Last Updated on: 1st March 2023, 03:17 pm
Only have two days in Amsterdam? Use this Amsterdam itinerary to plan the perfect two-day visit to Amsterdam in The Netherlands!
To make things simple, here’s what you need to know to check out the most iconic places for sightseeing in Amsterdam in two days, plus extra Amsterdam travel tips so you have a magical Dutch vacation!
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Essential Travel Tips for Your Amsterdam Weekend Itinerary
Here are a few things you need to know before you visit Amsterdam, whether you’re coming to the city from another part of the Netherlands or if Amsterdam is part of a more extensive trip around Europe!
How Many Days in Amsterdam is Enough?
You may be wondering how many days to spend in Amsterdam. If you only can visit Amsterdam for a day or two, that’s fine!
A quick trip to Amsterdam for the weekend is a great introduction to the city and first-time visitors will feel like they can get a real taste of the town.
Of course, for those wondering what’s there to do in Amsterdam is two days or more, there’s a ton to do – much more than you can see in just forty-eight hours!
Of course, you will probably be restricted by more than just how long you need in Amsterdam as the rest of your itinerary and your vacation time might dictate that you don’t get to be here as long as you want.
If you have the option of spending more time here, three days in Amsterdam (or even four) are well worth it!
Otherwise, you can do what I have done and come back to the city again and again – it’s one you will never grow tired of!
You’ll leave wondering if you’ve had enough time, but you’ll never have to wonder is Amsterdam worth visiting!
What Travelers Love about Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a fabulous European city to visit. Travelers flock to the city for its history, art, and world-famous canals, which offer beautiful views unlike anywhere else on the continent.
Art lovers take advantage of the city’s many world-class museums, including the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Rembrandt House Museum.
History-lovers know to pay their respects here, visiting import World War II and Holocaust sites like the Anne Frank House, the National Monument on Dam Square, and the Ten Boom Museum.
Other important historic sites in the city include the Portuguese Synagogue, the Old Church (Oude Kerk), the New Market, the New Church (Nieuwe Kerk), and the Royal Palace.
And of course, the entire city itself is practically an open-air museum as Amsterdam’s canals are a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
Foodies know that the Netherlands is famous for stroopwafels, pancakes, and Dutch cheese, while those looking for an adult beverage (or two) are probably aware that Amsterdam is home to Heineken (and the Heineken Experience) as well as Amstel and numerous craft breweries like Brouwerij Troost Westergas and De Prael Houthavens Brouwerij.
You won’t have time to do all of these famous tourist attractions in Amsterdam in a weekend, so feel free to mix and match any you want to add to your itinerary with my listed activities below!
Getting to Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands. As such, it’s easily accessible from many European cities like Brussels and Dutch cities like Rotterdam and Utrecht by high-speed train as well as buses.
When traveling within Europe, I usually check Rome2rio to determine the best routes, since this site lists comparisons for driving, taking the bus, taking the train, and even flying.
Overseas tourists may consider flying to Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport.
Whether I’m traveling through Schiphol or taking the train from Amsterdam’s Central Station, I find getting to and from Amsterdam to be a breeze.
How to Get Around Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a walkable city, but between the canals and the different neighborhoods, you will probably find yourself wanting to use public transportation from time to time.
The city has trams, trains, ferries, buses, taxis, and even bike rentals to help you get around.
You can purchase a GVB ticket to cover all forms of Amsterdam public transport.
I like to use the Iamsterdam website to help negotiate public transportation during my time in the city.
Get the Best Amsterdam Vacation Photos
If you are going on a special trip to Amsterdam, like a family vacation or couples getaway, you may want to leave making sure you have the best vacation photos!
You can use the service Flytographer to book a personal Amsterdam photo session so that you leave knowing you have amazing pictures to help you treasure the memories of your trip.
I used them in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and I loved how our family photos came out! In just thirty minutes, we were able to capture professional travel photos that will last a lifetime.
Two Days in Amsterdam: Itinerary for the Perfect Weekend in Amsterdam or Amsterdam City Break!
Here are my suggestions for the best places to visit in Amsterdam in 2 days, laid out in a logical way so that you can easily get around the city.
However, feel free to switch things up based on your interests!
Amsterdam Itinerary: Day 1
Ready to dive into the “Venice of the North?” Here we go!
Start Your First Day with a Pancake Breakfast!
Dutch pancakes, or pannenkoek, are a must-eat while in Amsterdam and a great way to start your initial morning in Amsterdam.
Unlike American pancakes (flapjacks), Dutch pancakes are thin and plate-sized. Common toppings include apple syrup (stroop) and powdered sugar, though you’ll also find them filled with delicious bites of gouda, cheddar, bacon, or even apples!
You can find this common Amsterdam breakfast treat all over the city. I would ask your accommodations for a recommendation for the best pancakes near where you are staying so you can jump right in first thing in the morning!
Visit the Museumplein to Tour the City’s Best Art Museums
There are three major Amsterdam Museums in the Museumplein: the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, and Stedelijk Museum, as well as Concertgebouw, the city’s main concert hall.
Only you know how much stamina you have for art museums, so you can visit one, two, or all three depending on your art-viewing appetite.
My favorite of the three is the Van Gogh Museum, and I would suggest starting here since its focused nature will help you from getting burned out on art before you make it to the next spot (if you plan on visiting two or more).
Focusing on the life and works of Vincent Van Gogh, it’s the permanent home to some of Van Gogh’s most famous works like The Potato Eaters, Sunflowers, and The Bedroom.
The Rijksmuseum is where to go to get your fill of the country’s 17th Century Masters and the best works from the Dutch Golden Age.
The national museum of the Netherlands, the Rijksmuseum covers over eight hundred years of Dutch history and art.
Some of the most famous paintings in Dutch history are on display, and nearly every important Dutch artist is represented.
Here you’ll find Vermeer’s The Milkmaid, Rembrandt’s The Night Watch, and Franz Hals’s The Merry Drinker.
Book your tickets online and book your start time and choose which ticket options you’d like included like special exhibits and guided tours.
The Stedelijk Museum is the least internationally known museum in the Museumplein, but it’s a great pick for modern art lovers as its focus is on modern art, contemporary art, and design.
This is also a much more international-focused museum. Here you’ll find works by Vincent van Gogh, Wassily Kandinsky, Marc Chagall, Andy Warhol, and Willem de Kooning, among many, many others.
Eat Lunch Outdoors to Enjoy the City’s Views
After you’re done with your morning of museums, find a cozy spot to eat a hearty lunch – you’ve earned it!
I love eating outside in Amsterdam whenever possible (though when I’ve been in Amsterdam in winter, I tend to eat inside!)
If you eat outdoors, you can enjoy views of the city’s squares, beautiful Canal houses, and hopefully a few of the city’s famous flowers!
You can eat near the Museumplein or you can head toward your next activity and eat near your pickup point.
See the City Center and Beyond on an Amsterdam Canal Cruise
I love city tours, whether it’s a walking tour, a bus tour, or even a bike tour. But the best way to tour Amsterdam is on a boat tour!
You’ll no doubt have already seen canal boats in the city, but the canal tour boats are unmistakable, with their glass tops and larger size.
Book your canal tour ahead of time, and dress in layers! You might find the temperature in your glass-topped boat is hotter than the temperature on the street or vice versa.
Soak Up the Sun at Vondelpark, Amsterdam’s Most Famous Park
A great place to people watches, Vondelpark is one of the city’s most popular attractions – for both tourists and locals.
It’s also over one hundred and fifty years old (complete with statues from the earliest days of the park), so spending a little time here is an Amsterdam tradition.
Enjoy Your Dinner at Foodhallen
At Foodhallen, the city’s most famous food hall, you’ll find a wide variety of Dutch and international cuisine.
This is a great place for travelers to dine since everyone in the group can get exactly what they want while still being able to enjoy their meal together.
Enjoy Amsterdam’s Nightlife
Amsterdam is famous for its nightlife, which includes stops in De Wallen (the neighborhood that is home to The Red Light District), Amsterdam’s infamous Coffee Shops, more traditional cafes, and even highbrow activities like going to the opera since the city is home to one of the best opera houses in Europe.
To help you choose which evening activities are right for your, check out my guide to what to do in Amsterdam at night.
Amsterdam Itinerary: Day 2
Hope you got a good night’s sleep since your second day in Amsterdam is packed with activities!
Start Your Second Day with a Good Breakfast
You can always go for another round of pancakes, or you can opt to try another traditional Dutch breakfast like wentelteefjes (similar to French toast) or hagelslag (bread with chocolate sprinkles).
Be Moved and Educated at the Anne Frank House
Anne Frank was one of the most famous victims of the Nazi Holocaust due to her diary, which was published posthumously. This unique look at what life in hiding was like for Anne helped school children all over the world learn about the horrors of this part of World War II.
Today, the house where Anne Frank and her family lived in hiding has been turned into a museum, and visitors get to see these small hiding spaces in person.
The Anne Frank Huis is one of the most moving experiences I’ve had in Europe, I can’t stress enough how much this site is a can’t-miss while in Amsterdam.
There are no skip-the-line tickets, as all tickets must be reserved through the museum’s website ahead of time.
Stroll through the Jordaan
If your experience is anything like mine, you’ll leave needing some time to reflect on what you’ve just experienced at the Anne Frank House, so give yourself space to absorb your thoughts in peace.
A walk through the Jordaan neighborhood is a great way to continue to see Amsterdam while not packing your itinerary with something jarring right after such a powerful (and sorrowful) experience.
Walk west to the Jordaan, and then wander through this part of the city until you find yourself needing to stop for lunch.
Enjoy Lunch in The Nine Streets (De 9 Straatjes)
Amsterdam’s Negen Straatjes district is also known as the Nine Little Streets. Situated between the Prinsengracht and Singel canals, this hip neighborhood has great cafes and is a perfect spot to enjoy your midday meal.
If you’re a foodie, there is a Michelin Star restaurant called Vinkeles on Keizersgracht, though budget travelers will probably gravitate more towards the neighborhood’s casual eateries.
Get a Taste of Tulipmania at the Bloemenmarkt Flower Market
Just a quick walk from the Nine Streets, no trip to Amsterdam is complete without a stop at the famous Bloemenmarkt.
The history of Holland is synonymous with tulips, and you can see them for yourself, even if you can’t make it out to a tulip field.
This is a great place to shop for Amsterdam souvenirs, but don’t buy any plants before looking up your country’s import rules for agricultural products!
Play Tourist at Dam Square, the Royal Palace, and Begijnhof
For some of the most touristy spots in the city, head over to Dam Square. On the square, you’ll see historic landmarks like the Royal Palace (Koninklijk Palace), the New Church (Nieuwe Kerk), and the National Monument.
For something slightly more off-beat, add a stop at Begijnhof. This medieval courtyard was home to the Catholic Beguine sisterhood and is truly like stepping back in time.
If you won’t be spending another night in the city but moving to another European destination, you can walk down Damrak from here to arrive at the Central Station. Otherwise, get ready to enjoy your final Amsterdam evening!
Enjoy Your Last Evening in Amsterdam
What you choose to do for your last night is up to you, but you can go back to my Amsterdam nightlife guide to help you determine what activities are best for your group.
More Things to Do in Amsterdam in 2 Days – or More!
This itinerary will guide you to the best of Amsterdam in 2 days, but there’s always more to see!
If you find a way to extend your 2 days in Amsterdam, or you want to pack more in, here are a few more ideas:
Visit the Noord area of the city, including a stop at the A’dam Lookout for epic views of the city.
Stroll the De Pijp neighborhood, making sure to stop by the Albert Cuyp Market.
Shop at the Waterlooplein Flea Market.
Plan a day trip to see traditional Dutch windmills in Zaanse Schans, the tulip fields of Keukenhof, or the fairytale towns of Giethoorn or Volendam.