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This article contains 48 hours in Amsterdam itinerary and lists information to take a weekend trip to Amsterdam.
Whether you’re looking to go on a weekend trip to Amsterdam or only a one day trip to Amsterdam, the city is just so gorgeous and has so many things to offer that anyone visiting for any amount of time is going to enjoy their Amsterdam trip. Whether you’re interested in biking around the canals, taking romantic strolls, boat tours, the diverse food scene, the windmills or even the “coffee shops”, there’s a plethora of things to do in Amsterdam in 2 days.
I personally loved Amsterdam and its vibe. I loved that there were so many options to eat various cuisines in the city. I loved grabbing drinks with a view – staring at the boat tours gliding down the canals. I especially loved the different day trip options from Amsterdam and how I could just take a 15 minute train ride to see the windmills.
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Amsterdam Itinerary for 2 Days : How to Spend 48 Hours in Amsterdam
This 2 day itinerary for a weekend trip to Amsterdam will take you through everything that Amsterdam has to offer – the canals, popular spots, museums and anything else that you can think of. In addition to this, there is plenty of time spared for you to wander off on your own and explore the canals in Amsterdam. Furthermore, if you’d like to squeeze in a lot more during your weekend in Amsterdam, then you can always breeze through this itinerary quickly and then take a quick trip to see the Zaanse Schans windmills or something else that’s nearby. All in all, this itinerary for Amsterdam is completely customisable and can be tailored to your needs and what you want to experience during your bucket list Amsterdam trip.
Can You Do Amsterdam in a Weekend?
Some of the most frequently asked questions about Amsterdam are whether you can do Amsterdam in a weekend or if Amsterdam is even worth visiting for 2 days? Firstly, let me be very clear that 2 days is the perfect amount of time to spend in Amsterdam. It gives you sufficient time to see the city in depth. Secondly, if you want to see more of the Amsterdam region, then you can even take short trips from Amsterdam and still have time left to see the city itself – all within 2 days.
Because the train connectivity in the Amsterdam region is so good and that the city itself is compact, you can squeeze in a whole lot within 48 hours in Amsterdam and still not feel rushed.
How Much Does a Weekend Trip to Amsterdam Cost?
The cost of spending a weekend in Amsterdam depends on how much you’d like to spend. If you book your accommodation in advance i.e at least 6-10 months in advance in the popular seasons then you can get a stay that’s in your budget. Coming to food, breakfast at a nice cafe costs about €25-30 per person whereas you can always pick up something for under €10 from a cart. Likewise, the same thing goes for lunch and dinner.
Moreover, all the sightseeing spots in Amsterdam are free of cost except the Anne Frank House and any museum. If you plan on visiting many museums in one day, then consider buying the iAmsterdam card. Additionally, closed boat tours in Amsterdam start at €15 whereas the open boat tours cost slightly more but are worth paying those few extra euros. On top of that, you need to consider the cost of souvenirs, snacks, coffee and other knick knacks. All in all, expect to spend at least €300 per person during a weekend in Amsterdam.
How to Get Around During 48 Hours in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is actually a compact city, and you can very easily walk around during your 2 days here. Obviously, riding a bicycle is one of the best experiences in Amsterdam so you can even rent a bicycle for the weekend. All that being said, for those unable or unwilling to walk or cycle, the Amsterdam public transport within the city is pretty good. The Amsterdam metro and tram network connects the entire city, except some small areas surrounded by canals.
Where to Stay during a Weekend Trip to Amsterdam
Hostels in Amsterdam
The Flying Pig Uptown has the most exciting location, close to the Amsterdam central station and in the midst of the hustle bustle of Amsterdam. Apart from a continental breakfast each morning, they also have a great bar on premises.
If you want to be centrally located in Amsterdam but not too close to the craziness, then ClinkNOORD Hostel is behind the central station, but a short free ferry ride away, that operates 27×7. In addition to a kitchen where guests can prepare their own meals, they also have a cafe and library on premises. Their dorm rooms are just as spacious as their private ensuite rooms. They keep their atmosphere lively with live music, DJs and other cool events.
If you’re a museum buff or someone who can’t skip their morning jog, then stay close to the Vondelpark at Stayokay Hostel. Their top features include a bar, green views, bike rentals, lockers, breakfast and a large communal area.
Budget Stays for a Weekend Trip to Amsterdam
We loved our stay at Hotel Mercure Sloterdijk which was close to the Sloterdijk station. Although it was not in central Amsterdam, the public transport connections were excellent, and it was easier to take day trips from here since Flix buses operate from Sloterdijk itself. Additionally, the hotel itself was super clean and modern with a really nice room that had large glass walls looking over the surroundings.
Here are some other top-rated budget hotels to book during a weekend trip to Amsterdam:
48 Hours in Amsterdam Itinerary
Day 1 of Weekend Trip to Amsterdam
Start the first day of your Amsterdam weekend trip with a stroll along one of Amsterdam’s finest neighborhoods – the Jordaan area. This upscale neighborhood has some of the prettiest bridges where you can get Instagram worthy shots of the canals as well as charming streets to bike around in or even to just walk and admire this non-touristy part of Amsterdam.
2. Anne Frank House
The Anne Frank house is located close to the Jordaan area, near Westerkerk. The house was the hiding place of Anne Frank – a Jewish girl who wrote a diary of her days hiding from the Nazi. The house is now surrounded by a museum complex that houses a library, exhibition and cafe among other things. As a matter of fact, this museum is the third most visited museum in Amsterdam, after the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh museum. Therefore it is crucial to buy your tickets well in advance. The museum is open everyday from 9 am to 10 pm.
3. Cheese Museum
What’s one thing that the Netherlands is famous for, apart from the windmills? Say cheese! The Cheese Museum in Amsterdam is located close to the Anne Frank House and next to the Tulip Museum. In here, not only can you learn about the history of cheese and its production in the Netherlands but you can also taste a huge variety of cheeses and then buy the ones that you liked. Not only is this a great thing to take back home with you as a souvenir but also great for gifting. The cheese museum is open every day from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
4. Tulip Museum
The Netherlands is known for the tulip fields that are in full bloom in spring. Visitors from all around the world clock to the Netherlands in April and May to see the tulips. Given the popularity of these flowers, the tulip Museum tells the history of how the tulips came to the Netherlands. This is a small but interesting place to include in your Amsterdam itinerary in order to learn the history and significance of tulips in the Netherlands.
5. The 9 Streets
Similar to the Jordan neighborhood in Amsterdam, the 9 streets area has some of the prettiest canals, bridges and streets in Amsterdam. If you’re tempted to rent a bike then you must bring it to this neighborhood with some flowers in your basket and wind in your hair to really experience Amsterdam in the most cliche as well as local manner. This area has some really nice cafes and shops so don’t hesitate to sit down in a cafe with a view and take a break to admire the canals.
6. Royal Palace
From the 9 streets, walk through the amazing shopping streets and head over to the King’s Palace or the Royal Palace of Amsterdam. Even though only a small portion of the palace is open to the public, it’s worth coming here to admire the architecture, artwork, sculptures and to learn more about the royal history. That is a small entrance fee to visit the interiors and you can even get an audio guide to help you make sense of what’s inside the palace.
7. The Oude Church
Even though the Oude Church is one of the most beautiful structures in Amsterdam, it is often overlooked only because it is located in the midst of the party scene, many eateries and the fun part of Amsterdam. Nonetheless, it’s worth seeing the church from both afar as well as up-close in order to admire its architecture. Even the church interior is interesting, with stained glass windows and even some exhibitions in there once in a while.
DAY 2 OF WEEKEND TRIP TO AMSTERDAM
The most popular garden in Amsterdam and the second largest one, the Vondelpark is located close to both the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum. It’s the ideal place for an early morning jog or bicycle ride before you go through the rest of the 2 day Amsterdam itinerary.
2. Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum is the second most visited museum in Amsterdam and only a few steps from the Vondelpark. Featuring the works of Vincent Van Gogh, the museum has laid out his paintings in a chronological order so that you get to see how his work and skills evolved over time. This also makes it the world’s largest Van Gogh collection. It’s better to buy tickets to the museum ahead of time and get the audio guide, which takes an hour and 45 minutes to get through.
The Rijksmuseum is the most visited museum in Amsterdam and has been ever since it was opened in 1885. In fact, it is also the largest art museum in the world and also the only museum in the world to have a road passing through it. Even though the museum houses over 1 million pieces of artwork, they only display about 8000 of them. The most popular painting in the museum is The Night Watch by Rembrandt. Our guide in Amsterdam told us an interesting fact about the museum. He said that the entire museum was created just to feature this one particular piece and that they acquired all other paintings subsequently but the star of the museum has always been The Night Watch.
4. Amsterdam Boat Ride
An Amsterdam boat cruise is one of the best things to do during a weekend in Amsterdam. It’s the best way to just sit back and take in the charm of the canals. First, let’s talk about the boat rental points in the city. There are two pain starting points for boat tours – the first one is near the Heineken experience whereas the second one is near the Hard Rock Cafe and Rijksmuseum. Next, you need to decide on the type of boat tour. There are two main types of boat tours – closed boat tours and open boat tours. In the closed boat tour, the boat is covered from the top and sides, but they have big glass windows to look out of. Whereas the open tours have boats with no roof, so you get better, unobstructed views. Moreover, these boats usually have a smaller capacity so it’s not too many people on one boat.
Additionally, there are themed cruises for those with certain interests. For example, there are booze cruises (provided you are legally permitted to drink), smoke boat cruises, light festival cruises and even all-you-can-eat Dutch pancake cruises!
5. Heineken Experience
Heineken Experience is one of the best things to do in Amsterdam in 2 days. In this experience, you will get to take a tour of the Heineken brewery to understand how the world-famous Heineken beer is made. There is even a short presentation given inside the factory. In addition to that, you will even get to do a beer tasting at the end of the tour. If you’re a fan of beer or even curious about how it’s made, then this is an unmissable experience during 48 hours in Amsterdam.
6. Albert Cuyp Market
If you want to experience something offbeat that feels more local during your 48 hours in Amsterdam, then I suggest taking a walk in the Albert Cuyp market. This open air market takes place on all days except Sundays behind the Heineken Experience. Vendors line up the streets and sell everything ranging from souveniers to clothing and even erotic innerwear. To top it off, there are some really nice food vendors here as well that offer fish and chips, Holland fries, dutch pancakes and stroopwafels. In fact, Rudi’s Original Stroopwafels located in this market had one of the best stroopwafels in Amsterdam. Not only did we eat fresh ones there, but even bought a souvenir pack to bring home.
7. Flower Market
The flower market or Bloemenmarkt of Amsterdam is a great spot to buy flowers, plant seeds and seeds of fruits and vegetables. There are a great variety of flowers sold here, especially the tulips. This is even a popular spot for influencers to take pictures. However, it’s important to remember that the vendors here are trying to make a living so please make a purchase when you click pictures at any flower shop. Apart from flowers, there are also some local shops and souvenir shops in the market.
8. Amsterdam Nightlife
On the last night of your weekend trip to Amsterdam, let your hair town, kick up your heels and experience the nightlife in Amsterdam. There are quite a few bars and nightclubs in Amsterdam, in addition to the Red Light District, which has a whole other kind of nightlife. Furthermore, it’s not just worth checking out the clubs in Amsterdam but also the city itself and how the lights of the buildings shimmer in the canals. This is a great time to photograph the city at night.
Where to Eat During 48 Hours in Amsterdam?
While this Amsterdam itinerary is limited to the places to visit during a weekend in Amsterdam, it would be unfair to not mention some of the amazing cafes and breakfast spots in the city.
We stayed near the Sloterdijk station and ate at The Breakfast Club which had the most amazing mexican breakfast combination and heavenly pancakes. The Original Pancake was our favorite spot near the Amsterdam central station to grab fresh pancakes and waffles, in addition to filling breakfasts.For meals, we loved the authentic Indian food at Anjappar. Coming to street food, Manneken Pis serves the best fries that we’ve ever had in The Netherlands. For stroopwafels, we loved Rudi’s Original Stroopwafels in the Albert Cuyp market.
Day Trips from Amsterdam
If you’re spending 2 days or more in Amsterdam, then you can’t leave without taking one of the many exciting day trips from Amsterdam by train. Whether you use your Amsterdam and region travel card to see the windmills of Zaanse Schans, the Zandvoort beach, Haarlem, marken, Volendam or Eden. Or you could head over to the neighboring country of Belgium to take a day trip to Brussels, spend 1 day in Bruges– the Venice of the west or discover the things to do in one day in Ghent, there are infinite possibilities!
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