It was always a dream for me to visit the beautiful country of Netherlands, esp. Amsterdam after seeing so many wonderful pictures and learning briefly about its history. So when I planned my Euro tour, the second city I went after Paris was Amsterdam.Being stunned at Amsterdam’s beauty can be quite an understatement. Spending even a week in this beautiful city may not be enough to fully experience it. However with budget constraints, shorter timelines, you may probably be left with a day or two to spend in Amsterdam. So here’s a detailed Amsterdam 2 day itinerary, which you can use to plan yours as well.
Getting to Amsterdam
Amsterdam in Netherlands/Holland is well connected by Flights, Trains and Buses from many top cities in Europe. Though, the best way to go to Amsterdam is to take the Thalys train. More than 10 trains per day are there from Paris (via Belgium) and takes just a little over 3 hours (trains run at a speed of 300KM/Hr).
You can also opt for the Oui Bus (at a slightly cheaper price) but takes around 7-8 hours to reach and hence may not be an advisable option. Of course there are flights directly to Amsterdam. I got to know that Jet Airways and Air India is planning a non stop 10 hour flight from Chennai & Bangalore to Amsterdam from Apr ’17 end.
Public Transport System in Amsterdam : Trams, Metros and Buses
One of the best ways to go around the city is to take a tram or a bus .Trams and Buses are interchangeable and pretty much go to every corner of Amsterdam. Irrespective of which hotel you booked, chances are the nearest tram or bus stop is just 100-200 metres away. Here’s a quick glance of the different types of tickets available in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam Tram/Metro/Bus ticket pricing
Things to do in Amsterdam : A 2 Day itinerary
Amsterdam is comparatively a small city in Europe, yet there are so many things to do . This includes Museum hopping, shopping, visiting parks, tulip gardens, wine & cheese tasting and other unique experiences.
Amsterdam Day 1 itinerary:
– Van Gogh Museum / Rijksmuseum
Buy the 7.5 € ticket from one of the stations(valid for an entire day) , get a map from the hotel you stay and try to explore the city as much as you can. As a start you can head to the Van Gogh museum or Rijksmuseum, two of the top-rated museums in Amsterdam. If you are an art lover, you can be stunned by the works of Van Gogh, Vermeer, Rembrandt among other famous artists. The famous “Milkmaid” painting by Vermeer, the “Night watch” painting by Rembrandt is in Rijksmuseum. You can spend a couple of hours in these museums. Both are situated along the Museumplein, very close to the “I Amsterdam” sign.
Note : Entrance ticket to each museum costs 17.5 € ( so you could probably visit to decide one, if you are on a budget).
– Dam Square / Kalverstraat
You can then head to the famous Amsterdam Centraal station (a beautiful station itself to visit). From here just cross the road across the canal, towards the road that leads to Dam Square. The road is full of shopping souvenirs and restaurants. Once you reach the Dam Square you can visit the Madame Tussauds or continue down the road to Kalverstraat. This is the famous flower market of Amsterdam and you can purchase even a pack of Tulip bulbs.
– Canal Cruise
Around 5- 6PM, take a canal cruise ( costs roughly 13-19€) ,which takes you around the different bridges of Amsterdam and explains you the history of Dutch wars. This is a highly recommended activity (Much beautiful at night with Amsterdam lighting up).
– De-Wallen : Skip this activity, if you are going with a big family or with children
Amsterdam is also famous for its legalized marijuana and of course the Red Light district. Several guided walking tours are available in this area to explain Amsterdam’s history in this area and you get to see women behind glass windows with red neon lights flashing across (though advisable not to go alone ). This area has also several coffee shops and they even sell marijuana/weed in the same. So go for it at your own risk 🙂
Amsterdam Day 2 Itinerary
Morning time in Amsterdam is a wonderful way to explore the beautiful streets. Lined up with cycling, tram and walking tracks , just head to the beautiful Vondelpark to relax. The fresh cold air can be a perfect setting for a short walk and you can catch up on a nice breakfast on any of those several cafes.( Much tastier than the standard hotel breakfast provided)
Keukenhof Tulip Gardens (Only Mar-May) : If you are visiting Amsterdam in the month of March-May, a half day visit to Tulip Gardens in Keukenhof is a must visit activity. Take a bus to Schipol Airport and from there take the 858 Arriva bus (Runs every half hour in these two months).
A journey that’ll roughly take 30 minutes directly to the Keukenhof gardens . Entrance ticket to Keukenhof is 16€(excluding transport) . If you are going to Keukenhof, buying the 1 Day regional pass (18.5€) is advisable to save up on shuttling to and fro. Entrance Tickets are available outside the 858 bus stop in Schipol airport itself.
Anne Frank House :
Amsterdam is most famous for the Anne Frank House. This is where Anne Frank hid away from the eyes of Hitler during WWII. This has been converted to a museum now , right along the canals. Ticket cost is 9.5€ and can be bought online here : http://www.annefrank.org/en/Museum/Practical-information/Online-ticket-sales/
Shopping in Albert Cuyp Market :
One of the biggest open markets with more than 200 stalls, you can get plenty of souveniers, T-Shirts, tulip bulbs and much more in this market.
There are plenty of Dutch cheese shops across the Dam Square road .They allow you to try different types of cheese and even buy a handful. Trust me, they can be very addictive,given the taste.
The same goes for Dutch waffles, which one should not miss out on trying (which are way different than Belgium waffles) !
First time in Amsterdam? Do check the post by the krazy butterfly.
Cycling : If you still find yourself bored, just rent a cycle from your hotel and pedal across the dedicated cycling tracks across the charming city. In my opinion, this is the # 1 rated activity in the city of Amsterdam.