Two Days in Amsterdam – Best Things to do in 48 Hours

By: Anna Aksionova, an art and culture fanatic discovering her own Amsterdam.

Edited by: Matthew Wears

The capital of the Netherlands is one of the largest cities in Europe with one of the most vibrant and eclectic cultures, so making a two days in Amsterdam itinerary feels like not enough! But I’ll try to squeeze a little bit of everything in, so you can experience all of the different sides to the city. Most of the sights that are deemed must see in Amsterdam are actually within the city centre, so you can see many of the major highlights in a short space of time. One of my top tips would be to rent a bike so that you can quickly get from place to place. If you’re asking yourself 'is two daus in Amsterdam enough?’, then I’m here to show you that it absolutely is if you follow this guide. Read on to learn exactly where to go and what to see, so that you can discover how to spend two days in Amsterdam.

Day One

Start your trip by stopping at one of the central district’s many amazing cafes and grabbing some breakfast. Amsterdam is famous for its patisseries, so now is a good time to try out some of the local delicacies. Then, first up on your two days in Amsterdam itinerary is a visit to the Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder, a 17th century canal house that now operates as a museum. It is the second oldest museum in the entire city, and I love it because it gives you a glimpse inside the type of buildings that are so often just viewed by tourists from the outside. The most impressive part of the building is the Church that is located in the attic, which definitely makes it a must see in Amsterdam. Then, it’s time to walk the streets of the infamous red-light district, an area of the city that is very beautiful if you can look past the seedy side of it, which during the day is kept to a minimum anyway.

Time For Lunch

Next, make your way South to the Williem Van Loon museum, a 17th century house that was owned by one of the founders of the Dutch East Indies Trading Company. Exploring the many lavish rooms of the house is one of the most unique experiences in Amsterdam, as it is an extremely important historical attraction for those interested in one of the most important eras in Dutch history. The rose garden is a must see in Amsterdam during the summer and make sure you taste an apple pie from here, they’re my favourite in the city! Now it’s time for lunch at one of the most interesting places around; Restaurant de Plantage. This is in the East of the city and has an outside terrace that closely overlooks the ARTIS Zoo.

Shopping In The City

After lunch, head to a local gem known as the nine streets, a vibrant micro-neighbourhood complete with many vintage and speciality shops. There are also great coffee shops in this area and I would recommend getting a table outside. There are also many boutique accommodation options here and it’s close proximity to the city centre, making it a great option for those curious as to where to stay for two days in Amsterdam. You are now close to the Jordan neighbourhood, a part of Amsterdam famous for its many great restaurants and bars. Food from pretty much anywhere around the world can be found here, although local restaurants such as Moeders offer the perfect chance to try some traditional Dutch cuisine.  

Day Two

On the second day of your two days in Amsterdam itinerary, it’s time to discover some more of the city’s amazing museums. The obvious starting point for this would be Museum Square, an area of the city that includes some of Holland’s most important museums and galleries. In the Rijksmuseum discover Rembrandts iconic masterpiece, The Night’s Watch, or marvel at the ever-colourful work of one of the most forward thinking artists of all time in the Van Gogh Museum. Exploring this area is absolutely one of my top ten things to do in Amsterdam, so make time to visit at least one of these amazing attractions. Just a short walk from here is Vondelpark, the city’s most famous green space which contains lakes and gardens as well as animals. Riding a bike around here is one of the most enjoyable things to do in the city, or why not take some food and sit out on the grass if the weather is warm enough!

Smell The Flowers

After lunch, head back to the centre to experience the colour and aromas of the Flower Market, an absolute must see for anyone visiting Amsterdam for the first time. It is the only floating flower market of its kind anywhere in the world and is another historically important sight in the city. Spring and summer is when the market is at its most vibrant, with tulips and geraniums filling the streets with all kinds of colours. This is also one of my top ten things to do in Amsterdam if you’re short on money, because it costs nothing to experience of the sights and smells of the market. From here take a short walk North over the canal, to Begijnhof, a small enclosed courtyard that once housed a Catholic sisterhood who lived like nuns. These are the oldest buildings in the city, dating all the way back to 14th century, so make sure you include this in your two days in Amsterdam itinerary.

A Musical Feast

With so many options on how to spend your nights during your two days in Amsterdam, what to do in the evenings can be a tough choice! I love classical music, and I think that anyone visiting Amsterdam for the first time should watch a concert here as it is a truly memorable experience. The Concertgebouw is the most popular place in the city and offers a selection of shows all year round. It is meant to have the world's best acoustics so seeing a show here would be one of the most unique experiences in Amsterdam you could have. After this, head back up to Museum Square for some late-night cocktails and food at Tunes, one of my favourite bars in the city

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