2 days in Amsterdam: Itinerary for your weekend + My Best Tips

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How to spend 2 Days in Amsterdam: The Best Itinerary + Where to Stay

You’re planning to spend 2 days in Amsterdam and you’re looking for the best things to do?

You’re at the right place!

In order to help you plan your stay, I have prepared for you this perfectly optimized 2-day itinerary in Amsterdam that will allow you to discover the must-see attractions of the city.

In addition to the best places to visit and activities for each stage of your itinerary, I will also give you all my best tips and accommodation suggestions depending on your budget.

So, what are the best places to visit in Amsterdam in 2 days? Where to stay?

Let’s find out!

How to avoid waiting in line (and save a lot of time!) at Amsterdam’s tourist attractions

It’s no secret that the Dutch capital is one of the world’s top cities for tourists, attracting tens of thousands of visitors every day.

All year round, there are long queues outside the city’s iconic museums such as the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum, and hordes of people wanting to take a cruise on the canals.

To get the most out of your 2 days in Amsterdam and avoid waiting in line, You have 2 solutions:

1. The I Amsterdam City Card

The I Amsterdam City Card is the first option to save time and money during your 2-day itinerary in Amsterdam.

This city card includes free or reduced entrance to the main tourist attractions!

The great thing is that it also includes free unlimited access to public transport, so you can use it on the tram, metro or buses.

The card is valid for a period of between 1 to 5 days, depending of what you choose when booking.

You need to book it online and collect it at the start of your weekend in Amsterdam using your email confirmation (you can print it or show it on your smartphone, that’s up to you!).

Here is what you will get with the I Amsterdam City Card:

  • Free entrance to all the city’s museums
  • A canal cruise
  • Discounts on attractions, such as the Amsterdam Dungeon or the Heineken Experience
  • 25% off bike hire and in certain restaurants
  • Unlimited use of public transport during your 48 hours in Amsterdam.

You want to learn more about the I Amsterdam City Card? Simply click on the button below for more details and to book it!

2. Fast track tickets for the Amsterdam tourist attractions

Your 2nd option to get fast access to the main tourist attractions is to buy your fast track tickets one by one.

This way, you get only the tickets you want for exactly your own agenda of what to see in Amsterdam in 2 days.

There’s a huge choice of fast track tickets for the museums and for the most popular activities.

Here’s the list of the ones for the itinerary that I’m going to describe.

Just click on the links to book. I’ll include them as you go through the article as well:

Voyage Tips - Advice

If you want to add or choose other activities, you should always book through this website (reliable and secure) which offers all the official tickets:

2 days in Amsterdam: the best itinerary

Let’s go: your itinerary for 48 hours in Amsterdam!

Start exploring your route around the city each day, plus there’s a map so you can get your bearings and not waste any time.

I’m assuming you’ve got 2 full days to spend in Amsterdam and that you have your I Amsterdam City Card or your fast track tickets so you can visit as many places as possible.

If you have any questions or need help planning your trip once you’ve read the article, just get in touch with me via the comments section.

So, what should you see in your 2 days in Amsterdam?

Day 1 of your Amsterdam itinerary – The historic centre

itinéraire Amsterdam jour 1
2 days in Amsterdam: Day 1

Day 1 visits:

A. Dam Square and the Royal Palace
B. The Amsterdam Dungeon or the Amsterdam Museum
C. The Béguinage (Begijnhof)
D. The flower market
E. Zuiderkerk and Nieuwmarkt
F. The Red Light District
G. Oude Kerk

A. Dam Square and the Royal Palace of Amsterdam

You should start this first day of your 2 days in Amsterdam at Dam Square.

It’s the city’s main square and around a 10-minute walk from the central station via Damrak or Nieuwendijk. Or you can take the tram.

The main attractions on this square are the national monument and Nieuwe Kerk church, but the most impressive building is Royal Palace of Amsterdam.

It served as the Town Hall for 2 centuries and then the royal family’s residence. Today, you can see period furniture as well as a wealth of paintings and sculptures.

If you want to visit the palace, remember it’s not included in the Amsterdam Pass or the City Card. You’d be better to buy your fast track tickets in advance so you don’t start your weekend in Amsterdam standing in line.

Just to be clear, the price is the same using the link below as you would pay at the ticket office at the palace.

The audio guide is included as well, so you get the full history of the place. Book here for:

place du Dam Amsterdam
Dam square and the Royal Palace – 2 days in Amsterdam

B. The Amsterdam Dungeon or the Amsterdam Museum

It’s less than a 5-minute walk from Dam Square to your next stops.

Actually, I’m giving you a choice between 2 places to visit, both relating to the history of the city but totally different:

1) The Amsterdam Dungeon, where you can relive the dark history of the Netherlands through staged productions with actors in period costume – and audience participation! You can expect: to see a trial during the Spanish inquisition, an act of torture and a witch burning at the stake.

It’s really very well put together and you’ll soon be soaking up the atmosphere!

With the I Amsterdam City Card you will get a 25% reduction on your entrance ticket.

Without one of these passes, your best option is to reserve your entrance ticket in advance by clicking here.

2) The Amsterdam Museum is all about the “classical” history of the city. 1,000 years of history are detailed in a modern and interactive way, making for a highly interesting visit.

And entry is free if you have your City Card.

Otherwise, fast track tickets are again available online by clicking here.

Voyage Tips - Advice

No interest in the Dungeon or the Amsterdam Museum?

No problem! Close to Dam Square, you also have the option of (clicks on the links to book your tickets):

Amsterdam Dungeon
Amsterdam Dungeon

C. The Béguinage (Begijnhof)

End the morning by exploring a place harboured from the hustle and bustle of the city: the Béguinage, one of the oldest inner courtyards in Amsterdam.

It was once occupied exclusively by a community of women known as the Béguines. That’s no longer the case today, but the buildings are still lived in.

So you should respect the residents’ peace and quiet by not talking too loudly and staying behind the fences.

You can also take a look at the last wooden house that remains standing in Amsterdam – it’s also one of the oldest. This type of housing became strictly forbidden because of the high risk of fire.

Begijnhof
Begijnhof

D. The flower market

Another must-see place during your 2 days in Amsterdam is the flower market, or ‘Bloemenmarkt’.

As you know, the Netherlands is famous for its iconic flower: the tulip.

And the best place to find tulips in Amsterdam is the flower market, which is just a 6-minute walk from the Béguinage.

You’re sure to find tulips of every variety and in every conceivable colour here. They’re sold as bulbs for you to plant at home.

You’ll also see freshly cut flowers at the market (not quite as easy to get home!) as well as bouquets of wooden tulips which make a brilliant gift idea.

There are also some small shops selling countless such as clogs, magnets and postcards as a reminder of your 2 days in Amsterdam.

marché aux fleurs Amsterdam
Amsterdam flower market

E. Zuiderkerk and Nieuwmarkt

Continue your 2-day tour of Amsterdam by walking along the Kloveniersburgwal canal for around 10 minutes.

On your way, you’ll come across the lZuiderkerk church where you can climb to the top of the bell tower to gaze at the panoramic views across the whole city. You should be aware that you can only do the climb with a guide and at certain times of the day.

Next you will come to the Nieuwmarkt square, easily recognisable from the building at its centre that looks like a small castle. Today it houses a café and restaurant, but was once the gateway to the city.

To the north of Nieuwmarkt is the tiny Chinatown district.

Nieuwmarkt Waag
Nieuwmarkt

F. The Red Light District

Nieuwmarkt marks the start of theRed Light District.

There’s something quite distinctive about this iconic part of the city as it’s where you’ll find the famous windows with their red fronts behind which prostitutes stand.

Practising the world’s oldest “profession” is totally legal in Amsterdam and the industry is regulated and controlled. For example, these woman have to pay their taxes just like every other resident in the city.

Don’t even think about taking a photo as a souvenir: it’s strictly forbidden.

To find out more about the subject (without actually partaking!) and discover the history of the red Light Area, you can take a guided tour in English. You’ll need to book using the button below:

Voyage Tips - Advice

Or for something a little less traditional, but equally education, here’s some other options:

red light district Amsterdam
Red light district

G. Oude Kerk

End the first day of your 2-day itinerary in Amsterdam by taking a look at the Oude Kerk.

Built in the 1300s, it is the oldest church in Amsterdam.

Its exterior is really lovely with its red bricks and large stained glass windows.

But I really wouldn’t recommend that you bother with the inside.

In my opinion, the 15€ entrance fee is a bit expensive, and the church hosts quite strange contemporary exhibitions most of the time, that clearly won’t be to everyone’s taste.

Voyage Tips - Advice

Entry to the Oude Kerk is free with your I Amsterdam City Card.

So if you have the City Card, don’t hesitate to go have a look inside!

Oude Kerk Amsterdam
Oude Kerk Amsterdam

Day 2 of your weekend in Amsterdam: Things to see and do

itinéraire Amsterdam jour 2
2 days in Amsterdam: Day 2

Day 2 visits:

A. Jordaan district
B. The Cheese Museum
C. Anne Frank House
D. Visit a museum: Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh, MOCO or Stedelijk
E. Vondelpark
F. Canal cruise

A. Jordaan district

As well as the historic centre and the Red Light Area that you walked through yesterday, there’s another traditional neighbourhood you should explore in Amsterdam: the Jordaan district.

So that’s where you should start the second day of your 2-day stay in Amsterdam.

Take a leisurely stroll along the canal to admire the traditional red brick houses and don’t miss the biggest Protestant church in the Netherlands: Westerkerk.

Voyage Tips - Advice

Another really nice way for you to explore the Jordaan and discover its highlights is to book a guided tour.

The best 2-hour guided tour in English needs to be booked here:

”I

And if you’re a food-lover, you should opt this fantastic food tasting tour by clicking there!

quartier Jordaan Westerkerk
Jordaan district / Westerkerk

B. The Cheese Museum

Talking of typical products, you can’t spend a weekend in Amsterdam without taking the opportunity to try some local cheeses!

So if you’re in the Jordaan district, you should visit the Cheese Museum.

To be honest, it won’t take you long at all to visit see museum itsellf because it’s in small space in the basement with just a few explanations about how cheese is made.

But the shop on the ground floor makes up for it with a wide selection of Gouda (pesto, truffle, chilli) which you can taste for free. Of course you can buy some too if you want to.

Voyage Tips - Advice

If you’re a real cheese-lover, you can make the most of your 2 days in Amsterdam and take part in a tasting workshop.

The one I suggest includes a tasting of 5 of the finest Dutch cheeses, all served with local wines and beers.

Book your cheese-tasting in Amsterdam here.

musee du fromage
Amsterdam cheese museum

C. Anne Frank House

You will stay in Jordaan district for the rest of the day.

Just cross the canal, and you’ll arrive at Anne Frank House.

It’s here that the young Jewish girl and her family hid during the Second World War to avoid deportation to the concentration camps. Anne Frank’s diary – the book has been translated worldwide – recounts their life during this time.

During your visit, you’ll see the rooms in the house as well as photos and objects that belonged to the Franck family, all alongside extracts from the diary.

You have to get your entrance tickets online from the official website (click here).

80% of the tickets are made available online 2 months in advance, and the rest are released in tranches from 9.00 am each day.

Since the house is one of Amsterdam’s main tourist attractions I should warn you that they go incredibly quickly so you should book as far in advance as possible.

Voyage Tips - Advice

For even more historical facts, or if you unfortunately couldn’t get tickets to Anne Frank’s house, you should take a guided tour of the former Jewish district.

The 2-hour tour is full of information about Anne Frank and life at that time:

maison d'Anne Franck Amsterdam
Anne Frank house – Amsterdam

D. Visit a museum: Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh, MOCO or Stedelijk

2 days in Amsterdam gives you enough time to explore at least 1 of its world-famous museums.

They are all in the same area: around Museumplein, or Museum Square.

You have 2 options to get there from the Jordaan:

  • A 30-minute walk along the canal
  • A 20-minutes tram ride

Here’s the list of museums you can visit (the choice is yours!):

  • The Rijksmuseum, this vast museum is the most famous in Amsterdam and displays the largest collection of paintings from the Dutch Golden Age. Entry is included with the I Amsterdam City Card. If you don’t have that pass, you really should buy your fast track tickets for the Rijksmuseum in advance by clicking here.
  • The Van Gogh Museum dedicated to the famous Dutch artists and where you can admire 200 of his paintings, as well as drawings and letters. Free entrance with the Amsterdam City Card and the Amsterdam Pass. If you don’t have a card or pass, you can get a fast track ticket here.
  • The MOCO which focuses on contemporary works of art, and in particular houses an exhibition on Banksy. Free entrance with the City Card.
  • The Stedelijk Museum, the museum of contemporary art and design. Free entrance with the City Card.
Voyage Tips - Advice

When you’ve finished wandering through the museums, there’s nothing like a little pick-me-up before you get on with the rest of your day!

Just off the Museumplein, enter the House of Bols Experience. The place is dedicated to oldest spirits brand in the world.

You’ll learn about the process of producing a liqueur, but best of all, the tour concludes with an excellent cocktail!

You can reserve your tickets for the House of Bols by clicking here.

Rijkmuseum
Rijksmuseum – Visite à faire pour un week-end à Amsterdam

E. Vondelpark

If you want to get some fresh air, also just off the Museumplein is the Vondelpark where you can enjoy a short stroll.

The park is the biggest in the city and has numerous paths, lakes and play areas for the children. You can also hire bicycles to explore the Vondelpark.

Vondelpark
Vondelpark

F. Canal cruise

For the perfect end to your day, there’s one more experience you can’t possibly miss during your 2 days in Amsterdam, and that’s a canal cruise!

It’s the most beautiful to conclude your 48 hours in Amsterdam.

There are lots of different cruises to choose from depending on the length of the tour and the boat.

I’ve picked out 5 of the most popular for you (click on the links for details and to book):

Don’t forget: if you’ve bought the I Amsterdam City Card, you’re already entitled to a free cruise.

Croisière canaux Amsterdam
Canal cruise – Amsterdam

Where to stay in Amsterdam

So now you know exactly what to do and see in Amsterdam in 2 days!

Well, almost – because there’s one more thing you need to organise: where will you stay?

I’ve made life easier for you here as well, with my selection of the best hotels in Amsterdam depending on your budget:

  • Hans Brinker Hostel Amsterdam: Youth hostel 400 metres from the Rijksmuseum and 10 minutes from the Vondelpark. Bed in a dormitory from 26€, including breakfast. Strong points: the location, the warm welcome, the atmosphere. An excellent choice if you’re looking for a cheap accommodation in Amsterdam!
  • Motel One Amsterdam: Located 2 km from the Rikjsuseum and the Albert Cuyp Market. Clean and well-decorated double room from 110€ per night, breakfast 11.50€. Strong points: helpful staff, location 2 minutes from the metro, the good breakfast.
  • Jaz Amsterdam: Situated a 15-minute metro ride from the centre. Spacious and stylish room from 110€, breakfast 16.95€. Strong points: very friendly staff, good facilities, the fabulous breakfast.
  • Motel One Amsterdam-Waterlooplein: Situated close to the Zuiderkerk and a 15-minute walk from Dam Square. Modern room with comfortable bed from 154€, breakfast 11.50€. Strong points: close to the centre, delightful staff, good and varied breakfast. It’s my favourite for its excellent value for money in Amsterdam!
  • Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam City Centre: Located just a 10-minute walk from the railways station and the centre of Amsterdam. Spacious, modern and comfortable room, some with a river view, from 190€, breakfast 25€. Strong points: location, comfort, friendly staff, access to the sauna included. The best hotel for a high end stay in Amsterdam!
  • NH Collection Amsterdam Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky: Located right on Dam Square, this luxury hotel offers rooms with a sleek and modern décor from 310€, breakfast included. Strong points: central location for exploring Amsterdam on foot, exceptional bed (so comfortable!), the excellent breakfast. Perfect for a romantic break in the heart of the city!
  • Hyatt Regency Amsterdam: 5* hotel situated 800 metres from the zoo. Bright and elegantly decorated rooms from 360€, breakfast 28€. Strong points: the staff are concerned to ensure the well-being of their guests, the decoration, the location, the excellent restaurant. The best hotel in Amsterdam for a luxury stay!

And if you prefer to rent a luxury apartment for your stay in Amsterdam, the Keizersgracht Suite 471 is the best address in the city!

Voyage Tips - Advice

If these hotels are full or don’t suit you, you should take a look at the traveler’s favorites by clicking here: The Best Hotels in Amsterdam

Since I had a very early flight home on the morning of my departure, I also tried out the Ibis Schiphol Amsterdam Airport, located 10 minutes from the airport (free shuttle). And I was pleasantly surprised: the rooms are modern, comfortable, and you can’t hear the planes at all.

Amsterdam in 2 days with the kids

Wondering whether this itinerary is feasible if you’re bringing your kids with you on your 2 days in Amsterdam?

It certainly is! Apart from the Amsterdam Dungeon which isn’t suitable for young children, this whole itinerary can be enjoyed with your kids.

I think they’ll particularly love the flower market, the Jordaan district and the canal cruise.

You can also add in some tours especially for them:

The best way to get about is to walk or take the tram. It’s also suitable for pushchairs.

More things to do during your 2 days in Amsterdam

If this itinerary for two days in Amsterdam isn’t quite what you want and you’d like to include some different tours or activities, you should read my full city tourist guide.

It brings together the 30 top things to do and see in the Dutch capital.

To read the article, click on the following link: Things to do in Amsterdam The ultimate guide!

It may even make you want to extend your stay in Amsterdam by a few days so you have enough time to fit it all in, in which case you should check out my other itineraries right here!

Renting a boat in Amsterdam

If you want to rent a boat for a nice day on Amsterdam’s canalas, you should book it with Samboat.

Motorboats, sailboats, yachts, small boats without a license, with or without a skipper: they simply have the most complete offer for boat rental!

So, what are you waiting for to book your boat trip on Amsterdam’s canals? 😊

Map of your 2-day itinerary in Amsterdam

To help you visualize your daily itineraries during your 2 days in Amsterdam, I have created this map with all the places to visit day by day. You can view the legend of the map by clicking on the top left button, the one with a little arrow.

You can thus see the suggested itineraries for each day.

2 Days in Amsterdam: Flight prices and tips

As always, you should book your plane tickets as early as possible to get the best prices.

To check the rates and schedules for flights to Amsterdam, you can use our flight comparator, in partnership with Skyscanner:

Once you will arrive at Amsterdam Schiphol airport, you will have 2 options to reach the city center:

  • Take the train to the central train station
  • Take the #397 bus to go to the Museumplein.

You should choose according to your hotel location!

For the “Schiphol airport – Amsterdam city center train”, you should really book your tickets in advance. You will save a lot of time when you will arrive!

You will get the ticket directly on your mobile (no need to print it), so you won’t need to queue at the ticket counter or vending machines.

To book your round trip “airport – city center” train ticket, simply click the button below:

If you don’t want to take a flight, you can also get to Amsterdam by train from many European cities.

To check the schedules, the rates and to book your tickets, it’s right there:

You need help to plan your 2-day trip to Amsterdam? Don’t hesitate to ask me in the comment section located below!

Book your trip now and save money!

You’re traveling to the Netherlands? These articles will help you !

Discover all my articles about Amsterdam: All my articles to help you plan your trip to Amsterdam are listed there.

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Best places to visit in Amsterdam in 2 days
Best places to visit in Amsterdam in 2 days
Anonymous

Creator of the Voyage Tips blog, travel and photography lover. I give you all my best tips to plan your next trip.

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