48 hours in Amsterdam, Netherlands

About a year ago, I visited Amsterdam with three good friends Melissa, Alejandra and Rochie. Amsterdam was the last city of a two-week-five-cities-tour through Eastern Europe. Needless to say we were tired but really looking forward to discovering the capital of Netherlands.

Don’t miss the opportunity to take the photo at the famous “I am Amsterdam” sign at the back of Rijksmuseum on Museumplein.

We had 48 hours to enjoy the city and a long list of things to do and places to visit. Here are 10 recommendations (and experiences) for a short but productive Amsterdam adventure.

  1. Visit Amsterdam Centraal whether you are arriving on train or not. This national heritage site was designed by Dutch architect Pierre Cuypers and first opened in 1889.

Amsterdam Centraal, the largest railway station of Amsterdam, Netherlands used by approximately 162,000 passengers a day.

2. Check out the Basilica of Saint Nicholas

The Basilica of Saint Nicholas is located in the Old Centre district. It is the city’s major Catholic church.

4. Rent a Bike. It is said that there are more the 800,000 bikes in Amsterdam. Undoubtedly that is the transportation of choice and a great way to explore (and exercise) through the city.

5. Get lost in the narrow streets of Jordaan, one of the Amsterdam’s most charming neighborhoods. We had breakfast at a small local coffee shop where we had probably the best avocado toast of the whole trip. The key and secret ingredient: homemade goat cheese.

6. Plan to go to the Anne Frank House. Purchase your ticket online. Click here for tickets.

“To build your future you have to know your past” A. Frank

The best and safest way to guarantee you will get to visit Anne Frank House is buy purchasing the tickets online as they sell out quickly. But if you don’t have a ticket, your best option (at least for us) is to go to the Museum two hours before closing. Some of the people who reserve tickets, don’t show up,  so you are able to “walk in” after buying your ticket. We got lucky and had a little over an hour to walk around the house, but it was worth it.

7. Take a boat tour through the canals.

8. Amsterdam is home for over 50 museums all worth visiting. In 48 hours we could only visit the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum

Van Gogh Museum opens daily from 9am to 6pm, but on Fridays it opens until 10pm.

The Rijksmuseum is a Dutch national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam. It is huge so if you are short of time, locate a map upon your arrival and prioritize what exhibitions you want to see.

Travel Tip:  Amsterdam offers a City Card that you can purchase online and gives you free entry to some attractions (museums included) and free public transportation. Click here for more information. PS- We didn’t use the City Card but I have heard it is worth it.

9. Check out the Bloemenmarkt.

Bloemenmarkt, the world’s only floating flower market is one of Amsterdam’s most colorful attractions.

10. “Over the Edge” swing.  Amsterdam has Europe’s highest swing  that puts you 100 meters above the ground. A’Dam Tower and Lookout has a beautiful restaurant, deck, bar and swing. If weather permits, you can enjoy amazing 360° views of Amsterdam. Click here for more information.

As you can see,  Amsterdam has so much to offer and is definitely a city worth spending more than 48 hours. 😉

Feel free to leave your comments and share any other helpful tips or recommendation.