One of Europe’s most charming cities, Amsterdam is an ideal destination for a weekend getaway. With numerous low-cost airlines offering cheap flights to the Dutch capital, visiting Amsterdam for the weekend has never been easier. From its charming water canals and beautiful architecture to world-class museums and picturesque parks, Amsterdam has it all.
Whether you wish to explore Amsterdam’s colorful markets, experience nightlife in one of Europe’s most infamous districts, or discover why Amsterdam is nicknamed “Venice of the North”, this 2 day Amsterdam travel itinerary takes you to some of the city’s finest attractions and allows you to experience the Dutch capital from a unique perspective.
Things To Know Before Visiting Amsterdam
Amsterdam is designed to be bike-friendly, so it comes as no surprise that cycling is the main transportation option for both locals and tourists here. Just remember not to walk on the bike lanes, as it is considered a very rude thing to do in Amsterdam. If you don’t want to rent a bike, the city also has an excellent bus and tram network.
If you wish to get coffee, a café is a place to go to in Amsterdam. On the other hand, coffee shops are places where apart from coffee you can get some cannabis products that are legal in the Netherlands. It is also worth mentioning that most of the hotels in Amsterdam, as well as restaurants and bars accept credit cards. If you are visiting a local market, it’s better to bring some cash.
When it comes to accommodation in Amsterdam, I have to admit that travelers are spoilt for choice. From posh 5-star hotels and fully furnished apartments to hostels and houseboats, there is so much to choose from. Since the city is fairly compact, you won’t be far away from the main attractions even if you stay outside the city center.
For instance, De Pijp neighborhood is a great area to stay for visitors traveling on a budget, while the southern area of Museumkwartier is ideal for travelers who are looking for some peace and quiet.
2 Day Amsterdam Travel Itinerary
Canal Boat Tour
Kick-off your Amsterdam travel itinerary with a canal boat tour. It is one of the most relaxing things to do in Amsterdam and allows you to experience the city’s stunning architecture from a different point of view. There are many boat tours you can go on ranging from children-friendly canal rides and hop-on-hop-off services to romantic candle-lit cruises for couples. I would also suggest going on an open boat tour rather than opting for the enclosed boat route.
The tourist-packed Dam Square in Amsterdam is a great place to visit for first-time visitors. The area is home to many amazing attractions such as the 17th-century Royal Palace, New Church (Nieuwe Kerk), and the National Memorial Statue. There is the popular Madame Tussauds wax museum where you can spend a couple of hours. This huge public square is lined with numerous cafes and shops and there are many vendors here selling everything from local foods to traditional Dutch souvenirs.
The Amsterdam Flower Market
Your next stop should be the amazing Amsterdam Flower Market, also known as the Bloemenmarkt. Expect to see dozens of floating shops filled with all kinds of beautiful flowers including Amsterdam’s signature tulips. Besides a vast array of tulips and bulbs, you will find many shops selling all kinds of touristy souvenirs that you can bring back home.
Nature lovers will definitely want to explore the picturesque Vondelpark. Attracting more than 10 million visitors per year, it is the largest and most famous park in Amsterdam. Explore the park’s woodlands, visit the rose garden, and enjoy Vondelpark’s lovely lawns and ponds. In case you get hungry, there are many excellent cafes and restaurants here such as Café Vertigo and Groot Melkhuis. During the summer season, Vondelpark is home to an open-air theatre where you can watch cool performances.
2 Day Amsterdam Travel Itinerary
In the morning, head out to the Albert Cuypstraat Market. This is the place where the locals go shopping. What I like most about this local market is that you can find everything from fresh produce and fish to kitchen magnets. It’s also a good spot to find reasonably priced souvenirs and has many vendors selling all types of traditional Dutch street food dishes.
Broodjes Herring and Stroopwafels
No visit to Amsterdam is complete without trying the local foods. One of the must-taste delicacies in the city is the popular broodjes herring. It is a slice of fish that is served on a bun with onions and pickles. You will find this authentic Dutch street food snack on every corner of the city. Are you a fan of waffles?
Don’t leave the city without having one or ten stroopwafels. These tasty cookie-like cinnamon and caramel flavored waffles can also be found all over the city, but my go-to stroopwafel place is the Original Stroopwafel stand at Albert Cuypmarkt.
Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum Museums
Amsterdam is home to many amazing museums and 2 days is simply not enough to visit all of them. However, if you wish to check out the most popular museums in the city, I recommend going to the Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum Museum.
At the Van Gogh museum, you will come across some of the painter’s most famous artworks including Sunflowers and Self-Portrait with Straw Hat. This fabulous museum also houses works by other Dutch artists who were inspired by Van Gogh.
To learn more about the history and culture of the country, it’s best to visit the national museum of the Netherlands, also known as the Rijksmuseum. From paintings by Rembrandt to various exhibits like the Birds in Art and Glorious Food, there are plenty of interesting works at the Rijksmuseum to keep you occupied for at least 3 to 4 hours.
The Red Light District
Situated in one of the oldest parts of the city, the infamous Red Light District is simply a must-visit place when staying in the Dutch capital. It is a network of coffee houses, quirky museums, sex shops, and peep shows. It is one of the city’s major attractions, which means that there are thousands of people walking around the area at all times. If you are a solo traveler and don’t feel brave enough to visit these streets on your own, I suggest booking a guided tour in the evening to experience Rosse Buurt’s blaring neon lights.
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