72 Hours in Amsterdam
Updated: May 24
Explore Dutch Culture and visit the 17th century capital of Holland, Amsterdam. World-class museums, unorthodox culture, eccentric festivals, live music - Amsterdam has much to offer. Unwind yourself with a much needed holiday. We are all eagerly waiting for things to get back to normal so that we can get out there again. Foreign tourists from countries where the health risks are similar to or lower than in the Netherlands are welcome to visit. The local government in Netherlands has enforced some rules for locals as well as tourists. You can take a look at them here.
The airport servicing Amsterdam is the Schiphol Airport which is an international airport. The best time to visit the city is late spring or early fall i.e April to October. Like many countries in the EU, Netherlands uses Euro as their currency too.
Getting to your hotel
Getting to your hotel from the airport, especially in an unknown country, becomes a challenge and you never know who to trust. We recommend you book a cab in advance to save yourself the hassle. AutoEurope is the single most affordable and trustworthy service you will need while you are in Amsterdam, in fact anywhere in Europe.
Where to stay?
Whether you are backpacker, business traveler or a local in need of a break, Lloyd Hotel is the place to stay. Once a hostel for poor migrants, then a prison, and now a hotel!!. Its rooms have been individually decorated by leading Dutch designers. It's a boutique hotel with 117 unique rooms in surprising styles, very interesting surroundings and great architecture. Located on the IJ river, the hotel is just a 20 minutes ride from the airport. They also have an in-house restaurant that serves some amazing breakfast. It is very accessible to the rest of the city - you never have to travel more than 30 minutes to reach anywhere you need. And all this at an amazing price - the charges for a double room can vary from €45 to €150 in peak season. They do charge an additional €35 if you want a room of your choice. But, trust me when I say its worth every penny you spend. You can also opt-in for their wellness, midweek or family deal which offer a packaged deal on their services.
How to commute?
I am sure all you travelers out there have faced this issue where commutation becomes the single most expensive challenge especially in an unknown country where there is a language barrier. We end up spending more on commuting then on food and frankly - its a waste!!. Here we are with the most sorted out and healthiest solution to all your problems - Rent a bicycle with Rahtour Bicycles & Repairs. They are reasonable and they have multiple options. You could go in for an e-bike, a cargo bike or a city-bike. They do charge a deposit which is refundable when you return the bike. The owner is a humble dutch and is very welcoming and accommodating. Trust me when I say it is the best way to commute in Amsterdam and sink in the beauty of this spell-bounding city.
If you are wondering what to see in Amsterdam in 3 days, want to know about some nice restaurants in Amsterdam, what places to visit when there is so much that you could do. Read on..
Start your day by visiting the world renowned Rijksmuseum, which is some two hundred years old and is one of the most breathtaking museums in the world. It depicts the art and history of Holland in true sense. The museum is a reminiscence of the middle ages, highlights from the Dutch Golden Age - Rembrandt van Rijn’s Night Watch, Johannes Vermeer’s The Milkmaid and many significant paintings by Vincent van Gogh. Its vast collection showcases iconic art and a wide variety of artifacts. Be sure to visit this world-famous museum.
Sail through the beautiful canals of Amsterdam starting from Rijksmuseum. You can easily book your tickets online at getyourguide.
An all day brunch place! ain't that amazing?! Yes, it is! After an hour-long museum and sail experience, all you need is FOOD!! and trust me when I say that Teds is exactly what you need. The owner is an animal-loving and friendly restaurateur. When asked why she named her restaurant as the Teds place? She pointed out that Ted is her loving French Bulldog and her initial idea was that Ted would accompany her every day but adventurous as he is, he would go out wander lusting through the neighborhood, which didn’t exactly come in handy.
Teds place is cozy, it's budget-friendly, has trendy atmosphere, plenty power sockets to charge your phone, free WiFi but that's not why we are recommending it. The food is AMAZING and you have gluten-free options too. Their eggs benedict, steak sandwich and mint-tea is a must-try.
Next on our itinerary is a fun-filled evening at The Amsterdam Dungeon. They bring true stories to life, along with a great cast of theatrical actors, special effects, stages and scenes in a unique walk-through experience. It is located in the very center of the city and provides for an unforgettable experience. Learn about the secrets of Amsterdam’s past, origins of the Grim Reaper and the torture. Rooted in real-life events this chilling story also covers tales that stem from life at the time of the plague and the Spanish Inquisition. The dungeon is open daily from 10:30 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Be prepared to be exhilarated by the mysteries while the history unravels around you!
Enjoy the rest of the day at Dam Square. Dam Square was created in the 13th century. Why? It was built around the river Amstel to prevent the Zuiderzee sea from flooding the city. The Royal Palace of Amsterdam is situated on Dam Square in very the center of Amsterdam. It was originally built as the city hall for the magistrates of Amsterdam. The building was designed by Jacob van Campen in 1655. In 1808 it became an imperial palace and brief residence of Louis Bonaparte who is the brother of Napoleon. In 1813 the Palace was taken over by Prince William of Orange and remains in use by the Dutch royal house to this day. The Royal Palace’s many paintings and sculptures tell numerous stories from the time when the palace was still Amsterdam’s Town Hall.
Prik in Dutch means bubbels . As their name suggests, they serve some surprising drinks - with or without a little ‘prik’, yummy food and amazingly pink ambience which makes it just the place to end your power packed first day. You’ll love the wide variety of unique cocktails like the Strawberry Cheesecake and Dutch Pepper Bomb and don't forget about the Prik Prosecco from tap in white and pink! Prices are just as friendly as the boys serving you.
On the weekends, this loungy bar turns into a packed out mini dance club, with the exception that there’s never a cover charge, the music is always great and the crowd always fun! Amsterdam’s best gay DJ’s spin an eclectic mix of vocal dance, hot pop and funky disco. Prik has been serving Amsterdam since July 2006 and won numerous awards like “most popular gay bar of the Netherlands”, the Rainbow Award for best gay bar and "best gay venue of Amsterdam", twice by Time out magazine and also best LGTB terrace Amsterdam. The crowd is super relaxed and easy to connect with, a mix of all ages - locals, expats and visitors. This cute unique place is a must, when you visit Amsterdam!
Prepare your mind for an educative experience as we recommend you to head to Body Worlds. It is a unique experience and initiative. With the current corona virus situation, all of us have realized how important it is to look after your physical and mental well-being. Body Worlds is a step in the right direction. Get to know how your everyday choices impact your happiness and health by means of an exhibition. They take you on a fascinating journey through the human body.
Just to give you the history of the concept - Dr. Gunther von Hagens invented the process of plastination at the University of Heidelberg in 1977. Plastination is the process where real human bodies are preserved for scientific research and medical education. While his work has been copied countless times, his own work is still the most spectacular. With 200 real plastinated bodies on display, Body worlds will teach you all you’ve ever wanted to know about your own anatomy. Science says that what you see casts a long-lasting effect on your mind and this sure is one of those educative experiences!
After all that talk about your health and fitness, you sure must be looking for a healthy eating joint to enjoy your lunch guilt-free. We know just the place for you! Lebanese cuisine is among the healthiest food in the world because of their ingredients and the way they cook their food. For some authentic Lebanese cuisines, head to Lebanese Sajerai. Brought together by their Lebanese roots, Lia & Ziad, the owners, decided to share their love of Lebanese food and flavors with everyone in Amsterdam. They even named their restaurant from the saj, a traditional dome-shaped griddle used in Lebanon to bake manoushe, an everyday Lebanese food. They are all about serving classic Manoushe flavors using staple Lebanese ingredients such as Zaatar, Hummus and Labneh. They offer a variety of homemade soups, platters and desserts, infused with the Lebanese spirit. I recommend you try out the halloumi and zatar wrap along with the lentil soup and thank me later!
You are in Amsterdam, get ready for some dutch fashion. You got to buy a Dutch bonnet, which is essentially a style of woman's hat associated with various traditional Dutch woman's costumes. Usually made of white cotton or lace, it is sometimes characterized by triangular flaps or wings that turn up on either side. Now don't go rushing to the mall.
I recommend visiting a local fashion store, Laundry Industry, located right across the Amsterdam Museum. Laundry Industry is a well established fashion and concept brand in Amsterdam since 1992. Their collection excels in selection of fabric, cut, use of color and exude elegance and contemporary fashion sensibility. In addition to the latest women’s and men’s collections, the shop stocks sneakers and shoes, jewellery, books and magazines, vintage designer bags, design objects and furniture, perfume and cosmetics. There is even a bar with coffee, tea and juices, should shopping fatigue hit.
I'm sure you are thinking, while I'm at it why not buy some souvenirs for friends/family. I know just the place you need right now - Puccini Bomboni, a Dutch family owned and operated chocolatier. It is situated in the heart of Amsterdam and has been in business since 1987. They are especially known for their relentless focus on quality and taste which led them to become the top 10 chocolatiers in the world. We recommend you try out their Orangettes with chocolate. They also have unique flavors like prune, pepper, tamarind and marzipan currant. The only problem you will face is the dilemma that you cannot buy it all. I agree the chocolates are a bit pricey but the experience is priceless.
For some contemporary dutch experience visit Breda. Locals will refer this place to you, if you are into Natural Wines. It gives you a very stylish yet minimalist look, pure class I would say. The linen clothed tables and warm lighting makes it wonderful for enjoying a meal for two and ideal for couples seeking an intimate lunch/dinner setup. They always serve the chef 's menu. I recommend you go in for their 5-course menu and club it with a bottle of organic, unfiltered Gamay and you will thank me later. Order wine by the bottle so you have the entire 60-bottle selection to choose from. If you order by the glass, you only get a selection of 15.
Dutch are especially famous for their cheese markets. Your Amsterdam trip is incomplete without visiting one. We recommend you start your day visiting De KaasKamer, the cheese heaven. They feature over 400 different types of cheese stacked floor to ceiling — Dutch farmhouse cheese; cheese with caraway seeds, nettles, or garlic; goat cheese and sheep’s cheese. Their team consists of passionate and trained cheese specialists who are happy to help you put together a beautiful cheese platter or find the cheese you are looking for. In addition to cheese, they also sell wines and beers, roasted nuts, salads, tapenades and pestos. We highly recommend you try out their homemade cheese fondue and the truffle cheese baguette.
The Amsterdam Flower Market, Bloemenmarkt is the only floating flower market in the world. Bloemenmarkt sells everything from cut flowers of every kind, to seeds, plants and other gardening essentials. It’s not just a must-visit for it’s a slice of history just waiting to be explored. In the past, traders would sail in from the Amstel and sell flowers directly from their boats. Since 1862, fresh flowers and plants have arrived by barge from the Dutch countryside to Amsterdam and ever since then the Bloemenmarkt serves as an attraction for the locals and foreigners visiting Amsterdam. At the market you can find fresh flowers year round, and you can even purchase tulip bulbs to take home. They will assist you in selecting bulbs that can legally be taken back to your country.
Its your last day and I know you want to make the most of it! Eat your heart out at Foodware. The food here is amazing!! They have just a few tables, service is great, great selection of fresh and well-cooked dishes at a highly reasonable price. It's more of a shop than a restaurant and best for a takeaway. We recommend you ask for a fork and hit a canalside bench. They have gluten-free options as well. They serve superlative soups, sandwiches, salads and meals. I recommend you try their tomato-pepper or tomato coconut soup and a soy lemon chicken or a roasted mushroom sandwich.
Next on our itinerary is the Madame Tussauds wax museum. Madame Tussauds is the second largest of Amsterdam’s museums. There are quiet a lot of interactive displays, and you can take pictures with most of the wax figures. Check out wax statues of Queen Beatrix, DJ Tiesto, Lady Gaga, George Clooney, David Beckham, Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, Elvis Presley, Beyonce and yes Barack Obama to name few celebrities featured in the museum. We recommend to order tickets online at getyourguide. After the purchase, you do not need to print your ticket. It can be just shown and scanned from your mobile device.
Feel like grabbing a beer, head to Proeflokaal Arendsnest for some authentic Dutch Craft beer. They have been serving in Amstedam for the last 20 years and counting. Their selection of beers is stuning, some 50+ options. There’s something for everyone!! Their staff is more than happy to give you a taste if you’re unsure of what you want. They also offer pub food as well, small plates essentially. Picture sitting at the canalside in the evening with a beer in your hand. That is exactly what you get at Proeflokaal Arendsnest.
Red light District
Red light District is a must visit when in Amsterdam even if you are not looking to avail the services, if you know what i mean! It is an experience in itself, the vibrant atmosphere but it definitely should be an open minded visiting. It has been a major trading harbor since the Middle Ages. We recommend you avoid photographing or filming the sex workers in the windows out of respect, and mostly if you don't want your camera flung in a canal by their enforcers. It shows you a behind-the-scenes glimpse and insight into the profession. You can also visit the Red Light District's Erotic Museum and check out bondage exhibits and other displays.
Save the best for the last. Your Amsterdam trip is incomplete without trying out some sea-food. Trust me when i say, Stork is the best sea-food place in Amsterdam. Their menu offers great options for seafood and fish gourmet such as a classical fruits de mer and whole served fishes. Stork is situated in an old industrial loft of the former Stork factory, at the northern banks of the river IJ. Beside the restaurant, there is a huge café for a small bite or drink. During the summer the enormous terrace at the south, directly situated at the water, is the right spot for the perfect holiday feeling. With a view on the passing boats and the ships and the sound of the rippling water, this is the perfect way to end your Amsterdam trip.
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