Amsterdam is such a unique city, with over 100 km of canals running throughout the city.
An influx of many different cultures into one with it’s own flair, you could spend so long in The Netherlands and Amsterdam alone, however this is how you can make the most of your two day visit:
Arrive & Check-In
After we landed, we left the airport and checked in at the Amsterdam Marriot, which was affordable for our group of four, SUPER nice and a great location, being no more than a 10 minute drive from anywhere we wanted to go.
Stroll along the Damrak, which is an avenue and canal at the center of Amsterdam. Here, you can grab dinner and view the beautiful “gingerbread houses,” then go home and rest up for the bust days ahead.
Anne Frank House
Make sure you reserve weeks in advance! We booked our tour one of the first days we were allowed to (two months in advance) and even then, half the times were already reserved for the day. We decided to do this first thing in the morning.
It’s a self-guided tour with headphones so it’s a somber, very humbling experience. In my opinion, an absolute and complete MUST.
Dutch Pancake Breakfast
Right next door, there’s a dutch pancake shop for a quick breakfast! There were plenty of varieties and different types of pancakes. And guess the name of the place…Pancakes.
Jordaan Canal Tour
Luckily, right outside the Anne Frank House has a pick-up point for a lot of canal tours. There are plenty of different options/routes/lengths that you can find online. We did a daytime tour, but I was also recommended a night tour if we got the chance. I guess I will have to save for next time!
Shop De Negen Straatjes or Nine Streets
I traveled with three women and when we heard about Nine Streets, we had to go. I’m really glad we did and it reminded me of a soft, Dutch version of Soho in Manhattan. Luxury and budget boutiques roamed the streets and I was able to find some really special souvenir jewelry and other items.
De Foodhallen for lunch
Foodhallen was a giant artisian food court with options for everyone! I personally loved it because it was the first time I felt like I ate something super green and healthy during my European trip. We also passed a few street markets on the way here which was nice.
Picnic in Vondelpark
After lunch, we walked to a wine store nearby Vondelpark and grab a bottle to split among us. Proceed with caution, because I’m not exactly sure if drinking in public is authorized in Amsterdam… oops.
The park would be beautiful for a pastry breakfast or a basket lunch one day as well! The park is huge so we were able to walk through the entire way home.
Dinner & Red Light District
We went back to the hotel to rest and freshen up to hit dinner. We ate at the trendy Asian restaurant HappyHappyJoyJoy and then headed to the Red Light District out of curiosity.
If you don’t know what the Red Light District is, or I urge you to research before you go. I have no photos to share of this experience and you shouldn’t expect any. I’ll leave that at that!
I was recommended this museum because it’s got a little of everything and it’s extremely beautiful. I loved the exhibits at the bottom level & make sure to download the app! You could spend hours here.
Although we didn’t get to go (reserve ahead of time!!), the Van Gogh museum is nearby. The “Iamsterdam” sign used to be outside, but the city removed it due to the crowding of tourists.
Rent a Bike
Although very easy to do, make sure to ask the rental associate about the road rules in Amsterdam. I’m pretty sure we went to a pathway that was forbidden and we actual got in a small wreck! It was definitely still a fun must-do, but I just caution you to prepare.
Here, you can see the National monument, tour the Royal Palace, shop at De Bijenkorf, view some performers and people watch. We stayed to just walk around and pop into shops and it was worth our time to do that.
Eat the best fries on Earth
The best fries I’ve ever had are located near the Damrak. I don’t remember the sauce, but it was a peach/pinkish color and it was incredible! I’m serious: best fries ever. Go there and eat them!
Take the Free Ferry from Amsterdam Central to Amsterdam Noord
Not only was the experience free, but it gave us a different perspective into the city. The North side was so much quieter, and it transformed us to a different world. On Saturdays, there are markets worth exploring this side of town as well.
Subs/What I’m saving for next time:
- Food out of the wall-my dutch friend recommended this and I never got a chance to try. I saw tons around Dam Square
- Albert Cuypstraat market-huge market for souvenirs and dutch food
- Edam– This is a cheese market for the cheese enthusiasts
- Zaanse Schans– these are windmills you can visit on a simple day trip
- Bloenmarkt– Floating Flower Market that I would have loved to see!
- Keukenhif Garden-Tulip gardens in the city
- Oude Kerk-Amsterdam’s oldest building—literally translates to Old Church
You can follow along on instagram and see videos of these places on my story highlights @along.came.alex. As always, happy traveling and thanks so much for reading!
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