Amsterdam Itinerary: How To Spend 3 Days in Amsterdam by

Amsterdam Itinerary: How To Spend 3 Days in Amsterdam

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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 to the Netherlands.


3 Days in Amsterdam Itinerary FAQs

Before we outline all of the interesting things to do in Amsterdam – and how to squeeze it all into a 3 Day Amsterdam Itinerary – we want to cover a few of the most frequently asked questions about visiting the city.


Amsterdam: What to See in 3 Days?

Chockablock with attractions, visitors have no problem finding Amsterdam things to do. It is much more likely that tourists will feel overwhelmed by too many choices. Top factors that need to be considered for your Amsterdam trip are Interests, Budget and Time.

We prefer to explore cities on foot, and Amsterdam is no exception. Therefore, in our 3 Day Itinerary Amsterdam, we begin with the top tourist sights on our self guided, easy to follow Amsterdam Walking Tour –  and then discover the surrounding districts the following day.

Of course, getting a taste of regional Dutch Cuisine is essential when touring Amsterdam in three days. As such, in our Amsterdam Itinerary, in addition to highlighting the best attractions and hidden gems, we feature classic Dutch food, too.

Top Tip: While Amsterdam 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.


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 can cost 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 our outlined trip plan.


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. It is just enough 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 for a two-week Amsterdam vacation. In our experience, we think a 3 day trip to Amsterdam is just the right amount of time to get acquainted with the city – but travelers could certainly stay longer. 


Is 3 Days in Amsterdam Enough?

Spending 3 days in Amsterdam is enough time to see the highlights – but only with a good plan. We created the best 3 Days in Amsterdam Itinerary that is perfect for first-time travelers (and return visitors as well)!

However, we know some people plan 2 day weekend trips to Amsterdam or week-long trips to the city. Therefore, we offer suggested Amsterdam Itineraries for shorter and longer trips at the end of this article.

Furthermore, because visiting Amsterdam is often part of a longer Netherlands travel itinerary or European Trip, we also provide ideas on how to fit Amsterdam into your overall vacation plans.


Best Amsterdam Travel Itinerary For Who?

Everyone can use our Amsterdam trip planner! Whether flying solo or traveling in a group, planning a luxury getaway or calculating every cent, our Amsterdam Itinerary can be used to help plan your trip.

We highlight a range of activities – and alternate ideas, too. So, if you are about to embark on an Amsterdam European River Cruise, are on a 3-day trip to Amsterdam over Spring Break or visiting Amsterdam at Christmas, we’ve got you covered!


How To Plan Trips to Amsterdam

Skinny Bridge from canal view, Amsterdam, Netherlands

It is easy to get overwhelmed when planning a trip to Amsterdam. There is so much to see and do in the city!

In addition to determining what attractions to see during three days in Amsterdam, travelers are also tasked with figuring out how to get there, where to stay and what to pack. Don’t fret! We cover it all – and more – in this Amsterdam 3 Day Itinerary trip plan. 

As you begin to make travel plans, bookings and reservations, it is essential to stay on top of the details. We recommend staying organized with a travel planner – like our Printable Travel Planner!

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Amsterdam Itinerary 3 Days: A Day-by-Day Guide

Can't miss the Royal Palace, Amsterdam, Netherlands

We have organized all our best advice for what to do in Amsterdam into a detailed 3-Day Amsterdam Itinerary. We include the top places to visit and Amsterdam Travel Tips, as well. Fellow travelers can use our Amsterdam 3-Day Itinerary to plan their perfect vacation.

Save, Pin or Bookmark this Amsterdam Travel Blog to plan your trip to Holland!


Day 1: Explore Central Amsterdam Sights

Always buzzing, Dam Square, Amsterdam

Begin your three days in Amsterdam exploring the heart of the city. Set off on foot to see the historic sights, then hop aboard a boat for a canal ride. End your day experiencing Amsterdam’s iconic nightlife.


Walking Route to Top Amsterdam Tourist Attractions

Canal Houses, Amsterdam, Netherlands

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 ideal walk that takes in the best Amsterdam city sights and attractions.

Muntplein, Amsterdam, Netherlands

The route – which is essentially a loop – can take as little as two hours. However, we have sprinkled our Amsterdam tour with sightseeing suggestions that can definitely fill an entire day. Our step-by-step directions and helpful map links make it simple to get from sight-to-sight…even on your first day in Amsterdam!


Sights On Our Amsterdam Walk

Amsterdam Central, The Netherlands

Our walk starts at the gorgeous Amsterdam Central Station and travels south through Old Town Amsterdam to Dam Square – with a few detours down hidden lanes and a few stops for nibbles. 

After touring the historic sights in and around Dam Square, the walk continues past De Oude Kerk (the oldest building in the city), to the Our Lord in the Attic secret church Museum and then weaves through the notorious Amsterdam Red Light District. 

Continuing through Chinatown and past more ancient buildings to the Rembrandt House Museum (one of the many museums you can include in your 3 Day Amsterdam Itinerary). 

Next up is the city’s best outdoor flea market, the modern opera house and the iconic Blue Bridge. Just a short walk from the city’s famous bridge are numerous museums (like the Hermitage Amsterdam Art Museum and the Museum Van Loon Canal House) and a legendary sandwich shop, Eetsalon Van Dobben (which is a great spot for lunch!). 

Floating flower market, Amsterdam

After a bite to eat, the walk continues through the famous floating Flower Market and along the some of the most beautiful Amsterdam canals. The route continues, passing by Amsterdam landmarks – like the Anne Frank House and Westerkerk – and ends in the inviting Jordaan neighborhood, which features elegant gabled houses and the Tulip Museum.

Tulips, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Our Self Guided Walking Tour is ideal for visitors on their first day, because throughout it, we highlight must-see sights and some of the best Amsterdam Museums. 

Top Travel Tip: Visitors who plan on including museums in their 3 Day Itinerary for Amsterdam should consider purchasing the City Card to save money on entrance fees.


Get Started With Our Amsterdam Self-Guided Walking Tour!

Walking Tour Amsterdam, Sight Seeing Amsterdam in one day


Amsterdam Boat Tour: Cruise the Canals

Canal River cruise Blue Boat, Amsterdam, Netherlands

After touring on foot, complete your first day of sightseeing with an Amsterdam canal cruise. Cruising the canal is a must for your 3 Days Amsterdam Itinerary! 

The network of canals – which are classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site – create a unique landscape that is best seen from the water.

The Amsterdam City Card that we recommend using for visiting museums also includes a Sightseeing Canal Cruise. That said, visitors have many choices Amsterdam boat cruises – and we are sharing a few of the best for Day 1 of your 3 day Amsterdam trip. 


Sightseeing Boat Amsterdam

The classic 75-minute Blue Boat Tour is one of the most popular Amsterdam cruises. It includes 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 60-minute 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! 


Dinner in Amsterdam

Must Eat Amsterdam, Foodhallen, The Netherlands

On Day 1 of your 3 Days Itinerary in Amsterdam, get a taste of classic Dutch food at one of the city’s most loved restaurants. Indulge in a savory Dutch pancake, try stamppot at Restaurant Moeder’s or feast on a range of traditional eats at De Blauwe Hollander. 

Pro Travel Tip: For tips on what and where to eat in Amsterdam, use our guide to the Best Dutch Food.


Amsterdam Nightlife

View of Amsterdam at Night, The Netherlands, Holland

End Day 1 in Amsterdam partaking in the 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 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 Amsterdam attractions.

Pro Travel Tip: 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

Beautiful houses, Amsterdam, Netherlands

On Day 2 of your Amsterdam three-day itinerary, discover the sights in some of the best neighborhoods beyond the historic Centrum.


Get Outside of Amsterdam Centrum

View of Amstel River, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Spend the day discovering what lies beyond touristic Centrum. The Amsterdam districts outside the canal ring feature chic eateries, thought-provoking museums, lush parks, riveting art districts and local craft breweries – and we manage to squeeze it all into Day 2 of your 3 Days Amsterdam trip!


De Pijp: Street Market and Breakfast

Must eat cheese, Albert Cuypmarkt, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Start your day in the De Pijp District – one Amsterdam’s hippest neighborhoods that sits just south of Centrum and boasts the city’s best marketplace, Albert Cuyp Market.

Peruse the goods for sale at the famous Albert Cuypmarkt outdoor market (open 9am-5pm, closed Sunday) and sample delicious Dutch 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 De Pijp’s most popular eateries.


Museumkwartier: Museums and Park

Pedestrian Tunnel, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

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 typically don’t spend a great deal of time in museums, 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

Market and tree at Rijksmuseum at Christmas, Amsterdam, Netherlands

The Rijksmuseum (free with the Amsterdam 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. The colossal painting is dramatic and mesmerizing. 

That said, there are so many art-filled rooms that visitors could easily spend an entire day inside the Rijksmuseum. We recommend, however, spending just 1 or 2 hours enjoying the Rijksmuseum highlights before continuing your day of Amsterdam sightseeing.

Modern Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Pro Tip: There are many museums that you can include in your 3 day trip to Amsterdam, but be sure to keep an eye on the time if you want to continue sightseeing more of the city sights! Just steps from the Rijksmuseum is the Van Gogh Museum (also 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

VondelPark green spaces, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Established in 1865, Vondelpark is Amsterdam’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.

The Fish sculpture by Pablo Picasso, Vondelpark, Amsterdam

Other park highlights include an open-air theater, restaurants and it often hosts great Amsterdam festivals in the summer. There is even a hidden bunker-turned-cultural hub near the Van Baerlestraat bridge (but we couldn’t find the 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

THE BUTCHER, Amazing Burger, Foodhallen, Amsterdam

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 food hall and cultural center, De Hallen.


Eat Lunch at Foodhallen

Looking festive at Foodhallen at Christmas, Amsterdam, Netherlands

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.

Foodhallen is a great choice for travelers planning an Amsterdam Itinerary for families or groups of friends. Everyone can order food they want – or order small snacks from several vendors to assemble a meal full of variety!


Amsterdam Noord: Artistic District

Street Art, Anne Frank, Amsterdam, Netherlands

From Foodhallen, hop on a tram to Amsterdam Central Station and take the free ferry across the IJ waterway to one of the city’s most eccentric districts, Amsterdam Noord.

Once an industrial and unfavorable area, 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: A’DAM, NDSM 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 Amsterdam Noord. 


A’DAM Lookout and Cool Museums

View looking up at A'Dam Lookout, Amsterdam, Netherlands

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 Amsterdam City Card), Over The Edge Swings and a restaurant and bar.

In addition to A’DAM Lookout, there are two cool museums nearby that travelers might want to include in their 3 Days in Amsterdam itinerary: Nxt Museum and WONDER Experience. 


Cool Museums near A’DAM

Nxt Museum is a technology and multimedia sensory museum that offers interactive experiences and digital artworks. 

WONDR Experience is something that is quite unique – as it encourages adults to become kids again and kids to be creative. Some of the most popular immersive experiences are the Ballpit, the Marshmallow Pool, Fluffy Karaoke Booth and the Cloud Room. It’s a fun space for photo ops and creativity during your Amsterdam trip!


NDSM Artistic District

NDSM streetart, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Nowhere in Amsterdam 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. It’s one of the fun places to visit for your Amsterdam 3 Days Itinerary.

Travelers can stroll the streets in search of the best street art in Amsterdam and then visit the STRAAT Street Art Museum (get tickets in advance!) that houses an excellent collection of street art.

Pro Tip: Visitors who want to stay in the NDSM 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 (but we share more tips for Where To Stay in Amsterdam a bit later).


Craft Breweries in Amsterdam North

Candle, Oedipus Brewing, Craft Beer, Amsterdam

Amsterdam 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: Museums, Windmills, Markets and More Dutch Craft Beer!

Can't miss this, Brouwerij ‘t IJ Amsterdam, Windmill Brewery

Continue your day of Amsterdam neighborhood exploration on the second day of your Amsterdam Three Day Itinerary and step into the Amsterdam Oost district.

The multicultural Amsterdam East neighborhood is a sprawling residential district that encompasses parks, top tourist attractions, a street market, international restaurants and a slew of creative bars.

Oh, and the neighborhood hosts the closest windmill to Amsterdam Centrum, as well! 


Het Scheepvaartmuseum National Maritime Museum

Tall Ship, Maritime Museum, Amsterdam

The National Maritime Museum, Het Scheepvaartmuseum, is an interesting place to visit for travelers interested in learning about the Dutch Golden Age and history of the Netherlands. Plus, it is free with the Amsterdam Card. 

Featuring several interactive exhibits displayed in a former storehouse, the top attraction at the Maritime Museum is the gorgeous replica 18th century wooden ship. Visitors are free to roam the interior. 

Pro Tip: The NEMO Science Museum sits just across the water from the Maritime Museum and is an excellent destination for families planning a trip to Amsterdam. 


De Gooyer Windmill in Amsterdam City

Must see, Windmill, Amsterdam, Netherlands

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, however, 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 by Sprinter Train in just 30 minutes. Visiting these windmills outside Amsterdam can be done on Day 3 of your Amsterdam Itinerary – see our tips below.


Dinner and Drinks in Amsterdam East

Must visit, Bar JOOST, Amsterdam Craft Beer

End Day 2 of your 3 Day Trip to Amsterdam with a delicious meal and a few drinks in East Amsterdam.

Some of the best Dutch craft beer bars are in East – and they serve amazing food, as well. 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). 

That said, visitors who want to get a taste of Amsterdam’s famous Indonesian fare can enjoy Rijsttafel (which translates to Rice Table) at stylish Mama Maken. 

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.


Day 3: Experiences, Tours and Day Trips

Haarlem Windmill, Molen de Adriaan, in Haarlem, Netherlands

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

Looking out a window inside a Kinderdijk Windmill, The Netherlands

Travelers with only 3 days in the Netherlands should venture beyond the Amsterdam city limits for a broader experience. 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. 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.


Day Trip to Haarlem

Red tourist boat and Haarlem Windmill in Haarlem, Netherlands

Visiting Haarlem is one of the best day trips from Amsterdam – and a great addition to your 3-Day Amsterdam Itinerary. The city is just 12 miles – a 20-minute train ride – from the city center. Top sights include the Medieval city square and market, a beautifully persevered windmill, the Corrie ten Boom House and hidden courtyard gardens. Find out more in our detailed article: 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 time 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 (about 50 minutes) than the ride to Rotterdam. The Hague is the seat of the Dutch Parliament and home to the Noordeinde Palace, one of three Dutch Royal Family palaces.


Amsterdam, The Hague, Delft, Rotterdam Tour

Visitors can book a combination Hague, Delft, Rotterdam Tour from Amsterdam to see all three in one day. The tour includes modern Rotterdam, a famous food market, river cruise, the Delft Dutch ceramic factory (responsible for the 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

Nijmegen Netherlands in Pictures Nijmegen Old Town and St. Steven's Church Bell Tower JetSetting Fools

Located in eastern Netherlands, near the German border, Nijmegen is the oldest city in the Netherlands. The history of Nijmegen dates to Roman times – and features a 13th century church. Find out more about what to see and do in our complete article: Things To Do in Nijmegen.


Amsterdam Day Trip to Windmills at Kinderdijk

One of 19 Kinderdijk Windmills, The Netherlands

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 on their own. Find out more!


Amsterdam to Brussels Day Trip

Brussels, Belgium – the country’s capital 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 – incudes transportation, a walking tour and chocolate tasting!


Amsterdam to Germany Day Trip

View of the Dusseldorf Skyline, Dusseldorf, Germany

It is possible to plan a one-day trip from Amsterdam to neighboring Germany. Direct trains can be used to get from Amsterdam to Dusseldorf (2 hours) Cologne (2.5 hours) and Frankfurt (4 hours).

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How Many Days To Spend in Amsterdam

Canal View, Amsterdam, Netherlands

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 the tips in our sample Amsterdam Itineraries to help plan your trip!


One Day in Amsterdam

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 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 sights. We think an ideal 2 days in Amsterdam itinerary includes the 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.


Alternate Amsterdam Itinerary 3 Days

In our above outlined perfect 3 Day Amsterdam Itinerary, we recommend spending Day 3 venturing beyond the Amsterdam city limits. However, travelers who want to spend all 3 days in Amsterdam – rather than take a day trip – have plenty of options for things to see and do in Amsterdam City Center on Day 3 of their trip. 

Instead of traveling outside of of the city, partake of one of the fabulous tours in Amsterdam. We are sharing a few of the top rated tours and activities in Amsterdam for the last day of your trip. 


Heineken Experience

A self-guided, interactive tour that features the history of beer giant, Heineken, and includes tastings. Find out more!


Amsterdam Bike Tour

Explore the city like a local – on two wheels! Visitors can join a fantastic bike tour – like this one! – or rent a bike – reserve it here! – to discover the canals and city sights on your own. 


Anne Frank and Jewish Quarter Tour

Learn about the life of Anne Frank on a highly rated tour. The guide leads participants through the Jewish Quarter while detailing events and sights from World War II. Sign up in advance!


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 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 tour in Amsterdam, 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 top 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 reserve the last day for seeing any sights you missed or for returning to a favorite neighborhood.

Another way to plan an Amsterdam 5-Days Itinerary is to dedicate 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 or join an Amsterdam tour 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 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. Amsterdam is well-connected and in close proximity to several Top European Destinations. Below are a few ideas of possible trip plans to get you started. 


Paris, London, Amsterdam Itinerary

A classic 10-day trip, we would spend 4 days in Paris, 3 days in Amsterdam and 3 days in London.


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 Travel Tips

Canal Cruise Boat, Amstel River, Amsterdam, Netherlands

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

Bridges of Amsterdam, Netherlands

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. 


Amsterdam Accommodations

Swans on the canal, Amsterdam, Netherlands

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. Don’t worry – we have a few tips for finding cheap hotels in Amsterdam. 


How To Find an Affordable Amsterdam Hotel or Hostel

It is possible to find an affordable hotel in Amsterdam. In fact, we have stayed in a few hotels in Amsterdam that were budget finds. We share our tips on Finding Cheap Hotels here – but you can also check out at our favorite budget hotels in Amsterdam. 


Ibis Budget Hotel

The most affordable hotel in Amsterdam we have stayed at is the Ibis Budget. It is far from the center near the airport – but there is a convenient bus that can get travelers to and from the city center. Check rates for your stay!



Not a cheap Amsterdam hotel (but definitely more affordable that city center options), the modern and stylish Volkshotel is in Amsterdam South.

The Volkshotel is well-priced and located steps from a convenient Metro stop – but what we loved was the artistic rooms, cool co-working space and rooftop hot tubs. Check availability for your trip!


Amsterdam Hostels

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. 

Search for the best prices on Amsterdam Hotels on – like we do!


Alternate Amsterdam Accommodations

Rather than staying in a hotel for your 3 days in Amsterdam, consider alternate accommodations, like Airbnb or housesitting. 

Airbnb apartments can cost less than Amsterdam hotels and have the added benefit of a kitchen, so visitors can prepare breakfast and other simple meals at home. That said, on a 3-Day Amsterdam Trip, the extra fees can add up quickly. Be sure to check the final price to make sure you are actually saving money. 

House and Pet Sitting is another option for travelers. You can read about how we’ve stayed in Amsterdam for free as International House Sitters!


Amsterdam Sightseeing Card

Travel Hack, Amsterdam City Card, Amsterdam, Netherlands

While there are many free things to do in Amsterdam, most of the museums and attractions charge an entry fee. A ticket to the Rijksmuseum costs more than 20 euros and going to the top of the A’DAM Tower will cost more then 15 Euros. The cost of sightseeing in Amsterdam can definitely add up.

Therefore, an I Amsterdam City Card is essential if visiting the best museums and top attractions! We used a 3-Day City Card – which covers the entry to more than 70 attractions, includes all public transportation 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 Amsterdam Cuisine – and for the best places to drink, use our Amsterdam Craft Beer Bar Guide.

Dutch Cuisine 17 Must Try Things To Eat in the Netherlands by

That said, the price of eating and drinking in Amsterdam can really put a dent in any travel wallet. Budget conscious travelers can opt for fast food restaurants and big brand beers – but we recommend seeking out food and drinks that are unique to Amsterdam.

Fries and Kibbeling are cheap Dutch 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, Amsterdam has numerous grocery stores – many of which offer simple, already prepared (and inexpensive) meals and good bottles of wine for around 5 euros.

Amsterdam Craft Beer Bars: The Best Local Dutch Beer


Getting to Amsterdam

Amsterdam is very well-connected; visitors can arrive via plane, train, boat, 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. That said, we offer tips for finding best prices on airfare that all travelers will want to use (because no one likes paying more for flights than necessary!). 


Amsterdam Airport

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS) 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!).


Amsterdam City to Amsterdam Airport

Using a taxi to get to and from the airport will cost more than 50 Euros. Private transfers cost slightly less, but are still expensive.

The cheapest way to get between central and AMS airport is using the Amsterdam Airport Express Bus (Bus 397), which arrives and departs from South Amsterdam. One-way tickets cost €6.50, but travelers can save money buy purchasing a round trip ticket for €11.75.


Trains and Buses to Amsterdam

Amsterdam Central Station is located in the heart of the city and is well connected to numerous destinations around the Netherlands and Europe. 

That said, while trains are a good way to get around Europe, they can be expensive. The cheaper way to travel is by bus – and we use FlixBus. Economical, clean and comfortable, FlixBus usually offers on-board Wi-Fi (and sometimes has coffee and toilets on board, as well).


Renting a Car in Amsterdam and Europe

We don’t like to drive abroad, but renting a car can cost less than flights, trains or buses – especially if there are more than 2 people traveling together.

That said, once in Amsterdam – a rental car in completely unnecessary and many hotels charge a hefty fee for overnight parking. Before making a rental car reservation, read our tips for Finding the Best Rental Car Rates.


Getting Around Amsterdam

Bikes lining the canals of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam is a walkable city – with flat terrain and a grid layout – and walking is always free! However, 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 Amsterdam.

And, keep in mind that all public transport is free for visitors who purchase a City Card. Getting around with a bicycle rental is another way to quickly get around the city. 


Amsterdam Holidays

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 and read our post about Spending Christmas in Amsterdam!

One of the most celebrated holidays in the Netherlands is King’s Day on April 27. The day is marked by festivals, parties and the color orange (so pack accordingly if your 3 Days in Amsterdam trip falls on the date!). 


What You Will Need For Your Trip to Amsterdam

Before you go on your Amsterdam trip, we have some additional advice and packing hacks. You can find even more on our Packing Tips page. Need a packing list? Get your FREE Packing Checklist here!


Walking Shoes for Amsterdam

Our 3-Day Amsterdam Itinerary covers some ground! You will want to be sure to pack comfortable travel walking shoes for your trip. I like to wear Columbia Shoes and Kris likes his Merrell Shoes.


Travel Camera

Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful cities in the world – make sure you have an actual camera to capture the sights! We use a DSLR Canon Rebel with an everyday 18-135mm lens, which takes fantastic photos and is a super budget camera option.


Weather Gear

Amsterdam experiences all four seasons – with summers being fairly warm and winters bringing colder weather. That said, it can rain in Amsterdam year-round.

Make sure you are prepared for foul weather with a travel umbrella and a packable raincoat


Travel Day Pack

Whether you travel with a backpack or a suitcase, you will also want a great day pack to use while exploring Amsterdam. We use small backpacks to organize and secure all of our essentials – like an  Amsterdam Map, camera, phones, wallet, keys and everyday travel items.


Amsterdam Travel Insurance

Trip insurance may offer protection in the event of cancellations or if luggage is lost, and could also be helpful if travelers become ill or get injured abroad. Check rates and coverage at World Nomads.


Travel Planner

Remember to pack your important travel documents, travel planner or Trip Planning Printables! We recommend using a travel document organizer to stow your passport, tickets and trip notes.


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! 


Start planning your trip to Amsterdam! Search for the lowest airfares, the best accommodations and fun things to do…then start packing!  Want more travel planning tips? Head over to our Travel Planning page for more information and tips on traveling – and for country-specific information, take a look at our Travel Guides page!


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