If you want to be in any European city and you’re looking for a place with amazing architecture, fascinating culture and rich history then Amsterdam is for you.
Most of the attractions are within walking or biking distance. The public transport system is also pretty reliable if you want to take that instead. There’s plenty of interesting places to visit and things to do for you to get at least acquainted with this quaint, vibrant city.
From quirky neighborhoods to the intriguing red-light district, a charming old town to the museum quarter, exploring Amsterdam is bound to be a captivating adventure. Got a couple of days? Here’s 2 days in Amsterdam itinerary that’ll take you to see the best that the city has to offer.
2 Days in Amsterdam: Itinerary With Maps and Tips
Day 1 of 2 Days in Amsterdam Itinerary
1. The Jordaan and The 9 Streets
Enjoy a late lunch and a stroll through some of Amsterdam’s vibrant neighborhoods, in Jordaan and The 9 Streets which are right next to each other. After hours of exploring a palace and a museum, you probably have worked up an appetite and The Jordaan has some of the city’s best restaurants for you to have lunch.
Along Jordaan, there’s the quiet courtyard Suykerhofje, where you can relax a bit before checking out the 15th-century Noorderkerk church and its unique architecture.
The 9 Street meanwhile, is made up of 9 picturesque shopping streets that mostly feature independent shops and boutiques. From here, you can stroll through more treelined streets with beautiful houses and buildings for about 10 minutes to De Wallen.
2. Dinner Along the Singel Canal
A perfect way to end your first day in Amsterdam and a great place to have dinner is in one of the restaurants along the Singel Canal.
This iconic area is the one you often see in photos, postcards, and posters that represent Amsterdam, with the colorful buildings reflected in the water.
The place looks even more spectacular at night with the lights adorning this famous scenery. Either get a table by the window or buy a takeaway dinner that you can eat as you walk around and take in the spectacular evening sights of Amsterdam.
3. Dam Square
Start your first day in Amsterdam exactly on the place where this city began — at Dam Square, which is within walking distance from the Central Station. Back in the 13th century, this was the site of a dam on the Amstell River, which links the settlements on both sides.
This is also where the city got its name. Today, dam Square stands out as a space that’s not made of narrow roads lined with tall houses by the canal, as is the rest of the city.
It is a good place to people-watch while enjoying coffee and a takeaway breakfast, take in the city that’s just waking up and admire the magnificent stone buildings such as the Krasnapolsky Hotel, Town Hall and the Royal Palace. Dam Square is also one of the best free things to do in Amsterdam.
4. Royal Palace of Amsterdam
Located at the heart of Amsterdam in Dam Square is one of the country’s three palaces. This one functions as a venue for royal events such as the New Year’s reception and welcoming heads of state that visit the Netherlands.
You can take a guided tour or explore with a free audio tour. Marvel at the stunning Citizens’ Hall and admire the intricate artwork and furniture that often depicts some of the most significant historical events in the Netherlands.
Monday to Saturday – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
5. De Wallen
More Amsterdam attractions await at De Wallen, one of the best places to be on a late afternoon. You can pass the Royal Palace on the way as you continue to walk up north to see the medieval Oude Kerk church as well as the nearby Church of St. Nicholas.
Walk further until you reach one of the most iconic Amsterdam sights — the Damrak. This is where you’ll most likely catch the sunset as you admire the colorful houses reflect on the waters of the canals.
From here, it’s just a seven-minute walk to an area in Amsterdam that’s not quite an attraction or tourist spit but an intriguing place to see nonetheless, the Red Light District.
6. Red Light District
Watch the city light up in neon red as day turns to night in a rather controversial area if you’re not quite used to the idea. Prostitution is legal in the Netherlands and at present, there are hundreds of them registered and working in Amsterdam’s red-light districts.
The one in De Wallen maybe the largest and most popular but there are three in the city. This place is really just one street and a few side alleys, where you’ll see sex workers by the window lit with a red light.
Remember to be respectful and do not take photos. The area is safe but because of the number of tourists, there are threats of pickpockets so be mindful of your surroundings.
Just a quick tram or bus ride from the Royal Palace is the massive Rijksmuseum. It houses an extensive collection of 8,000 artifacts, art pieces and other important items that are predominantly Dutch.
Some of the stunning masterpieces you’ll find here are from luminaries like Frans Hals, Rembrandt, and Johannes Vermeer. Be sure to also visit the Gallery of Honor and the 17th and 19th-century collections.
Monday to Sunday – 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Adults: € 20.00 (online € 19,00)
Children aged 18 and under- free admission
Friends of the Rijksmuseum – free admission
free admission – Museumkaart holders, I Amsterdam City Card, members of ICOM, ICOMOS, the Rembrandt Association (Vereniging Rembrandt), KOG, Stadspas, VVAK, BankGiro Lottery VIP-Card
Holders of EYCA – € 10,00 (online € 9,50)
Phone: +31 (0) 20 6747 000
Email: [email protected]
Address: Museumstraat 1 1071 XX Amsterdam
Amsterdam Itinerary Route for day 1
Day 2 of 2 Days in Amsterdam Itinerary
1. Old Town
This medieval area is also a UNESCO World Heritage site, and a definite must visit in Amsterdam. Wander around and be sure to visit the love lock bridge or Staalmeestersbrug for the amazing views, as well as the Zuiderkerk tower at the end of the canal.
Then head towards the Nieuwmarkt Square to see the castle-like De Waag, or go east to see the picturesqueBuiten Bantammerstraat, where you get to enjoy views of theMontelbaanstoren Tower.
A small area that’s easily reached from, the Museumkwartie via tram, Rembrandtplein is a great place to walk around in. You’ll find here plenty of attractions such as the Skinny Bridge (Magere Brug) and the Blauwbrug bridge that offers stunning views of the Amstel canal.
There’s also the Rembrandt Square with Rembrandt’s monument, the Munttoren
clock tower and the lovely Bloemenmarkt or Flower Market. From here, you just have to walk a few more minutes to reach the Old Town.
3. Canal Cruise
Here’s how you should end your Amsterdam visit, on a late afternoon as the sun sets and you know you just want to see more.
Enjoy an entirely different perspective of the city sights, the colorful houses, and buildings and some of its popular landmarks from the waters.
Hop on a boat cruise that travels through the city’s 165 canals and makes your last hours in Amsterdam truly memorable.
4. De Pijp
Start your second day in Amsterdam early with a hearty breakfast in one of the cafes of restaurants of De Pijp. This is one of the city’s best neighborhoods where you can also enjoy a leisurely stroll, particularly in Sarphatipark.
Wander through this green space and relax with the ducks, the ponds and willow trees. Then you can head up north to the Albert Cuyp Market, where you can pick u some souvenirs and other things that catch your fancy.
There are lots of vendors selling a variety of stuff from funky bowls to fresh produce to grab and go food offerings. De Pijp is also known for its quirky boutiques so check out some of the shops and you might stumble upon some unique finds.
Afterward, just cross the canal and head westward to the Museumkwartie, for the Van Gogh Museum.
5. Van Gogh Museum
Definitely a must-visit if you only have two days in Amsterdam is the van Gogh Museum, which is home to the world’s largest collection of his artworks. Located in the city’s Museumkwartie, you’ll find here 200 paintings, 600 drawings, and 700 letters, all from this great and iconic Dutch artist.
The place is modern and spacious, with extensive displays on Van Gogh’s legacy as well as inspirations. There are also exhibitions on the works of his contemporaries such as Gauguin, Malevich, and Vallotton.
Monday to Sunday – 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM
Adults – €19
Visitors under 18 – free (school groups excluded), please reserve a ticket with start time
Museumkaart holder – free, please reserve a ticket with start time
Phone: +31 (0)20 570 52 00
Email: [email protected]
Address: Museumplein 6, 1071 DJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam Itinerary Route for day 2
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