The ultimate Amsterdam Itinerary for a Great Weekend

Written by Maria Aardal

November 28, 2017

Amsterdam itinerary – 2 days

I have visited Amsterdam a couple of times now, and every time the city surprises me again. There is just so much to explore, and so much to do. The canals, bridges and bikes is what makes this city really unique. With its small center and uncountable options Amsterdam is great for a weekend trip. Amsterdam is great no matter what kind of travel you are into, whether it is a family trip, a romantic vacation, or a party weekend with friends. Keep reading to find a perfect Amsterdam itinerary for a weekend.

Day 1

Breakfast at Leidseplein

Start off your day with breakfast at Leidseplein. Leidseplein is located in the southern end of the central canal ring. It is a busy, open square filled with bars, restaurants, cafés and plenty of interesting people. During the day the square is perfect for a meal, there are restaurants lined up and you can pick and choose whichever one suits you best. Whether that be a McDonalds or a “fancy” restaurant. There are also plenty bars, and at night it transforms into a nightlife hub. It is the perfect place to enjoy your first meal in Amsterdam. I would definitely recommend New York Steakhouse, it is a cute American themed cafe, and their capresé sandwich is just amazing. Leidseplein is easy to get to using public transport and it is a great place to start your trip, as you can easily get to the rest of the city from there.

Lunch in Holland

Rent bikes and explore the city

When visiting Amsterdam, the city of bikes, you have no choice, riding bikes has to make it onto your Amsterdam itinerary. Everywhere in Amsterdam you can rent bikes. I would recommend renting bikes and going for a ride in Vondelpark. Vondelpark is located not far from Leidseplein and it is perfect for a bike ride. The park is beautiful, with a pond in the middle and gorgeous nature on all sides. The park is great for biking, and people-watching. I would rather recommend riding your bike here than in the city center if you are not experienced biking in cities. The driving/biking/walking in town can get quite hectic. If you are not used to manoeuvre though traffic on a bike it is great to ride in a park, or at least start out there.

Amsterdam itinerary

Lunch in Vondelpark

Ride your bike to a local grocery store and get some food for a picnic. The stores have a huge selection of salads, fruit and snacks which are perfect for a lunch in the park. Simply park your bikes, and find a green spot. Enjoy the fresh air, breathtaking views and food. Watch the busy people swish by.

Amsterdam itinerary

Anne Frank house

The Anne Frank house is one of the most famous “attractions” in Amsterdam. It definitely deserves a spot on your Amsterdam itinerary. The Anne Frank house is so much more than a museum, it is a memory and it reminds us how important it is to not let something like that happen again. It reminds us that there are real people who experience war and hate, it is not just things we learn in history class. There are real people and real stories. There are still children like Anne Frank and she is their voice. While her story ended tragically she is now a voice for people and children living through war everywhere.

Dinner by a canal

The dinner options in Amsterdam are endless, you can find any type of food in all price classes. For dinner I would recommend finding somewhere to eat along on of the canals. This way you will get a gorgeous view with your meal. If you love sushi we would recommend Sushisamba which does not only have great food, but also a beautiful view of the canals. For sitting outside and enjoying a wonderful sunset you should try Hannekes Boom, you can sit on picnic tables and watch the sun set over the water. The have a great selection of food, including some more traditional dutch food.

Amsterdam itinerary

If you feel like a saucy burger and a great cocktail, Hard Rock Cafe is perfect. They are famous for a reason, the food is amazing. The prices are a bit high, but if you need a treat this is it. The view of the canal is also a huge bonus, and make sure you sit in the back right by the windows.


You cannot visit Amsterdam without experiencing the nightlife. Even if you are not a huge party animal this is a must on your Amsterdam itinerary. Feeling the atmosphere and watching the people is amazing. Leidseplein and the Red light district are the two main nightlife hubs.

Leidseplein is famous for its many bars and clubs, there are so many options and you will never get bored. Everywhere you turn there is a new bar with new options. Because of the many bars and clubs you can find lots of happy hour offers here. They need to compete with each others prices to bring in costumers. In Leidseplein you can find anything from calm bars to trance clubs. There is also a McDonalds and a Burger King that are perfect for a midnight snack.

Amsterdam itinerary

The red light district is famous for sex. At night the curtains open and behind them are prostitutes. There are sex stores at every corner and even live sex shows for those who are interested. Now you might think, “but i do not want to buy sex or sex toys”, still this area is unique from anywhere else, and you should just walk around and experience it. However the area is also famous for old school bars and beautiful canals. The bars here are great for taking a beer, and watching the interesting atmosphere in the area. I promise you will be fascinated.

Day 2

Canal cruise

After a good breakfast you need to take some time to explore the famous canals of Amsterdam. With over 50 km of canals the options are endless. There are tons of great canal boat companies, and I would definitely recommend Stromma. They have a huge variation in options, they are easy to find and extremely helpful. They have larger canal cruises that vary from just sightseeing to dinner or drinks cruises.

There is also the option of renting a paddle boat, which is a great way to explore the canals on your own. I highly recommend the paddle boat option, it is a bit harder to get them to go where you want them to then it seems, but when you get a hang of it is amazing. This was one of my favorite experiences in Amsterdam, you get to see the city from a very different angle. Just make sure to stay to the right and watch out for angry swans.

Explore Van Gogh museum

A trip to a museum is necessary on your Amsterdam itinerary. The Van Gogh museum contains the largest collection of works by Vincent Van Gogh. It features some of his best work. You do not only get to see breathtaking art, but you also learn so much about Van Gogh and his life. Our recommendation is to buy tickets ahead of time as the line can get very long. If you prebook tickets you do not have to stand in line. If art is not your thing you can always switch this out by one of Amsterdam’s many other museums, like maybe the sex museum.

Lunch in the Museum Quarter

After your visit to Van Gogh museum simply step outside and find the perfect spot for a lunch break. The museum quarter features a huge park as well as a large fountain. Walk over to the nearest grocery store and grab some snacks. On a warm day you can sit on the foundation with your feet in the cool water.

Amsterdam itinerary

Floating tulips market

After lunch you can make your way back into town, to the floating tulip market. Really, what is more dutch then tulips and canals together. The tulip market is a great place to experience the gorgeous, colorful flowers at any time of the year and without leaving the city center. You can either just walk around, smell and view the flowers, or maybe you have someone you want to buy a flower for.

Tulips in the Netherlands

Walk around

Spend your last evening in Amsterdam walking around, exploring the alleys of Amsterdam. Get lost. Venture outside of the most popular tourist areas and just explore. You will find hidden shops, amazing picture opportunities and make sure to view the canals after dark, when the lights of the houses reflect in the dark waters. You can also find amazing souvenirs to bring back home, there are so many small shops along the alleys. Maybe you will find some treasures.


  • Book accommodation a while ahead – As soon as you decide to go to Amsterdam, start looking for accommodation! I usually book pretty late, and Amsterdam was no exception, however that lead to a lot of nights lying awake searching booking sites and stressing out.
  • Get offline maps on your phone – You will get lost and if you have activities to get to it is not always the right time for wandering in circles. I recommend, it is an incredible app where you download the city map ahead of time.

What is on your Amsterdam itinerary? Have you ever been to Amsterdam?

If you are traveling to Europe you should check out my two favorite cities in my home country Norway, Bergen and Selje


I am Maria, a 20 year old student. I am here to show you that traveling is possible for everyone, including you. I belive that traveling can be done in a lot of different ways and that you never have to limit.

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1 Comment

  1. HiCinko

    Truly an amazing place to visit and to explore!


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