In this itinerary for spending 2 days in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, you will discover the best things to do and see in 2 days. But also the best cosy restaurants where you’ll find locals, off the beaten path places and hidden gems in Amsterdam. Amsterdam is the city I went to university for 6 years, so you bet that I know the local spots in Amsterdam that you should visit when you’re travelling to Amsterdam for one day or two days.
Amsterdam is the most visited city of The Netherlands and Noord- Holland, which means that many bloggers have covered the most popular things to do in Amsterdam. That’s not what this itinerary for two days in Amsterdam will be. You get to discover the unusual things to do in Amsterdam and how to spend one perfect day, a weekend or two days in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, with the help of a local. In 48 hours or with a weekend trip to Amsterdam, it’s easy to get a bit of a feeling of the local culture.
A local’s guide to spending 2 perfect days in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
If you only have time to stay in Amsterdam for one day, then you can also follow this Amsterdam 1 day itinerary. You can either follow the 1st or 2nd day of this Amsterdam itinerary or combine both days. Continue reading to discover the things there are to do and see in Amsterdam in one or two days. You start the first 24 hours in Amsterdam with breakfast.
Eat breakfast at Benji’s
One of the best breakfast spots of Amsterdam is Benji’s at the Wibautstraat. They have some of the best granola bowls (check out the Love bowl for vegans) of Amsterdam, great eggs and very tasty sandwiches. So if you’re looking for a great vegan breakfast in Amsterdam, or would like to eat a great sandwich with avocado, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at Benji’s.
Visit the botanical garden of Amsterdam Hortus Botanicus
This botanical garden in Amsterdam is one of the most stunning botanical gardens of The Netherlands. And bringing a visit to the Hortus Botanicus botanical garden in Amsterdam is one of the top things to do when you’re visiting Amsterdam. Especially in the autumn and winter months of December, January, February and March. These months are in general very chilly. So it’s great to take a break from the cold of Amsterdam in winter and do one of the top things that there is to do during winter in Amsterdam, in my opinion.
What else is there to do in December in Amsterdam or in the rest of The Netherlands you might ask? Christmas markets. A lot of them. Find the best Christmas markets you have to visit in The Netherlands here. A fun fact about the Hortus Botanicus is that from the end of December until the beginning of January you will find an event called Hortus by night. This is one of the fun things to do in winter and during the evening and night in Amsterdam as it opens until 22:00.
The Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam admission fee is 5,50 to visit for students and 9,50 for adults. So if you’re visiting Amsterdam on a budget, am looking for cheap things to do or special museums to visit in Amsterdam, then visiting this botanical garden is a must.
The botanical garden in Amsterdam is in general reasonable accessible. However certain parts of the greenhouses aren’t suitable for wheelchair users. For more information on the matter, click here.
Plantage Middenlaan 2A
Visit museum the Tropenmuseum
After the Hortus Botanicus in the Wibaut and Weesper area of Amsterdam, it’s time to start your exploration of Amsterdam in one day. We continue our journey at one of the most special and unusual museums of Amsterdam. And one that is often overlooked by tourists, which is The Tropenmuseum. The Tropenmuseum is a museum in the Weesper and Wibaut area of Amsterdam, so it’s perfect for your route. The Tropenmuseum houses a variety of exhibitions all throughout the year. But they change very frequently, so no matter what time of the year you are visiting one of the top museums of Amsterdam, it’ll be worth it.
The reason why the Tropenmuseum is one of the best museums in Amsterdam is that this museum is one that is about people. Why it’s one of the most unknown museums of Amsterdam is still something I cannot figure out. The Tropenmuseum is a museum of world cultures that is located in one of the most beautiful buildings, if not the most beautiful, of Amsterdam. The current collection of the Tropenmuseum contains over 340.000 pieces. What I’m happy about is that many researchers are investigating how much pieces are stolen objects and which ones were gifted. This is something that’s going on in The Netherlands right now as our past hasn’t been the most friendly to other nations (understatement). So The Tropenmuseum is one of the places you should visit when you’re in Amsterdam.
Adults 16 euros
Students 10 euros
Click here for tickets.
You can easily access the Tropenmuseum if you’re in a wheelchair. There are no obstacles and there’s an elevator that gives you access to all floors. There are several wheelchairs that you can lend in the museum as well. There’s also a special toilet.
Explore Amsterdam by foot or bike with a self-guided (walking) tour
Amsterdam can be explored by bike (only for the visitors who can cycle and do not stop in the middle of a bike path, for more bike rules click here) or you can walk through the city. Amsterdam is a small city, so there’s nothing better than to do a self-guided walking tour through Amsterdam created by a local.
From beautiful courtyards in Amsterdam that you should visit (always be quiet when you’re there) to the nicest neighbourhoods. From the most beautiful monuments to the parks and markets of Amsterdam you have to visit. It’s all in this walking tour or, how we call it in Dutch, stadswandeling of Amsterdam. Some courtyards aren’t always open to the public, but the opening times differ for most of the courtyards. You will often see opening times of the specific courtyard on the gates or doors.
We start our tour from the Tropenmuseum and will first go to one of my favourite, and non-touristy markets of Amsterdam, the Dappermarkt (dappermarket).
Visiting the best, unknown market of Amsterdam
The Dappermarket is the most affordable and multicultural market in Amsterdam, that has more than 250 stalls to look at. From Monday- Saturday you can visit this market from 09:00 – 17:00.
Discover the best-hidden parks of Amsterdam
After the Dappermarket you will make your way to the Oosterpark. This is the first big park that the council of Amsterdam ordered to be planted in 1891, as opposed to the privately planted and owned parks. Not only is the Oosterpark a great park to relax, but you’ll also rarely find tourists here. So if you’re looking for a relaxing park where locals chill out, go to the Oosterpark.
Explore the neighbourhood of De Pijp
After the walk through the Oosterpark, you will continue your way to the street called the Weesperzijde. This area is very chilled out, you’ll see a lot of locals here, and again, not many tourists. Now we will continue our way in the direction of my favourite neighbourhood as a local in Amsterdam, De Pijp. Walk towards the Albert Cuyp market, which is the most touristy market of Amsterdam, but still worth a quick visit. Via the Albert Cuyp Markt, you will walk past the cafe called De Groene Vlinder. This area of Amsterdam has the best bars with locals. During the evenings these are all completely filled with people.
Discover the Museum quarter
You have just arrived in the neighbourhood De Pijp and walking around this area is for a little while. After walking around in De Pijp for a bit, you continue your walking tour through Amsterdam and should start walking in the direction of Museumplein or Museum square. Here you will find the most popular museums in Amsterdam, including the beautiful building of the Rijksmuseum. No matter what time of the year you’re in Amsterdam, this walking or cycling tour with local tips is perfect for every season. Although I must admit, when the weather is a little less grey then it’s an even more perfect activity for Amsterdam. That’s why a walking or cycling tour is one of the perfect things to do in August and September in Amsterdam.
Continue your walking tour of Amsterdam in Oud-West
Now you will walk through the Vondelpark to the neighbourhood of Oud-West in Amsterdam. In Oud-West you can find cute cafes, bars etc, as much as in the area of De Pijp. Walk in the direction of the Kinkerstraat, where you can find great food places such as The Breakfast Club and De Foodhallen (this one is a bit touristic nowadays). If you’re already hungry by then, these two restaurants are great places to go for a lunch in the Oud-West neighbourhood or area of Amsterdam.
Explore the courtyards or hofjes in De Jordaan in Amsterdam
Now you’ll be making your way to the most famous neighbourhood of Amsterdam, De Jordaan. Walk in the direction of the Elandsgracht and from there you should walk around the area. Some of the most beautiful streets are Keizersgracht, Prinsengracht and Brouwersgracht. You should end at the Lindengracht to continue with this walking / cycling tour. Now it’s time to discover some of the most beautiful courtyards of Amsterdam. These courtyards are called ‘hofjes’ in Dutch and are some of my favourite places in Amsterdam.
The reason for that is the fact that these courtyards in Amsterdam are hidden gardens, behind doors. Here you will find a completely peaceful area which is unexpected in a bustling city like Amsterdam. You can just open the door and enjoy the garden for a little bit, but there are rules. Always be quiet when you are in a hofje. Don’t scream, shout, talk loud or whatever. Take your trash with you, it’s a garden, not a big trash can. And last, always close the door behind you. Always.
The first hofje is the Suyckerhofje which can be found at Lindengracht 147 – 165. After this courtyard in Amsterdam, you will make your way to Prinsengracht 89 -113 for the Starhofje or Van Brienen hofje. Now you will walk to the house that has the smallest facade in the world at Singel 7. After that, you will walk past the Westerkerk, which is one of the most beautiful churches of Amsterdam. At the Prinsengracht, you can also find hofjes at numbers 159 – 171 and 855- 899.
Find the bridge that used to house a dungeon in Amsterdam
Now you will walk over a bridge that is called De Torensluis. This bridge used to be a dungeon as you can still see by the barred windows. Discover the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) at the Dam square as well as the Royal Palace. From here you should continue to walk back in the direction of the Herengracht and walk around this part of the canal ring of Amsterdam. Slowly you’ll be making your way towards the centre of Amsterdam to the Begijnhof which is the biggest one of them all. In the Begijnhof you will find one of the oldest houses of Amsterdam, which dates back to 1530. It’s the tiny wooden house at the Begijnhof.
Discover the smallest and biggest house of Amsterdam
It’s time to walk in the direction of the smallest house in Europe which you can find at Oude Hoogstraat 22. After that, you should walk to the Trippenhuis, which is the biggest house with the widest facade of Amsterdam that was ever built. Nearby the Trippenhuis you can find the beautiful Zuiderkerk (Southern church).
Via the Nieuwmarkt, where you will see the monumental building called De Waag which was one of the previous city gates, you will end up in the Red Light District of Amsterdam for a quick look. Remember to never take pictures of the women. There’s this thing called privacy. It’s very rude and forbidden to take photos. Don’t be rude. Now you will walk via the Oude Kerk (Old Church) of Amsterdam back in the direction of the central station. From here you’d have to take the ferry to the NDSM Werf in Amsterdam Noord for some artsy vibes. You can walk around at the NDSM wharf which is a great cultural area where you can find plenty of artsy stuff.
Other monuments or places not to miss
De Magere Brug
The Magere Brug, or skinny bridge, is the most famous bridge in Amsterdam. It dates back to the 17th century. Don’t forget to have a look at the street lights that you will find on the bridge. These are replicas of Jan van der Leyden’s design of the street lights that were used in Amsterdam in the 17th century.
This market is one of my favourites of Amsterdam and is entirely dedicated to antiques, second-hand clothes, books, etc and art. If you’re interested in finding vintage clothing, antiques, world trade items and more in Amsterdam then visiting the Waterlooplein market is a great stop. For more information have a look at their website here.
This area nearby the Central Station of Amsterdam is very beautiful and cosy to walk through. You will see old warehouses turned into galleries, friendly cats and plenty of more. It’s definitely worth to walk through.
Discover the best restaurants and lunch cafes of Amsterdam
De Laatste kruimel
This small lunch restaurant/ cafe in Amsterdam is one of my favourite spots to eat lunch in Amsterdam. They have delicious sandwiches, scones, incredible quiches and more. There’s a small terrace for when the weather is a bit less grey and it’s time to watch people walk by, but the interior is also great to look at. Don’t forget to try their homemade lemonade. Oh, and if you’re a student, they offer a 10% discount with your student pass.
Selma is the best place in Amsterdam to go for fika. Yes, you guessed it, this place is a Swedish bakery where you can find great Scandinavian food. So if you’re interested in some Nordic food with a touch made from, in general, local products then you’re at your best place here.
Jan van Galenstraat 70
Take part in the best canal tour of Amsterdam
After lunch, it’s time for a great canal tour on your one day in Amsterdam. I wouldn’t recommend you to go to any random canal tour company in Amsterdam, but choose to spend your well-earned money at Those Dam Boat Guys instead. This company has smaller boats and bigger boats, more personal touch to the tour and will have you leaving wanting a longer tour. You are even allowed to bring your own food and drinks. Every tour is different as guides are able to change the routes whenever they like. Click here to go to their website for more information and tickets. A tour lasts around 90 minutes.
Best view of Amsterdam and skyline
For the best view of the skyline of Amsterdam, you have to go to the Nemo museum. While this science museum in Amsterdam is also very fun and interesting to visit, the restaurant at the rooftop offers the best views of Amsterdam. And the best part? It’s free to get to this rooftop. There’s no need to buy a drink, whatsoever. But when you’re there anyway, the best thing is to get a drink and let the view soak in.
Eat dinner at the best and top restaurants of Amsterdam
Bazar is one of my favourite (and best) foreign, North African and Middle Eastern restaurants of Amsterdam. It’s located in an old church in my favourite neighbourhood De Pijp. While the restaurant is very big, it doesn’t feel that way. It’s cosy, the staff are some of the friendliest and fun people you will meet and the food is great. It’s always busy here and especially during the weekends it might be useful to reserve a spot.
Albert Cuypstraat 182,
1073 BL Amsterdam
This great restaurant can be found in Amsterdam Noord (North) and it’ very cosy as well. The menu is very international but exists out of small dishes so you can explore different regions of the world and flavours. This restaurant is housed in a cultural centre, so many people come here before or after events.
They only accept payment by card, no cash is allowed.
Finish the first 24 hours in Amsterdam with a beer in a cute cafe
Belgisch beer-cafe De Zotte
I know that we’re in The Netherlands, but even as a Dutchie, I have to admit that Belgium beer is just a little bit better overall. That doesn’t mean Dutch beer is bad, not at all, but if you’re searching for the best Belgian beer cafe in Amsterdam, then you’d have to bring De Zotte a visit. It’s a perfect way to finish one day in Amsterdam with a great beer in the evening.
1016 XL Amsterdam
Day 2: the second day of the 48 hours in Amsterdam
For the second of the two days in Amsterdam itinerary, it’s time to dive a little deeper into the municipality of Amsterdam. You will discover that some of the things you have to do and see in Amsterdam in two days will leave you with a complete other vision of Amsterdam than before. There’s more to Amsterdam than the busy city. And during these 2 days in Amsterdam, which is a perfect 2 days Amsterdam itinerary during winter, autumn, spring and summer, you will discover the local version of Amsterdam.
The best breakfast of Amsterdam
To get started with your final perfect day of the two days in Amsterdam, it’s time for breakfast again.
If you’re looking for the best vegan breakfast in Amsterdam, then Healthybelly is a must visit. From green juices to incredible tasty granola and the best vegan pancakes in Amsterdam. Healthybelly is a great breakfast cafe and restaurant to start off your day in a healthy way.
Tweede Egelantiersdwarsstraat 12
Bakers & Roasters
At this great breakfast spot you eat some of the best eggs benedict in Amsterdam. But if you’re more a fan of pancakes or typical New Zealand drinks, then this is also your best breakfast restaurant in Amsterdam. This breakfast cafe is a mix between New Zealand and Brazil, plus incredible coffee.
Eerste Jacob van Campenstraat 54
Rent a bike and discover the villages of Landelijk (rural) Noord in Amsterdam
Rent a bike near the central train station of Amsterdam and cross the river with the free ferry in the direction of Buikslotermeer. From here cycle in the direction of the village of Zunderdorp. As you’re cycling away from the city of Amsterdam you will discover that there are meadows, endless grasslands, cows and sheep in the municipality of Amsterdam. Not something you thought of before right? The countryside in Amsterdam? It truly exists. Landelijk Noord, rural North of Amsterdam, is worth a cycle ride or a complete day when the weather is great.
After Zunderdorp you should continue cycling in the direction of Ransdorp. You will see Ransdorp in Amsterdam from a distance already as it’s famous for the church tower. And you can actually climb the tower for an amazing view over the entire area. Cycle further towards Durgerdam where you will discover an incredible view of Amsterdam from the other side of the IJ river and the cute village of Durgerdam. Via the Ij brug (Ij bridge) you will head back into Amsterdam again.
Eat another great lunch in Amsterdam
One of the best lunch spots and restaurants of Amsterdam is Vinnies. At this lunch cafe they use organic and local products whenever they can, and you can taste that. You can eat salads and sandwiches, drink the best juices and more. While it’s a very small and cosy lunch cafe in Amsterdam, it’s definitely worth a visit. You can also visit Vinnies for your daily dose of breakfast as it opens very early.
Nieuwezijdse Kolk 33
Eetsalon van Dobben
For some typical traditional Dutch food in Amsterdam for lunch or a quick snack, you’d have to go to Eetsalon van Dobben. Here you will find the best authentic and local snack called kroketten, or croquettes, of Amsterdam. Take a bun with a kroket and you’ll get the authentic experience of the great snacks that Dutch food has to offer in Amsterdam. Another tip, if you’re not a big eater then you can even eat the bun with a kroket (or two) for dinner. It’s one of the best places for cheap eats in Amsterdam, so if you’re looking for food but are on a budget in Amsterdam go to Eetsalon van Dobben.
Korte Reguliersdwarsstraat 5-7-9
Discover the Grachtenpand museum
The Grachtenpand museum in Amsterdam, or Museum of the Canals, is one of the many historic museums of Amsterdam and one that isn’t as popular just yet. There are different exhibitions throughout the year, but there is one permanent exhibition which can be found on the first floor. Here you will see and learn about the 400 year- old history of Amsterdam and its canals in combination with multimedia. The canals of Amsterdam have an incredible history and this museum will make you aware about why it’s even more special that you’re still walking on them today.
13+ 15 euros
Museumcard & Holland Pass free
Tuesday – Sunday 10:00 – 17:00
The museum is accessible to wheelchair users and other visitors that are not able to use stairs.
1016 CJ Amsterdam
Visit the Amsterdam forest
If you want to get rid of the endless crowds of bicycles and calm your nerves, then visiting this beautiful forest (Amsterdamse Bos) in Amsterdam is the best place to do it. It’s the most beautiful and biggest park in Amsterdam and one of the places you have to visit. Whether it’s winter, spring, summer or autumn, visiting this park in Amsterdam is one of the top things to do. You will watch people row, cycling, running, walking, sunbathing, etc. The Amsterdam forest is also one of my best spots to visit in Amsterdam during spring or summer. So if you’re looking for the best things to do in Amsterdam every season then travelling to one of the parks of Amsterdam is a great idea.
Eat the best Dutch or Indonesian dinner in Amsterdam
This special and unique restaurant in Amsterdam is located in a set of greenhouses that date back to the 1920s. They used to belong to the Amsterdam Municipal Nursery. My favourite thing about this restaurant is that the menu changes to whatever they have available and harvest, as they grow their own herbs and vegetables. Together with the best additional ingredients from local suppliers, you will be in for a big flavour sensation. You should always reserve a spot in advance, but it’s worth it.
Kamerlingh Onneslaan 3
1097 DE Amsterdam
Restaurant ‘t Zwaantje
For the best Dutch authentic food in Amsterdam, you’d have to go to this restaurant. At Restaurant ‘t Zwaantje you can find the real local, Dutch food in Amsterdam. From stamppot to mussels. It’s all here and this local restaurant is located in a sort of brown cafe. So you will find typical Dutch food in an authentic restaurant in Amsterdam. It doesn’t get any better than this.
1016 GH Amsterdam
If you’re looking for the best Indonesian restaurant in Amsterdam, then this is for you. One of my favourite things about restaurants like these is that they offer rijsttafel, which exists of plenty of dishes. This way you can get a real taste of what the Indonesian food is like. Choose rijsttafel number 2 and you will be pleasantly surprised.
Frederik Hendrikstraat 98,
1052 HZ Amsterdam
Watch a movie at the Filmhallen in Amsterdam
No matter what time of year it is in Amsterdam, watching a movie at the Filmhallen is always a good idea. When it’s autumn or winter and you’re looking for things to do in Amsterdam, visit the Filmhallen. The movies that are shown here aren’t the typical cinema movies. They are documentaries, quality and award-winning movies, short movies, etc. So if you’re looking for special and quality movies in a cinema in Amsterdam, visit the Filmhallen.
Get drinks and celebrate your last evening and night of two days in Amsterdam
This is one of my favourite cafes and spots to go for a drink in Amsterdam. Especially during spring, summer and the beginning of autumn Waterkant is completely filled with people. They are enjoying every sunray that they possibly can, with a drink of course.
1016 TL Amsterdam
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I hope this itinerary for 2 days in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, gave you a lot of inspiration for when you’re travelling to The Netherlands. Keep in mind that there is more than Amsterdam, so try to explore The Netherlands beyond Amsterdam with day trips. Visit Delft, Alkmaar, Nijmegen or Hoorn for instance. These cities are perfect and easy day trips from Amsterdam as they are nearby cities to Amsterdam that you can easily visit.
When it comes to this 2-day local itinerary for Amsterdam you can expand it into an Amsterdam itinerary for 3 days, especially in spring and summer. The reason? If you take a look at day two of the itinerary for Amsterdam you see the part about rural, or Landelijk Noord, Amsterdam North. When the weather is lovely it’s a great decision to get on your bike and make it into a full day trip from Amsterdam. You can swim at Durgerdam for instance, go for a picnic and enjoy the cool wind while you’re cycling. So if you’re looking for what to do in Amsterdam in 3 days, then expanding the cycle trip will be great. Share this post!!