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Amsterdam, Netherlands is one of the world’s most vibrant cities. With a stunning landscape of canals, an incredible number of attractions and a legendary nightlife, determining the best way to spend 3 days in Amsterdam can be tricky. No need to worry! Our detailed 3-Day Amsterdam Itinerary covers everything you need to plan your trip.
How to Plan Trips to Amsterdam
It is easy to get overwhelmed when planning a trip to Amsterdam. There is so much to see and do in the city! Top factors that need to be considered for your Amsterdam trip are Interests, Budget and Time.
Interesting Things To Do in Amsterdam: What Is There To See?
Chockablock with attractions, visitors should have no problem finding Amsterdam things to do. It is much more likely that tourists will feel overwhelmed by too many choices. While the city does have a certain reputation for illicit activities, the debauchery and bawdiness only constitute one small facet of the city. There are Amsterdam attractions for everyone.
We prefer to explore cities on foot. We make sure to see the top sights, but also seek out local spots as well. And, getting a taste of regional cuisine is essential. In our Amsterdam Itinerary, we feature the best attractions, hidden gems and classic Dutch food.
Trip Budget: Is Amsterdam Expensive?
We won’t beat around the bush on this one: Yes, Amsterdam is expensive. Accommodation costs are significant – even the cheapest city center hostel dorm beds costs upwards of $50 USD per night in the summertime. That said, there are many ways to save money and keep your budget in check while visiting Amsterdam.
We go into more detail about how to budget for your Amsterdam trip – including money-saving tips – at the end of the post.
Trip Length: How Many Days in Amsterdam?
To determine how long to spend in Amsterdam, visitors should factor in the previous two points: What To See in Amsterdam and How Much It Will Cost. For many travelers, 3 nights in Amsterdam is the ideal amount of time to spend in the city. It is just enough time to see the top Amsterdam sights, but not long enough to break the bank.
We have made multiple trips to Amsterdam of varying lengths. On our first trip, we had just 2 days in Amsterdam, but we have also stayed in the city for a two-week Amsterdam vacation.
3 Days in Amsterdam
Using our experience, we created a 3 Days in Amsterdam Itinerary that is perfect for first-time travelers and return visitors who want to discover the best of the city. However, because we know some people plan weekend trips to Amsterdam or week-long trips to the city, we offer more suggested Amsterdam Itineraries at the end of this post.
Bonus: Because visiting Amsterdam is often part of a longer Netherlands travel itinerary or European trip, we also provide ideas on how the city can fit into your overall travel plans.
Who Can Use Our Amsterdam Travel Itinerary?
Everyone can use our Amsterdam trip planner! Whether flying solo or traveling in a group, planning a luxury trip or calculating every cent, our Amsterdam Itinerary can be used to plan your trip. We highlight a range of activities – and alternate ideas, too. So, if you are in the city before setting sail on an Amsterdam River Cruise or on a 3-day trip to Amsterdam over Spring Break, we’ve got you covered!
Amsterdam Itinerary 3 Days: A Day-by-Day Guide
We have organized our best advice for what to do in Amsterdam in 3 Days into a detailed 3-Day Amsterdam Itinerary. We include the top places to visit in the city and Amsterdam Travel Tips – like where to stay and how to save money – in our itinerary, too. Fellow travelers can use our Amsterdam 3-Day Itinerary to plan a perfect trip.
Save, Pin or Bookmark this Amsterdam Travel Blog post so that you can easily access it as you plan your trip!
Day 1: Explore Central Amsterdam Sights
Begin your three days in Amsterdam exploring the heart of the city. Set off on foot to see the historic city sights, then hop aboard a boat for a canal ride. End your day experiencing the city’s iconic nightlife.
Amsterdam Tourist Attractions: What To See in Amsterdam on Day 1
The best way to get acquainted with the city is via an Amsterdam Walking Tour. There are several organized walks and private tour guides, but we think it is best to explore at your own pace. Therefore, we created an easy-to-follow walk that takes in the best Amsterdam city sights and attractions.
The route – which is essentially a loop around the city – can take as little as two hours. However, we have sprinkled the tour with sightseeing suggestions that can definitely fill an entire day. Our included maps, step-by-step directions and helpful links to Google Maps make it simple to get from sight-to-sight…even on your first day in the city!
Sights On Our Walk
Top attractions on our walk include the Old Town, Dam Square, the Red Light District, the floating Flower Market and some of the most beautiful canals in the city. Along the way, the route passes by Amsterdam landmarks – like the Anne Frank House, the Blue Bridge and Westerkerk. Additionally, we highlight the best Amsterdam Museums (which are free with the City Card) along the tour route as well. A few of our favorites include the Our Lord in the Attic secret church Museum, the Hermitage Amsterdam Art Museum, the Museum Van Loon Canal House and the Tulip Museum.
Pro Tip: Visitors who would rather join a guide for one of the Amsterdam Sightseeing Tours can find our top suggestions at the end of our blog post: One Day In Amsterdam Self-Guided Walking Tour.
Amsterdam Boat Tour: Cruise the Canals
Complete your day of city sightseeing with a canal cruise! The network of canals – which are classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site – create a unique city landscape that is best seen from the water. There are several boat companies in the city that offer a range of canal cruises.
Pro Tip: The City Card includes a Sightseeing Canal Cruise!
Sightseeing Boat Amsterdam: We opted for the 75-minute Blue Boat Tour that included a (somewhat silly, but still informative) recorded commentary. Book it now!
Wine & Cheese Candlelight Cruise: Experience the canals after dark on a candlelit cruise. The 90-minute nighttime cruise includes unlimited wine and soft drinks, as well as an assortment of cheeses, highlighted by the Captain’s commentary. Get the details!
Amsterdam Night Cruise with Pizza: Traveling families and friends can enjoy a casual end-of-day cruise while feasting on fresh-baked pizza and unlimited wine and beer. Find out more!
Luxury Dinner Cruise: For a more elegant experience that includes sipping Prosecco and feasting on a four-course dinner, join the Luxury Dinner Cruise on the Amsterdam canals. Reserve your seat!
End Day 1 in Amsterdam partaking in the city’s illustrious nightlife. The city is said to be home to more than 1,100 bars (many selling amazing Dutch Craft Beer) – however, pubs aren’t the only places that get lively at night. The city’s dance clubs, which stay open until the wee hours of the morning, feature DJs and live music. Cannabis coffeeshops, where they sell inexpensive marijuana joints, and the erotic Red Light District are other nighttime attractions.
Amsterdam Night Tour
Unsure about venturing into the Red Light District on your own? Join a local guide for an eye-opening and informative Amsterdam night tour through the infamous district and associated sights. Book it now!
Day 2: Discover Amsterdam Neighborhoods
On Day 2 of your Amsterdam three-day itinerary, discover the sights in some of the city’s best neighborhoods beyond the historic Centrum.
Get Outside of Amsterdam Centrum
Spend the day discovering what lies beyond touristic Centrum. The Amsterdam districts outside the canal ring feature chic eateries, thought-provoking museums, lush city parks, riveting art districts and local craft breweries. Our planned route begins in the south and rotates around the city clockwise.
De Pijp: Street Market and Breakfast
Start your day in the De Pijp District – one of the city’s hippest neighborhoods that sits just south of Centrum. Peruse the goods for sale at the famous Albert Cuypmarkt outdoor market (open 9am-5pm, closed Sunday) and sample a few cheeses and other goodies along the way. Pop over to Sarphatipark for a quiet start to the day or queue up for breakfast at The Avocado Show, one of the district’s most popular eateries.
Museumkwartier: Museums and Park
Mid-morning, head into the Museumkwartier. Just west of De Pijp, the Museum Quarter is home to many – you guessed it! – Amsterdam museums. While we are not ‘Museum People’ per se, we think the museums in Amsterdam are incredible.
Pro Tip: Visitors who have zero interest in going to museums in Amsterdam will still want to see this district – as the architecture is amazing.
Visit the Rijksmuseum
The Rijksmuseum (free with the City Card) is housed in a striking brick building and displays an impressive art collection, including world-famous masterpieces. It is a must-see in Amsterdam. The highlight of the museum is The Night Watch by Dutch artist, Rembrandt, but there are so many art-filled rooms that visitors could easily spend an entire day inside the museum. That said, we spent just 2 hours seeing the highlights before continuing our day of sightseeing.
Pro Tip: Just steps from the Rijksmuseum is the Van Gogh Museum (free with the City Card), which details the artist’s life and features his works. Other nearby sights are the Moco Modern Art Museum and the House of Bols Cocktail and Genever (Gin) Experience.
Stroll through Vondelpark
Established in 1865, Vondelpark is the city’s largest urban green space. Featuring intertwining trails, ponds and statues (look for The Fish sculpture by Pablo Picasso), the park is popular with both locals and tourists. Other park highlights include an open-air theater, restaurants and festivals – and there is even a bunker-turned-cultural hub near the Van Baerlestraat bridge (but we couldn’t find a way inside).
Pro Tip: Fans of quirky architecture will want to find the nearby Zevenlandenhuizen – Seven Country Houses, which are 7 houses standing together just north of the park, each representing a different country.
Amsterdam Oud-West: Cool Eateries
By now, you are probably getting hungry for lunch – and there are plenty of places in Oud-West Amsterdam to get your fill. Developed in the 19th century, Old West Amsterdam hosts a number of cool cafes, designer boutique shops and trendy restaurants. The most notable attraction is the renovated tram depot that now serves as a cultural center, De Hallen.
Eat Lunch at Foodhallen
The indoor food hall – called Foodhallen – is the centerpiece of the De Hallen project (that also includes the Filmhallen cinema and a hotel). The food hall is an indoor, upscale street food experience. Guests can choose from more than 20 kiosks operated by local restaurants serving everything from Japanese sushi to American burgers to classic Dutch Bitterballen. What we loved most about Foodhallen is that we could order small snacks from several vendors to assemble a full meal.
Amsterdam Noord: Artistic District
Hop on a tram to Amsterdam Central Station and take the free ferry across the IJ waterway to the city’s most eccentric district, Amsterdam Noord. A once industrial and unfavorable area of the city, Amsterdam North has become a hub for creative concepts and artistic expressions. The district covers a lot of terrain, but there are three things not to miss in Amsterdam Noord: NDSM, A’DAM and Amsterdam Craft Breweries.
Pro Tip: It is possible to walk between these sights, but it may be quicker to take the free ferries – even though you will need to backtrack to Central Station; using the buses is another way to get around Noord.
Built in the 1960s as an office building, the 100-meter-high A’DAM Tower was redeveloped in 2016 as a mixed-use work space-slash-tourist attraction. The A’DAM tower features a rooftop observation deck (free with the City Card), Over The Edge Swings and a restaurant and bar.
NDSM Artistic District
Nowhere in the city is artistic expression more evident than in the NDSM District. The industrial port has been revitalized with colorful street art murals, funky bars and cool hangouts, like Pllek. Visitors who want to stay in the district can book a room on the docked Amstel Botel or spring for a really unique experience and get a room inside the repurposed Crane Hotel Faralda.
Craft Brewers have also made use of the industrial spaces in North Amsterdam – and at this point in the day, we are certain you are getting thirsty. Oedipus Brewing utilizes a large colorful decorated warehouse as a stylish place to drink their crafted brew. Meanwhile, nearby Walhalla Craft Beer has transformed a garage space into an intimate and cozy taproom.
Amsterdam-Oost: Windmills and Craft Beer
To end your day of Amsterdam neighborhood exploration, step into the Amsterdam Oost district. The multicultural Amsterdam East neighborhood is a sprawling residential district that encompasses parks, a street market, international restaurants and a slew of creative bars. Oh, and the neighborhood hosts the closest windmill to Amsterdam Centrum as well!
De Gooyer Windmill in Amsterdam City
Wondering where to see windmills in Amsterdam? You just have to go to Amsterdam-Oost! One of the best windmills in Amsterdam, De Gooyer stands as the tallest wooden windmill in the Netherlands, reaching a height of 87 feet. A national monument, the De Gooyer Windmill was built in 1609. Unfortunately, it is not open to the public. Fortunately, right next door is one of the first and finest craft breweries in Amsterdam, Brouwerij ‘t IJ, which occupies a former bathhouse.
Pro Tip: There are other windmills close to Amsterdam in Zaanse Schans. The free park is open year-round and can be accessed from the city by Sprinter Train in just 30 minutes. Visiting these windmills outside Amsterdam can be done on Day 3 – see our tips below.
Dinner and Drinks in Amsterdam East
End your day with a delicious meal and a few drinks in East Amsterdam. Some of the best Dutch craft beer bars in the city are in East – and they serve amazing food, too. Our top picks are De Biertuin (order their famous rotisserie chicken or a gourmet burger) or De Eeuwige Jeugd (for typical – but excellent – bar food). Looking for something different? Try these suggested restaurants in Amsterdam.
For after dinner drinks, make your way to Bar JOOST, a local corner pub with friendly bar staff and an amazing drink menu. Another fine option is Brouwerij Poesiat & Kater, a fashionable brewery in a historic canal building.
More Sights in Amsterdam Oost: Dappermarkt and Het Scheepvaartmuseum
Two top Amsterdam Oost sights are the Dappermarkt (a 250-stall international street market) and the Maritime Museum (featuring a gorgeous wooden ship and fascinating displays detailing Amsterdam’s maritime past). However, plan accordingly, as both attractions are open from 9am until 5pm and the Market is closed on Sundays.
Day 3: Venture Beyond the City Limits
On Day 3 of your Amsterdam Trip Itinerary, see more of the region on one of the many day tours from Amsterdam. Visitors can join organized Amsterdam excursions or plan their own adventures.
Amsterdam Day Trips
Amsterdam is well-connected for numerous day tours that allow visitors to see a variety of sights. Short trips from Amsterdam – to places like Haarlem or Zaanse Schans – are easy jaunts and longer day trips are possible to cities like Rotterdam and The Hague. However, day trips from Amsterdam to other countries – like Belgium – are also surprisingly easy to organize. Below we highlight the most popular side trips from Amsterdam.
Haarlem Day Trips
Visiting Haarlem is one of the best day trips from Amsterdam. The city is just 12 miles – a 20-minute train ride – from Amsterdam. Top sights include the Medieval city square and market, a windmill, the Corrie ten Boom House and hidden courtyard gardens. Find out more in our detailed blog post: The Best Things To Do in Haarlem.
Day Trip To Zaanse Schans
Zaanse Schans is a typical 18th century Amsterdam village, complete with historic windmills, wooden houses and artisan shops. Visitors can plan their own Amsterdam-Zaanse Schans day trip or join an inexpensive Amsterdam tour.
Get the details here of a short half-day Amsterdam village tour of the Zaanse Schans Windmills (which will leave plenty of time for you to discover Haarlem on your own later in the day). Or, consider joining a longer Amsterdam Countryside Tour that also includes the towns of Volendam and Edam – Find out more!
Amsterdam to Rotterdam Day Trip
It is simple enough to get from Amsterdam to Rotterdam – the quickest trains make the journey in just under 40 minutes. A historic port city, Rotterdam adopted a bold, modern architectural style when it was rebuilt after World War II.
Amsterdam to The Hague Day Trip
Another one of the easy day trips from Amsterdam, a trip to The Hague from Amsterdam takes just a bit longer than the ride to Rotterdam. By train, it takes about 50 minutes to travel between the two cities. The Hague is the seat of the Dutch Parliament and home to the Noordeinde Palace, where the Dutch king works.
Amsterdam, The Hague, Delft, Rotterdam Tour
Visitors can book a combination Hague, Delft, Rotterdam Tour from Amsterdam to see all the cities in one day. The tour includes modern Rotterdam, a famous food market, river cruise, the Delft Dutch ceramic factory (responsible for many of the city’s famous blue tiles), The Hague Parliament Houses and the Dutch king’s palace. Reserve Your Seat!
Day Trip to Utrecht from Amsterdam
Boasting a Medieval Old Town, a Gothic Cathedral and Christian monuments, Utrecht is just a quick 25 minutes from Amsterdam by train. Rather than going on your own, book a private tour to Utrecht – that also includes a stop in Muiderslot to see the 700-year-old Castle.
Day Trip to Nijmegen from Amsterdam
Located in eastern Netherlands, near the German border, Nijmegen is the oldest city in the Netherlands. The history of the city dates to Roman times – and features a 13th century church. Find out more about what to see and do in our complete blog post: Things To Do in Nijmegen.
Amsterdam Day Trip to Windmills at Kinderdijk
Although not as close as Zaanse Schans, day trips from Amsterdam to see windmills at Kinderdijk are worth the extra time. The Kinderdijk Windmills – which are still functioning – are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Going to Kinderdijk was one of the highlights of our Amsterdam to Budapest River Cruise. Visitors can book a Kinderdijk tour from Amsterdam that also includes a stop in The Hague to see highlights. Reserve your spot!
Amsterdam to Bruges Day Trip
Delightful Bruges, Belgium is a Medieval city of curving cobblestone lanes and picturesque canals. Visitors can plan their own trip using trains (expect about 3 hours each way); however, on an organized Bruges day tour from Amsterdam, participants will travel with a knowledgeable guide, go on a tour through the city and have free time to explore. Find out more!
Amsterdam to Brussels Day Trip
Brussels, Belgium – the country’s capital city and European Union Headquarters – features a number of sights, including the Royal Palace, guild houses of the 17th century and the famous Manneken Pis statue. A high-speed (and expensive) train can get passengers to Brussels from Amsterdam in less than two hours. Taking a guided tour – like this one – however, includes a guided tour of the city sights.
Amsterdam to Germany Day Trip
How Many Days to Spend in Amsterdam
Above we outlined how to spend 3 days in Amsterdam, but what if you have more – or less – time for Amsterdam in your Netherlands tour itinerary? We’ve got it covered with our sample Amsterdam Itineraries! If you are wondering what to do in Amsterdam in 2 days or trying to organize an Amsterdam 4-Day Itinerary, you can use our tips to help plan your trip.
Short trips to Amsterdam are especially difficult to plan – there are so many things to do! Find all of our advice on how to spend a perfect day in Amsterdam in our blog post: The Best One Day in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam Itinerary 2 Days
With two days in Amsterdam, visitors can cover some ground and take in the top city sights. We think an ideal 2 days in Amsterdam itinerary includes the city’s top attractions in Centrum, as well as the sights in the neighboring districts. To plan your 2-Day Amsterdam Itinerary, simply follow Day 1 and Day 2 of our above outline of things to do in Amsterdam in 3 days.
Alternatively, visitors could try to squeeze in more things to do in Amsterdam in 2 days. An Amsterdam 2-Day Itinerary could include the sights in Centrum on Day 1; on Day 2 select just a couple of neighborhoods to explore in the morning and then spend the afternoon in Haarlem or Zaanse Schans.
Amsterdam Itinerary 4 Days
Planning what to do in Amsterdam in 4 days is a little easier because there is more time to enjoy the city sights. With 4 days in Amsterdam, visitors can use our guide of places to see in Amsterdam in 3 days – then fill the last day with any missed sights, a second day trip or deeper neighborhood exploration.
However, visitors who want to plan a more leisurely Amsterdam 4-Day Itinerary could alter our outlined Amsterdam 3-Days Itinerary and spread out the sightseeing on Day 2. For example, four days in Amsterdam could look like this: Day 1 as outlined, Day 2 explore sights in Amsterdam South and Old West, Day 3 discover the attractions in North Amsterdam and Amsterdam Oost. Then, on the last day of the 4-day trip to Amsterdam go on a day trip.
Amsterdam Itinerary 5 Days
With 5 days in Amsterdam, visitors have ample time to see city sights and nearby attractions. To best plan an Amsterdam 5-Day Itinerary, we recommend following our tips for a leisurely Amsterdam 4-Days Itinerary and reserving the last day for seeing any sights you missed along the way or returning to a favorite neighborhood.
Another way to plan an Amsterdam 5-Days Itinerary is to spend one complete day visiting museums. To make this option work into your five days in Amsterdam (and to take advantage of a multiple day City Card), we suggest following the outlined Day 1 and spending Day 2 at top museums (such as Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh, Hermitage, Maritime Museums). On Day 3, see the sights in the North and East neighborhoods (if visiting A’DAM Tower, get the 3-day City Card), on Day 4 leisurely navigate the south and west neighborhoods and on the last day, go on a day trip.
Amsterdam Itinerary 6 Days
Visitors who have 6 days in Amsterdam will find ample options on how to plan their Amsterdam tour itinerary. We recommend following the above 5-Day Amsterdam Itinerary with Museums day, but add one more day trip to another Netherlands city on the extra day.
Amsterdam 7 Day itinerary
If you have time to spend 7 days in Amsterdam, there is plenty to see and do! Spending one week in Amsterdam allows visitors to really get to know the city and area. To plan an Amsterdam One-Week Itinerary, we suggest using the above Amsterdam 6-Day Itinerary and reserving the last day for casual exploration.
For example, on the last day of your 1 week in Amsterdam, wander the canals without purpose and see what you find, be like a local and hop on a bicycle or delve deeper into the Amsterdam culture on a guided tour, like the Alternative tour, Jewish Tour or a Cheese Workshop. The possibilities of an Amsterdam One-Week Itinerary are practically endless!
European and Netherlands Itinerary Suggestions
Amsterdam visitors trying to fit the city into a longer trip to Europe have many options. The city is well-connected and in close proximity to several top European destinations. Below are a few ideas of possible trip plans.
Paris, London, Amsterdam Itinerary
Paris-Amsterdam Itinerary or London-Amsterdam Itinerary
Perfect for a one-week vacation, we would split our time equally between the two cities.
Paris, Belgium, Amsterdam Itinerary
Adding Belgium destinations – either Brussels or Bruges – to an Amsterdam-Paris trip makes sense because of location. However, rather than choosing one city over the other, we say include them both! Spend 3 days in Paris, 1 day in Brussels, 2 days in Bruges and 3 days in Amsterdam. That said, if you really only want to add one destination, we recommend the Paris, Bruges, Amsterdam Itinerary.
Amsterdam to Rome Itinerary
Depending on how many places you wanted to see – and how fast you want to see them – there are a plethora of routes from Amsterdam to Rome. A few possibilities are:
- Amsterdam, Zurich, Rome
- Amsterdam, Barcelona, Rome
- Amsterdam, Munich, Rome
- Amsterdam, Split (Croatia), Rome
- Amsterdam, Vienna, Rome
- London, Amsterdam, Paris, Rome – Use our London, Paris, Rome Itinerary for tips!
Amsterdam Travel Tips
Now that you know the best places to visit in Amsterdam in 3 days, we have a few more tips for your trip!
Trip to Amsterdam Cost
As we already mentioned, Amsterdam is pricey. However, it is possible to visit Amsterdam in 3 days and stay on budget. In our travel tips for Amsterdam below, we include expected costs and advice on how to save money on your trip.
Hotels in Amsterdam are not cheap; one of the biggest problems for budget travelers is finding affordable accommodations in Amsterdam. Visitors can expect to spend at least $150 USD per night on Amsterdam hotels – and even more if staying in the heart of the city. One of the most elegant hotels in the city is the InterContinental Amstel, which offers rooms for more than $400 USD per night.
Airbnb apartments (most of which are in the districts surrounding Centrum) usually cost a less than hotels and have the added benefit of a kitchen, so visitors can at least prepare breakfast and other simple meals at home. Use this link to create your Airbnb account and save money on your first stay!
Hostel dorms are a good choice for budget travelers, but for affordable beds, we recommend looking outside of central. The Flying Pig Uptown and ClinkNOORD Hostel are both highly rated by fellow travelers.
We have stayed in a few hotels in Amsterdam. The most affordable, an Ibis Budget, was far from the city near the airport – but there was a convenient bus that we could take to and from the city center. However, we preferred staying at the affordable and stylish Volkshotel in Amsterdam South. The hotel, which was priced just around $100 USD during our stay, is located steps from a convenient Metro stop – but what we loved about the hotel were the artistic rooms, cool co-working space and rooftop hot tubs.
Search for the best prices on Amsterdam Hotels on Booking.com – like we do!
While there are many free things to do in Amsterdam, most of the city’s museums and attractions charge an entry fee. A ticket to the Rijksmuseum costs 20 euros and going to the top of the A’DAM Tower will cost more then 13 euros. The cost of sightseeing in the city can definitely add up.
Therefore, an I Amsterdam City Card is essential if visiting the city’s museums and attractions! We used a 3-Day City Card – which covers the entry to more than 70 attractions, includes all public transportation in the city and offers discounts at restaurants and shops, too. At the end of our trip, we calculated how much we saved by using the card; the savings exceeded $100 USD – so, the card is definitely worth it!
What to Eat and Drink in Amsterdam
We think planning what to see in Amsterdam in 3 days is just as important as planning what to eat and drink! Throughout our 3-Day Amsterdam Itinerary, we mention restaurants and bars. However, for more information about what to eat, use our guide to Dutch Cuisine – and for the best places to drink in the city, use our Amsterdam Craft Beer Bars guide.
That said, the price of eating and drinking in Amsterdam can really put a dent in a small travel budget. Budget conscious travelers can opt for fast food restaurants and big brand beers – but we recommend at least seeking out food and drinks that are unique to the city. Fries and Kibbeling are cheap local snacks, but for a filling meal, go to Leeman Doner for a phenomenal kebab in De Pijp. And, if trying to save money on beer, Heineken draft is likely the least expensive.
Of course, the city has numerous grocery stores – many of which offer simple, already prepared (and inexpensive) meals and decent bottles of wine for around 5 euros.
Getting To Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a well-connected city; visitors can arrive via plane, train, bus or car. We prefer flying (we are JetSetting Fools, after all!) and when we start looking for flights, we use SkyScanner as our go-to source for the best prices on airfare. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is a sprawling complex with loads of international flight options, including direct US flights from Chicago, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Boston, Seattle and Washington DC (to name just a few!).
Trains are a good way to get around Europe, but they can be expensive. The cheaper way to travel is by bus – and we like to travel with FlixBus. Economical, clean and comfortable, FlixBus usually offers on-board WiFi and some buses have toilets, too.
We don’t like to drive abroad, but renting a car can cost less than flights, trains or buses – especially if there are two or more people traveling together. That said, once in cities – like Amsterdam – a car in completely unnecessary and many hotels charge an additional fee for overnight parking.
Getting Around Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a walkable city – with flat terrain and a grid layout, but when distances are too far to travel on foot, there is a fabulous network of public transportation. Metro, Trams, Buses and (free) ferries can be used to get around the city. However, single use tickets are priced at more than 3 euros. Day tickets – priced at 8 euros – are valid for 24 hours and can be used on all city public transport and can be a cost-efficient way to get around. However, if you buy a City Card, all public transport is free!
Amsterdam to Amsterdam Airport
Using a taxi to get to and from the airport will cost more than 50 euros. Shared transfers cost slightly less, but are still expensive. The cheapest way to get between the city and the airport is using the Amsterdam Airport Express Bus (Bus 397), which arrives and departs from South Amsterdam. One-way tickets cost 6 euros, but travelers can save money buy purchasing a round trip ticket for 10 euros.
There are several celebrated Dutch public holidays throughout the year – and visitors planning trips to Amsterdam should be aware of them. On public holidays in Amsterdam, government offices are closed, as well as most restaurants, shops and attractions. Check the public holiday calendar for your trip.
One of the most celebrated holidays is King’s Day on April 27 (to celebrate the King’s birthday). The day is marked by festivals, parties and the color orange (so pack accordingly if your Amsterdam trip falls on the date!).
What You Will Need For Your Trip
Before you go on your Amsterdam trip, we have a few tips for what to pack. For more detailed info, you can check out my complete Packing List.
Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful cities in the world – make sure you have an actual camera to capture the city sights! We use a DSLR Canon Rebel with an everyday 18-135mm lens, which takes fantastic photos.
Before you go on your trip, make sure you are protected with travel insurance. Trip insurance can protect travelers in the event of cancellations or if luggage is lost. It can also be crucial if travelers become ill or get injured abroad. Check rates and coverage at World Nomads.
We Want To Know: Is there anything you would add to our Amsterdam Itinerary? Do you have any tips for spending 3 Days in Amsterdam? Tell us in the comments!
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