2 Days in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a perfect place to go for a city break. Just 2 days in Amsterdam is enough to visit all must-see sites, although stay longer if you can. If you are a fan of specific architecture with narrow buildings, intricate canal system or charming streets, Amsterdam will be your city.
Amsterdam is one of the most picturesque cities in Europe and probably the top place in the Netherlands. Many people think that Amsterdam is popular only for coffeeshops and the Red light district however, there is much more to it.
In this 2 day Amsterdam itinerary, I will be sharing with you the top things you should see if you have only 48h in this amazing city.
Are you vegan? Sometimes enjoying a city to it’s fullest can be tricky when you’re a vegan as not all places serve vegan food and you might have to hike across town just to get a decent lunch. To make it easier for vegan travelers here’s a guide to vegan Amsterdam.
Get ready for an incredible journey as I want you to enjoy these 2 days in Amsterdam to the fullest.
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2 days in Amsterdam
Canal Boat Ride
Taking a canal ride is one of the must-do activities in Amsterdam as you can see the city from a different perspective. I recommend you to take a small open boat instead of the big boats full of tourists with glass windows.
The small open boat offers a more intimate experience and for sure you will find fewer people there. Those Dam Boat Guys do a good tour.
Dam Square is the main Amsterdam square and even if it‘s crowded most of the time, it should be included in your itinerary for 2 days in Amsterdam.
When you get to Dam Square, you can see the Royal Palace of Amsterdam on one side and National Monument on the other side. The National Monument is a popular meeting point and the main place for any important event in the city.
Floating Flower Market (Bloemenmarkt)
The flower market is the only floating flower market in the world and for this reason, it deserves to be included in your 48h Amsterdam visit.
You can find about 15 florist shops with flowers, bulbs or souvenirs and it is a perfect place to buy some presents or tulip bulbs to bring a bit of Amsterdam home.
Waterlooplein Flea Market
When you were taking the canal boat ride, you might be able to see Waterlooplein flea market. Waterlooplein is the oldest and also the most famous flea market in Amsterdam and probably in the whole country.
It is a unique place with many different kinds of vintage items like books or old records. Some people also buy second-hand bikes here as you can negotiate a pretty good price.
Coffee Shops in Amsterdam
In this 2 day itinerary, I have to include a visit to a coffee shop in Amsterdam as you should not miss this experience. Amsterdam is very liberal regarding the coffee shops as you can buy and consume cannabis legally to smoke or eat in brownies.
If it‘s not for you you can always find an alternative and go for a beer instead.
Red Light District
There are two options, visit Red light district during the day or during the night.
I would suggest both as during the daylight it has totally different vibe than during the night. If you are coming with children, I would recommend visiting this neighbourhood only during the daylight.
Red Light District is one of the famous attractions in Amsterdam, especially at night as you will be able to see sex workers legally offering sex trading. The district gets illuminated with red lights at night, hence it’s named, and it is a real experience.
If you want to get even more of the full experience you can go to watch a sex show in an actual theatre as you would usually go to watch a play. There’s also a museum of prostitution you can visit.
Albert Cuyp Market
Albert Cuyp Market is the largest and the most popular outdoor market in the Netherlands where you can feel the typical laid back atmosphere.
With over 260 stands selling everything from bags, shoes, flowers to fresh fish or stroopwafels. It is located in the heart of Pijp neighbourhood which is popular for its lively atmosphere with many restaurants and cafes.
If you start here your second day in Amsterdam, don’t forget to grab some delicious breakfast.
Van Gogh Museum
Van Gogh museum is one of the most visited museums in the Netherlands. When you step into the modern building you will be able to explore the world´s largest collection of work by Vincent van Gogh.
You can only purchase the ticket online so I would recommend to do it in advance as it can be easily sold out.
If you’d rather try an alternative museum check out the Moco Museum.
If you are a fan of the grandmasters of art, Rijksmuseum should be on your list of 2 days in Amsterdam. This museum is huge and it offers more than 8000 masterpieces in a stunning building.
You can easily spend a whole day here so if you want to include this visit in your short itinerary, take a one hour guided tour.
Vondelpark is a perfect place to Relax in Amsterdam. Local people go there to sunbathe, walk dogs or have a nice picnic.
It is a great spot to enjoy your afternoon with your friends while drinking a cold beer in the summer heat.
Anne Frank House
Probably there is no need to introduce one of the most famous houses in the world Anne Frank house.
It is a must-see in your 2 days travel itinerary in Amsterdam but be aware that getting a ticket it is a challenge. I would recommend to check the official website at least one month in advance and book your spot, otherwise, you might not be able to get in.
Anne Frank and her family lived in a secret annexe for more than 2 years hiding from Nazi´s. During this time, she wrote her diary which became an incredibly important piece of history.
To see Amsterdam from a different perspective, visit A´DAM Lookout Tower and enjoy a panoramic view of the whole city.
If you like adventure, take Europe´s highest swing on the sky deck.
Amsterdam city card
Is the Amsterdam city card worth it for 2 days trip to Amsterdam?
The Amsterdam city card gives you access to all major highlights, more than 70 museums, public transport and canal cruise.
For 48h the price is 85 EUR which is quite expensive if you take into account that transport from the airport is not included nor the ticket to Anne Frank house.
Overall, getting the card makes sense only if you are going to use public transport and visit at least 3 attractions which are included in the card.
Where to Stay
ClinkNOORD Hostel is €30 ($32 UDS) a night for a dorm room or €100 ($110 USD) a night for a private room. If you are on a budget, this is a place for you.
Located just about 10min from the Amsterdam Central station the hostel has a great vibe.
Crown Plaza hotels are reliably good and Crowne Plaza South is no exception. Rooms are €220 ($230 USD) a night which is about midrange for Amsterdam.
It takes only about 15min to get to the heart of Amsterdam by metro from the hotel.
Pulitzer Amsterdam is right in the centre of Amsterdam, although it still manages to remain quite.
The hotel has wonderfully quirky architecture and decoration but it will set you back €470 ($500 USD a night).
Where to Eat
When on a tight city itinerary its always good to look up some spots to eat along the way. I listed some good and easy options below. If you are a bit of a foodie and have some extra time to spend check out this list of Amsterdam food you need to try.
For an amazing breakfast, visit Pancake Bakery. They serve delicious pancakes with many different toppings and trust me it is a perfect start of the day.
Foodhallen is a place for food lovers as you can taste anything from Dutch food to Mexican Tacos. It is basically a classy indoor food court with bars and a great vibe.
My favourite restaurant in Amsterdam, De Kas. It is a unique concept where they cultivate more than 100 different types of vegetables, herbs and fruits and create amazing dishes.
Many people visit only Amsterdam, however, just 15min by train you can visit the amazing city of Haarlem.
Haarlem is a popular destination for a day trip or just a short visit in the afternoon. In Haarlem, you can explore the main square and relax in one of the outdoor cafes.
Utrecht is also located just about 30min from Amsterdam and it is a perfect destination for one day trip.
If you are coming between April and May, don’t miss visiting Keukenhof Tulip Gardens.
Keukenhof is a really beautiful place with blooming tulips, daffodils and hyacinths. It is a perfect day trip from Amsterdam and you will leave with an unforgettable experience.
What was your favourite thing to do in 2 days in Amsterdam? Let me know in the comments below.
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