How to spend 48 hours in Amsterdam

How to Spend 48 Hours in Amsterdam


Boasting romantic winding canals, a rich art scene and a poignant past, Amsterdam has long been a tourist favourite. With its many cobbled roads and scenic canals, an in-depth tour of Amsterdam would take several days. However, with our top Amsterdam things to do list, you can catch all of the city’s highlights by spending just 48 hours in Amsterdam. 

Day One

Start your day with pancakes
Who can claim to have travelled to Amsterdam without having sampled their authentic pancakes? PANCAKES Amsterdam not only serves the most delicious variety of Hollandse Pannenkoeken or Dutch pancakes, but also a wonderful array of the American version of pancakes. Also on offer are poffertjes – tiny, fluffy, melt-in-the-mouth pancakes. Eat to your heart’s content as you decide what to do in Amsterdam on your very first day. 

Visit the Royal Palace Amsterdam
Visit Koninklijk Paleis (Royal Palace) to feel dwarfed by its grand interiors. The palace is one of three palaces of Amsterdam that is still being used by the Dutch royal family. Explore its stunning 17th century classical architecture and wander to the imposing Citizens’ Hall to admire the marble floor and the large statue of Atlas holding up the sky. 

Pay homage at Anne Frank House
Make your way to the Anne Frank House, one of the most visited places in Amsterdam, to tick the next item off your Amsterdam things to do list. Go behind the swinging bookcase and down to the secret hiding place where Anne Frank and her family lay hiding from the Nazis for two years, before they were found. Relive the difficult time through the various the museum exhibits, from candid black and white photographs to the original red chequered diary.

Grab a meal at Noordermarkt
From organic fruits, vegetables and herbs, to coffee rolls, croissants, and raspberry cakes, the Farmer's Market on Noordermarkt offers a range of delicious foods. Browse the various stalls selling the freshest produce and create your own lunch menu. 

Enjoy an al fresco lunch 
After selecting your lunch, make your way to Vondelpark, the largest park in Amsterdam. Find a quiet corner amidst the 47 acres of lush greenery, either under the cool shade of a tree or by the shimmering waters of the pond and enjoy a delightful al fresco lunch – a must on every what to do in Amsterdam list. 

Admire Van Gogh’s art
Visit the Van Gogh Museum to view some of the best works of the country’s famous son. Home to a large collection of the artist’s painting and letters, you will have the opportunity to view up to 200 pieces of art from the legendary post-impressionist artist.

Take a quiet cruise along the canals
Amsterdam has been famously known as the Venice of the North and it is time to find out why. Book a canal cruise and glide under the many bridges, lined with elm and lime trees, as you enjoy a Venice-esque view of the beautiful, laidback city. To cruise the UNESCO World Heritage-listed canal system, passing elegant merchant’s residences that reflect the prosperity of the Dutch Golden Age, is one of the top Amsterdam things to do. A canal cruise is the perfect way to conclude day one of your 48 hours in Amsterdam

Day Two

Explore Amsterdam on two wheels
When in Amsterdam, do as the Dutch do. Hop on a bicycle and tour the region on two wheels, passing a number of quintessentially Dutch villages and traditional windmills along the way. With a blissfully flat terrain, thoughtful cycle-friendly infrastructure and year-round pleasant climate, it is no wonder cycling is a popular Amsterdam things to do. 

Browse Rijksmuseum
If you’re a museum fan, you’re in luck. Amsterdam is filled with some of the world’s best museums to add to your what to do in Amsterdam list. Visit the 19th century Rijksmuseum and fall in love with some of the finest works of Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Van Dyck, along with over 8,000 other intriguing museum pieces. 

Down a beer at the Heineken Museum
From art lovers to beer lovers, Amsterdam has something for everyone. Another experience to add to your ‘what to do in Amsterdam’ list is the Heineken Museum. Learn about the history of one of the world’s favourite beers, along with its brewing process, and technology on a guided tour at Heineken’s first ever brewery, set inside a historical building. After you’ve learned about how it is made, sit back and wash it all down with a couple of cold ones.

Tour the Haarlem
To make the rest of your 48 hours in Amsterdam memorable, take a little trip to Haarlem to soak in the historical sites and cultural attractions of this small town, located outside Amsterdam. Take the short 20-minute train ride from Amsterdam to Haarlem and join a guided walking tour to get acquainted with the town and discover its hidden gems. Visit the well-known Grote Markt and enjoy a cuppa at an outdoor café, walk around the beautiful medieval streets and structures, tour the Molen De Adriaan windmill, and visit the Corrie Ten Boom House, belonging to the Ten Boom family who sheltered and saved several hundred Jews during World War II.  

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