Quick trip to Amsterdam? We have you covered on what to do, where to eat, and where to stay in your 48 hours in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands'. The city is known for it's canal system, numerous bike paths, cafes, and infamous Red Light District. A little over 80,000 people live in Amsterdam and they receive on average 20 million tourists a year. Through this itinerary, you will learn to appreciate Dutch way of thinking.
Things to note before visiting Amsterdam:
Is there a visa requirement for U.S. Citizens when visiting Amsterdam?:
- No Visa is needed for U.S. citizens when entering Portugal
What type of travel group is recommended when visiting Amsterdam?:
- Awesome for a group of friends or solo travelers. This is a very welcoming city with small crime rate
What is the recommended length of stay when visiting Amsterdam?:
- 3 to 4 days
What is the language spoken in the Netherlands?:
- The main language is Dutch and most people speak English
Do U.S. Citizens need any vaccinations when visiting Amsterdam?:
- None required for US Citizens
Is there Uber in Amsterdam?:
- Uber is available! Use it!
What is the currency used in Amsterdam?:
- Euros are used in Amsterdam
Is the water safe to drink in Amsterdam?:
- Tap water is safe to drink in Amsterdam
Without further ado, here is the itinerary for 48 hours in Amsterdam
Day 1: Arrive in Amsterdam
Where to stay in Amsterdam? Renaissance Marriott
- This hotel is walking distance to all the must-see spots. This to me is one of the most important factors when booking lodging
- Costs ~$200/night
- I find the value of this hotel worthwhile because most Airbnb's run for around the same price and don't offer the same convenience as staying in a hotel. AKA the breakfast at this property is so bomb and you don't wanna miss it
- Note: breakfast is complimentary if you have status with Marriott
- This property stays sold out so make sure to book in advance
- If you arrive in the morning, you will more than likely have to wait in a long line as most flights tend to arrive early morning to Amsterdam
- Pro Tip: Use the Marriott app to check in and let them know before what time you will arrive. Your chances of having a room ready on your arrival will increase
- The rooms are compact so if you're traveling with several bags, maybe not the best property for you
11am - 1:30pm: Free Amsterdam Walking Tour
- These Free Walking Tours are an AMAZING way to see and understand Amsterdam
- The tour guides are passionate about the history and culture, you won't be disappointed
- The tour guides work off of tips so please bring cash or grab some during the tour
- The tour starts in front of the National Monument in Dam Square (pictured below). look for the team in red SANDEMANs NEW Europe T-shirts.
- These tours are perfect for solo travelers or large groups, everyone is welcome!
- On this walking tour, you will cover the following:
- Anne Frank's story
- The Dutch East India Company
- The swampy foundations of Amsterdam
- Hidden churches
- The Miracle of Amsterdam
- Widest Bridge and the smallest house in Amsterdam
- The Begijnhof Convent
- Canals and locks
- Rembrandt van Rijn
- Multatuli’s giant head
- Leaning buildings and gable stones
- The Jewish Quarter
- Dutch bike culture
2:00pm - 4:00pm: Enjoy a leisurely lunch
- I always ask the tour guides where to eat on the walking tour. This time they recommended me to walk down the different alleys and just hit up any bar/cafe for lunch
- So here we stumbled upon some Korean bibimap! You'll notice that Amsterdam in itself is a melting point of cuisines from all over the world. Dining options are limitless
- After lunch we went back to the hotel to freshen up and chillax
5:30pm - 6:30pm: Enjoy the Lounge at the Marriott Renaissance
- Light h'dourves with beer and wine are served
- This is complimentary for those that have Gold Status or higher with Marriott
- Not a bad idea either before heading to the Red Light District ;)
7:00pm - 9:00pm: Red Light District Tour
- Tours are available at 5pm or 7pm
- Costs 16 euros per person - worth it
- The guide will take you through the streets of the Red Light District and explain the history behind prostitution in the Netherlands. They will show you where they have live sex shows, take you to a "peep show" and end at a bar with included beverages
- I'll let you learn for yourself what a peep show is.
- I attended this tour by myself and there were several solo travelers. Don't feel weird about showing up by yourself! These tours do a good job about making everyone feel included.
- A lot of us grabbed dinner at the beer garden where the tour ended at
- From here, the night is yours!
Fun Fact: If you're visiting Amsterdam in the summer, note that the sun doesn't set till around 10:30pm!
Day 2: Amsterdam
10:00am: Enjoy the feast of a breakfast at the hotel
11:30am: Go for a run/walk by the Amsterdam Canals
2:00pm. - 4:45pm: Countryside Dutch Bike Tour
- This was our FAVORITE Amsterdam experience. Don't miss out on this tour!
- P.S. - We ended up loosing the group (oops) but weren't upset about it at all. The countryside in Amsterdam is so surreal and peaceful
- Make sure to book in advance, cost is 20 Euros
- The tour starts in front of the Chinese Restaurant Sea Palace, Oosterdokskade 8.
- Sites visited on this tour:
- Central Station
- Cross the IJ on a ferry
- Hand-dug North Sea Canal
- Explore polders: the countryside of the Netherlands
- Typical Dutch farms
- Classic Brick Mill d'Admiraal
- Water regulations at giant locks
- Fight of the lowlands against water
5:00pm - 6:30pm: Apertivo at SkyLounge Amsterdam
- The great thing about where the bike tour starts/ends, is that it's right next to the Hilton DoubleTree Amsterdam which happens to have the SkyLounge Amsterdam on their top floor.
- The views here are amazing. You can sit outside where the music is bumping or inside by the glass windows where it's calmer
- I would recommend their G&T (gin & tonic). Served to perfection
7:00pm - 8:30pm: Van Gogh Museum
- Note that the Van Gogh Museum closes at 7pm everyday except on Friday it closes at 9pm
- Pro Tip: Book your tickets in advance. If the museum is packed, you may not be able to get in
- If you're a fan of Van Gogh, this museum is for you. The museum has a fabulous shop with perfect gifts to bring back or ship home.
8:30pm - 9:30pm: Enjoy the Park next to the Van Gogh Museum
- The park next to the Van Gogh museum is a great place to chill out. This time of the day is also PRIMO. You'll see couples, groups of friends, all scattered around the park grounds enjoying the last bit of the sun
- This park is also where the iamsterdam sign is...good luck trying to get a photo!
- Here are some photos of the park and near by canals
10:00pm: Dinner at Mayur Indian Restaurant
- Several restaurants and bars around this area, we ended up here because the thali looked BOMB!
- We came here with the intention to watch some of the World Cup Games, found several outdoor areas for that here. Then ended up stumbling upon this Indian restaurant. The food was EXCELLENT! If you're looking for a spot to watch any sporting events, the area around this restaurant is perfect - plenty of pubs and a large crowd
- Really loved the details inside this restaurant. A lot of furniture and decorations all the way from India!
12:00am: Head to the Red Light District for a Live Sex Show
- Yes, this is exactly what it sounds like. For about 40 euros you can get a drink, couple strip teases, and a live sex show. I mean c'mon, when in Amsterdam?! Gotta love the Dutch for not giving AF
- The show we went to was a mix of entertaining, comical, sexy, but mostly WTF. It's just one of those #bucketlist things everyone should try while they're there. Because where else in the world is sex regulated!?
Other Amsterdam recommendations:
- Heineken tour
- Canal tour
- Anne Frank House
- Amsterdam History Museum
Leave your tips and recommendations in the comment below, let's share the wealth with our fellow travelers.