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Amsterdam Weekend Guide #SkyscannerRoulette


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Domeniga Lamar



Welcome to the vibrant city of Amsterdam, where history seamlessly blends with a modern urban landscape. With its picturesque canals, world-class museums, and lively atmosphere, Amsterdam is a dream destination for travelers of all interests.


Whether you’re a culture enthusiast, a nature lover, or a foodie seeking culinary delights, this Amsterdam weekend guide has got you covered. In just three days, you’ll have the opportunity to immerse yourself in the city’s rich history, explore its cultural highlights, and enjoy a range of outdoor activities.


Amsterdam is known for its iconic canal belt, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This network of canals weaves through the city, offering stunning views and picturesque photo opportunities. As you stroll along the canal banks, you’ll encounter charming bridges, unique houseboats, and quaint cafés.


One of the must-visit cultural attractions in Amsterdam is the Rijksmuseum. This renowned museum showcases an extensive collection of Dutch art and history, featuring masterpieces by famous artists such as Rembrandt and Vermeer. Another significant museum is the Van Gogh Museum, where you can admire the works of the legendary post-impressionist painter.


Amsterdam is also renowned for its diverse food scene. From traditional Dutch dishes to international cuisine, the city offers a variety of culinary delights to satisfy every palate. Don’t miss the opportunity to try raw herring, a quintessential Dutch snack, or indulge in the local favorite, stroopwafel.


For those seeking outdoor adventures, Amsterdam won’t disappoint. The city is surrounded by beautiful parks and green spaces, perfect for leisurely walks or bike rides. Vondelpark, the largest park in Amsterdam, is an oasis of tranquility, featuring ponds, gardens, and even an open-air theater. If you’re feeling more adventurous, rent a bike and explore the countryside, where you’ll discover charming villages, windmills, and fields of colorful tulips.


This Amsterdam weekend guide aims to provide you with a comprehensive itinerary to make the most of your visit. From exploring the city’s cultural treasures to immersing yourself in its vibrant atmosphere, this guide will help you create unforgettable memories in this enchanting city.


Day 1: Exploring Amsterdam

Your first day in Amsterdam is all about getting acquainted with the city and its charming neighborhoods. Start your day with a delicious Dutch breakfast at a local café, where you can savor a freshly baked croissant or a plate of poffertjes, mini Dutch pancakes dusted with powdered sugar.


After breakfast, make your way to the historic center of Amsterdam, known as the Dam Square. Here, you’ll find iconic landmarks such as the Royal Palace and the National Monument. Take a moment to soak in the atmosphere and snap some photos.


From the Dam Square, head towards the Jordaan neighborhood, a picturesque area known for its narrow streets, quaint houses, and trendy boutiques. Explore the Jordaan’s charming canalside streets and stop by the Anne Frank House, where you can learn about the powerful story of Anne Frank and her hiding place during World War II. Note: It’s highly recommended to purchase your tickets in advance to avoid long queues.


Afterward, take a leisurely walk along the famous Prinsengracht canal to the Nine Streets (De Negen Straatjes) district. This trendy neighborhood is a shopper’s paradise, with an array of unique and independent boutiques, art galleries, and vintage shops. Take your time to explore the eclectic mix of stores and perhaps pick up a one-of-a-kind souvenir.


As lunchtime approaches, you’ll find many charming cafés offering a variety of dishes to suit all tastes. Indulge in a traditional Dutch lunch of broodje haring (herring sandwich) or satiate your hunger with a hearty plate of bitterballen, deep-fried meatballs served with mustard.


In the afternoon, visit the iconic Van Gogh Museum, which houses the largest collection of artworks by Vincent van Gogh. Explore the museum’s extensive galleries and admire the vibrant colors and expressive brushstrokes that characterize Van Gogh’s unique style.


End your day by taking a relaxing canal cruise, allowing you to see Amsterdam from a different perspective. Glide along the picturesque canals as you enjoy the city’s stunning architecture and historic landmarks. Choose a daytime cruise to admire the scenery or opt for an evening cruise to experience the enchanting ambiance of Amsterdam’s illuminated bridges.


For dinner, head to De Pijp neighborhood, known for its lively atmosphere and diverse culinary scene. Explore the vibrant Albert Cuyp Market, where you can sample local delicacies, or choose from the numerous international restaurants and cozy bistros in the area.


After dinner, experience Amsterdam’s vibrant nightlife by visiting one of its many bars or clubs. Check out the famous Leidseplein or Rembrandtplein squares, where you’ll find a plethora of options for evening entertainment, from live music venues to trendy cocktail bars.


After a full day of exploring the city, rest and recharge in one of Amsterdam’s comfortable accommodations, ready for more adventure on Day 2.


Day 2: Cultural Highlights

Your second day in Amsterdam is dedicated to immersing yourself in the city’s rich cultural heritage. Begin your day by visiting the world-famous Rijksmuseum, located at Museumplein. Housing a vast collection of art and historical artifacts, the museum showcases the works of Dutch masters like Rembrandt and Vermeer. Be sure to admire Rembrandt’s masterpiece, “The Night Watch,” and explore the other fascinating exhibits that span several centuries of Dutch art and history.


Afterward, take a short stroll through Museumplein to reach the equally impressive Stedelijk Museum. This contemporary art museum is a must-visit for art enthusiasts, as it boasts a vast collection of modern and contemporary artworks. Marvel at works by renowned artists like Van Gogh, Mondrian, and Warhol as you explore the museum’s galleries.


For lunch, head to the nearby Museumplein area, where you’ll find a range of cafés and restaurants offering both international and local cuisine. Enjoy a leisurely meal while soaking in the surroundings of the beautiful green spaces.


Next, take a tram or walk to the picturesque Herengracht canal, one of Amsterdam’s most stunning waterways. Embark on a guided tour of the Anne Frank House, where you’ll gain insight into the life and experiences of Anne Frank during her time in hiding. Witness firsthand the preserved rooms and poignant artifacts, leaving you with a profound appreciation of this significant piece of history.


Just a short walk away from the Anne Frank House is the Westerkerk, one of Amsterdam’s most recognizable landmarks. Take a moment to observe this stunning Protestant church, dating back to the 17th century. If you’re feeling adventurous, climb the tower for a panoramic view of Amsterdam’s skyline.


As the afternoon progresses, make your way to the Museum Van Loon, located along the Keizersgracht canal. This beautifully preserved canal house offers a glimpse into the opulent lifestyle of Amsterdam’s aristocracy during the Golden Age. Explore the grand rooms adorned with exquisite furnishings, impressive artwork, and stunning gardens.


Afterward, head to the lively Leidseplein area, known for its vibrant nightlife and entertainment. Enjoy a pre-dinner drink at one of the many bars and cafes in the square, where you can soak up the energetic atmosphere and perhaps catch a street performance or two.


For dinner, venture to the buzzing De Wallen district, also known as Amsterdam’s famous Red Light District. While this area is known for its provocative reputation, it is also home to some fantastic restaurants offering diverse cuisines. Indulge in a delicious meal before taking a leisurely stroll through the district to witness the unique mix of history, nightlife, and cultural quirks.


End your cultural-filled day with a visit to one of Amsterdam’s renowned theaters or concert halls. The city is renowned for its performing arts scene, hosting a wide range of performances from classical concerts to contemporary theater productions. Immerse yourself in the cultural richness of Amsterdam before heading back to your accommodation, ready for the final day of your Amsterdam weekend getaway.


Day 3: Outdoor Activities

On your final day in Amsterdam, it’s time to embrace the city’s beautiful outdoor spaces and enjoy some recreational activities. Start your day by renting a bike, the preferred mode of transportation for both locals and visitors alike. Amsterdam is known for its extensive network of bike paths, making it a cyclist’s paradise.


Begin your explorations by cycling to the famous Vondelpark, the largest park in Amsterdam. This lush green oasis offers a serene escape from the bustling city. Take a leisurely ride or a peaceful stroll along the park’s winding paths, and find a quiet spot to relax and enjoy a picnic surrounded by nature.


Afterward, pedal your way to the lovely neighborhood of Oud-West, where you’ll find the charming De Hallen complex. This former tram depot has been transformed into a cultural hub, housing a variety of shops, restaurants, and a vibrant food hall. Browse the boutiques, grab a bite to eat, or simply soak in the lively atmosphere.


Continue your cycling adventure to the Amsterdamse Bos, a vast forest situated just outside the city center. With its numerous cycling trails, walking paths, and even a lake for water activities, this vast green area offers a perfect retreat for nature lovers. Take your time to explore the beautiful scenery and enjoy some fresh air.


If you’re seeking a unique experience, consider venturing outside of Amsterdam to the Keukenhof Gardens, located in Lisse. Known as the “Garden of Europe,” Keukenhof is a spectacular display of over seven million flowers, including iconic Dutch tulips. Marvel at the vibrant colors and intricate designs as you wander through the meticulously manicured gardens.


As lunchtime approaches, find a local spot to indulge in some traditional Dutch street food. Grab a portion of friet (fries) from a local frietkot, or try a kroket, a deep-fried Dutch snack filled with a meat or vegetarian filling. Wash it down with a refreshing Dutch beer or a specialty beverage like a jenever, a traditional Dutch gin.


In the afternoon, hop back on your bike and make your way to the NDSM Wharf, a former shipyard turned creative hotspot. This industrial area now boasts vibrant street art, trendy cafés, and a variety of cultural events. Explore the unique atmosphere and catch stunning views of the city from the waterfront terrace.


End your day of outdoor activities by taking a relaxing canal boat tour along Amsterdam’s waterways. Choose a smaller boat for a more intimate experience, allowing you to see the city’s charming canal houses, historic bridges, and picturesque houseboats up close.


For a memorable final dinner in Amsterdam, head to the trendy Jordaan neighborhood. This lively area is dotted with a wide range of restaurants offering diverse cuisines. Whether you’re craving traditional Dutch fare or international flavors, you’ll find something to satisfy your palate.


As the sun sets on your last day in Amsterdam, take a moment to reflect on the wonderful experiences you’ve had during your weekend getaway. Amsterdam’s combination of rich history, cultural highlights, and outdoor beauty has undoubtedly left a lasting impression. Bid farewell to this enchanting city with a promise to return one day, and take with you cherished memories of your Amsterdam adventure.


Accommodation Options

When it comes to choosing accommodation in Amsterdam, you’ll find a wide range of options to suit every budget and preference. From luxury hotels to cozy guesthouses and stylish boutique hostels, Amsterdam has something to offer for everyone.


If you’re looking for a luxurious stay, Amsterdam boasts several five-star hotels located in prime locations. These hotels offer top-notch amenities, spacious rooms, and impeccable service. Many of them are housed in beautifully restored historic buildings, providing a unique blend of old-world charm and modern luxury.


For those seeking a more budget-friendly option, there are numerous mid-range hotels and B&Bs scattered throughout the city. These accommodations provide comfortable rooms, attentive service, and essential amenities, making them a great choice for travelers looking for a cozy and affordable place to stay.


If you’re a solo traveler or prefer a more social atmosphere, Amsterdam has a vibrant hostel scene. Hostels are a popular choice for backpackers and budget-conscious travelers, offering shared dormitories or private rooms with shared facilities. Many hostels have communal areas, bars, and organized activities, providing a great opportunity to meet fellow travelers from around the world.


For a unique and authentic experience, consider staying in a houseboat. Amsterdam is known for its charming houseboats, and some are available for rent as accommodations. These floating homes offer a one-of-a-kind experience, allowing you to immerse yourself in the city’s canal culture while enjoying the comforts of a cozy and well-equipped home.


Another alternative is to choose an apartment rental. There are numerous websites and agencies that offer vacation rentals in Amsterdam, ranging from studio apartments to spacious penthouses. Renting an apartment provides the advantage of having your own space and the flexibility to come and go as you please.


When selecting your accommodation, consider the location and amenities that are important to you. It’s recommended to choose a place that is conveniently located near public transportation, attractions, and restaurants. Amsterdam has excellent public transport options, including trams, buses, and a comprehensive network of bike paths, making it easy to explore the city from any location.


Regardless of your choice, booking your accommodation in advance is highly recommended, especially during peak tourist seasons. This will ensure that you secure your preferred choice and potentially take advantage of early booking discounts.


Whichever accommodation option you choose, it’s essential to read reviews, compare prices, and consider the overall value for money. With a wide variety of choices available, you’re sure to find the perfect place to stay and make your Amsterdam experience even more memorable.


Dining and Nightlife

Amsterdam offers a vibrant dining scene with a diverse range of culinary options. From traditional Dutch cuisine to international flavors, you’ll find something to satisfy every palate. Here are some dining recommendations to enhance your gastronomic experience in the city.


When it comes to trying local dishes, make sure to sample some classics. Start your culinary adventure by indulging in a plate of raw herring. This Dutch delicacy is typically served with onions and pickles and can be enjoyed from street vendors or seafood stalls. Another must-try is the bitterballen, deep-fried meatballs filled with a flavorful ragout, usually accompanied by a tangy mustard dip.


Amsterdam is known for its love of cheese, so don’t miss the opportunity to taste some of the delectable varieties. Visit a local cheese shop and try the Gouda, Edam, or the pungent, yet delicious, Old Amsterdam cheese.


For those seeking international cuisine, Amsterdam has a wide array of restaurants offering flavors from around the globe. From Italian trattorias to Asian fusion eateries, you’ll find a plethora of options to satisfy your culinary cravings. Visit the multicultural neighborhood of De Pijp for a taste of global cuisine, or head to the Zeedijk area for an authentic Chinese dining experience.


Amsterdam is also home to a burgeoning coffee culture. The city is dotted with cozy cafés serving up rich, aromatic brews. Take a moment to relax and enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee or try a traditional Dutch concoction called koffie verkeerd, a creamy blend of coffee and warm milk.


As evening falls, Amsterdam comes alive with its vibrant nightlife. The city offers a wide range of bars, clubs, and entertainment venues, ensuring there’s something for everyone.


For a taste of the local scene, explore the buzzing Jordaan neighborhood. This area is known for its lively bars and traditional Dutch brown cafés. Enjoy a drink at a cozy pub while mingling with locals and enjoying some live music.


If you’re looking for a unique experience, visit the Proeflokaal Wynand Fockink, a historic Dutch liqueur distillery and tasting room. Sample traditional Dutch spirits like jenever and genever, and learn about their history and production process.


For those seeking a more upscale evening, head to Amsterdam’s stylish cocktail bars. These establishments offer innovative and expertly crafted cocktails, along with a sophisticated ambiance. Explore the upscale neighborhood of De Pijp or venture to the chic Hoxton area to discover hidden gems.


For a night of entertainment, consider catching a performance at one of Amsterdam’s renowned theaters or concert halls. The city boasts a thriving performing arts scene with venues offering a diverse range of shows, from classical concerts to contemporary theater productions.


Amsterdam also caters to night owls with its selection of clubs and late-night venues. From intimate dance floors playing electronic beats to larger venues hosting renowned DJs, the city’s nightlife will keep you dancing into the early hours of the morning.


Remember to drink responsibly and plan your transportation accordingly. Amsterdam has a well-connected public transport system, making it easy to get around the city even during the late hours.


Enjoy the vibrant dining and nightlife scene of Amsterdam, and embrace the city’s energetic spirit as you create unforgettable memories.


Practical Information

Before embarking on your Amsterdam adventure, it’s essential to have some practical information at hand to make your trip smooth and enjoyable. Here are some key details to keep in mind:


Language: The official language of the Netherlands is Dutch, but English is widely spoken throughout Amsterdam. You’ll find that most locals are fluent in English, making communication easy for travelers.


Currency: The currency used in Amsterdam is the Euro (EUR). It’s recommended to have some cash on hand, especially for smaller establishments that may not accept cards. ATMs are widely available throughout the city, and credit and debit cards are accepted in most places.


Weather: The climate in Amsterdam is moderate, with mild summers and chilly winters. It’s best to check the weather forecast before your trip and pack accordingly. Don’t forget to carry an umbrella or raincoat, as Amsterdam is known for its occasional rain showers.


Transportation: Amsterdam has an excellent public transportation system, including trams, buses, and a well-connected network of cycling paths. Consider purchasing an OV-chipkaart, a rechargeable transportation card, for easy access to buses, trams, and trains. Bikes are a popular mode of transportation, and you’ll find rental options throughout the city.


Safety: Amsterdam is generally a safe city to visit, but it’s always wise to take precautions. Be mindful of your belongings, especially in crowded areas and public transport. Take note of any travel advisories or safety guidelines provided by your embassy or consulate before your trip.


Electricity: The standard voltage in Amsterdam is 230V, and the outlets use Type C and Type F plugs. If your devices are not compatible, you may need a travel adapter.


Opening Hours: Shops and department stores in Amsterdam are typically open from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm on weekdays, with shorter hours on Saturdays and Sundays. However, many tourist areas and larger stores have extended opening hours. Restaurants generally serve lunch from 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm and dinner from 6:00 pm onwards. Some restaurants may close early on weekdays, so it’s advisable to check their opening hours in advance.


Tipping: Tipping is not mandatory in Amsterdam, as a service charge is usually included in the bill. However, it’s common to round up the bill or leave a small tip as a gesture of appreciation for good service.


Cultural Etiquette: It’s always important to respect the local customs and etiquette. When greeting someone, a simple handshake is common. Amsterdam is known for its open-mindedness and tolerance, but it’s important to be mindful of cultural differences and avoid any offensive behavior or attire, especially in religious or sacred places.


Remember to have your travel documents, such as a valid passport, ready for your visit to Amsterdam. It’s also a good idea to check the entry requirements and visa regulations for your specific nationality before traveling to the Netherlands.


By keeping these practical details in mind, you’ll be well-prepared for an unforgettable experience in the beautiful city of Amsterdam.



As your Amsterdam weekend getaway comes to an end, you can reflect on the captivating beauty and rich culture that this city has to offer. From the picturesque canals to the world-class museums, Amsterdam has something for everyone. Whether you spent your days exploring historic landmarks, immersing yourself in art and culture, or enjoying the outdoor activities, you have undoubtedly created unforgettable memories.


Amsterdam’s charm lies in its unique blend of old-world charm and vibrant modernity. The city effortlessly combines historical architecture with a progressive and open-minded atmosphere. It’s a place where you can appreciate the masterpieces of iconic artists, savor delicious cuisine, and immerse yourself in the local way of life.


Throughout this guide, you have discovered the must-see attractions, experienced the diverse dining options, and embraced the energetic nightlife. You’ve pedaled along the canals, marveled at world-class museums, and indulged in traditional Dutch treats. Your accommodation provided a comfortable base for your explorations, and you navigated the city’s excellent transportation system with ease.


But Amsterdam is more than just a destination; it’s an experience that leaves a lasting impression. Whether it’s the friendly locals, the scenic beauty, or the vibrant cultural scene, this city has a way of captivating the hearts of its visitors. The memories created during your Amsterdam weekend getaway will stay with you long after you leave.


As you bid farewell to the charming canals, the historic landmarks, and the bustling streets, take a moment to savor your time in Amsterdam. Reflect on the unique blend of history, art, and culture that you encountered and carry these experiences with you as you continue your travels.


Remember, Amsterdam will always be waiting to welcome you back with open arms. Whether you return to explore more hidden gems, soak up the vibrant atmosphere, or simply relive the magic of your first visit, Amsterdam will be ready to enchant you once again.


Until then, hold on to the memories and cherish the moments you spent in this captivating city. Amsterdam will forever hold a special place in your heart as a destination that ignited your sense of adventure and left you longing for more.


Safe travels, and until we meet again in Amsterdam!