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Wondering what to do in Amsterdam in 3 days?! Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe. It is filled with so much history, charming streets, and architecture with character that it is easy to get lost in. Amsterdam is not only beautiful, but also hip and trendy, there is so much to do, see, eat and explore! If you only had three days in Amsterdam, here is a 3 days in Amsterdam Itinerary with the best things to do in Amsterdam (your “must do” list.)
Amsterdam is actually quite small. Therefore, seeing most areas in the city is relatively easy, the hard part is choosing what activities to do in these areas. I have lived in Amsterdam for 2 years and still find new and exciting things in this city I’d never heard of.
With my Amsterdam experience, I have come up with the perfect three-day itinerary for someone on their first trip to Amsterdam as well as someone who has visited before. It has the ideal balance of main attractions along with some fewer known activities.
This three days in Amsterdam itinerary is merely a suggestion, if you really like one attraction or area, stay a little longer and skip the next one! Listen to yourself and do what you feel is best. I just ask you to enjoy yourself in this beautiful city and watch out for bikes!
Table of Contents (skip directly to the info you're looking for)
- 1 Amsterdam Itinerary Day 1
- 2 Amsterdam Itinerary Day 2
- 3 Amsterdam Itinerary Day 3:
- 4 Additional Information for your trip to Amsterdam
Amsterdam Itinerary Day 1
Breakfast at Moak – Best pancakes in town!
I think Amsterdam has the best breakfast scene in the world! There are so many options throughout the whole city which makes it hard to choose. One great option that will start the day off with a bang is MOAK Pancakes!
MOAK has some of the best pancakes in town. In addition, the interior of the restaurant is very aesthetic. It is also located right in the city centre so once you are done you can start your explorations downtown.
Price Range: €€ – Around 12 € for a meal and drink
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Activity #1: Rent Bikes
The fastest and most efficient way to get around Amsterdam is by bike. Getting around by bike not only saves you a lot of money, but it also immerses you in the Dutch culture!
There are a ton of bike rental companies in Amsterdam but based on the area breakfast was in I recommend heading to Waterlooplein market to rent a bike. It should cost around €25 for 3 days!
You can also reserve in advance a bike tour with an expert:
Tip: Ask whoever rents you the bikes about the rules of the road before you take off, biking in Amsterdam is serious business and you don’t want to get hurt.
Lunch at Vegan Junk Food Bar
Amsterdam is full of some of the trendiest and most unique restaurants ever. Therefore, for lunch on day one you must try one out: Vegan Junk Food Bar. It may sound weird at first but hear me out. I am a vegetarian, but I have gone to VJFB with plenty of meat eater friends and they have loved it.
It is essentially all your favorite junk foods – fries, burgers, cheese sticks – but vegan! Don’t doubt it until you try it
Price Range: €€ – Around 15 € for a meal
After lunch treat yourself to a Dutch classic Stroopwafel. These were invented in Amsterdam and are the most famous dessert from here. They are absolutely delicious and can be found in plenty of shops and grocery stores. Head to Van Wonderen to get one made with special toppings.
Activity #2: Walk around the Joordan
There’s nothing better to do in the beautiful city of Amsterdam than to walk around the hundreds of canals and admire the houses. The best and most picturesque area in Amsterdam for this is called the Joordan. This is one of my favorite areas in Amsterdam due to the unique boutiques, cute cafes and less busy streets.
While exploring it can also be nice to find a place to sit on the canals and soak in the city.
Dinner at Fuco Vivo
If you like Italian food, then I have the place for you.
This is a local secret. It has the best Italian food in all of Amsterdam. Their fresh, wood oven pizza and caprese salad is to die for! Make sure you get here early because there is often quite the wait.
Price Range: €€
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Activity #3: Canal Cruise
There is nothing better after a long day of walking around a city than relaxing on a boat. And, consequently, taking a cruise along the canals is very common in Amsterdam. Catch a canal cruise after dinner for an evening ride to see the city from a new angle. It’s a really nice way to relax while still exploring.
Amsterdam Itinerary Day 2
Breakfast at Coffee and Coconuts
What better way to start a new day than with a coffee and a filling breakfast? A restaurant in Amsterdam that more than satisfies this need is Coffee and Coconuts. It is located right in De Pijp and is always full of people eager for its specialties. The coconut coffee & breakfast burrito are my favorites!
Fun fact: it is located inside a former cinema from the 1920’s, so the interior has three stories of seating and is super unique looking.
Price Range: €€ – Affordable if you don’t over indulge.
Activity #1: Albert Cuyp Market
Explore the long street filled with
different vendors at the Albert Cuyp Market. You can get all types of things
here: fresh stroopwafels, fresh fruit, clothing, flowers etc!
The Netherlands is well known for its flowers so it’s nice to see all them all in beautiful bloom from all the flower vendors stalls in the market.
Activity #2: Museum
Amsterdam has many museums all filled with different art, artifacts and history. With so many museums there is something for everybody!
Some of my favorites are:
- Van Gogh Museum
- Anne Frank House
Tip: for the Anne Frank House buy your tickets in advance. This is one of the biggest attractions and you need to plan to buy your tickets well before the day you’d like to go.
Here are some great Anne Frank Walking Tours for you to consider booking:
Lunch at Vlaams Friteshuis Vleminckx
Indulge in another Dutch favorite: Vlaamse Fries. These are essential French fries, but they are thicker, come in huge portions and are served with mayo! I opt out from the mayo, but if you want to really immerse yourself in the Dutch culture, go for it! Try heading to: Vlaams Friteshuis Vleminckx to find this Dutch favorite.
Price Range – €
Activity #3: A’DAM Tower
Once at central station take the ferry across the river to head to the A’DAM Tower. Here you can get a panoramic view of all of Amsterdam from 20 stories above ground. But the fun doesn’t end there. There is also a crazy swing on the top of the building for people to go on!
I cannot believe I went on the swing, but my thoughts: it is absolutely terrifying but very exhilarating!
There is also a restaurant in the tower so you can have a few drinks overlooking the view (or to prepare for the swing).
Dinner at De Foodhallen
Experience a new way of dining at De Foodhallen. This is essentially a bunch of permanent food trucks all in one big food hall. Foodhallen is a super large space and has many options varying from speciality hot dogs, to Dim Sum, to falafel to desserts!
If you’re with a group, or you are a picky eater this is the place for you. There is no shortage of options here.
Price Range – €-€€ – Depending on what you pick.
Activity #4: Red Light District
It might seem odd that I’m recommending the Red Light District, but I think it’s something you just have to see when visiting Amsterdam. After going to it a few times I feel like I’ve seen enough, although, I do find it a very eye-opening experience.
Tip: Be aware that you can’t take any photos of the workers in the Red Light District and if you get caught taking a photo, a worker will grab your phone and smash it.
Tip: Don’t go after 10PM. Firstly, it’s insanely busy after this time especially on weekends, secondly, things start to get rowdy as people have had some drinks by this hour.
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Amsterdam Itinerary Day 3:
Breakfast at Benji’s
Sometimes it’s nice to venture out of the city centre and explore more local areas. The breakfast restaurant Benji’s provides the perfect excuse to do this.
Benji’s is my all-time favourite restaurant in Amsterdam. The food is amazing and healthy, and the interior is so cute and aesthetic. Try the Chai tea latte, and the granola bowl. You will not be disappointed.
Price Range – €€ – Around 12 € for a meal and drink
Activity #1: Explore Amsterdam-Oost
Amsterdam Oost is a hip, trendy area off the beaten path. It is 100x less busy than the city centre but has the same beautiful architecture. If you like taking photos or just enjoy some quiet time, then you will fall in love with this area.
Spend some time wondering the streets or stop in a café for a coffee.
Lunch at Bulls and Dogs
Treat yourself to the craziest milkshakes and most insane hot dogs in the world at Bulls and Dogs. This Amsterdam gem will leave you very satisfied.
Price Range: €€
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Activity #2: Vondelpark
Explore Amsterdam’s largest park right in the centre of the city. With its huge paths it’s best explored by bike. After biking around the park, find the perfect place and stop for a picnic with snacks from a nearby market.
The park is always buzzing with activity and sitting down and relaxing here is a wonderful way to spend your afternoon.
Dinner at a Windmill
End your trip the Dutch way with drinks & Dutch appetizers at a windmill. At Brouwerij ‘T IJ you can indulge in local craft beer and enjoy Dutch favourites such as Bitter ballen. Plus, you can check off seeing a Dutch windmill!
Activity #3: Magere Brug
As a final stop head to Magere Brug, one of the most famous bridges in Amsterdam while it is all lit up at night. Legend says that if you kiss your lover on this bridge, your love will last forever.
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Additional Information for your trip to Amsterdam
When is the best time to visit Amsterdam?
The best time to visit Amsterdam is in April or May. These times have the best chances of good weather and fewer tourists visiting than in the summer months.
Accommodation in Amsterdam:
Hotel: Lloyd Amsterdam Hotel. It is a 1-5-star hotel, meaning they have every type of room you can imagine. It is a very unique hotel and breakfast is included.
This is a guest post by Samantha Karen of Samseesworld.com
Author bio: Samantha Karen is the founder of the travel bog Sam Sees World. She is on a mission to seek the new and unknown so she can document her experiences and inspire others to travel this wonderous world.
You can follow Samantha’s adventures on Instagram.
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