If you have 3 days in Amsterdam and aren’t sure where to start, read on.
Amsterdam is a beautiful city that’s bursting at the seams with world-class museums, live music, theatre, quirky festivals and endless bars and restaurants. Over three days you’ll have the opportunity to experience not only the biggest tourist attractions on offer, but you’ll also get to delve deeper into the local life of the city and its people.
Discover the history of the city, visit postcard-perfect places like the Jordaan District and enjoy Amsterdam’s culinary hot spots for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Coffee enthusiasts will also love the abundance of specialty coffee shops dotted around the city.
Alongside the world-class museums like Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam’s Red Light District is also one of the most unique tourist attractions you’re likely to see. The more adventurous travellers will also love exploring Amsterdam by bike or by boat on one of the many tours on offer.
So if you have 3 days in Amsterdam, here’s what you need to see!
What you shouldn’t miss if you spend 3 days in Amsterdam
The Great Outdoors
Alongside the city’s 165 UNESCO world heritage listed canals, there are many other incredible ways to experience the great outdoors in Amsterdam. Renting a bike and riding to the luscious Vondelpark is a perfect way to spend a morning. Amsterdam’s ARTIS Zoo is a popular attraction, and nature-lovers can also head to the stunning Hortus Botanicus indoor garden. All this and we haven’t even mentioned Amsterdam’s very own urban beach yet…
Amsterdam’s Biggest Attractions
Amsterdam is full of wonderful museums, secret courtyards, charming cobbled streets and ancient churches. There’s over 800 years of history to discover! As well as the famous museums like Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum and Anne Frank House, you’ll also find museums about cats, houseboats, archaeology, handbags and cheese. Not to mention the raunchier side of the city in the Red Light District with its buzzing nightlife and ‘coffee shops’.
Food & Drink
Amsterdam has a little bit of everything when it comes to its food scene. You’ll find street food vendors serving traditional dutch dishes like raw herring, chips and mayo or stroopwafels. There’s an endless stream of trendy cafés and restaurants with queues snaking around the corner. There are also 16 Michelin star restaurants to choose from. Over 3 Days in Amsterdam you’ll really be able to taste the best of what Amsterdam has to offer.
Day one in Amsterdam
Recommended things to do and see on your first day in Amsterdam
Start your morning in the Museum Quarter at Rijksmuseum or Van Gogh Museum – or both if you have the time! Rijksmuseum is the national Dutch museum that features the work of artists like Rembrandt, Vermeer and Frans Hals. It’s also home to what’s probably one of the most photogenic libraries you’ve ever seen. Meanwhile, the Van Gogh Museum houses the biggest collection of Van Gogh’s work.
After a morning of museums, it’s time to experience the city by bike! Grab a bike from a local rental shop and head towards the popular Vondelpark. If you’re a little unsure on a bike, you’ll be happy to know that Amsterdam is the cycling capital of the world. Its incredible network of bike paths and lanes are considered so safe that you’ll spot everyone from toddlers to grandparents using them.
In Amsterdam’s trendy De Pijp area you’ll find Heineken’s historic brewery. Once inside you can explore an interactive museum and tour through Heineken’s history. You’ll also learn all about the brewing process and get a behind-the-scenes look at how Heinekens are made from start to finish. You’ll end the tour in the tasting room, where you’ll enjoy two drinks and a tasting as part of the experience.
Where to stay on your first night in Amsterdam
Recommended activities for your first day in Amsterdam
Day two in Amsterdam
Recommended things to do and see on your second day in Amsterdam
The world-famous Anne Frank House is one of the most popular museums in the country, so it’s best to get there first thing in the morning. As the hiding place of Anne Frank and her family during the Nazi occupation in World War II, the experience is bound to be an emotional and educational one. Whether you’re familiar with the story or just interested to see what it’s all about – this is an absolute must-see on your visit to Amsterdam.
Anne Frank House is found in Jordaan – one of Amsterdam’s most well-known neighbourhoods. Famous for its iconic beauty and charm, the area is also home to other popular attractions like the Nine Streets -filled with cosy cafés and excellent shopping, and Noordermarkt square which has a popular local market. You can easily spend an hour just wandering around, soaking up the beauty of Jordaan.
Finally, Amsterdam’s famous Red Light District (known by locals as De Wallen) is found right in the centre of town. Despite being a main zone for brothels and sex shows, the area is also incredibly popular with tourists who simply wish to wander down the street, gaze at the live exhibits and take in the history of the area. The Red Light District is surprisingly G-rated during the day before the party crowd arrives in the evenings.
Where to stay on your second night in Amsterdam
What to eat on your second day in Amsterdam
Recommended activities for your second day in Amsterdam
Day three in Amsterdam
Recommended things to do and see on your third day in Amsterdam
On your third day in Amsterdam, it’s time to get back to nature. Families and animal lovers will love the Zoo in Amsterdam’s Plantage district. Also in the area you’ll find the jaw-dropping Hortus Botanicus. It’s one of the world’s oldest botanical gardens. If that’s not enough, it also has an incredible hothouse that will end up all over your Instagram account!
If you thought you can’t get any beach time on a city break, think again. Now is the perfect time to make your way towards Roest – Amsterdam’s very own urban beach. Pull up a deck chair, order a drink or perhaps some snacks and spend your afternoon enjoying the water views with sand between your toes.
In the evening, it’s time to enjoy Amsterdam from the water. There are over 165 canals in the city and plenty of cruise options to enjoy the sunset. Whether you go on a simple evening sightseeing cruise or choose something a little more special, like a 4-course dinner cruise, there’s nothing quite like seeing the twinkling lights of Amsterdam from the canals’ waters.
What to eat on your third day in Amsterdam
Recommended activities for your third day in Amsterdam