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How Many Days Should I Spend in Amsterdam

How Many Days Should I Spend in Amsterdam

Row of townhomes in Amsterdam, Netherlands along a historic canal

Last Updated:
5/nine/2022 | May ninth, 2022

Amsterdam is one of my favorite cities in the globe. I love its mannerly brick buildings, open skyline, rich history, and relaxed, easy going attitude towards life.

Over the years, I’ve visited Amsterdam more times than I tin count and have spent countless hours walking the city, making friends with locals (I briefly lived here years ago), and getting nether its skin.

I dearest the beauty of the canals and historic homes, the friendly nature of the Dutch, the museums, the parks, and the quality of life. I dearest the international experience of the city, the cafe civilization, the fine art, the exploding entrepreneur scene, and the rise of adept beer bars!

The city was founded in the 12th century merely came into prominence during the Dutch Golden Age (1588-1672). At that time, Amsterdam was the center of the world economic system and was both an economic and cultural powerhouse.

Today, Amsterdam has a ton of history, museums, coffeeshops, and fine art galleries. It’due south one of my favorite cities in the world.

There are then many things to do in Amsterdam that it deserves more than than just the few (and often drug- and booze-filled) days most travelers give it.

So, what should y’all see and do in Amsterdam? How should you spend your fourth dimension in this world-class city?

This Amsterdam itinerary can help you get acquainted with this cosmopolitan city, covering the main sights while also taking you lot off the beaten path to show you the existent Amsterdam. It’s got everything y’all demand to have an amazing visit.

Tabular array of Contents

Day 1: Canal Bout, Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, & more than

Day 2: Anne Frank House, Jordaan, Amsterdam History Museum, & more

24-hour interval 3: Jewish Historical Museum, Cream, Oosterpark, & more

Day 4: Museum Amstelkring, Rembrandt House Museum, Museum Van Loon, & more

Other Things to Meet and Do: Waterlooplein Flea Market, Haarlem, Hash, Marihuana Museum, & more!

Amsterdam Itinerary: Day 1

Free walking tour

Bridge over a canal in Amsterdam.

A not bad way to orient yourself to the city is with a walking tour. You lot tin can learn some history, detect out where the major sights are, and explore all those winding canals. I remember free walking tours are a wonderful kickoff activity in any city. Amsterdam has two really practiced walking tours:

  • Free Walking Tours Amsterdam
  • New Europe

Both tours give you a general historical overview of the urban center and its landmarks. Exist sure to tip your guide at the finish though!

If you’re not on a tight budget and desire an in-depth culling tour, check out Black Heritage Tours. Their tours aren’t gratis; however, they are incredibly informative. They focus on the impact of slavery during the growth of the Dutch empire and highlight Black contributions to the country and culture. Information technology’south super educational.

And for more than general tours (walking tours, museum tours, food tours), check out Go Your Guide. They have a ton of different tours so there’southward something for everybody!

Exercise a canal tour

View down a canal in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam is a city tied to the h2o; it grew around its canals and the taming of the Amstel River. The canals of Amsterdam are incredibly cute, and there’south goose egg similar seeing the urban center from a boat. Skip the big canal boat tours y’all come across around the city — they’re overpriced. You can instead hire a individual gunkhole for about 50 EUR an hour. The boats are small, the tours more intimate, and your captain can requite you lot a personalized tour. If you lot can divide the cost with some other travelers, yous’ll get a cheaper and more hands-on feel. If you don’t want to do a private tour, expect to pay around 20-25 EUR for a pocket-size-gunkhole canal bout with Flagship Amsterdam.

Explore the Van Gogh Museum

This may be ane of the almost popular tourist attractions in the metropolis, merely don’t let the crowds deter y’all. The museum features many of Van Gogh’due south best works of art alongside an excellent biography of his life. I tin spend hours only staring at the paintings every bit Van Gogh is one of my favorite painters. The museum as well has paintings past other famous artists of the period, like Monet, Manet, and Matisse. Try to come tardily in the late afternoon when the crowds subside.

Museumplein vi, +31 20 570 5200, vangoghmuseum.nl. Open daily from 9am to 6pm in the summer with reduced hours in the bound, autumn and winter. Admission is 19 EUR.

Visit the Rijksmuseum

The Rijksmuseum is located right next to the Van Gogh Museum, and subsequently years of renovation, it’s now beautifully remodeled. The museum still features an extensive Rembrandt collection, and you can run into the famous “The Night Spotter” painting. Besides Rembrandt, in that location’s also an incredible and robust drove of other archetype Dutch painters, similar Frans Hals and Johannes Vermeer. Over 1 1000000 works of fine art, craftworks, and historical objects are kept in the collection, and effectually 8,000 objects are on display in the museum so be sure to budget a few hours!

Museumstraat i, +31 20 674 7000, rijksmuseum.nl. Open daily from 9am–5pm. Admission is 20 EUR.

Amsterdam Itinerary: Day two

Tour Anne Frank House

In all honesty, I don’t like this place. I found it to be anticlimactic. You basically do a rushed walk through the business firm every bit the crowds pack the place. You don’t get to let everything soak in as you’re being pushed from behind by the countless crowds. Information technology’s maddening!

Personally, I think the Jewish History Museum does a more than thorough job of relating the events in Anne Frank’s life to the Holocaust. However, if you don’t mind waiting in line and are curious well-nigh Anne it might be worth the. Just exist sure to book your tickets online in advance or you lot’ll exist stuck waiting in line.

Prinsengracht 263–267, +31 20 556 71 05, annefrank.org. Open Monday-Thursday from 9am-6pm and Fri-Sunday from 9am–8pm (shorter hours in the winter). Admission is 14 EUR. Tickets are only sold online.

Wander Jordaan

A canal in Jordaan, Amsterdam in summer, lined with houseboats.

This heavily residential surface area is an sometime working-grade neighborhood turned hip. It’s probably the most overlooked function of Amsterdam. Although it’s right virtually the urban center eye, hardly any tourists enter this maze of restaurants, cafes, and shops. It’s peaceful and a great place to wander while avoiding the mass of tourists crowding the primary streets simply a few blocks away. While in the area, exist certain to eat at Moeders (traditional Dutch nutrient) and Winkel 43 (get the apple pie).

Visit the Tulip Museum

Located in a room inside a tulip shop, this little basement museum does a wonderful task of telling the history of tulips in Holland and the infamous tulip craze that rocked the Dutch economy. It’south one of the best off-the-beaten-path attractions in Amsterdam. It’s never crowded, and information technology’s only v EUR!

Prinsengracht 116, +31 twenty 421 0095, amsterdamtulipmuseum.com. Open daily from 10am-6pm. Admission is 5 EUR.

Have Lunch at Foodhallen
– Located in the western function of Amsterdam, this identify is what the name implies — a food hall! This indoor nutrient market has various vendors serving a variety of succulent food. Personal favorites include Viet View, Le Large Fish, and Friska.

Bellamyplein 51 or Hannie Dankbaarpassage 47 [both entrances work], foodhallen.nl. Open Lord’s day-Thursday from 12pm-midnight (Fridays and Saturdays until 1am).

See the Amsterdam History Museum

This museum features a very thorough history of Amsterdam. Information technology’s large, so you’ll need 3–four hours to actually get through it in detail. There are a lot of relics, maps, paintings, and audiovisual displays throughout the museum. My favorite is the computer graphic at the entrance showing the growth and structure of the city over time. I tin can’t recommend this museum enough. It’south one of the best history museums I’ve ever visited.

Kalverstraat 92, +31 20 523 1822, amsterdammuseum.nl. Open daily from 10am–5pm. Admission is 18 EUR.

Have fun in the Red Light District

A canal going through the red light district in Amsterdam, lit up with red lights at night.

Though much tamer than in previous years, the Red Light District manages to residuum sex and seediness with being a major international tourist attraction. During the 24-hour interval, it’southward a placidity place. If it wasn’t for the red lights and sex signs everywhere, it would about look like whatsoever other part of the city. But, at night, the area becomes brimful with drunk, gawking tourists moving slowly down the street as they stare at the girls in the window while hopping from bar to bar and coffee shop to coffee shop. It’s a place to encounter and experience for a very brief time.

Amsterdam Itinerary: Day 3

Take a bike bout

Bike leaning against a post along a canal in Amsterdam

Bikes are to Amsterdam like wine is to Bordeaux. The urban center loves bikes: its inhabitants wheel over 2 million kilometers every 24-hour interval, and in that location are supposedly more bikes than people in Amsterdam! In fact, forget nearly keeping a lookout for cars — information technology’southward the bikes that volition run y’all over. Seeing Amsterdam and its surroundings from a bike is something I definitely encourage you lot to do. Mike’south Bike Tours is the best company to use, whether for a tour or to rent a wheel on your own. A 2.5-hour urban center tour costs 33 EUR.

Visit FOAM

Minimal gallery room with framed photographs on the wall and a bench to sit on at FOAM photography museum in Amsterdam

This photography museum houses wonderful pictures and sees few crowds despite being in the main office of the city. It’s a must for whatever photography lover. The four exhibitions are constantly changing so you never know what you might see (check online for details)! They take a beautiful outdoor garden too. It’s a small museum and doesn’t take long to see.

Keizersgracht 609, +31 20 551 6500, foam.org. Open daily from 10am–6pm (9pm on Thursdays and Fridays). Admission is 12.50 EUR.

Tour the Jewish Historical Museum

Often overlooked in favor of The Anne Frank House, the Jewish Historical Museum tells the history of the Jews’ prominent and influential position in Amsterdam. The exhibit on World War 2 does a not bad job of highlighting Dutch complacency, resistance, and guilt over the Holocaust. With 11,000 items, artifacts, and works of art, it’s the but Jewish history museum in the land. Personally, I remember the museum does a improve job when it comes to highlighting the history and struggles of Jews in kingdom of the netherlands than the Anne Frank House does.

Nieuwe Amstelstraat 1, +31 20 531 0310, jck.nl. Open daily from 10am–5pm. Admission is 17 EUR.

Relax in Oosterpark

Anybody goes to Vondelpark to lounge around, cycle, or go high, but eastward of the main urban center center is a beautiful park with fewer people that is just equally relaxing. Oosterpark is well-nigh a 30-infinitesimal walk from the city center, but the walk takes you through residential areas of the metropolis non oftentimes seen and fashion off the tourist map. I enjoy coming hither because it’s far quieter and more peaceful than Vondelpark. There are sculptures (such equally the National Slavery Monument that commemorates the abolition of slavery in 1863), playgrounds, ponds, and enough of space to picnic or lounge. If you want a quiet park experience, this is it!

Amsterdam Itinerary: Day 4

See Museum Amstelkring

Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder (“Our Lord in the Attic”) is one of the most interesting churches in the city. Subconscious inside a 17th-century canal house, the surreptitious Catholic church was built during Protestant rule. Information technology was never really a hush-hush only it was out of sight and out of mind for the authorities. The drawing room here is quite beautiful and the effects make information technology i of the most impressive 17th-century rooms left intact.

Oudezijds Voorburgwal 38, +31 xx 624 6604, opsolder.nl. Open Tuesday–Sabbatum from 10am-5pm and Sundays from 1pm–5pm. Admissions is xv.fifty EUR.

Visit the Rembrandt House Museum

The exterior of Rembrandt House Museum in Amsterdam

Dutch painter Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn is generally considered to be ane of the nearly prolific, most talented artists in history. He lived and worked in this house between 1639 and 1658 during the Dutch Golden Age. Visitors can explore the home to get a sense of how he worked and lived (they’ve recreated how information technology was decorated during Rembrandt’s time). I wasn’t too impressed (I’d rather spend time admiring his paintings), but Rembrandt enthusiasts shouldn’t overlook it.

Jodenbreestraat iv, +31 20 520 0400, rembrandthuis.nl. Open Tuesday-Sunday from 10am–6pm. Admission is 15 EUR.

Explore the Museum Van Loon

The Museum Van Loon is a double-sized canal house built in 1672 that is located on the Keizersgracht canal. The house was owned by the wealthy Van Loon merchant family who curated up a beautiful art drove in their home. Today, their celebrated house a museum showcasing period piece of furniture, fine art, and family unit portraits. In that location’s a beautiful garden here too. This is definitely a place non to miss.

Keizersgracht 672, +31 20 624 5255, museumvanloon.nl. Open daily from 10am–5pm. Admission is 12.50 EUR.

Hang out in Vondelpark

Vondelpark was created in 1865 and spans over 120 acres. It’s Amsterdam’s largest and most pop park is a keen place to walk, bike, people-sentinel, relish a picnic or just relax, especially later on a visit to a local coffee shop. At that place’s a playground equally well as places to play sports, and numerous areas for boot back. During the summer, Vondelpark is filled with people, especially locals who hang out at the café Blauwe Theehuis for drinks in the center.

Endeavor the Heineken Experience

This museum used to be a lot better when it was cheaper and they offered more beer. It’south not a working brewery and, in comparison to the Guinness Museum in Dublin, it’s not nifty. Only the price of admission buys you two beers and the interactive self-guided tour tells you all about how the beer was made and how the visitor evolved over the centuries (the beer dates back to the 1870s). It’s non a must-see, but if you like Heineken so it is worth checking out.

Stadhouderskade 78, +31 020 261 1323, heinekenexperience.com. Open Monday-Thursday and Dominicus from 10:30am–vii:30pm, Friday-Saturday from 10:30am–9pm. Admission is 21 EUR.

Other Sights and Attractions in Amsterdam Worth Visiting

A narrow canal with boats in Amsterdam on a sunny summer day

Looking for more than things to meet and do? Below are some of my other favorite activities to do in Amsterdam. Mix and match to create your own personal itinerary!

  • Scan the Waterlooplein Flea Market
    – This open-air market is the oldest and biggest market in Amsterdam. It’due south like a behemothic flea market — everything and everyone can be found here. People sell secondhand clothes, hats, antiques, gadgets, and much more. Y’all can also find new and unused items. If at that place’s something you lot desire, you lot’ll probably find information technology here. Even if you lot don’t, it’due south a fun identify to explore and people watch while browsing.
    Open Monday to Sat from ix:30am-6pm.
  • Day trip to Haarlem
    – But a quick 35 kilometer (22-mile) train (or bike) ride from Amsterdam, Haarlem is a placidity walled city that dates back to the Middle Ages. It has a cute fundamental church, nifty outdoor market, and all the beauty of historic Amsterdam with fewer crowds.
  • Visit Noord
    – Leave the city centre, take the ferry across the IJ, and visit the up-and-coming area of Noord Amsterdam. In the final few years, a lot of people have moved here (it’s inexpensive), cool markets and restaurants and bars have opened, and a lot of old industrial land has been reclaimed for public use. It’due south the new hip place to be but has much fewer crowds than the central part of the city! Be sure to visit the famous Center, Amsterdam’s motion-picture show plant, and consider renting a bike to explore the area.
  • Wander the Amsterdam library
    – The city’due south library is a beautiful modern building built in 2007. It’south gigantic, overlooks the IJ, and has a wonderful superlative floor cafe for impressive views of the city. It’s one of my favorite places to relax in the city. It’due south placidity, peaceful, and there’south nil like reading a skilful book with a great view!
    Oosterdokskade 143, Centrum, +31 20 523 0900, oba.nl. Open up Monday-Friday from 8am–10pm and Sat/Lord’s day from 10am-8pm.
  • Visit the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
    – If you like modern art, this is the place in the metropolis to see it! The museum is home to over 90,000 items including works by Jackson Pollock and Andy Warhol. The exhibitions cover paintings, drawings, graphic design, sculptures, sound, and installations.
    Museumplein ten, +31 20 573 2911, stedelijk.nl. Open daily from 10am–6pm. Access is xx EUR.
  • Encounter the Houseboat Museum
    – This museum shows what it’s like to live in a houseboat! Information technology’southward cramped just interesting, doesn’t have long to see and only costs a few euros.
    Prinsengracht 296K, Jordaan, Centrum, +31 20 427 0750, houseboatmuseum.nl. Hours vary per flavour.
  • Have an culling art tour
    – I was really diddled away past this unique tour that I took last time I was in Amsterdam. You get to come across the urban center’southward street art in alleyways, squats, and independent galleries while y’all acquire about Amsterdam’s alternative side and hole-and-corner and immigrant civilization. All the people I took on it loved information technology. Tours are individual and require at to the lowest degree iv people (20 EUR per person). Visit Alltournative Amsterdam for more!
  • Visit the Erotic Museum

    — This museum is in the middle of Amsterdam’s Red Lite District and highlights eroticism in all its forms through the ages. Information technology has sculptures, paintings, drawings, photographs, and other artwork from all around the world. It’south like to Sex activity Museum Amsterdam just focuses more than on the “fine art” side of nudity and sex.
    Oudezijds Achterburgwal 54, +31 20 627 8954, erotisch-museum.nl. Open up daily from 11am-1am. Admission is 7 EUR.
  • Cheque out the Hash, Marihuana & Hemp Museum

    — This museum presents information about the historical and modernistic employ of cannabis for medicinal, religious, and cultural purposes. The exhibits focus heavily on how hemp tin can be used for agricultural, consumer, and industrial purposes as well equally covering all the medicinal, religious, and cultural uses of the found.
    Oudezijds Achterburgwal 148, +31 twenty 624 8926, hashmuseum.com. Open daily from 10am-10pm. Admission is 9 EUR.

Be sure to visit the urban center tourism office. They have lots of information on costless things to practice, current events and activities, and discount passes and tickets you can use to salve money. They are an underused resources!


Four days in whatever city is never plenty time to really see it, merely given Amsterdam’s compact nature, information technology’s definitely enough time to hit all the “major” attractions during a quick visit. Y’all don’t have to walk far either (you lot can walk the length of the urban center center in most 45 minutes).

That said, spend longer in the metropolis if you tin. And don’t spend all your fourth dimension smoking in cafes or drinking the nights away either. Get out of the Red Light District and take in all the city has to offering. You lot won’t exist disappointed!

Get the In-Depth Upkeep Guide to Amsterdam!

Check out my comprehensive guide to Amsterdam written for budget travelers like yous! Information technology cuts out the fluff found in other guides and gets straight to the practical information you need for your trip. Y’all’ll detect suggested itineraries tips budgets, means to save money, on and off the beaten path things to run into and do, and my favorite non-touristy restaurants, markets, bars, transportation tips, and much more than! Click here to learn more and get your copy today.

Volume Your Trip to Amsterdam: Logistical Tips and Tricks

Book Your Flight

Utilise Skyscanner to find a cheap flight. They are my favorite search engine because they search websites and airlines around the earth so you always know no stone is left unturned!

Book Your Accommodation

You can book your hostel with Hostelworld as they have the biggest inventory and all-time deals. If y’all desire to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as they consistently return the cheapest rates for guesthouses and inexpensive hotels. My favorite places to stay are:

  • St. Christopher’s at the Winston
  • Flying Squealer Downtown
  • ClinkNOORD

If yous’re looking for more place to stay, here is a consummate list of my favorite hostels in Amsterdam.

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Travel insurance protects y’all against disease, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’southward comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never become on a trip without information technology as I’ve had to employ it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offering the best service and value are:

  • SafetyWing (best for nomads)
  • World Nomads (nigh comprehensive)
  • Insure My Trip (for those over 70)
  • Medjet (for additional evacuation coverage)

Looking for the Best Companies to Save Coin With?

Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I listing all the ones I apply to save money when I’1000 on the route. They can save you money when you travel too.

Want More than Data on Amsterdam?

Be sure to visit our robust destination guide on Amsterdam for even more planning tips!

Disclosure: Please notation that some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no boosted cost to you, I earn a committee if you lot make a buy. I recommend only products and companies I utilise and the income goes to keeping the site customs supported and advertising costless.

How Many Days Should I Spend in Amsterdam

Source: https://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-blogs/three-days-in-amsterdam/

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