We all know that time passes very quickly when you’re on holiday. This is very true, especially when it comes to a city-break in Amsterdam . Therefore, it is best to make a small travel plan from home, and decide on the priorities.
Amsterdam is a small city, that even the laziest of us can easily walk through. However, we guarantee that you’ll fall in love with it at first sight. Many people compare it to a fairytale – and as soon as you get there you’ll immediately understand why.
We want to present you a 3-days travel itinerary that we believe contains the most important points of interest. Of course, if you have the option to, it’s recommended to stay a few more days, to get a better idea of what the city is all about. We noticed that many people choose a shorter visit, however, so we’ll try to compress the attractions of Amsterdam in three full days. Here’s the result:
It is clear that on the first day you have to “feel” city. Many of the accommodation units are located next to Amsterdam Central Station, where the madness begins. It is also the point where you will get to know Amsterdam, because here is where the train from the Schipol airport will drop you off (the trip does not take more than 15 minutes and costs 5.10 euro / p).
From here, you’ll jump straight into the crowds. This is a great first contact with the city. Near this route you will also encounter two imposing Gothic churches: The Old Church or Oude Kerk, and the New Church – Niew Kerk.
Dam Square. Inevitably, all roads lead to this market. It is the epicenter of walks through Amsterdam, as well as the busiest place in the city. Representative for the market is the Royal Palace (Koninklijk Palace), which does not belong to the crown, but important meetings still take place here. Just next to the place is another gothic church – Nieuwe Kerk, definitely worth checking out.
Inside the market, you’ll find a shopping mall – Magna Plaza, and also the famous Madame Tussauds wax museum, which you should visit if you haven’t already visited one from Vienna , New York , Hong Kong or London . In Dam Square you will find excitement, lots of happy tourists and funny street performers.
Continue towards Nine Streets, the shopping area of Amsterdam. Even if you don’t plan to buy anything, a walk here is obligatory, at least for the cheese shops where you’ll find all kinds of cheese you could think of – with chilly, herbs, pesto, gouda, etc. They also have free samples!Be ready however, this place is usually extremely crowded.
Begijnhof. During your first day’s walk you will find a small and cozy market called Spui, with plenty of terraces and occasionally fairs. Here is also Begijnhof, one of the oldest inner courtyards in Amsterdam, dating from the early 14th century. These buildings were built for Begijntjes, a religious group of Catholic nuns. It is open daily between 8 and 17, and the entrance is free of charge.
Cruise on the canals. For your first day in Amsterdam, it’s also a great idea to go on a boat ride on the canals, which is sort of an introduction to Amsterdam’s atmosphere. You will see the city from another perspective, and you will enjoy the Flemish houses and the old bridges, while the audio guide will tell you about the city.
Most tours on the canals start and end in the Museumplein area. That means you will be close to Heineken Experience. After cruising, you’ll probably be thirsty. So it would be a good idea to visit the former factory of one of the most famous beer brands in the world. I really enjoyed the experience, because the museum is interactive and you will not get bored for a second. I will not give more details, the fabric has to be discovered on its own. I can only say you’re gonna drink lots of beer!
Let’s start the next day off with a bit of culture. The largest and most famous museums in Amsterdam are Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh. Of the two, we recommend the latter, because it has the world’s largest collection of Van Gogh paintings. Moreover, you will be able to observe the artist’s evolution and learn more about his life. The entry price is 17 euro, and you should buy the ticket online if you don’t want to waste time waiting in line.
Since you’re already in the area, take a selfie at the famous I AMSTERDAM sign.
Bike ride. No visit to Amsterdam is complete without a bicycle ride. I recommend Green Bikes and Yellow Bikes, especially because you get to ride a nice, colorful bike. My advice is to ride through Vondelpark, the largest park in Amsterdam, where you can take small rest breaks on the fresh and green grass. You can also turn to quieter residential areas to avoid crowding, but also to be able to explore parts of the city that you haven’t.
Prices are about 6.5 euros / 3 hours or 9 euros / all day for the Green Bikes for pedal brake bicycles. The ones with with hand brakes are a bit more expensive.
I know riding a bicycle can get you tired, but take a nice, long walk around the city, you will have plenty of time to rest at home. Walk through Rembrandtplein, the market where “Night Watch”, Rembrandt’s famous painting, is depicted through 3D statues. You can admire the original famous painting at the Rijksmuseum. When the night falls, check out the beautifully lit bridges that cross the canals of Amsterdam.
Start the third day with a walk on Singel, where you’ll enjoy the serenity of the less crowded canals.
The Amsterdam Flower Market. Holland means tulips. You’ll get a chance to see this unfold in front of your eyes in the Flower Market, where the walk on Singel will surely lead you. What will you find there? An explosion of colors, of course. It is best to get to the spring when the tulips are blooming and ready to be taken home with you. But nonetheless, bulbs can be found throughout the whole year. Thousands of them.
Jordaan. Amsterdam’s most famous residential district is Jordaan. Preferred by artists and bohemian inhabitants of the city, the area will win you with the labyrinthine streets, hidden inner courtyards, cafes and art galleries.
The most famous tourist destination in Jordaan is the Anne Frank House, the Jewish girl who kept a diary during the Nazi occupation, when she and her family stayed hidden in this house for two years, until eventually, she become one of the most famous victims of the Holocaust.
Afterwards, our honest advice is to relax a little and look for a beautiful terrace on the canal, where you can enjoy a Dutch beer.
This day was specifically designed so that you get more time for free roaming around this beautiful city. Get lost on its picturesque streets, let the crowds take you to new places and get carried away. You won’t be disappointed.
I hope our itinerary will help you discover Amsterdam. But do not forget the following thing! Even if you’re planning a visit from home, you have to let the streets tell you their own story. Take small deviations from the route and take random walks. Enjoy the city!