48 hours in Amsterdam

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So, you’re going to Europe and you’ve got 2 days in Amsterdam and not a clue how to spend them. Well my good friend, you have come to the right place! I’m here to help and guide you through 48 hours in Am-Dam .While Amsterdam is the capital and largest city – over one million inhabitants – of the Netherlands, it is not that big of a city compared to other capitals in the world. The city is located in the northwest of the country, in the province of Noord-Holland

The best time to visit Amsterdam is between April and May or September and November – right before or directly after the summertime high tourist season


Day 1

OK so you have just arrived in Amsterdam. First thing first, you need to check in at one of the many hotels and cute BnBs. One place to stay is Hampton By Hilton Amsterdam Arena Boulevard. 

One of the best things about Amsterdam is that its city center is small and very walkable. After you have had time to rest, Start your day off with a Dutch staple: pancakes. I’d never heard of Dutch pancakes,these are wide but thin, and come topped with both savory and sweet ingredients of your choice. American pancakes, on the other hand, are thicker and fluffier with ingredients mixed in. You’ll find pancakes, or “pannekoeken” on practically every corner in Amsterdam’s city center, but the most popular spot to indulge is The Pancake Bakery.

After breakfast , it’s best to work off breakfast on a bike – the best way to see Amsterdam like a local. Hire a bicycle in the square or pre-book a guided ride such as Cycle Amsterdam 

The next thing to do is visit the Anne Frank House. I know rather grim, but this is best done in the morning to avoid the crazy lines particularly in peak season. I would even recommend purchasing tickets online.

You can’t go to Amsterdam and not take that iconic photo with the “I Amsterdam” letters. My best tip? Head there early. Once the crowds start it is nearly impossible to score a good spot with everyone flooding the photo. 

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Make sure you visit The Jordaan, Amsterdam’s most famous neighborhood known for its beautiful canal houses, art galleries, and shops. 

Side Note…Coffeeshops – note that it’s one word, how they differentiate themselves from actual coffee shops – sell marijuana.

You have had a very busy morning…It’s time to recharge over a koffie verkeerd (milky coffee) with a slice of appelgebak (apple pie). Next it’s time for a canal tour where you’ll explore Amsterdam from the water. There are many tour operators to choose from.  A number of canal tour companies depart from the area across from Amsterdam Centraal Station.

Now its time to go back to your hotel to rest and freshen up to get ready to head to the Red Light District. No not the Ludacris album but the famous Amsterdam Red Light District.  You saw it coming, right? I’m still astounded how this street is still in business but nevertheless, it is still so fascinating to see. You have everything from sex museums to live sex shows, so take your pick while you are there. Once you’ve had your fill, there are plenty of bars to enjoy the rest of your night at. And of course, once you’re done, you simply must try Patatje Oorlog from any “snackbar”. The most delicious fries you’ll ever taste.

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Day 2

I hope you have recovered from your night in the Red Light District or didn’t end up in jail.  After more dutch pancakes, Visit one of the city’s most popular museums, like the Amsterdam Tulip Museum, Amsterdam Cheese Museum,The Van Gogh Museum, The Rijksmuseum and how can I forget The Sex Museum. 

For lunch, grab some food, a bottle of wine, and head down to one of the many spacious parks like Vondelpark, Oosterpark, Westerpark, Sarphatipark or Amsterdamse Bos. Its the best thing to do especially after a long morning at the museums. 

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After a morning devoted to high culture, relax with a beer at The Heineken Experience. This brewery-turned-interactive museum still has original 19th-century machinery and old photographs, so even if its interactive elements get mixed reviews for being too touristy. Since you’re in the Netherlands, you might want to try a traditional Dutch restaurant for dinner. 

If you still have energy, there are countless numbers of bars and clubs in Amsterdam that maybe you didn’t get to visit on the first night. Rembrandtplein is one of the busiest squares in the city, at least when it comes to nightlife and clubbing.

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