, consider renting a car at the airport or using ride-sharing services like Uber.

You can also check out for Private Airport Transfer which is best when you don’t want to think about anything.

Where To Stay in Amsterdam for a Weekend Trip

Choosing where to stay in Amsterdam largely depends on your preferences and interests. The city is divided into several neighbourhoods, each with its unique charm and atmosphere.

If you’re looking to be in the heart of the action, consider staying in the city centre near Dam Square or Jordaan. These areas offer easy access to major attractions, shopping streets, and a wide range of dining options.

For a more laid-back experience, De Pijp is a trendy neighbourhood known for its vibrant food scene and local markets like Albert Cuyp Market. This area also offers proximity to popular attractions like the Heineken Experience and Rijksmuseum.

If you prefer a quieter atmosphere away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre, Amsterdam Noord is an up-and-coming neighbourhood located across the IJ River. It offers stunning views of Amsterdam’s skyline along with unique cultural hotspots such as the EYE Film Museum.

When it comes to accommodations, Amsterdam caters to all budgets. From luxury hotels overlooking canals to cosy boutique guesthouses tucked away in quiet corners of the city, there are plenty of options available for every traveller’s taste.

These are some hotels which we recommend

  1. Hotel Pulitzer Amsterdam – Booking.com
  2. The Toren – Booking.com
  3. Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam – Booking.com
  4. Hotel Estherea – Booking.com
  5. Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht – Booking.com
Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Top Attractions To See in Amsterdam in 2 Days

With only two days to explore Amsterdam, it’s important to prioritize your must-see attractions while leaving room for spontaneous discoveries along the way.

Here are some top recommendations:

  1. Dam Square: Start your exploration at this historic square which serves as a central point for many tourist activities.
  2. Anne Frank House: A visit here provides insight into Anne Frank’s life during World War II.
  3. Van Gogh Museum: Immerse yourself in Vincent van Gogh’s masterpieces.
  4. Rijksmuseum: Discover Dutch art and history through an extensive collection that includes Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch.”
  5. Vondelpark: Take a stroll or rent a bike in this beautiful park located near many museums.
  6. Jordaan: Explore this charming neighborhood with its narrow streets, picturesque canals, and trendy boutiques.
  7. Red Light District: Experience Amsterdam’s unique culture and nightlife in this vibrant area.

Quick Tip: You can not get the ticket for the Anne Frank Museum at the counter because it tends to be sold out so pre-book that from here.

To make the most of your time, consider purchasing a city pass like the I amsterdam City Card which offers free or discounted entry to many attractions along with unlimited public transportation.

Or You can also check out the guide about Amsterdam Pass where we compare the Amsterdam Pass against the standalone tickets and this is the best way to save money on attractions in Amsterdam: Check Amsterdam Pass Review

Best Museums To Visit in Amsterdam on a Weekend Trip

Amsterdam is renowned for its world-class museums that showcase art, history, and culture. While it may be challenging to visit all of them during a weekend trip, here are some recommendations based on your interests:

  • Van Gogh Museum: Immerse yourself in the life and works of one of the world’s most famous artists.
  • Rijksmuseum: Discover Dutch art and history through an extensive collection that includes Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch.”
  • Anne Frank House: Gain insight into Anne Frank’s life during World War II by visiting her former hiding place.
  • Stedelijk Museum: Explore modern and contemporary art from renowned artists like Mondrian and Warhol.
  • Museum Het Rembrandthuis: Step into Rembrandt’s former residence-turned-museum to learn about his life and see his etchings.

Quick Tip: If you plan on visiting multiple museums during your trip to Amsterdam, consider purchasing the Museumkaart (Amsterdam Museum Pass).

It’s important to note that popular museums like Van Gogh Museum or Anne Frank House can have long queues, especially during peak tourist seasons. Consider booking tickets online in advance or opting for early morning or late evening visits to avoid crowds.

The first time when I was in Amsterdam I was not able to visit Anne Frank Museum and I was really sad about as this was one of the first country which I was visiting in Europe.

During 2 Days in Amsterdam, experience the enchantment of a canal as it comes alive at night with vibrant red lights.
During 2 Days in Amsterdam, experience the enchantment of a canal as it comes alive at night with vibrant red lights.

Quick Tip: Remember that taking photos in the Red Light District is not allowed. The sex workers here operate under strict agreements and have protection in place.

If someone catches you taking pictures, don’t be shocked if your camera ends up in the canal… or worse!

Exploring Amsterdam’s Canals And Waterways

No visit to Amsterdam would be complete without exploring its iconic canals which have earned it the nickname Venice of the North.” These waterways not only provide stunning views but also offer unique perspectives on the city.

One way to experience Amsterdam’s canals is by taking a canal tour on one of the many boat companies operating in the city. These tours provide informative commentary about Amsterdam’s history and architecture while gliding through its picturesque canals.

For a more intimate experience, consider renting a small boat or pedal-powered canal bike. This allows you to navigate the canals at your own pace, stopping whenever you please to take photos or explore hidden corners of the city.

Best Places To Eat And Drink in Amsterdam for a Weekend Trip

Amsterdam’s food scene is diverse and offers something for every palate. From traditional Dutch cuisine to international flavors, there are plenty of options to satisfy your taste buds.

For a true local experience, try some traditional Dutch dishes like bitterballen (deep-fried meatballs), stroopwafels (caramel-filled waffles), or haring (raw herring). You can find these delicacies at local markets such as Albert Cuyp Market or Foodhallen.

If you’re looking for international flavors, Amsterdam has an abundance of restaurants serving cuisines from around the world. The city is particularly known for its Indonesian and Surinamese food due to its colonial history.

To accompany your meal, don’t miss out on trying some Dutch beers or jenever (Dutch gin). Visit one of Amsterdam’s many breweries or cozy brown cafes where locals gather for drinks and conversation.

Nightlife in Amsterdam: Bars, Clubs, and More

Amsterdam’s nightlife scene is vibrant and diverse with options ranging from laid-back bars to energetic clubs. Whether you’re looking for live music performances, trendy cocktail bars, or dance clubs that stay open until dawn – there is something for everyone.

The Leidseplein area is known as one of Amsterdam’s main nightlife hubs with numerous bars and clubs catering to different tastes. It offers everything from Irish pubs playing live music to upscale cocktail lounges where mixologists create unique concoctions.

Another popular area is Rembrandtplein, which is home to several clubs and bars that attract both locals and tourists. Here, you can dance the night away to various genres of music or simply enjoy a drink while people-watching.

For a more alternative scene, head to the Jordaan neighborhood where you’ll find cozy brown cafes with live music performances or hidden speakeasy-style bars tucked away in narrow alleyways.

You have 3 Days or More to Spend in Amsterdam

If you have more days to spend in Amsterdam then you can take some of the day trips from Amsterdam.

Day Trips from Amsterdam for a Weekend Getaway

While Amsterdam itself offers plenty of attractions and activities, it’s worth considering taking a day trip to explore nearby cities and attractions. Here are some recommendations:

  1. Zaanse Schans: Visit this open-air museum located just outside Amsterdam to experience traditional Dutch windmills and wooden houses.
  2. Keukenhof Gardens: If you’re visiting during spring, don’t miss the opportunity to see millions of blooming tulips at one of the world’s largest flower gardens.
  3. Haarlem: Just a short train ride from Amsterdam, Haarlem offers charming streets lined with historic buildings along with excellent shopping and dining options.
  4. The Hague: Explore the political heart of the Netherlands by visiting The Hague where you can visit famous landmarks like Binnenhof (Dutch Parliament) or Mauritshuis Museum.
  5. Volendam and Marken: Take a trip to the fishing villages of Volendam and Marken. Stroll along the harbors, admire the colorful houses, and try traditional Dutch seafood. You can also visit a cheese factory or take a boat ride on the IJsselmeer.
  6. Utrecht: Experience Utrecht, a vibrant city with beautiful canals and a rich history. Climb the Dom Tower for panoramic views, explore the medieval city center, and visit the unique Rietveld Schröder House, an architectural masterpiece.

When planning your day trip, consider transportation options such as trains or guided tours that depart from Amsterdam Central Station.

Shopping in Amsterdam: Best Places To Shop on a Weekend Trip

Amsterdam is known for its unique shopping scene offering everything from high-end fashion boutiques to vintage stores and local markets.

If you’re looking for luxury brands or designer labels, head to P.C. Hooftstraat – often referred to as Amsterdam’s “Golden Mile.” This upscale shopping street is lined with flagship stores of renowned fashion brands like Chanel, Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and more.

For those seeking unique finds and vintage treasures, the Nine Streets (De Negen Straatjes) is a must-visit. This charming neighborhood is filled with independent boutiques, vintage shops, and concept stores offering a wide range of fashion, accessories, home decor, and more.

If you’re interested in local markets where you can find everything from fresh produce to antiques and souvenirs, Albert Cuyp Market is a popular choice. Located in the De Pijp neighborhood, this bustling market offers a vibrant atmosphere and an opportunity to interact with locals while browsing through its stalls.

If you’re curious to learn more about Amsterdam souvenirs and where to find them, we have a detailed blog post that covers the best places to shop for unique mementos in the city.

How To Get Around Amsterdam for a Weekend Trip

Getting around Amsterdam is relatively easy thanks to its efficient public transportation system. The city offers an extensive network of trams, buses, metros, and ferries that can take you anywhere within the city.

The most convenient way to get around is by using an OV-chipkaart – a rechargeable smart card that allows you to travel on all modes of public transportation. You can purchase these cards at ticket machines located at train stations or selected supermarkets.

You can also take the Amsterdam Public transport tickets online if you want peace of mind during the trip.

Another popular mode of transportation in Amsterdam is cycling. The city has an extensive network of bike lanes making it safe and enjoyable for cyclists.

Renting a bike during your stay allows you to explore the city like a local while enjoying the freedom to stop wherever you please.

Quick Tip: I strongly advise against renting a car in Amsterdam. The cost of parking is exorbitant, with daily expenses ranging from €60-70, particularly during the summer season. Moreover, the city’s streets are narrow and bustling with pedestrians and cyclists, making it quite challenging to navigate.

What to Pack for 2 Days in Amsterdam

When packing for a 2-day trip to Amsterdam, it’s essential to consider the weather and activities you plan to engage in. Here are some items you should pack:

  1. Clothing:
    • Comfortable walking shoes
    • Layered clothing for varying weather conditions
    • Raincoat or umbrella, as Amsterdam is known for its unpredictable weather
    • Hat and sunglasses for sunny days
    • Swimwear (if visiting during the summer)
  2. Travel Essentials:
    • Valid passport or identification documents
    • Travel adapter (if needed)
    • Portable charger for your electronic devices
    • Money and/or credit cards
    • Travel insurance documents
  3. Toiletries:
    • Toothbrush, toothpaste, and floss
    • Shampoo, conditioner, and body wash (consider travel-sized options)
    • Deodorant
    • Skincare products (moisturizer, sunscreen, etc.)
    • Personal medications (if required)
  4. Electronics:
    • Smartphone and charger
    • Camera or GoPro (if you enjoy capturing memories)
    • Portable speakers (optional)
    • E-reader or tablet for entertainment during travel
  5. Miscellaneous:
    • Reusable water bottle
    • Snacks for the journey
    • Guidebook or map of Amsterdam
    • Backpack or day bag for carrying your belongings
    • Travel locks for added security

Remember to pack light and only bring what you truly need for a 2-day trip. Enjoy your time in Amsterdam!

Conclusion

In conclusion, Amsterdam offers endless possibilities for an unforgettable weekend getaway. From its rich history and culture to its picturesque canals and world-class museums – there’s something for everyone in this vibrant city.

By planning your itinerary carefully and prioritizing your must-see attractions while leaving room for spontaneous exploration along the way – you’ll be able to make the most out of your limited time in Amsterdam.

So pack your bags, book your flights and accommodations, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable weekend adventure in the charming city of Amsterdam.

FAQs – 2 Days in Amsterdam

Is 2 Days Enough to See Amsterdam?

Yes, 2 days is enough to see the main highlights of Amsterdam. While you may not be able to explore every corner of the city in such a short time, you can still visit popular attractions, experience the charming canals, and get a feel for the city’s unique atmosphere.

What is the best way to get around Amsterdam?

The best way to get around Amsterdam is by bike or public transportation.

What is the currency used in Amsterdam?

The currency used in Amsterdam is the Euro.

What is the weather like in Amsterdam?

The weather in Amsterdam can vary, but it is generally mild with cool temperatures and occasional rain.

Can You Cover Amsterdam in 2 Days?

Yes, it is possible to cover Amsterdam in 2 days, although you may not be able to see everything the city has to offer. Amsterdam is a compact city with a well-connected public transportation system, which makes it easier to explore in a short period of time.

What are some popular foods to try in Amsterdam?

Some popular foods to try in Amsterdam include stroopwafels, bitterballen, and raw herring.

What is the legal drinking age in Amsterdam?

The legal drinking age in Amsterdam is 18 years old.

Do I Need Travel Insurance for 2 Days in Amsterdam?

Travel insurance is not mandatory when visiting Amsterdam for two days. However, it is recommended to have travel insurance to protect yourself against unexpected events such as medical emergencies, trip cancellations, or lost belongings.

Travel Insurance

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What is the language spoken in Amsterdam?

The language spoken in Amsterdam is Dutch, but many people also speak English.

How Much Does it Cost to Go to Amsterdam for 2 Days?

Here is a sample budget for a 2-day trip to Amsterdam, converted to Euro. Please note that prices can vary depending on personal preferences, travel dates, and exchange rates.

Accommodation:

  • Budget Option: €40-€80 per night
  • Mid-range Option: €80-€160 per night
  • Luxury Option: €160+ per night

Transportation:

  • Airport Transfer: €4-€25 (depending on the mode of transportation)
  • Public Transportation: €7.50 per day (24-hour ticket)
  • Bike Rental: €8-€12 per day

Food and Drinks:

  • Breakfast: €4-€8
  • Lunch: €8-€16
  • Dinner: €12-€32
  • Drinks: €4-€8 per drink

Attractions and Activities:

  • Museums: €9-€20 per museum
  • Canal Cruise: €12-€20
  • Bike Tour: €15-€25

Miscellaneous Expenses:

  • Souvenirs and Shopping: Varies based on personal preference
  • Tips: Optional but appreciated

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