Visit Amsterdam in a weekend

Who I am
Carlos Laforet Coll
@carloslaforetcoll
Author and references



You are looking for information that allows you to know how visit Amsterdam in 2 days ? Tips, a road map, good addresses, museums to do, where to sleep in Amsterdam? In this article I give you some good tips to discover this magnificent capital that is Amsterdam!








Here is the action plan for this article:

  • Three words about the history of Amsterdam
  • What to visit in Amsterdam
  • How to discover Amsterdam in a different way (by bike, by boat ...)
  • A guided bike tour
  • Where to sleep in Amsterdam
  • Which pass to choose to visit Amsterdam
  • Where to go out in Amsterdam
  • How to get to the city center from Schiphol Airport
  • Parking to park your car in Amsterdam
  • Would you like a private guided tour of the Van Gogh Museum or the Rijkmuseum? to contact the guide). Skip the lines at the Van Gogh Museum (). Skip the line to the RijkMuseum ().
  • Looking for a guided activity (and get in touch with the guide)

1) History of Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands. Today it has more than 800 inhabitants, they are called Amstellodamois or Amstellodamiens.


The city was, during the Dutch Golden Age 1584-1702, one of the main ports in the world. The Dutch Golden Age is a time when the Netherlands rose to the rank of the world's leading trading power, while the rest of Europe was hit by a wave of stagnation. More information on Wikipedia

The cause of this growth explosion:


  • The freedom of worship that attracted the most diverse people.
  • A city that offers, work and freedom of opinion.
  • Writers and scholars who teach and publish freely.

Amsterdam is also known for its network of semicircular canals connected by other perpendicular canals, which gives it a crazy charm!



It is also the cultural capital of your country. There you will find many museums, such as the must-see Van Gogh museums (skip-the-line link), the Rijksmuseum (skip-the-line link) or even the Stedelijk Museum. I don't need to tell you about the Anne Frank House, which you must visit!

  • Also, if you are looking for a good guide visiting the Van Gogh museum or the Rijkmuseum, please contact the guide).

So far the historical side. Now let's go to discovery of Amsterdam !

  • Here is a small map showing you the districts of Amsterdam that you must visit:

Amsterdam presentation video:

By the way, if you're interested, here are some ideas for a guided tour in Amsterdam (.


2) What to visit in Amsterdam

Before you start, and in case you miss it, you should know that one of the most interesting things you can do is take a bike tour of Amsterdam (it's really cool).

Here's a GoogleMap (you can download this map directly to your mailbox via the form at the top of the article) with the main things to visit.


Find this plan in my guide to download for FREE, the form is at the top of the article.

The Van Gogh Museum

  • Visit to the Van Gogh Museum (mandatory): located right next to the Rijksmuseum

Simply the largest collection of Van Gogh paintings, it goes without saying that you can't miss it!



You will be able to follow Van Gogh over time and thus appreciate the evolution of his experience through his works. I loved! Personally, I advise you to go first to see the Rijksmuseum and then Van Gogh's to realize the artistic evolution, which little by little led to Impressionism.

For my part, I took the Van Gogh ticket with (for an audio-guided tour), really cool! But you can get the simple Van Gogh museum skip the line (. Time saving estimate (30 min).

If you want to take a guided tour of the Van Gogh Museum, or for a group visit (check it out!

Le Musée Rijksmuseum

  • The Rijksmuseum (a must see)

This museum has many famous paintings painted by Vermeer, Frans Hals y Rembrandt… Discover more than 8000 masterpieces that trace the highlights of the Dutch Golden Age. Really very interesting! Nothing better to learn;) What to do!


If you are interested, here is the ticket for the Rijksmuseum (.

For those who wish to have a guide to visit the Rijksmuseum (. For the audio guide with entrance.

Anne Frank House

  • Anne Frank House (must see) - Jordaan district

Now it is very difficult to get a skip-the-line ticket to the Anne Frank House. It is useless to search the Internet, only the official site sells them, but again it is very difficult to obtain them since the demand is high.

In any case, I recommend that you visit the Anne Frank house. The visit is very moving, absolutely!

What is a shame is that there are not all the translations (if you speak English it is good), so do not hesitate to take the audio guide, otherwise take the map that is offered free at the entrance and that is not bad at all.

In this map you will find good information that will allow you to know a little more about the life and family of Anne Frank.

If you opt for the skip-the-line ticket like me, know that there is an hour to respect this visit. I hadn't been paying attention and arrived at 14:20 pm instead of 13:40 pm. I was narrowly denied entry. So think about it;)

Stedelijk Museum

The Stedelijk is a museum for modern and contemporary art.

  • The first floor is reserved for a large collection of modern art, paintings, furniture, objects, posters and graphic arts.
  • The second floor is dedicated to the artist Marlène Dumas presenting “The image as load”.

It really is a very beautiful museum, it is worth exploring!

Amsterdam red light district

  • The Red Light District (Old Amsterdam) at B on the map - Called the red traffic light

Ahhh the red light district, it's completely crazy and very, very alive! This neighborhood is something to do and whether you are single or not!

So yes, there are prostitutes behind the windows, but the red light district is not just that! There is a really very attractive atmosphere! Not bad for a few drinks! Little parenthesis, do not stay in the cafes of old Amsterdam, without interest.

It is in this district where you will find the Amsterdam History Museum, the Tussauds Museum, the Cannabis Museum, the Sex Museum, the Erotic Museum ...

You want a guided walking tour of Amsterdam and contact one of the guides, they can give you a tour of this area if you wish.

You want to live a sexy experience, the Cassa Rosso erotic theater (located in the heart of the red light district) offers an ole ole show every night for the great pleasure of the eyes,

Verzetsmuseum - Museum of the Resistance (Verzetsmuseum)

The Resistance Museum reopened in 1999 in the Plancius Building, whose beauty contrasts sharply with the darkness of the events narrated in this place. The museum focuses on the journey of the Dutch resistance fighters who opposed, sometimes at the cost of their lives, Hitler's barbarism.

The main interest of this museum lies in the anchoring of History, with a capital letter, with the different individual stories of the resistance fighters. This Protestant individualization has the value of connecting History with those who lived it, showing us the path of some heroic resistance fighters.

Amsterdam markets

The Noordermarkt market:

You also have the market in the Noordermarkt / Jordaan district, a market with a really nice atmosphere. There you will find a bit of everything: market, chips, organic products. Open: Monday and Saturday

The Waterlooplein Market:

A large Amsterdam flea market, located in Waterloo Square, is a real flea market, on the menu, old photos, LPs and other old curiosities. The market is open every day except Sundays.

The market in front of the Rijksmuseum:

Otherwise, you also have a market located between the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. You can not lose this. Open on Sundays.

And go there around noon to have something to eat and sit on the steps of the fountain, the atmosphere is really very relaxed.

The Jewish Quarter (Waterlloplein and Plantage) - Pijp district

Located east of Amsterdam, the Jewish quarter is made up of the Waterlooplein and Plantage districts: in this part of Amsterdam you will find the Museum of the Resistance, the Museum of the Tropics, the Rembrandt Museum, but also the Hortus botanical garden. botanicus (fee) and Zoo Artis.

And this is where you will find the most amazing little brewery in Amsterdam, I called it Brouwerij 't (if you like beer, check it out).

If you want to take a guided tour in Amsterdam, do not hesitate to contact the French-speaking guides to request a guided tour of the Jewish quarter!

Templo bouddhiste He Hua (Fo Guang Shan Holland Tempel)

He Hua Temple is the largest traditional Chinese-style Buddhist temple in Europe. It is located in the Asian district (Chinatown) of Amsterdam.

Near the red light district. The temple was built in the early 2000s on the ruins of a medieval Catholic monastery. The temple is really impressive. Take a tour!

3) How to discover Amsterdam differently

  • Amsterdam bike tour

I recommend two walks, a guide route that lasts 2 hours and takes you to places and neighborhoods to see absolutely (depending on the time to choose:

Otherwise, you can rent the bike and ride it yourself! Here is a roadmap that I made that allows you to wander through the 2 most beautiful parks in Amsterdam and pass through pretty districts.

This walk through the parks takes about 3 hours, it is really very pleasant (you can rent a bike in 3 hours after that it goes to 24 hours ... the price is not the same).

/! For your information and for your safety, please note that there are many accidents due to the number of bicycles, scooters and trams. Keep your eyes peeled when you cross! The highway code also applies to pedestrians and the police, although very rare, easily distribute fines of a few tens of euros.

Amsterdam has more than 600 bicycles for almost 000 inhabitants, so bear in mind that there may be some tensions with pedestrians… Anyway to discover Amsterdam, I can only advise you to rent a bicycle. for 785 hours (€ 000) or for the day (€ 3). (for more ideas for a bike ride).

  • Visit Amsterdam by boat

You cannot discover Amsterdam without taking a walk on the canals that run through this wonderful city. If you want a boat trip around Amsterdam with a guide, I recommend this ticket (with a little snack please). Here's a little video presentation that makes you want to:

You also have a very nice activity proposed by Paul, an Apéro Boat with a ride through the canals of Amsterdam (for simpler group boat trips.

You have a "combo" ticket that works quite well, it's the boat + skip-the-line ticket for the Van Gogh museum.

If you are looking for other combined tickets, for example: boat + museum ticket (for example: Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh museum…).

You won't have a hard time finding one of the many river boats. You will find them at the foot of Prins Hendrikkade (at the central station), along Damrak and Rokin, as well as on Stadhouderskade, near the Rijksmuseum.

For boat trips and in groups.

  • Excursion to discover Keukenhof park:

Idea of ​​a day trip to visit the magnificent Keukenhof gardens (40 minutes from Amsterdam by car). if you want to read my article to visit Keukenhof park.

  • Le Amsterdam Light Festival

Do you know the Amsterdam Festival of Lights? It is a great time to discover Amsterdam because the city is completely submerged in the lights, magnificent! This festival takes place every year for a month and a half. From the end of November to the middle of January.

Ask for the precise dates, but it seems to me that this year is from November 28 to January 17 (ask again for these dates).

A great idea if you have the opportunity to discover Amsterdam during this festival, is to visit the city through a boat trip through the canals. Unforgettable!!! If you are interested, I advise you to reserve your place in advance, because you can imagine that it is armored!

For boat trips and in groups.

  • Le King's Day

If you are in Amsterdam at the end of April, you may have stumbled upon King's Day!

One last good idea is to take a bike ride through Amsterdam through a guide (link) who tells you the history of Amsterdam's Old Town.

More information about my article: "Skip-the-line ticket to Amsterdam."

4) Budget hotel in Amsterdam

Do you want to know where to stay in Amsterdam? On my last trip to Amsterdam, I stayed at the International Budget Hostel City Center, a very well located bed & breakfast.

Count € 30 / night, in a room for 4 people. It is a plan between friends, and not too much for couples all of a sudden ... It is still a good plan despite everything, because it is very well located.

  • Whether you go through Airbnb, Booking or otherwise, look in the areas that I have highlighted:

/! Remember to have enough cash to pay for your room and buy yourself a drink. Indeed, many are those who will add a commission of 3 to 5% more for using the CB.

Remember to take 2-3 months in advance to find a good accommodation in Amsterdam. Amsterdam is a city where accommodation is expensive, prices can double depending on the season and even the day of the week.

You can also rent apartments or rooms offered by locals: Airbnb, take a look because the prices are very interesting.

Budget hotel in Amsterdam:

Personally, I find the Leidseplein district to be a really very nice district. It is close to the center, near museums, parks and at night there is a good atmosphere. I talk about it in my article to know where to stay in Amsterdam. So I will give you many addresses that are in this neighborhood.

  • The city of cheap hotels, a very well located Bed & Breakfast, with a very good quality / price ratio. If you are going to discover Amsterdam with friends, this is a good plan.
  • A stone's throw from the red light district, right in the center of Amsterdam, you have the Amacita. You will sleep in a boat :)
  • The B&B Hotel Uptown is not very expensive and is very well located. Look at the reviews anyway because it's still a hostel ...
  • The City Garden is more elegant, but sometimes they offer discounts, so you can get a very good room for not so expensive, to see!
  • The manikomium was recommended to me by a netizen, it is very well located (centro centro) and sometimes offers discounted prices, so a must see!
  • The StayOkay is also very well located, a stone's throw from the VondelPark (the Van Gogh Museum).
  • Some rooms that may interest you, the Posthoornark, the View B&B, to see!

Other addresses in Amsterdam (More elegant):

  • The good season is in the heart of Amsterdam, very nice! Here we are truly in the heart of Amsterdam ...
  • The central hotel is in an excellent location and prices can be very attractive depending on the dates.
  • A hotel recommended to me by a netizen (which is very nice, but very happy!), The wonderful Embassy Hotel.

If you have not found what you were looking for or if everything is taken, know that the best areas to find accommodation are: Leidseplein, Jordaan and the Jewish quarter, near the Anne Frank House.

I am counting on you to give me your good addresses, it is not easy to find good addresses in this city. The prices are very high.

  • Find more information about my article where to sleep in Amsterdam

5) Which pass to choose to visit Amsterdam

First of all, know that you can easily discover Amsterdam on foot. In fact, it is not a very big city. You could say that it is a little bigger than Bordeaux, a little smaller than Lyon. And it's really nice to be able to explore the city on foot.

It was quite difficult for me to choose between the three Amsterdam Passes, so I did not take any and opted for skip-the-line tickets that allow me to choose my visit ... and see before yourself!

Anyway you have:

  • laAmsterdam Card. The price is € 47 for 24 hours, € 57 for 48 hours or € 67 for 72 hours. In short, I will not dwell on that. But don't hesitate to give your opinion at the bottom of the page.
  • La Museum card For museum enthusiasts, which costs € 50, it pays off quickly if you do a lot of museum-building and gives you the added bonus of visiting some nice little museums.
  • And the Dutch pass - The official site: Holland Pass 2 = 1 tulip ticket + 1 mill ticket | Holland Pass 5 = 2 tulip tickets + 3 mill tickets | Holland Pass 7 = 3 tulip tickets + 4 mill.
  • So if you don't opt ​​for the Pass like me:

Note that there is a very good tram / bus / metro network that will allow you to get from one point to another very easily (in case you don't like to walk). You can opt for the single ticket of € 2,80 valid for 1 hour. Or you can opt for the € 7 card for 50 hours (GVB Dagkaart).

They can be used on any tram, bus and night bus line (€ 4 otherwise). Please note that I did not take any public transport except from the train station to my hotel and vice versa. The rest is as I told you easily accessible on foot or by bike, so I don't regret it :)

Remember that, whatever your choice (ticket, ticket, etc.), remember to stamp your ticket when you get on (check in) and also when you get off (check out) of a bus, tram and metro to be able to continue using them.

6) Where to go out in Amsterdam

I see two districts to go out at night, you have the Leidseplin district and the red light district - Red light on Google Map;)

But you won't have a hard time finding many small bars along the canals. Really very nice!

Traditional restaurants in Amsterdam:

  • You have the restaurant Haesje Claes (Spuistraat 275, 1012 VR Amsterdam)
  • Le The Pantry (Leidsekruisstraat 21, 1017 RE Amsterdam, Pays-Bas)
  • For avocado fans: the Avocado Show (be patient!).
  • Chinatown is also fun and diverse (Le New King to eat there).
  • For more "exceptional" meals, you have on the western outskirts of town "La C" (a culinary slap) and the "Dauphine" for the originality of their place.
  • Also to try, the Mata Hari restaurant more than topissime!
  • Excerpt from Marie Christine's comment: Thank you, especially since my nephew who lives there fully approved your opinion !!! Just a small comment, you should give the advice to take a walk through the Pijp neighborhood, very very lively at night with good places to eat.

A concert, a theater, a comedy?

Jazz, Blues and free concerts in Amsterdam:

  • At Leidseplein you have the pleasant Café Alto jazz club, which offers jazz concerts every Tuesday evening. You cannot miss the bar, there is a huge saxophone on the front (Address: Korte Leidsedwarsstraat 115).
  • On the Jordaan side, you have a very nice club, Maloe Melo, we go there to listen to the blues in a good atmosphere.
  • If you are looking for free concerts, go to the Concertgebouwplein, every Wednesday starting at 12:30 pm the Concertgebouw rehearses for their evening concert.
  • You also have the Mulligan pub, which has live music every night from 19pm (go there especially on Sundays).
  • Freestyle night in Amsterdam

A freestyle outing to do, the atmosphere is suddenly not bad at all as you have a 'guide' taking you on a tour of the coolest bars in Amsterdam with other people just looking to have fun and enjoy a good evening in unknown land ...;)

  • A club in Amsterdam

If you're looking for a box to crunch the sole in the DanceFloor, I recommend the Paradiso, quite simply. Before it was a church and now it is the temple of the rock (see program).

7) How to get to Amsterdam city center from the airport

Full Article - "Arrive Amsterdam from Schiphol Airport".

Doing so is very simple. Once you are at the airport, you just need to follow the sign with a train. Then in the great hall, buy a ticket from one of the many yellow machines (you can buy it and get it in the mail too). Select a one-way ticket to Amsterdam Central.

Once you have your ticket with you, you have 6 lanes, take the corresponding lane, i.e. Amsterdam Central. Be careful not to take the first train to hit your track. Please note that many trains use the same tracks. Again, take the one that will be written Central Amsterdam.

Allow a good 20 minutes for the journey. you can buy it and receive it by mail too.

The train will drop you directly at Amsterdam station.

From the station you have all the trams, so take the one you need to get to your hotel. For those who, like me, have booked a room in the Leidseplin neighborhood, take line 1 (after having bought a ticket at the little house that will be on the left of the square as you exit the station).

/! From 06:00 to 00:00, there are several trains per hour. During the night, from 00:00 to 06:00, there is only one train every hour. For more information on train travel, check the schedules on the official NS website.

8) Parking to park your car in Amsterdam

If you go to Amsterdam by car and you are looking for a well-located parking, keep in mind that it is very difficult to park in Amsterdam and that the bill will be high (account for € 30 / day).

Well, or you have this parking lot located west of Amsterdam, in a hotel, and right in front there is a bus that takes you directly to the center (.

Or you can park your vehicle in one of the guarded car parks outside the city. If you choose this option, opt for the car parks called P + R (Park + Ride) which means “Parking” + “Transportation”. Open 24 hours a day, 24 days a week.

Olympish Stadion and Sloterdijk car parks offer to lend you a bike with an ID, eliminating the need to rent a bike in Amsterdam. The Sloterdijk car park is less known so there will be more space and more bikes available ...

Once in one of the P + R car parks, enter, take the ticket and park. Then give the ticket to the guard who will give you a ticket to make a return trip by bus or tram for 5 people (so don't lose it…).

  • Most bus

If you choose the bus, be aware that there are many lines that connect Schiphol Airport to Amsterdam. Buses 197 and 370 (Interliner) go to Leidseplein, which is in the center, and to Oud Zuid during the day. They leave every quarter of an hour. If you arrive late at night, you can take buses 97 and 358 (Niteliner) to the same destinations. These buses run from 00:30 am to 05:00 am

To catch the bus, go to Schiphol Plaza, opposite the arrivals and departures terminal. The trip takes half an hour and a one-way ticket costs € 4. You have to buy it on the bus. But the easiest thing is to catch the train.

So there you have it, I think you have all the keys in hand to visit Amsterdam in 2 days as it should be.

  • And you, what do you prefer visit in Amsterdam?
  • Do you have a good address to share?
  • Feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of the page to give me your impressions, share a good address (where to stay in Amsterdam ...), a hotel, a bar ... Sharing is good!

See you soon,

Maxence

Other items not to be missed!

  • Amsterdam boat or bike tour
  • Admission to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam
  • Amsterdam Red Light District Bar
  • Where to stay in Amsterdam
  • Visit the Anne Frank House
  • Get to Keukenhof park from Amsterdam
  • Amsterdam city pass
  • Skip-the-line tickets to Amsterdam
  • Visit Brussels in 3 days and where to stay in Brussels

Keywords that allowed Internet users to find this article:

  • 2 days to visit Amsterdam
  • 3 days in Amsterdam
  • Visit Amsterdam
  • What to see in Amsterdam





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