Will you be spending 2 days in Amsterdam? Are you looking for things to do and places to see? Well, you have certainly come to the right place because I have visited Amsterdam and fell in love with this delightful European capital city instantly. I am here to share my best advice on what to add to your 2 days in Amsterdam itinerary.
When you think of the Netherlands, don’t you visualize canals and windmills? Perhaps even wooden shoes, bicycles and brightly colored tulips? well, Amsterdam is all of those things and even more! Being the capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is lovely if not provocative, with its ‘red light’ district.
There is a lot to do, and much to see in Amsterdam, and if you rely on my 2 days in Amsterdam itinerary, you will be well prepared.
Please be advised that Linda On the Run is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
The Ultimate 2 Days in Amsterdam Itinerary
Day 1: Begin Your 2 days In Amsterdam At A Museum
Stop 1: Visit the Anne Frank House.
Visiting the former hiding place where the Frank family lived, and where Ann wrote her diary is usually a top priority of those visiting Amsterdam.
No matter how familiar you are with the Anne Frank story, a visit to the secret annex where the Frank family hid from the Nazis will be unforgettable for you and those traveling with you. Anne Frank’s diary is on display, along with absorbing and thought-provoking exhibits. But it is not until you see the starkness of the hiding attic, that the real tragedy is so profoundly felt.
You must purchase tickets online beforehand. If you do not already have a pre-purchased ticket when you arrive it is likely you will not gain entrance to the attraction.
After you complete your tour, plan a pleasant stroll through the quaint neighborhood of Jordaan and enjoy the ivy-covered buildings.
Walking Tour Tickets: Amsterdam: Life of Anne Frank Walking Tour (Does not include entrance into the Anne Fa=rank House, but extremely interesting and thought-provoking nonetheless.)
Tourists lining up to enter the Anne Frank House. You must have prepaid tickets the day you visit.
Stop 2: Rent a Bike to see Amsterdam as the Dutch do
When you think of Amsterdam, you probably think of bicycles, right? For good reason, Amsterdam is consistently rated as one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world. And with good reason. There are more bikes in Amsterdam than there are cars. Four times the number of bicycles than cars, to be exact.
Do as the locals and tourists do, and grab a bike to tour around the city. There are many bike tours to choose from, to match your budget and personal tastes, whether it be an adventure, visiting historic sights or perhaps a food tour.
Fun fact: you can ride your bike through a museum! Yes, you can cycle (or walk, of course) through Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. When I visited Amsterdam, we walked through the museum. It is a very popular spot for locals and tourists alike, with street performers galore.
You will probably want to wear closed toed shoes when you cycle through Amsterdam. These Skechers breathe easy fashion sneakers are lightweight and would be perfect. I like them because they are inexpensive, come in lots of colors to choose from, and best of all? No laces to tie.
These are the socks I wear when running and walking long distances when on vacation, that will pair perfectly with any walking or athletic shoe you will be bringing to Amsterdam. They are Feetures high-performance compression socks. The compression will aid in the circulation of your feet, which will provide comfort and allow you to walk and bike around Amsterdam and enjoy yourself.
Get Tickets Here: 2-Hour Bike Tour of Amsterdam
Riding a bike, either independently or with a guide, is a must do to place on your 2 days in Amsterdam itinerary.
There are more bicycles than cars on the streets of Amsterdam.
Stop 3: Stop For Lunch Or Refreshments At A Charming Cafe
After a morning of cycling and museum-ing, you can choose from a myriad of cafes and restaurants in Amsterdam to refuel.
I did a ton of walking during my 2 days in Amsterdam, and by lunchtime, I was very hungry. We chose to have lunch at a quaint restaurant called The Avocado Show. They of course, offer all things avocado. But the plating is magnificent and a visual feast for the eyes. It has a super cool vibe and if you are into sustainability I would highly suggest giving it a try.
While you are visiting Amsterdam, you will want to bring along your own water bottle. My family and I all use a Bobble nondisposable filtered water bottle. I like the 18-ounce size because it is not too heavy when filled and can fit right into my backpack pocket.
Can’t you imagine yourself having refreshments at one of these charming street cafes in Amsterdam?
Stop 4: Soak Up Amsterdam Culture At Museumplein
Museumplein is the unofficial cultural center of Amsterdam. It is where the top museums of Amsterdam meet: the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum meet.
The Rijksmuseum holds 800 years of Dutch history. The Van Gogh Museum houses the largest collection of Van Gogh paintings, drawings, and letters. The Stedelijk Museum displays contemporary art and designs. These are by far the three most popular museums in Amsterdam.
All three of these museums require admission. I advise purchasing tickets for any attractions you may be interested in online beforehand. This will save you time. You will not have to wait in line to buy your tickets and your tickets may come with a skip the line perk. You probably will save money too as most attractions offer discounts when tickets are purchased beforehand.
Get Tickets Here: Rijksmuseum: Skip-the-Ticket-Line Entry and Booking Fee
Get Tickets Here: Combination Ticket: City Canal Cruise and Rijksmuseum
Get Tickets Here: Van Gogh Museum Ticket
Museumplein is the open square space between the buildings that house these three very popular museums. when I visited it was crowded with locals and tourists alike as it is quite popular. There are always activities and in the warmer months like exhibits and markets. So depending on the time of year you visit, will depend on what is occurring at the Museumplein.
Make sure to take a picture in front of the iconic I Amsterdam letters. They are HUGE and you cannot miss them.
Depending on the time of year you visit Museumplein or any Dutch museums in Amsterdam, you may need to bring a sweater to layer to keep warm. This flowy cardigan is so pretty and fashionable and cheap too.
Museumplein with the iconic I Amsterdam letters in front of the Rijksmuseum (National Museum)
Stop 5: Complete Your Day With A Dutch Dinner And Cocktails
Whether you are a vegan like me or have any dietary restrictions, you will want to experience the Dutch culture, and still remain within your eating parameters.
Amsterdam has that European flair with her outdoor cafes and restaurant seating. Like other European capital cities, you can sit out on the patio and enjoy being outdoors while watching people stroll by and bicyclists riding past you.
One downside though is that when seated outdoors, smoking is permitted. This can be annoying at times. So perhaps a table indoors with a lovely view of Amsterdam is a better suggestion for dinner this evening.
Amsterdam city view during dinner.
On this first day of your 2 days in Amsterdam I suggest, the Anne Frank House, exploring the Jordaan neighborhood and heading over to Museumplein where three popular Dutch museums are, and to take a picture in front of the I Amsterdam letters. Taking a lovely stroll back to your hotel or AirBnB is a lovely way to end your day.
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Day Two Of Your 2 Days In Amsterdam
Stop 1: Begin Your Day Exploring Amsterdam’s Cafes
Plan a leisurely morning to begin your day, to usher in your second day of 2 Days in Amsterdam. Maybe you want to begin the day more slowly and exploring Amsterdam’s coffee culture is a great way to do it.
To be clear, you are looking for eetcafes, which are cafes serving both food and coffees. You will find marijuana and hashish in Amsterdam’s “coffee shops.” Be careful and aware of the establishment you enter.
Traditional coffee shops, that most of us are familiar with, are more and more popular in Amsterdam and you will not be too far away from a great roasted cup of coffee, and a great Danish to go with it. The coffee shops are eclectic, imaginative and interesting ways to linger and relax, and a start your day.
This would be a lovely spot to rest at any time of the day during your 2 days in Amsterdam.
Stop 2: Take A Canal Cruise To Learn About Amsterdam’s Past Flooding
The Dutch canal system was created in the 1600s to combat the perennial flooding the Netherlands endured. The frequent flooding wreaked havoc with the Dutch, causing loss of life, loss of incomes and creating financial hardships for its citizens. Today, Amsterdam is 10 feet below sea level!!
Fun Fact: Amsterdam’s canals, the epicenter of many of Amsterdam’s activities, have earned the UNESCO World Heritage Site designation, as a location so unique it should be protected for generations to come.
There are many kinds of canal cruises to select from, depending on your budget and how much time you have to devote to it. The most popular ones last one hour. There are hop on hop off selections, and romantic candlelit evening canal cruises. Amsterdam takes on a magical aura in the evening with her twinkling lights everywhere.
Get Tickets Here: City Canal Cruise
Get Tickets Here: Amsterdam: 1-Hour Canal Cruise
Get Tickets Here: Amsterdam Evening Cocktail Cruise
Canal cruising is the perfect way to learn about Amsterdam’s water history and see the city and attractions in such an informative and interesting way. I suggest adding a canal cruise to your 2 days in Amsterdam itinerary.
It will probably be a bit chillier sailing on the canal waters, no matter the season you visit Amsterdam. I love this lightweight waterproof rain jacket that you can fold in its pouch! Just toss it in your backpack when not using it.
A canal cruise in Amsterdam
Stop 3: Get Your Shopping On At The 9 Streets
The 9 Small Streets area is the trendy Amsterdam location to be. It is where even the locals go to see and be seen. Three streets cross over two canals, forming the 9 small streets.
You will find everything you desire in this fashionable district. There are lots of swanky shops, coffee shops and cafes, bookstores and of course restaurants and bars. The area is literally overflowing with fashion and food.
I like to bring my own reusable bags along when I travel. Less trash to throw out and really convenient. These lightweight yet heavy-duty reusable shopping sacks are so cool and fold down into themselves to a tiny size to pack away. When traveling, I am all about avoiding bulk. So neatly folding these into a tiny size is a great perk!
This is a great destination to take memorable photographs of your 2 days in Amsterdam to post on Instagram or to show family and friends back home. The colorful shops and bars and the Amsterdam canals make for very colorful backdrops.
Wooden shoes as a souvenir?
Stop 4: Visit The Amsterdam Flower Market
When you think of the Dutch, you think of flowers, especially tulips, right? Me too. The Amsterdam Flower Market, Bloemenmarkt, is where you can find blooming tulips of every single color. And tulip bulbs to bring back home with you to enjoy later. If you do plan to take flower bulbs out of the country, make certain they have a customs-cleared stamp on them, ensuring you will not have any difficulties when leaving the Netherlands.
The flower market is literally housed in about a dozen or so flower stalls on one of Amsterdam’s canals. Yes, it is a floating flower market. Depending on the time of year you visit, will depend on the kinds of flowers available. But there are always blooming flowers for you to see and smell.
While walking along the canal to get to the flower market stalls you may want some sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays. These unisex retro-trendy polarized sunglasses would be perfect. They come in tons of colors and are very cheap!
Stop 5: Check Out The Red Light District- If You Dare
Amsterdam’s infamous red-light district is not for the faint of heart. DO NOT BRING YOUR CHILDREN HERE!
I visited the naughty red light district during the day during my 2 days in Amsterdam. I am no prude, but it is a very provocative and erotic district. You MUST be aware of this if your intention is to visit the red light district. This is where Amsterdam’s legal prostitution takes place.
Tickets Here: Amsterdam Red Light District 2-Hour Walking Tour
In the evenings, sex workers attempt to lure visitors from behind windows lit with red lights. Although no picture taking is not permitted, visitors are welcome. If you intend to make this part of your 2 days in Amsterdam, know there is a strong police presence to keep the neighborhood safe.
The infamous red light district.
Packing Tips For Your 2 Days In Amsterdam Itinerary
Using these useful packing tips will enhance your 2 days in Amsterdam itinerary and I hope more stress-free!
If you are in need of new luggage, this expandable soft side spinner luggage is affordable and comes in lots of colors. If you like hard sided better, then you may favor this hard-sided luggage set better. Both sets come with TSA locks and 8 wheels per piece. Either will be great for the plane or train or even your car depending on how you plan to travel to Amsterdam.
I was not a fan of packing cubes until I started to use them! This is the exact set of packing organizers I use whenever I travel. I cannot believe how much they really do help with organization. If you have not considered packing cubes, I would recommend giving them a try.
Hydration is so important. You want to remain hydrated to support your immune system which in turn will be stronger to fight off any germs you will encounter during your travels. You will want to bring your own refillable water bottle with you. I never leave home on a trip without my Bobble filtration bottle. the 18.5-ounce size is perfect for travel and it fits nicely in the pocket of a backpack or your purse. Also when filled with water, it is not too heavy to carry. And the charcoal filter ensures fresh clean water whenever you fill the Bobble. You can find filter replacements here.
Perhaps you are traveling a long distance and packing space is a premium. Then this set of collapsible silicone foldable water bottles would work well for you. Would not take up much space in your suitcase at all. And you will be receiving a set of two.
You will want a backpack or daypack with you to store snacks, your water bottle, phone, extra clothes, etc.. This foldable water-resistant backpack would be great. It is very affordable and is available in many color options for you to choose from. The fact that it folds down into a zippered pouch will make it easy to pack.
Perhaps you need a more substantial backpack for your international travel. This antitheft backpack has a charging port, is water resistant and can comfortably carry up to a 15.6″ laptop.
You will be walking more than usual during your 2 days in Dublin itinerary. A sturdy and comfortable pair of walking shoes is a must-have. These waterproof all season shoes are extremely affordable and yet fashionable. Mostly everyone is familiar with the Skechers brand, and these Air Run high fashion sneakers come in a lot of colors to match your outfits and are still affordable.
If you are visiting Amsterdam in warmer weather, maybe you want a pair of sandals to wear to dinner or to the local cafe, I highly recommend these Vionics adjustable strap orthotic sandals. I have several pairs of Vionics that I bring with me *everywhere* I travel. They are very comfortable.
A concealed travel pouch may be one of the most important items you bring during your 2 days in Amsterdam itinerary. This unisex RFID blocking concealed travel pouch is lightweight and comes in several colors. It has lots of organization to give you peace of mind. You can keep your most valuable documents safe and secure next to your body.
If you have a pouch already that does not come with the RFID protection, these RFID sleeves would be handy to prevent identity theft. This configuration comes with enough passport and credit card sleeves that the entire family would be protected. They are slim too, so they will easily fit into your current pouch or wallet.
Bring a lightweight scarf or shawl. Scarves and shawls are very popular in Europe and Amsterdam is no exception. Both men and women wear scarves, both decoratively and as a layering piece to keep warm. This cotton unisex lightweight scarf is versatile and can be worn in any season. And here’s another option to consider: this lightweight sunscreen shawl scarf would do double duty to protect you from the sun should you visit Amsterdam in the warmer seasons as well as being a fashion accessory layering piece.
We all need to protect our eyes from the sun’s harmful UVA/UVB rays. These unisex polarized sunglasses come in a lot of lens colors and frame designs and are extremely affordable too.
If you are fond of the aviator-style of sunglasses these polarized aviators may interest you.
Don’t forget to bring along a universal power adapter on your 2 days in Amsterdam itinerary. This worldwide power plug is a great example and will charge your phone at the end of your busy days. And this world traveler adapter kit can charge several devices at the same time. This is what you will need when there are several people traveling in your group, or if you bring several electronic devices on your trip that require charging at the same time.
If you are planning on taking a lot of pictures with your phone you will definitely want to consider an external charging battery. This Anker high-speed phone charging battery is the exact one I carry with me on all of my trips. It can be used on a variety of phones, not just an iPhone like I have. And wow is it fast! I like that it holds its charging capabilities for several uses so I do not have to worry about it while out and about, and if I forget to recharge it at night, it will still be good to go the next day. And it is able to charge two devices at the same time.
Here I have listed for you an itinerary for your 2 days in Amsterdam. In my opinion, these are the highlights of what every tourist wants to do and wants to see when visiting Amsterdam.
Have you been to Amsterdam? What was your favorite thing to do? What would you add to my list of things to do for 2 days in Amsterdam? Please add your suggestions below.
Linda On The Run is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
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