2 Days in Amsterdam

2 Days in Amsterdam: Itinerary for Culture Lovers

2 days in Amsterdam doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but with some careful planning, you can still cover a lot. Using this 2-day itinerary for Amsterdam, you can spend less time planning and more time enjoying what this incredible city has to offer.

Amsterdam is one of my favourite cities in Europe. Not only aesthetically pleasing but bursting with culture, alive with excitement, and offering plenty of amazing things to see and do.

Of course, everybody who comes to Amsterdam has different intentions in mind. However, I am confident my itinerary will be suitable for most people.

I combine some of the famous Amsterdam attractions with some lesser-known and quirkier spots so that you get a comprehensive experience of what this city is all about.

So, let’s jump into it. Here’s my suggested Amsterdam itinerary for two days in the city.

View of Amsterdam Canal and Bikes
We hope you enjoy this 2 day Amsterdam Itinerary!

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2 Day Amsterdam Itinerary FAQs

Best Time to Visit Amsterdam

bikes sat under tree in amsterdam park

There is no right or wrong time to go to Amsterdam. I’ve visited the city in all of the seasons, and I’ve never not enjoyed myself. Every season brings something new and unique.

In spring, the iconic tulips are in bloom. During summer, the city is alive with festivities. In autumn, it’s beautiful and calm. It’s also an epic European Christmas destination, with festive markets and frozen canals. 

If you are relying on good, warm weather for sightseeing, between May and October will be your safest bet. Although this is Amsterdam, so always come prepared for rain!

April to September is the high season in Amsterdam, and the city can get extremely busy. You may consider travelling in the shoulder season (March and September-November) to avoid the crowds.

You should still get pretty good weather in the shoulder season, and there’s still plenty going on, but with the added benefit of not having to battle with huge crowds.

Tip: If visiting in the Tulip season (April and May), consider a tour to Keukenhof – a wonderland of blossoming tulips, hyacinths, and daffodils.

Getting Around in Amsterdam

Train approaching at Amsterdam station

It’s super easy to get around and explore Amsterdam. For those who love walking, it’s a super walkable city. Many of the main attractions are within walking distance of the city centre.

Public transport is also plentiful, with trains, trams, boats, and buses that take you to all corners of the city. With an iAmsterdam card, public transport is free of charge.

Another way to get around the city (which is our favourite way) is by bicycle. Amsterdam has more bikes than people, and this is how most locals get around.

Designated bike lanes make it incredibly easy and safe to explore the city by bicycle. Frankly, we found it less overwhelming than travelling on foot.

You can rent bikes at various locations around the city. The iAmsterdam card also includes 24-hour free bike rental.

Amsterdam Tours

First-timers in the city might benefit from a guided tour. Especially with just 2 Days in Amsterdam, it can be a convenient way of getting to know the city.

I highly recommend this Guided Bike Tour, which allows you to experience riding a bike in the city while visiting some of Amsterdam’s most notable landmarks.

We always use Get Your Guide when we book tours. They have an endless selection of tours in locations worldwide, including Amsterdam. Check them out!

Where to Stay with 2 Days in Amsterdam

Entrance to bunk hotel in Amsterdam

Naturally, there is an endless choice of places to stay in Amsterdam. From budget hostels and 5* hotels to quirky air bnbs, there is something for everybody.

With just 2 days in Amsterdam, it might be worth staying centrally since this will allow you to maximise your exploration time. The Jordaan and Centrum areas are both popular choices.

However, it doesn’t matter if you are a little further out, say in Noord, for example, since most areas are well connected to the city centre via public transport.

We stayed at the quirky Bunk Hotel in Noord on our recent visit. A capsule hotel with a premium twist; we loved the artsy vibe of this place. Did I mention it’s a converted church? Super cool.

You can also check out many other accommodation options here. Or use the Map below to see all your options​:

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Amsterdam 2-Day Itinerary

woman cycling over bridge Amsterdam canal

As I mentioned earlier, I wanted to create an Amsterdam itinerary that would be suitable for most people. The idea is that you get a taste of all this city has to offer, not just the highlights.

With that in mind, day 1 of this 2 day Amsterdam itinerary will focus on historical landmarks and famous attractions.

Day 2 in Amsterdam will be more alternative, taking you to cultural hotspots and the city’s trendier neighbourhoods.

I’ll include some recommendations for food, drinks, coffee, etc. There are some cool things to do in Amsterdam at night as well, but that’s for another article!

For the best places to $moke (When in Amsterdam!), there is no shortage of spots in the city. Just remember, it’s illegal to $moke on the streets.

Tip: A cafe is where you go to get coffee in Amsterdam. A coffee shop is where you go to $moke.

Day 1 of 2 Days in Amsterdam

Museums, Sightseeing, Canal Cruise 

view of amsterdam houses on the canal

First Things First: Breakfast

To start day 1 of your Amsterdam itinerary, you’ll want a big nutritious breakfast to fuel your adventures. If breakfast isn’t included at your hotel, the city has plenty of options.

  • The Pancake Bakery: Beloved pancake eatery with a wide variety of choices.
  • Greenwoods: Popular breakfast spot with generous portions and distinct flavours.
  • The Breakfast Club: Hipster hotspot serving all-day brunch and healthy smoothies.
  • Rum Baba: Freshly baked pastries and delicious coffee.

Morning Activity: A Museum

street art mural of anne frank

There are many interesting museums in the city. In fact, you could fill your entire two days in Amsterdam with museums and still not see them all.

In my opinion, visiting one or two museums is enough on this itinerary to allow you time to check out all the other cool things to do in the city. Here are some suggestions:

My number one choice would be the Anne Frank House. This is the exact house where Anne Frank went into hiding and wrote in her infamous diary.

It’s a very moving experience and a must-do in Amsterdam. However, booking in advance is recommended since tickets sell out almost immediately.

Tip: Every Tuesday at 10 am CEST, tickets for Anne Frank House are available to buy here for six weeks later. If you cannot secure tickets, this Life of Anne Frank walking tour is a good alternative.

exterior of the Rijksmuseum

Another famous museum worth considering is the Rijksmuseum, which displays a variety of art and artefacts depicting 800 years of Dutch and global history.

Beer lovers might like the Heineken Experience. And for art enthusiasts, there’s The Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum for modern and contemporary art.

Quick Spot of Lunch

woman eating lunch canalside restaurant

If you’re peckish after your morning at the museums, there are plenty of cafes, street markets, and restaurants where you can grab a quick bite.

Since you will spend the afternoon sightseeing in the city centre, I would wander around and see what catches your eye.

Amsterdam specialities like Dutch fries, pancakes, and stroopwafels make for great lunches on the go.

Afternoon Activity: Sightseeing

woman standing on bridge overlooking canal

Getting lost amongst the pretty canals and twisted lanes is the best way to experience Amsterdam. So spend the afternoon sightseeing and immersing in the electrifying atmosphere of the city.

A typical sightseeing route would include Amsterdam Centraal, Dam Square, The 9 Streets, Jordaan and Rembrandt Square. Here’s a quick overview of what you can expect:

  • Amsterdam Centraal: Home to the impressive railway station and the famous Instagram spot: dancing houses of the Damrak.
  • Dam Square: The city’s bustling main square is home to iconic landmarks, like the Royal Palace and the National Monument.
  • The 9 Streets: The most lively part of Amsterdam. 9 Streets and 4 Canals lined with shops, restaurants, cafes, coffee shops, bars, and traditional Amsterdam buildings.
  • Rembrandt Square: A popular square with pubs, bars, restaurants, and coffee shops. Reguliersdwarsstraat, the main area for gays and lesbians in Amsterdam, is just around the corner.

Evening Activity: Sunset Canal Cruise

a boat cruising amsterdam canal at sunset

One of the best ways to experience this picturesque city is on the water. A canal cruise allows you to immerse in the sights and sounds without the pressure of crowds.

You will find countless operators throughout the city offering a variety of tours. Some include unlimited booze, others include a meal, and some are for sightseeing only.

For guaranteed availability and competitive prices, I recommend booking your canal cruise in advance with Get Your Guide.

Get Your Guide has various Amsterdam Canal Cruises to choose from, including this Open Boat Canal Cruise with Onboard Bar.

Dinner Suggestions

vegan junk food in amsterdam

After your active afternoon, you’ll be looking forward to a delicious meal to round off your day. I’ve eaten at many different restaurants in Amsterdam. Here are some of my favourites:

  • Vegan Junk Food: Vegan or not, this place is incredible. Especially with the munchies!
  • Verona Ristorante Italiano: A quality Italian restaurant with fantastic pizza.
  • Waterkant: A trendy canalside eatery with a large outdoor seating area.
  • Foodhallen: An institution in Amsterdam! A massive hall of different food stalls and bars.

Day 2 of 2 Days in Amsterdam

Trendy Neighbourhoods, Urban Parks, Cultural Hotspots

morning glow of amsterdam canal

Tip: I recommend renting a bicycle today since there is quite a bit of ground to cover. But if that’s not an option, you can do it on foot or via public transport.

Morning Activity: Explore Trendy Neighbourhoods

Amsterdam houses reflection in canal

We will start day 2 of this Amsterdam Itinerary by visiting the city’s trendier neighbourhoods. These spots are less hectic than the city centre but boast plenty of charm and character.

Assuming you start in De Pijp, there are plenty of great spots for coffee or breakfast. Some highly rated places include Bakers & Roasters, Anne & Max, and CT Coffee and Coconuts.

couple exploring in amsterdam

Afterwards, stroll around the neighbourhood with its independent stores, outdoor spaces, and the famous market, Albert Cuypmarkt.

Alternatively, start your day in Jordaan since early morning is a great time to take photos on its tree-lined streets with beautiful canal views.

Also to be enjoyed in the Jordaan area are its hipster coffee shops, quirky museums, and traditional brown cafes.

Afternoon Activity: Cycle Around Westergas

bikes sat by pond at westergas park

Next, escape the hustle and bustle of the city and make your way to Westergas. A vast green space with manicured lawns, picnic areas, and ponds, it’s the perfect spot to chill amongst nature.

Accessible trails within the park make Westergas the ideal spot for cycling. If you’re too nervous to ride in the city, you can enjoy the Dutch tradition in a less stressful environment.

woman drinking milkshake at westergas

More than just a park, there are many other things to do within Westergas. It’s, for one, a foodie hotspot, so it’s an ideal spot to grab lunch, coffee, or ice cream.

They also hold regular events and festivals within the park, from food festivals to music festivals and outdoor cinema nights. Keep an eye on their website for upcoming dates.

Evening Activity: Explore Amsterdam Noord

trendy river side bar amsterdam noord

To conclude your two days in Amsterdam, I suggest spending the rest of your afternoon and evening exploring Amsterdam Noord.

Until recent years, most people wouldn’t even consider visiting this part of the city. However, it’s now one of Amsterdam’s most cool and quirky areas with many unique things to see and do.

It will be impossible to experience it all in just a few hours, but here are some suggestions on how to spend your time.

  • NDSM: An old shipyard turned cultural centre adorned in vibrant street art and reconstructed shipping containers.
  • Pllek: An urban beach bar with sand, outdoor seating, and regular live music & events.
  • IJ-Hallen Flea Market: Europe’s largest market for antique and vintage goods.
  • Dutch Countryside: Amsterdam Noord is the gateway to the lush Dutch countryside with traditional windmills. It’s the perfect place to cycle.
  • Cafe de Ceuvel: An organic, sustainable restaurant with delicious coffee, food and drinks.
  • The Crane Hotel: A high-end hotel set in a converted industrial crane.
  • A’Dam Lookout: A trendy rooftop bar and observation deck with Europe’s highest swing overlooking unrivalled views over the city.
woman on bike at NDSM

Enjoy your 2 Days in Amsterdam!

That concludes our 2 Day Amsterdam Itinerary. I hope you found it helpful and enjoy exploring this beautiful, forward-thinking city.

If you have any questions or feel we have missed anything, please contact us in the comment section below. We love hearing from you!

Stay adventurous, and happy travels.

Charlotte & Natalie
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Charlotte & Natalie

Hi There!

We’re Charlotte & Natalie, a British lesbian couple with a passion for travel and adventure.
Here you will find everything from LGBTQ+ travel & lifestyle advice, to comprehensive guides and itineraries designed to make your travel planning easier.
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