Short on time, need an Amsterdam 3 day itinerary, and have no idea what to do in Amsterdam in 3 days?
I’ve got the perfect Amsterdam itinerary for you!
Amsterdam is a smaller city that is super walkable and bikable, making it an absolutely perfect place for a quick, Amsterdam itinerary.
But the Real Question is:
What should you do if you’re planning 3 days in Amsterdam?
You’re in luck because I recently did an Amsterdam itinerary of my own and know some super cool things that you can do in Amsterdam in 3 days.
So onwards to my least favorite aspect of travel…trip planning!
But in All Seriousness:
This Amsterdam three day itinerary will be fun.
I’ll throw in some CHEESY jokes and you can mock me along the way (get it? Amsterdam is known for cheese! Mildly endearin? No? Okay, swiftly moving on).
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***To get from Schiphol Airport to the city center, take the train. It will cost you approximately €5.10 each way, and trains depart just about every 15 minutes. Just exit the train at Amsterdam Centraal after 20 minutes and BOOM, you’re in the heart of Amsterdam!***
***WARNING! Before continuing this 3 days in Amsterdam itinerary, I need to let you know that tickets to the Anne Frank Museum and the Van Gogh Museum (two of the best museums in Amsterdam), MUST be booked in advance, online. ***
***Looking for one of the best hotels in Amsterdam? Then definitely check out Hotel Okura or Citizen M Amsterdam (if you’re looking for luxury), Hotel Van Gogh (if you’re looking for a mid-range hotel), or the Pulitzer (for a lovely boutique hotel). But hotels in Amsterdam tend to be pricy and fill up fast so book your hotel room WAY in advance!***
Amsterdam in One Day: AKA Day 1 of this Amsterdam Itinerary
***If you’re planning on visiting a ton of museums and top Amsterdam attractions, then definitely consider purchasing the I Amsterdam City Pass. I bought one and thought it was totally worth it since it saves you a ton of money. ***
Start Your Day in De Pijp Neighborhood with Breakfast at CT Coffee and Coconuts!
Obviously, we have to start of our Amsterdam in 3 days itinerary with my fave thing ever…food!
Yeah, it’s the perfect place to reenergize and start your day off right.
Between the fun, beachy decor, the fantastic staff, and the delicious yet healthy menu options, what’s not to love?
Just sit down and wait for a server to ask you for your order.
I chose the Green Coconut Bowl (I was trying to be mildly healthy before our next stop) which is a smoothie bowl that includes mango, passionfruit, avocado, spinach, and coconut milk. Totally yummy and I promise, you don’t even taste any of the greenery.
Not an early riser? No worries because CT Coffee and Coconuts serves breakfast from 8:00 am until 1:00 pm.
***This neighborhood is super cool and puts the FUN back in funk. Therefore, you’ll need to absorb some of this coolness by checking out the Wake Me When I’m Famous Mural (One of the most Instagrammable spots in Amsterdam. You can see what it looks like here).
Before You Leave this neighborhood, Visit Albert Cuypmarkt and Grab a Stroopwafel.
No idea what a stroopwafel is?
That’s cool because I didn’t know until I ate one at Albert Cuypmarkt. It consists of two cinnamon flavored, cookie-like waffles that are held together by a caramel-like sticky center.
But Where can you find the BEST Stroopwafel in Amsterdam?
The Original Stroopwafel stand at Albert Cuypmarkt. Truly one of the best desserts in Amsterdam.
But when you get your Stroopwafel, keep it horizontal until it cools.
These Amsterdam desserts are made to order and if you hold your Stroopwafel vertical too long, the sticky center will drip all over you.
So buyer beware!
Now on to Museumplein, the Culturally Enriching Part of seeing Amsterdam in a Day!
Before You Set Foot in a Museum:
Snag a selfie with the I Amsterdam sign.
Yes, it’s cliche AF but it’s also beautiful to think that no matter who you are or where you’re from, you too are part of Amsterdam and make it a special place.
Another beautiful example of how accepting this city is.
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Ушла эпоха: В Амстердаме демонтировали популярный у туристов арт-объект — надпись I Amsterdam. #туристер_новости 🚫Инициатором демонтажа стала общественная организация #GroenLinks, активисты которой полагают, что столица Нидерландов и без того страдает от избыточного турпотока, поэтому не стоит привлекать в город дополнительных туристов подобной рекламой. Организация вместе с другими партиями Нидерландов отстаивала своё предложение в местном суде. ⠀ 📌Напомним, надпись I Amsterdam появилась в 2004 году, когда страна переживала спад въездного турпотока. Надпись стала популярной у гостей страны и действительно выполнила свою маркетинговую функцию — привлекла в город миллионы туристов. ⠀ 😉Не забудь подписаться на @tourister.ru ⠀ Фото: Татьяна Лискер
*** Want a selfie without ten million people? Get up at 7:00 am and get here before all the tripod and selfie stick-wielding tourists.***
First Stop, Rijksmuseum
This dutch national museum is an amazing place. and contains almost anything you ever wanted to know about Dutch history.
With over 1 million artifacts that date from 1200 to 2000:
Rijksmuseum is a great place to see exquisite paintings from the Dutch Golden Age, meander through Asian artifacts, explore some Dutch military artifacts, and even learn a bit about Dutch history.
My Favorite Part?
For a book nerd like me, it’s the library housed in this museum.
Sigh, so many books and so little time.
I can’t wait to go back and experience some of this bookish awesomeness again (the American Book Center is a great place for book lovers too).
Now for Dutch Pancake Time at De Vier Pilaren!
I didn’t expect much from De Vier Pilaren. It was right on the canal, next to a canal tour station.
I really thought that it would be a total tourist trap.
The pancakes here are probably some of the best pancakes in Amsterdam, and I had one almost every day so that’s saying something.
This restaurant sits along the canal so you can eat outside and enjoy some casual, canalside dining.
I ordered the vegetable pancake since well, I’m a vegetarian.
It was flipping awesome! Get it? Pancakes are flipped! Okay yeah, anyway…
Sure, the service was mediocre but this restaurant is still worth a visit.
And since we’re right near the canal…
Might as well hop on a boat and explore the scenic canals of Amsterdam!
Enjoy a Canal Cruise and Exit Stage Right at the Anne Frank House.
***You CANNOT buy tickets there and MUST arrive at the EXACT time that is on your ticket.***
Now I’m Gonna Keep it Real:
The Anne Frank House is a moving tribute to a vivacious, thirteen-year-old girl, whose diary changed how generations of people perceive the world around them.
This museum reminds us of Anne Frank’s past so that we can enjoy a better future.
A tragic tale that will forever haunt our souls while forcing our hearts to cry out in anguish.
I would be doing you a total disservice if I didn’t mention this museum.
My words cannot do justice to this hauntingly beautiful tribute to the life of a thirteen-year-old girl; a life that was extinguished much too quickly.
So instead of trying to describe this museum badly:
I’ll just say that yes, this museum really is as devastatingly beautiful as everyone says and that yes, it is something that everyone should see during their 3 days in Amsterdam itinerary.
***Can’t get tickets? Many other top Amsterdam attractions and Jewish Cultural tours pay homage to this beautiful human. Try visiting the Jewish Historical Museum, the Dutch Resistance Museum, the National Holocaust Memorial, the Portuguese Synagogue, and the Children’s Jewish Historical Museum. ***
FREEDOM! Explore Jordaan!
This neighborhood is one of the most picturesque areas in Amsterdam.
Take some time to aimlessly meander through an endless labyrinth of canals and experience the beauty of the historic canal houses that give Amsterdam it’s unique charm.
Since You’re Here Anyway:
Might as well stop by Winkle 43 and indulge in some of the best apple pie that I’ve ever tasted (PS: my grandmother used to make homemade apple pie all the time so I know good apple pie when I taste it).
Looking for Something a Bit More Savoury?
You can also eat at the Pancake Bakery, an Amsterdam pancake institution serves an assortment of savory and sweet pancakes that are so delicious that you’ll have a hard time NOT licking the plate.
And if you ask me to share my pancake, I might just stab you with my fork.
Kidding. Sort of…
***If you have some extra time while you’re in this amazing city, you can also check out one fo these amazing day trips from Amsterdam.***
How is it Already Day 2 of this 3 Day Amsterdam Itinerary?
Let’s Start off with my favorite thing:
Dutch pancakes from the Happy Pig Pancake Shop! This informal pancake joint has friendly staff and delicious food.
I ordered a cheese, almond, and honey pancake which was divine. But the menu is informal (and inexpensive) so you can build your own pancake and order almost any pancake you can imagine.
But save room!
Literally, the BEST chocolate cookies of your life are two minutes down the road at Van Stapele Cookies.
This vintage style bakery sells one thing and that’s homemade chocolate cookies that are served hot and stuffed with a gooey, white chocolate center.
But are these cookies really worth the hype?
You bet they are!
So After You’ve Hoovered Your Cookies in Two Seconds Flat:
Walk over to the Red Light District in the morning since everyone else explores this unofficial Amsterdam institution at night.
I don’t get the appeal. It’s basically women in bathing suits who are dancing in windows.
But I’m also not a guy looking for a good time so I’m probably not their target audience.
A Brief Pause So I Can Preach for Two Seconds:
Respect these women and do NOT take photos. This is one of my biggest pet peeves and one of the most common mistakes that foreigners make.
These women are not super excited about their profession and want to maintain a certain level of privacy by avoiding their photos getting splashed all over the internet.
Okay, rant over. Just Don’t be THAT Guy (or girl).
Now it’s time for the Rembrandt Museum; a museum that gives you a fascinating look into the life and artistry of Rembrandt (He went broke and had to declare bankruptcy and was buried in a poor man’s grave! Crazy Right? Makes me feel better about my life choices).
(Want a great canal shot? Make a left when exiting the museum and then make another left when you hit the canal. You’ll see a huge market and if you keep walking straight and then turn left again, you’ll run into a beautiful neighborhood with amazing views.)
At the Rembrandt museum:
Not only do you get to view his work, but you also get to see how his home was decorated and watch how he created the artistic masterpieces that we enjoy today.
No, no one paints like him.
But they do offer live demonstrations so you can see how his paints were made and how his canvases were built.
All this work is making me hungry though!
So meander on over to De Koffieschenkerij; a charming cafe that sits in the yard of the De Oude Kirkand.
(aka a giant beautiful church that you should visit ).
Here, they offer an assortment of cakes, coffees, and sandwiches for you to choose from.
So whether you are looking for a snack or something a bit more substantial, De Koffieschenkerij has got you covered.
Now It’s literally just a hop, skip, and jump to Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder!
If you think I’ve started speaking in tongues, you’ll be relieved to know that this is just the Dutch name for the Our Lord in the Attic church.
And if you’re sighing because ANOTHER church is on this 3 day Amsterdam itinerar, I promise that this church is WAY cooler than a normal church.
Just think of this church as the James Bond of churches since it is hidden in the attic of a 17th-century canal house!
(As a result of the Protestant Reformation in the Netherlands, Catholics could only practice their faith within the privacy of their own home)
Pretty baller right?
Plus, the entire house was refurbished and transformed into a museum where you can step back in time and experience what life in 17th-century Amsterdam was really like, for the rich anyway.
They also have an audio guide that gives you a ton of great info that not surprisingly, I can’t remember right now.
Three Cheers for Getting Older…NOT!
O-M-G! Next is Dinner at Upstairs Pannekoeken!
Not only are the pancakes at Upstairs Pannekoeken delicious, but the owners are SUPER nice (they also only take cash) and let me sit down even though I had no reservation.
I chose the pineapple and cheese pancake. I know it sounds bizarre but it was really good. Kind of how I imagine pineapple pizza to taste.
This restaurant has an intimate, eclectic vibe since the stairs upstairs are super steep and the restaurant is itty bitty, like about 6 small tables tiny.
But you must dine here since this is a local staple.
Just don’t be like me and rely on the kindness of strangers, Instead, be smart and make a reservation since this place is ALWAYS packed.
***Have extra time in Amsterdam? Then visit the Amsterdam Museum. This museum is HUGE! I had no idea Amsterdam had such an extensive history. Between all the maps, artifacts, interactive exhibits, and paintings. You could easily spend several hours here so this is a great Amsterdam museum to visit and add to your Amsterdam itinerary. There is also a lovely, outdoor courtyard where you can sit, relax, enjoy some drinks, and have a nice lunch.***
Day 3 (Sob) of our Epic Amsterdam Itinerary
***This is the only day where I recommend renting a bike. The first half of the itinerary is centrally located but after that, you’ll need to commandeer a bike. Otherwise, you’ll be walking for well over an hour. ***
Three cheers for sleeping in since Blue Amsterdam doesn’t even open until 10 am.
And if You Don’t Enjoy Sleeping in:
Can I be you? No really! I feel like my life would be so much easier if I actually enjoyed getting up at the crack of dawn.
But whatever, back to the food!
Admittedly you’re not here so much for the food as you are for the view. See, this restaurant provides diners with a three hundred and sixty-degree view of Amsterdam; which is pretty amazing since this restaurant is only twelve stories up, right on top of a local mall.
This restaurant and bar aren’t much of a secret. Therefore, dining early is a great way to beat the crowds.
Now in terms of food:
I got a fig, goat cheese, and sweet potato salad that was delicious. But if that sounds gross to you, they offer an assortment of other salads, sandwiches, and soups to choose from that, I promise, aren’t ridiculously expensive.
It’s an easy walk to Museum Van Loon (and FOAM if you have time)!
What, you’ve never heard of this museum? yeah, me neither until I visited.
But I have no idea why it isn’t famous, just look at that garden!
Talk about an Instagrammer’s dream! This garden is so pretty… it sort of makes my photos look good!
Just don’t forget to explore the museum too!
See, all the super rich, fab families of Amsterdam had homes along the city’s many canals. That’s why you know that the inside of this home is gonna be snazzy indeed.
And Guess What?
The Van Loon family were the co-founders of a little company known as the East India Tea Company!
Not this chick. Saving it for Who Wants to be a Millionaire.
Do take some time to explore this historic residence during your 3 days in Amsterdam.
Built in 1672:
This mansion retains a historic splendor that is reflected in a multitude of indoor furnishings that date back to the Duitch Golden Age.
***If you have time, try and visit the FOAM Museum right down the street; a museum that is dedicated to photography. Here you’ll find fascinating, modern exhibits that force you to question the world around you but in the best possible way. Yeah, I had to pick my jaw up off the floor.****
It’s that Time again!
Food, glorious food, at the Breakfast Club! Like the movie only they give you food.
You probably won’t find any angsty teenagers here. Instead, you’ll find great service, pleasant outdoor dining, wicked pancakes, yummy avocado toast, and prices that won’t make you cry.
Amsterdam Itinerary 3 days: We’re in the Home Stretch!
Next, We’re Going to Bike to Westerpark.
While here, you can explore the park from the many walking and biking trails that snake through this expansive park.
Just Keep Your Eyes Open for a Real Dutch Windmill!
Truthfully, I almost missed the HUGE windmill since well, it’s not in the park. It’s actually to the left of the park if you’re coming from Jordaan. Just walk halfway through the park and it will literally be right across the street.
***If you want to get further off the beaten path, then skip Vondelpark and head to Oosterpark instead. Just 30 minutes outside of the city center, this park is quiet, relaxing, and a nice respite from the chaotic frenzy and more touristic feeling of more centrally located green spaces. ***
Once you Take all your Windmill Pictures but Before You Hop on the Ferry to NDSM:
You should know that when you look up the location of the ferry on Google Maps, Google is wrong.
Sorry Google, it had to happen eventually.
Yes, Google directs you to the old ferry location. Travel there and you’ll find a very closed ferry port. Like caution tape closed.
To find the new ferry terminal and avoid my Amsterdam travel mistakes, just follow your google map directions until the final turn.
Instead of going right:
You’ll go left and walk straight for about 300 meters. Once here, you’ll see the ferry dock on your right.
The flock of locals with bikes will be a clear sign that you’re in the right place.
And yes, this Amsterdam day trip is worth it.
Not only is the ferry free, but the ride is short. Like 15 minutes short.
This part of Amsterdam is unlike any other area in the city.
Here, you’ll only find converted warehouses that are decorated with mesmerizing street art and rather quirky, hipster decor.
It’s hard to describe so you just need to see it to believe it.
Check out Pilek for some great food in a fun and friendly atmosphere.
Then just sit back, enjoy the vibrant music, and savor the beautiful street art of a waterside, cultural hotspot that will make you forget that you’re actually traveling in Amsterdam.
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*** So, I haven’t really discussed Dam Square much during our 3 days in Amsterdam and that’s because I find it to be SUPER touristy. However, there are a few cool things to do here. First, visit Chipsy King for the BEST French fries in Amsterdam (on Damstraat next to the National Monument). Then, explore the constantly changing exhibits ta Nieuwe Kerk, visit the historic architecture of Magna Plaza which used to be a giant post office(now a shopping mecca), and lastly, the Royal Palace, which annoyingly enough doesn’t open until 11 am. Honestly, the Royal Palace and it’s iconic, Gothic-style architecture is probably my favorite part of Dam Square. Built in 1655 as the city hall, this building was later converted into a royal palace that can be visited today. Just book your tickets in advance since the interior is exquisite and the lines can be rather long.***