It is entirely possible to see all of the major sights if you spend 48 hours in Amsterdam. It is definitely worth booking some tours to get past the queues, and to understand more of the city. Here are some tours to tempt you. While Amsterdam is the capital and largest city – over one million inhabitants – of the Netherlands, it is not that big of a city compared to other capitals in the world. The city is located in the northwest of the country, in the province of Noord-Holland and spending two days in Amsterdam is always a good thing.
It all started when a small fishing settlement was established in the 12th century. It expanded exponentially and before long Amsterdam was one of the world’s most important ports, in particular during the Dutch Golden Age. The world-famous canals were dug out in the 17th century. No less than 1,500 bridges cross those canals.
Nowadays Amsterdam is the Dutch centre of culture, arts and finance. It also regularly appears in lists of the most livable cities in the world.
Staying In Amsterdam
Try a houseboat, or a hotel on the canal. Remember that Amsterdam is a very popular city with good reason, so book as early as you can.
Walk around Amsterdam
The first thing you should do on your first day in Amsterdam is just start walking around. You will find an architectural highlight, picturesque canals or a great museum around pretty much every corner.
To get a real feeling for the city, a canal cruise is the way to go. There are canals everywhere and it is a great way to see the whole city and decide where to go and what to do next.
For lunch head to either Dam Square or the Leidseplein where you will find plenty of cozy cafés and small restaurants. Tray one of Amsterdam’s famous mint teas.
Afternoon in Amsterdam
In the afternoon you should explore the city in the Dutch’ favorite way: by bicycle. There are several bike rental shops throughout Amsterdam. If you are A Weekend Warrior in AMSTERDAM, you may consider renting a bicycle for two days. It is the absolute perfect way to see the city. Make sure to pick up a decent map.
At Dam Square you can see and visit to Royal Palace, but it is also highly recommended to cycle out of the city centre.
The Jordaan neighbourhood is typical Amsterdam; there are numerous cafés, a Saturday market and a shopping area. On your first day in the Dutch capital you have to visit the Anne Frank Huis as well.
Before dinner go for a walk around De Wallen, the world-famous red-light district, which nowadays is a popular tourist attraction and completely safe.
Make your way to one of the ‘gezellige’ or cozy restaurants or a brown café for a typically Dutch dinner.
Day 2 of 48 Hours in AMSTERDAM
Start off the second part of being A Weekend Warrior in AMSTERDAM with a few museum visits. The museums in Amsterdam are world-class and there are many to choose from, depending on your taste.
The Museum Quarter is located in the south of the city, as is the fantastic Vondelpark. Make sure to visit the Rijksmuseum for a fine collection of paintings by the Dutch and Flemish masters. Van Gogh has his own museum, the aptly named Van Gogh Museum with around 200 paintings. The Rembrandthuis and Hermitage Amsterdam are two other museums you may want to visit. But remember, be selective – you can’t see everything.
Grab a quick lunch at a typically Dutch food stall and head to the Vondelpark in the afternoon. Enjoy some of the outdoor and indoor activities in the park and, if you still have your bike, go for a ride around.
In the evening, go for a drink or a night out in one of Amsterdam’s many bars and night clubs.
48 Hours in AMSTERDAM well spent
The above is just a mere sample of things to do during 48 hours in Amsterdam. This is a city that will never bore you. Amsterdam is modern, sophisticated, dirty and everything in between.
See also 48 hours in Paris and 48 hours in Dubai