Amsterdam is a beautiful and colourful city. Whether you are visiting on a stopover or for a weekend getaway, there is plenty to do in this vibrant city filled with plenty of museums, restaurants, and cafes. If you’re looking for recommendations on what to do in Amsterdam during a 48-hour visit, look no further.
Upon arrival, meet your transfer and journey to your hotel. Most flights to Amsterdam are overnight, and not all of them arrive after the guaranteed check-in time. So be mentally prepared to drop your bags off and head out to explore. We strongly recommend booking a central hotel as Amsterdam is compact. Being central comes at a premium, but when your time is limited it is worth the extra cost.
For your first day, consider spending the afternoon taking a canal cruise of the city. Remember that the city is famous for both the boats on the canals and bikes on the road. So as you make your way to your starting point, keep the bike part in mind when crossing the road—you don’t want to start your visit with a bike collision. That evening, find a nice cafe or restaurant for dinner and take it easy as you will have just gotten off a plane.
Good Morning Amsterdam! Start the day off like the Dutch by either having some uitsmijter, which is usually eggs on bread and then cheese melted on top, or, if you have a sweet tooth or want to experience many eight-year-old’s dream breakfast, have hagelslag. This sweet treat is traditionally chocolate sprinkles on bread. Either dish will help you start the day off before you go out and explore the city.
Next, head to the Hop-On Hop-Off bus office. Pick up a map and you are off for the day. If you have purchased tickets to skip the line at museum, then your schedule is sorted out. If you haven’t, here’s a guide for you. Keep in mind that Amsterdam is extremely busy and popular with tourists, which means lines can be long. As well, at times the museum will take a private group and close it off to the public (even if you have tickets in advance). So first head to the Anne Frank House, a popular and sobering attraction where you’ll need to line up for tickets. After visiting the Anne Frank House, you may want to head to the Rijksmuseum. Not only is the building a work of art, but it houses some beautiful masterpieces by Rembrandt and many other famous artists.
After visiting the museum, sit down, grab some lunch, and have a coffee or a drink. Enjoy simply being in a foreign city. Remember that some restaurants in Europe charge for sitting on the patio or sitting down at all. Take this in stride and make an appropriate decision; sometimes it’s worth the money just for the people watching.
If you still are good for time, make your way to the Van Gogh Museum. This is one of the most popular attractions in Amsterdam. If you are a fan of Van Gogh’s work, take your time exploring. For those travellers who aren’t huge fans: don’t worry. It is still an interesting museum to visit. Alternatively, consider taking in one of the other major museums in the city, such as the Rembrandt House Museum.
We recommend your final tourist spot to be the Heineken Brewery. This tour will top off your last night in Amsterdam. Sit back and enjoy your beer at the end of the tour and ask the locals there for a recommendation for dinner. That night, take your time to wander the streets from the brewery to your chosen restaurant for dinner and then back to your hotel.
On your final morning, enjoy breakfast and wander the streets one last time. Take in the iconic sights, from the views of the boats on the canals to the bikes whisking by on the road. Wander by the canal one last time and start planning what you would like to do on your next visit to this fantastic city. If you’re lucky, that visit will come sooner than you think.