How to Spend 2 Days in Amsterdam

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How to Spend 2 Days in Amsterdam

Amsterdam Canal

Amsterdam is one of the most popular stops on any Europe trip and it’s easy to see why. The city is stunning with its canals lined with Dutch doll houses. Explore the city by boat, bicycle or on foot. There are plenty of amazing musuems to visit and you can’t leave without eating a fresh stroopwaffel. Here are the things that should be on your travel itinerary if you’re spenidng 2 days in Amsterdam.

Getting there 

The closest airport to is Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. You can book your flight to Amsterdam here. Check out Citymapper or Google maps for the best way to use public transport to get from the airport to your accommodation. Alternatively, check out to organise your airport pick up in advance to make your arrival as stress-free as possible:

Book your European and UK trains and coaches with Trainline or Rail Europe:

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Where to stay

Looking for accommodation in Amsterdam?

Budget: Stayokay Hostel Amsterdam Oost, ClinkNOORD Hostel

Mid-range: Jaz in the City Amsterdam, Eden Hotel Amsterdam, Amsterdam ID Aparthotel

Luxury: Breitner House, Radisson Blu Hotel

Book your accommodation through here:



Top things to do in Amsterdam

Do a free walking tour of the city

Free walking tours were my bread and butter while travelling Europe. They are an amazing way to get your bearings of a city and learn a bit if history along the way. I did the Sandman’s free walking tour and loved it. The tour started in Dam Square which is where the Royal Palace and National Monument is located. Our guide then took us through the history of the Red Light District, the Old Church, the Jewish Quarter, the Dutch East India Company, the widest bridge, the narrowest house, Anne Frank’s house, the canals and we even tasted some Dutch cheese. It was thoroughly informative and something I highly recommend to anyone visiting Amsterdam. It works on a tipping basis and so the tour can fit into anyone’s budget (I will be doing a follow-up post of all the must-sees, must-eats and helpful tips for Amsterdam including helpful websites and apps).

amsterdam canal


Wander along the Dutch dollhouse-lined canals

Amsterdam houses

Travel around Amsterdammer style and rent a bike

One of the first things that comes to mind when Amsterdam is mentioned is bicycles. Yes, it has become the symbol of Holland and not without good reason. The city is crawling with bicycles. If you’re thinking of using public transport while in Amsterdam then stop right there and don’t go any further. Amsterdam is a very walkable city in the first place but the scenery is even better when enjoyed from a bike saddle. Riding a bike in Amsterdam is no easy task and one has to remember that most other cyclists are not going for a leisurely ride through the city but are in a hurry or commuting to work. There are therefore a few rules one needs to follow in order to make your ride a pleasant one:
There are special traffic lights for bicycles, make sure you follow these and not the ones for cars which read a different message.
Keep right! This allows the more impatient and aggressive riders to pass you easily.
Use hand signals to indicate your intention of turning etc.

bicycle in amsterdam

Cycle through Vondel Park 


The park is filled with many bicycle and walking tracks in among the lawns, benches and ponds. I thoroughly enjoyed my cycle through this area which reminded me of the Central Park of New York that I’d seen in movies.


Visit the Anne Frank House

The Anne Frank House is an absolute must on your Amsterdam bucketlist! Make sure you book you tickets online so you don’t have to wait in the 2 hour-long queue. It was quite a humbling experience walking through the rooms of the house where Anne and her family lived in silent hiding for two years. The museum is really well set out and takes you through the difficult journey of these people’s lives in a really comprehensive and informative manner. I also had a ‘Fault in our Stars’ moment as I looked down the very top stairs and just pictured Hazel Grace struggling with her breath as Augustus helped her to the top floor.

anne frank house

Visit the Bloemenmarkt to see gorgeous tulips

During the spring & summer months Bloemenmarkt is filled with stalls of flower sellers with their gorgeous tulips. Unfortunately, I visited in February so there were just tulip bulbs for sale and no flowers. But it is on my bucketlist to come back one day and visit the tulip fields and Keukenhof. If you are here during April & May you can book your tickets to Keukenhof Tulip Gardens here.


Visit the Van Gogh Museum

For the  most part when I visit a big city I go to the museums because it’s always on the must-see list. I end up walking around looking at artworks and wondering why on earth I needed to pay such a fee to look at art when I could be outside discovering the pulsating city that awaits. This was definitely not the case for the Van Gogh Museum. It truly was a very comprehensive display of this artist’s life story through his paintings. I was absolutely engrossed and enthralled for the 2 hours that I spent there. You will definitely need to book your tickets in advance. You can do so here.

van gogh museum

Go to Museumplein to see the Iamsterdam sign 

iamsterdam sign

Visit the Rijks Museum

The Rijks Museum is a bit like the Louvre in Paris with loooots of different art from all sorts of periods in history. I personally found it a bit overwhelming and way prefered Van Gogh. But you can grab your tickets to the Rijks Museum here.

Rijks museum

Take a boat cruise along the canals

This was one of my favourite activities that I did in Amsterdam. It is one of the best ways to see the city and is such a beauitful experice. Check out these different cruise options:

Amsterdam: City Canal Cruise

Amsterdam: Evening Canal Cruise

Amsterdam: City Canal Cruise & Heineken Experience Ticket


Amsterdam Bicycles

Enjoy some frites (chips) with mayo and satay sauce

Try one of Holland’s most typical street foods: frites (slap chips/french fries) slathered in mayonnaise and peanut sauce. It was absolutely decadent and naughty but oh-so delicious! dutch frites

Eat a fresh stroopwaffel and store-bought stroopwaffels and bring some home for your friends and family

Stroopwaffels are my favourite sweet treat and nothing beats a fresh one in Amsterdam!

Eat pannekoeke at the famous Pancake Bakery in Prinsengracht canal

Make sure you have a pancake from the famous Pancake Bakery in Prinsengracht canal. I had the ‘Dutch’ pancake which was filled with stroopwafel chunks, cinnamon ice cream, whipped cream and chocolate flakes. Heaven on a plate.

Pancake Bakery prinsengracht

Go on a cheese tasting experience

Who doesn’t love a good bit of cheese? Check out this cheese tasting tour in Amsterdam.

Visit the Red Light District 

The Red Light District in Amsterdam is a famous area in the city known for its legalized prostitution and vibrant nightlife. It’s located in the oldest part of Amsterdam, close to the central train station. The district is characterized by its narrow streets lined with old buildings, many of which have red lights above the windows to indicate that the sex workers are available for hire. Aside from the adult entertainment, the area also features bars, cafes, restaurants, and shops, making it a popular destination for tourists. It’s important to note that while prostitution is legal in the Netherlands, there are regulations in place to ensure the safety and rights of the workers. You can book a tour to the Red Light Secret Museum of Prostitution here or check out this Amsterdam Red light District & Cafe Tour.

red light district

Do the Heineken Experience

The Heineken Experience is a captivating journey through the history, brewing process, and culture of one of the world’s most iconic beer brands. Located in Amsterdam, Netherlands, it’s housed within the original Heineken brewery, which operated from 1867 until 1988. Here’s what you can expect from the experience:

  1. Historical Insights: Visitors are taken on a trip through time, learning about the fascinating story of Heineken, from its humble beginnings in 1864 when Gerard Adriaan Heineken bought the brewery, to its evolution into a global beer powerhouse.
  2. Brewing Process: The tour provides an in-depth look at the beer-making process, from the sourcing of ingredients like malt and hops to the fermentation and bottling stages. Interactive exhibits and multimedia presentations help demystify the brewing process, making it engaging for visitors of all ages.
  3. Interactive Exhibits: The Heineken Experience isn’t just about passive observation; it’s an immersive journey. Visitors can get hands-on with various interactive exhibits, including virtual reality experiences, sensory challenges, and games that test your beer knowledge.
  4. Tasting Sessions: No visit to the Heineken Experience is complete without sampling some of the brewery’s finest brews. Visitors have the opportunity to taste different varieties of Heineken beer, from the classic lager to limited-edition releases.

I didn’t do this but you can book your tickets here.




I fell in love with this absolutely beautiful city; seduced by the Dutch dollhouse-lined canals, bicycle-filled streets and oh-so-delicious stroopwafels. The air is filled with romance, the sound of church bells, bicycle trings, the whiffs of frying pannekoeke and of course the faint lingering of weed smoke. 

If you’re planning on visiting the Netherlands then you may be wanting to visit the Belgium as well. Be sure to read my blog posts Brussels and Bruges

dutch houses


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