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The Ultimate Amsterdam 3 Day Itinerary + Secret Expert Tips for 2024

Short on time, need an Amsterdam 3 day itinerary, and have no idea what to do in Amsterdam in 3 days?

Well, no worries because I’ve got the perfect 3 days in Amsterdam itinerary for you!

Trust me, I have been to Amsterdam numerous times and think that 3 days is the perfect amount of time to see the city.

After all, Amsterdam is a smaller city that is super walkable and bikable, making it an absolutely perfect place for a quick visit or a weekend trip to Amsterdam.

And since I’ve been to Amsterdam a whole bunch of times, I’m gonna show you exactly where to go and what to do with 72 hours in Amsterdam.

So, stop stressing and start using this secret expert’s guide to plan the perfect trip to Amsterdam.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more information. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases. 

Contents show

How to Save Time During Your 3 Day Amsterdam Itinerary

Not only is Amsterdam a super popular destination for tourists from all across the globe, but, you’re sort on time and find yourself planning a quick, 3 day Amsterdam itinerary.

So, you can’t really afford to spend hours waiting in line to see top Amsterdam landmarks, like the Anne Frank House.

Instead, you need epic insider advice that will help you quickly and easily sit all the top attractions in Amsterdam.

So, give this section a quick read if you want to save time and money the next time you spend 72 hours in Amsterdam.

1. Get The Amsterdam City Card

View of the I Amsterdam sign in the middle of Amsterdam.

⭐️ Rating: 4.4/5 (2659 Reviews) Price: Starts at $58.96 for one-day Duration: 1-5 days 📍Meeting Point: I Amsterdam Store Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!

Honestly, I highly recommend getting the Amsterdam City Card since it will save you tons of time and money on all of the best things to do in Amsterdam, especially if you solo travel Amsterdam.

Firstly, they have a great 72-hour card that, for just $108.09, provides you with access to:

  • Free entrance to 70+ museums in Amsterdam (including the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam Castle Muiderslot, Museum Het Rembrandthuis, Museum Van Loon, etc.)
  • Unlimited use of GVB public transport in Amsterdam (bus, tram, and metro)
  • Free canal cruise in Amsterdam
  • 24-hour bicycle rental
  • And more!!!

So, as you can see, the card quickly pays for itself. Especially since a single museum can easily cost €20.00 to enter.

Therefore, if this is your first time in Amsterdam, then I would highly recommend purchasing an Amsterdam City Card right now!

And trust me, you won’t just have access to second-rate attractions you don’t want to see.

“Me and my girlfriend went to Amsterdam in the last week of October for a few days and got the Amsterdam card for 2 days of the trip and we managed to get so much done! We went to the ARTIS Zoo, Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, Moco museum and went on a canal cruise. We also went to the Body Worlds exhibition. The card is definitely value for money and I just wish I’d have got an extra day on it to do more things. Amsterdam is amazing and the I Amsterdam City Card is 100% worth getting!”

Anonymous (read more reviews now)

No, you’ll get to enjoy top spots like Foam (Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam), Tassenmuseum Hendrikje (Museum of Bags and Purses. Trust me, it’s really cool.), and more.

Additionally, you’ll also enjoy a 25% discount or free food/drinks from a variety of associated businesses.

So yeah, there’s really no downside to purchasing the Amsterdam City Card.

Pros Cons
Free admission to 70+ top museumsHigh initial investment especially for cards covering more days
Free cruise through the canals of AmsterdamDoes not include transport outside Amsterdam and NS train travel
Unlimited use of bus, tram, and metroTransportation on trains or buses operated by Connexxion, Arriva and EBS
Choose any duration between 1 and 5 days

2. Be Sure to Purchase Skip-the-Line Tickets

If you decide for whatever reason that you don’t want to purchase the Amsterdam City Card then that is totally fine.

You can always just buy tickets for individual attractions instead. However, if you do this then be sure to buy skip-the-line tickets well in advance.

This way you can avoid wasting a ton of time waiting in line. And for some attractions, you’ll visit during your 3 days in Amsterdam itinerary, you’ll need to do this anyway since tickets to places like the Anne Frank House sell out months in advance.

So, places you might want to get skip-the-line tickets for include:

Where to Stay in Amsterdam

Not sure where to stay during your 3 days in Amsterdam itinerary? If so then check out my picks for the best hotels in Amsterdam.

Because regardless of your budget there is a perfect place to stay in Amsterdam for you!

  • MEININGER Hotel Amsterdam Amstel (budget) – If you’re short on cash then this is the Amsterdam hostel for you. Not only does this place feel more like a boutique hotel than a hostel, but it’s well-located near the Amstel station. Plus, everything is clean and you have ample outlets by your bed.
  • Singel Hotel Amsterdam (mid-range) – This charming place overlooks a canal in Jordaan and is a 5-minute walk from Central Station. Rooms here are also fairly relaxed and include a breakfast buffet/on-site bike rentals.
  • Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam (Luxury) – If you want to live the high life in Amsterdam then this is the place to be. You’ll be a 5-minute walk from the Royal Palace, get a Nespresso machine/Bose sound system in your room, have access to an indoor pool, and can use a sleek 2-floor spa. Yup, dreams really do come true…if you have the cash for them. LOL.

Book this Anne Frank Tour now!! It introduces you to secret parts of Amsterdam 🇳🇱 most visitors don’t see. You also get to enjoy EPIC apple pie 🥧 and get essential context for your visit to the Anne Frank House.

Day 1: Amsterdam 3 Day Itinerary City Highlights

Before you begin your 3 days in Amsterdam day itinerary, start your day off in the De Pijp Neighborhood with breakfast at CT Coffee and Coconuts!

Because this is the perfect place for your to re-energize and start your 72 hours in Amsterdam off right.

And 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 went with Green Coconut Bowl 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.

Pro Tip: If you don’t want to get up early for your Amsterdam 3 day itinerary then not to worry because they serve breakfast until 1:00 pm. You can also skip breakfast and just eat at the market instead.

Wake Me When I’m Famous Mural (Optional)

Wake Me Up When I'm Famous Mural in Amsterdam

Either after breakfast or before the market, explore this fun and funky neighborhood of De Pijp.

And you can start by hitting up one of the most Instagrammable spots in Amsterdam, aka the Wake Me When I’m Famous Mural.

Depending on how many people are here and how much you love taking photos here, you could spend anywhere between 5 minutes and 1+ hours. So, budget your time based on how much you love photo ops.

Pro Tip: If you want to avoid crowds I suggest getting up early and visiting BEFORE you have breakfast. This way this iconic photo spot won’t be overflowing with people.

Visit Albert Cuypmarkt for a Stroopwafel

Me holding a Stroopwafel from Albert Cuyp Market during my 3 days in Amsterdam itinerary,.

What, are you not sure 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, the real question is, where can you find the BEST Stroopwafel in Amsterdam?

Well, at The Original Stroopwafel stand at Albert Cuypmarkt. Yup, these guys serve up one of the best desserts in Amsterdam.

But when you get your Stroopwafel, keep it horizontal until it cools. Yeah, I didn’t do that and the center of the Stroopwafel ran all over the place when I tried to take this photo.

However, it’s a small price to pay since this delicious treat is made to order. Then, afterward, explore all that the largest open-air market in Europe has to offer.

Just remember that it’s open from Monday through Saturday and includes a wide variety of fruit, vegetable, cheese, and fish stands where you can buy the best food-related souvenirs from Amsterdam.

This is also a great place to do an Amsterdam food tour since your guide will take you to all the foodie hot spots.

The Heineken Experience (Optional)

⭐️ Rating: 4.5/5.0 (1194 Reviews) Price: $25.27 per person Duration: 1.5 hours 📍Meeting Point: Amsterdam Oud-Zuid, 1072 AE Amsterdam Operator: GetYourGuide Tours & Tickets GmbH Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!

Real talk? I am not a fan of the Heineken Experience at all but put it on this Amsterdam 3 day itinerary for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, the Heineken Experience is one of the top things to do in Amsterdam and most tourists absolutely love it. So, even if I’m not a fan, you should still have the option to visit.

Secondly, the place is only about a five-minute walk away from the market. So, if you want to go during your 3 days in Amsterdam then now is the time.

Other than that, what you can expect from the Heineken Experience? Well, step inside the original Heineken Brewery, which was founded in 1867 by Gerard Adriaan Heineken.

Once there you’ll go on a 1.5-hour self-guided tour of the facility and learn all about, you guessed it, Heineken Beer.

“The tour was really great, it is both guided and self guided. If you would like to take your time and read all the facts about Heineken, you can do so at your own paste! No need to follow the tour guide at all and feel rushed. Lots of hidden gems within this tour that I did not expect!! Definitely a must! 🤗”

Anonymous (read more reviews now)

Not only will you listen to a short presentation in the factory, but you’ll get to understand the company’s heritage and learn all about how they brew their world-famous beer with four all-natural ingredients.

You’ll then conclude the experience with a tasting that includes two drinks that amount to a small taste of Heineken.

This place is mega popular though so be sure to book your tickets well in advance if you’re interested in visiting.

Pro Tip: They do not accept cash and late arrivals will not be accepted. So, be sure to arrive prior to the time stated on your ticket.

This experience is also not included with the Amsterdam City Card but you do get a 25% discount.

Get a free sample at the endMust be at least 18 years old to visit
Self-guided so you can move at your own paceVery touristy and crowded
Easy to get toNo audio or tour guide provided
Great way to learn about beer makingNo cash accepted

Skinny Bridge/Magere Brug (Optional and can be seen during the Canal Cruise too)

View of the canals of Amsterdam and the skinny bridge across the water with canal boats in front during your Amsterdam 3 day itinerary.

This next stop on our Amsterdam 3 day itinerary is another photo op and is totally optional. So, if you’re photoed out then feel free to skip this spot.

However, any James Bond fans out there might want to make a pit stop here since the Skinny Bridge was featured in the film Diamonds Are Forever.

Additionally, this picturesque local landmark was initially built in 1670 and was so tiny that it would only allow two people to move past one another.

However, since then the bridge has been expertly widened twice. Therefore, you can now comfortably pass others as you walk over the bridge.

Or, alternatively, you can stand on the side and watch as the bridge opens up to let canal boats through.


Before you set foot in a museum, take a look at all the beautiful buildings around you. I woudl say snag a signature selfie with the “I  Amsterdam” sign but it was removed in 2018.

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.

Yup, just another beautiful example of how accepting this city is.

Now, there are a ton of amazing museums in Museumplein. However, since you are short on time I would select one or two Amsterdam museums that you really want to see.

So, while you’re in “Museum Square” are your choices are:

  • The Rijksmuseum – The biggest and most famous museum in the country, with tons of paintings from the Dutch Golden Age. You also will enjoy free admission with the Amsterdam City Card. I would suggest visiting.
  • The Van Gogh Museum – Probably my most FAVORITE museum in the city and 100% my top pick for one museum to visit in Museumplein, with the Rijksmuseum being a close runner-up. Admission is NOT included with the Amsterdam card (as of 2022) but you should definitely go. So, book tickets well in advance to see upwards of 200 of his most famous works.
  • The MOCO – Super fun museum to go to if you love street art and have a fondness for Banksy. Admission is also included with the Amsterdam City Card and I would DEFFO visit if you have extra time during your 3 days in Amsterdam itinerary.
  • The Stedelijk Museum – Very cool museum of contemporary art and design. I enjoyed my time here and you will too if you enjoy modern art. Admission is also included with the Amsterdam City Card but do book your tickets in advance if you don’t plan to get the Amsterdam City Card.

Pro Tip: Please be mindful of time. If you did the Heineken Experience I would just select one museum to visit on this list (aka The Van Gogh Musuem).

However, if you skipped it and were quick at the market then I would check out the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum.

It just depends on time and how much you love museums. Try to limit the time spent at each museum to about 1.5 hours.

And if you’re really not into visiting museums during your Amsterdam 3 days itinerary then check out the House of Bols Experience near Museumplein instead.

You’ll learn all about how they create the oldest brand of spirits in the world and will even get to try a delicious cocktail at the end.


View of the books inside the shelves of the Rijksmuseum Library and the spiral staircase that you can see during 72 hours in Amsterdam.

⭐️ Rating: 4.6/5.0 (12693 Reviews) Price: $25.82 per person Duration: 1 day📍Meeting Point: Rijksmuseum Operator: GetYourGuide Tours & Tickets GmbH Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!

Now, the first actual stop during your Amsterdam 3 day itinerary in Museumplein is Rijksmuseum.

After all, this is the dutch national museum and it is an amazing place where you can learn everything you ever wanted to know about Dutch history.

Because with 8.,000 objects on display in 80+ galleries – that date all the way from 1200 to today – there is something for everyone at Rijksmuseum.

“Wish we had more time! Also needed more signs to direct us around the museum. One attendant in Religious/medieval art area was especially helpful and informative. Wish guards would NOT permit ‘selfies’ or taking photos of friends in front of the art. Van Gogh Museum has that policy.”

Anonymous (read more reviews now)

However, iconic highlights include exquisite paintings from the Dutch Golden Age (aka works from Rembrandt, Jan Steen, and Frans Hals), historic doll houses, Dutch military antiquities, and more.

Whatever you do though, don’t leave without visiting the stunning masterpieces in the Gallery of Honour
and seeing ‘The Night Watch’ by Rembrandt.

But, my favorite part? Well, for a total book nerd like me, it’s the library housed in this museum. Sigh, so many books and so little time.

Pro Tip: FYI, The American Book Center is a great place for book lovers too).

You can skip the line at the ticket officeSpecial exhibits and the Vermeer exhibition are not included
Free WifiNo audio or tour guided included
Get access to the permanent collection

The Van Gogh Museum

Self-portrait of Vincent Van Gogh from the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam.

⭐️ Rating: 4.7/5.0 (20,912 Reviews) Price: $24.17 per person Duration: 1.5 hours 📍Meeting Point: Van Gogh Museum Operator: GetYourGuide Tours & Tickets GmbH Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!

Honestly, if you only visit one museum during your 3 day Amsterdam itinerary then let this one be it.

Because I pinkie promise you that this incredible museum in Amsterdam is 100% worth the price of admission, the time, and dealing with the insane crowds.

Now, yes, this place will be crowded AF. And, yes, you will have to book your ticket well in advance. Tickets are also ONLY available online so you cannot NOT buy them on-site.

But, it’s worth it to see over 200 paintings, 750 letters, and 500 drawings from the man, the myth, the legend…Vincent Van Gogh.

“The ticket is essential for access and as expected it is busy, but the exhibitions span across multiple floors organised by the years of van Goghs life. Recommend you buy the audio guide ticket as well as it has great and moving details about the paintings and the artist. I came away from this appreciating Van Gogh as an artist and as a person much more. Definitely budget 2 hours or more if you’d like to spend enough time viewing all of the areas and listening to the guide.”

Anonymous (read more reviews now)

Plus, with your ticket you’ll be able to enjoy access to cool temporary exhibits that change around three times per year.

So, feel free to take in the world’s biggest collection of Van Gogh paintings – like Sunflowers, The Potato Eaters, and Almond Blossom – as you learn about the artist, his ambitions, the context of his work, and his influence.

Just try and limit yourself to around 1.5 hours – 2.0 hours here so that you can have enough time to enjoy the rest of this Amsterdam 3 day itinerary.

Pro Tip: Try to reserve a time between 9:00 am and 11:00 am or after 3:00 pm since the museum is packed between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm.

Admission at a time you enjoyNo hotel pick up/drop off
Access to temporary exhibitsNo live guide included
Free cancellation up to 24 hours in advance
Get a handheld audio guide in 11+ languages

Dutch Pancakes at De Vier Pilaren

Aerial view of a Dutch pancakes with blueberries and raspberries.

Honestly? I didn’t expect much from De Vier Pilaren. It was right on the canal, next to a canal tour station.

Therefore, I really thought that it would be a total tourist trap during my Amsterdam 3 day itinerary.

But no! The pancakes here are probably some of the best pancakes in Amsterdam, and I had one almost every day during my 72 hours in Amsterdam.

Plus, this restaurant sits along the canal so you can eat outside and enjoy some casual, canalside dining.

Me? I ordered the vegetable pancake since well, I’m a vegetarian. And it was flipping awesome! Get it? Pancakes are flipped!

Sure, the service was mediocre but this restaurant is still worth a visit. And since you’re right near the canal let’s hop on a boat and explore the scenic canals of Amsterdam!

Anne Frank House

Biker going past the exterior of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.

⭐️ Rating: 5.0/5.0 (95 Reviews) Price: $100.57 per group Duration: 3.5 hours 📍Meeting Point: Portuguese Synagogue Details: Read more on Viator Now!

Hop on a taxi boat and take that to Anne Frank House. Enjoy the scenic views along the way since these canals are what the city is known for.

Pro Tip: If you have a bit of extra time you could also book a formal Amsterdam canal cruise and enjoy a 60-minute boat experience since this type of tour is included with the purchase of an Amsterdam City Card.

In order to visit the Anne Frank House, you have a few options. You can either visit as part of this amazing tour or you can reserve tickets months in advance and do an independent visit.

Now, this is a very somber and culturally important site to see during your 3 day Amsterdam itinerary.

So, I highly recommend experiencing this as part of a tour. This way you’ll have a better appreciation for what you’re actually seeing.

And during this private tour, you’ll start off at the Portuguese Synagogue.

It’s easily one of the most beautiful buildings in the city and a great place to learn about Amsterdam’s Jewish history before continuing to the Jewish Historical Museum and JHM Children’s Museum.

It’s here that you’ll stand in awe of the four Jewish synagogues of the Museum before heading to Dokwerker to learn about the February strike, in 1941, against the Nazis.

Next, pass the gorgeous Hortus Botanicus, see The Memorial of Auschwitz in Wertheimpark, explore the stunning Plantage neighborhood, and hear stories about citizens hiding from Nazis in the Amsterdam Zoo.

You’ll then see the Holocaust Namenmonument, and the 100,000+ names of Jewish Holocaust victims here, before walking to Dam Square to admire the Royal Palace and the Nieuwe Kerk.

The tour itself was wonderful. Seeing Anne Frank’s house was certainly a bucket list item. But our tour guide was amazing. She was so knowledgeable about all of the Jewish history and all aspects of what they went through. I highly recommend her as a tour guide. She left us with so much information and food for thought.”

Barbara (read more reviews now)

Finally, stop by the magnificent Westerkerk church tower, which Anne admired from her window, and listen to the gorgeous bells before ending your tour at the exterior of the Anne Frank House.

Once here, you’ll learn all about the museum from the outside before receiving your tickets and visiting the museum independently (it’s super small so your guide won’t go inside).

Yeah, I’ve visited the museum independently and after a tour and much preferred my visit after my tour.

I’d also recommend reading 13-year-old Anne Frank’s diary before you visit the house.

This way you’ll understand where she lived and why she hid from the Nazis in a small annex here, with eight other people, from 1942 to 1944.

Private guided English Tour of the Jewish QuarterNo hotel drop off or pick up
Admission and tour of the interior of the Anne Frank House if booked 7 weeks in advanceExpensive for solo travelers
Coffee or tea is included, as is a slice of the best apple pie in AmsterdamNon-refundable
Available at 10:00 am/2:00 pm, 7 days a weekIf tickets to the Anne Frank house are sold out you may see a Virtual Reality version

Explore the Jordaan Neighborhood (Optional if You Did the Above Tour)

View of the apple pie with whipped cream from Winkel 43,

This neighborhood is one of the most picturesque areas in Amsterdam.

Therefore, take some time to aimlessly meander through an endless labyrinth of canals and experience the beauty of the historic canal houses that give Amsterdam its unique charm.

So, you’ll see a ton of red brick houses and can pass by the Westerkerk church while you’re here since it’s the largest Protestant church in the country.

Next, stop by Winkel 43 and indulge in some of the best apple pie that I’ve ever tasted.

And yes, my grandmother used to make homemade apple pie all the time so I know good apple pie when I taste it.

But, if you did the aforementioned tour, keep walking since you’ll stop here as part of that expeirence.

What, looking for something a bit more savory? Well, then you can also eat at the Pancake Bakery, an Amsterdam pancake institution that serves an assortment of savory and sweet pancakes.

Yeah, they are so delicious that you’ll have a hard time NOT licking your plate clean during your Amsterdam 3 day itinerary.

Day 2: Amsterdam 3 Day itinerary (Dam Square and More)

View of delicious chocolate chip cookies from Van Stapele in Amsterdam.

Okay, let’s start off with my favorite thing in the world…Dutch pancakes! And there is no better place to get them then at Happy Pig Pancake Shop.

See, this informal pancake joint has friendly staff and delicious food. Personally, I ordered a cheese, almond, and honey pancake which was divine.

However, the menu is casual/inexpensive. Therefore, you can build your own pancake and order almost anything you can imagine during your Amsterdam 3 day itinerary.

Just save room because the BEST chocolate cookies of your life are two minutes down the road at Van Stapele Cookies.

Yup, 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.

Dam Square

Aerial view of people and trams moving through Dam Square in Amsterdam.

Okay, let’s start off the second day of your Amsterdam itinerary 3 days with a trip to Dam Square.

After all, this is an iconic local landmark that is a mere 10-minute walk from the Van Stapele cookie shop.

While you’re here, be sure to admire the National Monument or check out the Nieuwe Kerk (aka New Church) during a guided tour.

In fact, this gothic-style chuirch from the 15th century is so stunning that it actually plays host to various Royal weddings and ceremonies.

If you want, you can even enjoy a bit of retail therapy at De Bijenkorf before heading inside the Royal Palace.

Tour the Royal Palace

View of the stunning Amsterdam Royal Palace with colorful Tulips out front.

⭐️ Rating: 4.6/5.0 (2744 Reviews) Price: $13.73 per person Duration: 1 day 📍Meeting Point: Royal Palace Amsterdam Operator: Royal Palace Amsterdam Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!

Okay, this giant, opulent, super historic building in Dam Square was originally constructed as a Town Hall.

In fact, it was modeled after the Roman palaces of the day and served as the Town Hall from the 17th century to the 19th century.

Eventually, this lavish structure was renovated in 2009 and is now open to eager tourists such as yourselves who want to learn more about what Amsterdam was like during the Dutch “Golden Age”.

Sadly, though, admission is not included with the Amsterdam City Card.

So, you’ll have to purchase a skip-the-line ticket now to avoid long queues. And since the price of paying online and paying in person are the same, it’s worth it to book in advance.

You’ll also love that an audio guide is available with your purchase, making it easy to learn all sorts of cool things as you admire masterpieces from the Dutch Golden Age and enjoy sculptures from Govert Flinck/Ferdinand Bol.

“Exciting to see the palace where so much Dutch history has been made. You can only peek into the rooms from the doorway, but people take their turns so you can see the entire room. There is no guide, but the price of admission includes head sets. Pictures are allowed, but no flash.”

Anonymous (read more reviews now)

Just don’t forget to stroll through the marble-embued Citizens’ Hall and enjoy the statue of Atlas with the sky on his shoulders.

Pro Tip: Be sure to download the Get Your Guide app to get the QR code for the ticket so that staff can scan it when you arrive.

Building wheelchair accecsibleFinal entry is early at 4:15 pm
Audio guide free and in 8 different languages
Can show up any time you like

The Béguinage (Begijnhof)

View of the charming houses inside of the Begijinhof.

Known for being one of the most historic inner courtyards in the city, a visit to Begijnhof is an essential part of any Amsterdam 3 day itinerary.

However, what you might not know is that this spot has been home to a secluded, Catholic women’s community since the 14th century – making this one of the most unusual things to do in Amsterdam.

And although there are no Beguine, or women of the Catholic sisterhood, currently in residence, this is still one of most charming parts of the city.

Thankfully, this private residence is also open to the public, giving you the chance to visit a private garden that is surrounded by a lovely home and two churches.

Pro Tip: Please note that this place is only open daily from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Bloemenmarkt (Flower Market)

Since we’re basically in the Tulip capital of the world, it would be a crime not to walk five minutes down the road to see the flower market.

Yes, it’s a bit touristy and it will be crowded. But, it’s a great way to see tulips and pick up tulip-related items without having to make a special trip out to the tulip fields of the Netherlands in the spring.

Plus, they have bulbs and tulip bouquets available in every color imaginable, as well as postcards, magnets, Dutch clogs, wooden tulips, and more.

So, shop til you drop as you make the most of your 3 days in Amsterdam.

Zuiderkerk and Nieuwmarkt

The brick castle in the middle of Nieuwmarkt.

From here, take a leisurely stroll along Kloveniersburgwal canal until you reach Zuiderkerk church in about 10 or so minutes.

It’s actually a lovely Protestant Church from the 17th-century that offers visitors sweeping views from the bell tower.

However, this part of the church is only open at select times of the day and it’s an area that must be visited with a guide.

That being said, it’s worth the hassle to see Nieuwmarkt in a whole new way.

The panoramas here also help you understand why this place was important to Rembrandt and the subject of a Claude Monet painting.

Next, continue to Nieuwmakt Square. You’ll know you’ve reached the next destination on your Amsterdam 3 day itinerary when you see a giant brick castle (with turrets) in the middle of a wide open space.

Yeah, it looks a little odd but this edifice was actually an ancient gateway to the city that has been transformed into a local cafe.

Feel free to check out the gorgeous Dutch Renaissance architecture of the Waag Building before heading over to Chinatown or shopping at a Farmer’s Market here on Saturdays.

And if you feel bit hungry, do head to New Season Chinese Restaurant and get their wonton and roasted duck noodle soups. So good and a great place for cheap, yummy food.

Pro Tip: If you’re after something a bit more Dutch then I love Upstairs Pannekoeken!

The guys who own this place are so lovely, the dining room is super charming, and the pineapple/cheese pancake was delish.

Amsterdam Red Light District & Coffee Shop Tour

Red, electric hue of the red light district in Amsterdam in the eveing.

⭐️ Rating: 4.5/5.0 (1538 Reviews) Price: $40.10 per person Duration: 2 hours 📍Meeting Point: Office at Via Del Colosseo 24 Operator: Trigger Tours Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!

Even if this is your very first time in Amsterdam, chances are that you’ve heard of the Red Light District.

After all, this part of the city comes alive in the evening, when sex workers strut around red-hued windows and offer their services to potential clients.

And nothing about this illegal since prostitution is permitted by law. However, it is 100% not okay to take photos. So, please refrain from doing so.

However, to get a better understanding about the more liberal attitude towards drugs and sex work in the Netherlands, book this Amsterdam Red Light District & Coffee Shop Tour now.

Because during this tour your friendly local guide will introduce you to the very first coffee shop in Amsterdam (aka a cannabis shop).

“In a word – amazing! Our guide was friendly, and happy to answer any questions we had regardless of what they were about (red light district / coffee shop / general Amsterdam questions). Not only did he give us a great background on the red light district and also the coffee shops in Amsterdam, but also told us about the history of the Chinese Mafia, how the houses in Amsterdam were built, how people move their furniture into their house etc. It was a GREAT tour, so much information, a great sized group (there were about 7 or 8 of us) and really entertaining. I can’t recall our guides name sorry – but he was from Chile. Would HIGHLY recommend.”

Anonymous (read more reviews now)

You’ll then explore the most famous streets and canals in the area as you take in tons of red-lit windows and learn all about the incredible culture and history of this iconic neighborhood.

Finally, have a discussion about the legalization of prostitution, the difficulties sex workers face, and modern coffee shop culture.

Daily departure times at 4:00 pm, 6:00 pm, and 8:00 pmMust be at least 18 years old to do this tour
Live commentary from an expert guide
Available in German, English, and Spanish
Great way to get context for what you’re looking at

Oude Kerk

Another fun fact about the Red Light District is that it’s actually home to the single oldest building in the city.

Locally known as Oude Kerk, this now Calvinist church was originally built in 1213 and later consecrated in 1306 by the bishop of Utrecht.

Today, you can explore the interior for around €15.00 per person and check out some contemporary art exhibits too.

Personally, though, I think you can skip going inside during your Amsterdam 3 day itinerary. Instead, just admire the exquisite brickwork and large stained glass windows from the exterior.

Amsterdam Evening Canal Cruise (Optional)

Canal Boats in Amsterdam

⭐️ Rating: 4.4/5.0 (11691 Reviews) Price: $22.85 per person Duration: 75 minutes – 1.5 hours 📍Meeting Point: Stadhouderskade 501 Operator: Blue Boat Company Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!

You have one of two options.

You can book the 60-minute canal cruise included with the Amsterdam City Card and do a cruise with Blue Boat Company, Stromma Canal Cruise, Lovers Canal Cruises, or Amsterdam Circle Line B.V.

Or, you could upgrade, live the la vida local, and book a premium tour like this Amsterdam Evening Cruise.

Either way, you 100% should get on the water since the 165 canals scattered throughout Amsterdam are actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site (as of 2010) that is a must-see for anyone visiting the city.

See, they were historically designed to promote trade and create an easy form of transportation within the city.

Today, they are an unforgettable site and one of the real highlights of any Amsterdam 3 day itinerary.

And while I personally would opt for the cruise included with the Amsterdam City Card, you could also enjoy the canals beneath the night sky and with twinkling lights in the background during this Amsterdam Evening Canal Cruise.

After all, a cruise is a unique way to enjoy the many amazing merchant houses and mansions that the city is known for.

So, hop aboard your boat and watch all the historic buildings in the capital glide by as you pass Skinny Bridge, and use your headphones to listen to an audio guide filled with cool info about the city.

Other local highlights you’ll pass along the way include Baluwbrug Bridge, A’DAM Tower, and more.

“Amazing! It was one of the best experiences we had in Amsterdam this time 🙂 A set of snacks & 1 drink were included in the cruise which was very nice to have. The audio guide is there, interesting stories, lots of languages, fun comments from the captain, breathtaking canals and views. Best way to meet the sunset. Highly recommend!”

Anonymous (read more reviews now)

And if you’re feeling hungry, add a snack box to your ticket and enjoy a nice Stroopwafel along with a delicious glass of wine.

Pro Tip: Please be aware that you CANNOT purchase tickets upon arrival and that you MUST arrive at the EXACT time that is on your ticket.

Includes fun audio commentary in 19 different languagesFood and drinks not included
See local highlights like Skinny BridgeBoats can feel crowded and impersonal
Wheelchair accessible
Choose among many different time slots

Day 3: 3 Day Amsterdam Itinerary

For the final day of our Amsterdam 3 day itinerary, let’s get out of the city and explore other exciting parts of the Netherlands.

So, yes, today will be the day that you see some historic windmills scattered throughout the Dutch countryside.

Now, if you need some breakfast before you depart, just pop into Central Station and see what you can find in that area.

I mean, I would normally suggest Priesthood since their coffee/flat white is epic but this tour departs at 8:00 am and they don’t open until 9:00 am sadly.

But, it’s a popular area so I’m sure you’ll be able to find something. Or. just grab something packable the night before.

Day Trip from Amsterdam to Zaanse Schans, Edam, and Marken

View of the historic windmills of Zoanse Schans and fields of orange/yellow tulips out front.

⭐️ Rating: 4.8/5.0 (1495 Reviews) Price: $38.46 per person Duration: 6.5-7.5 hours 📍Meeting Point: NH Collection Amsterdam Barbizon Palace Hotel Operator: Amsterdam Guías and Tours Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!

This Zaanse Schans, Edam, & Marken Full-Day Trip from Amsterdam is an amazing tour that takes you on a journey through the stunning countryside of the Netherlands.

You’ll become immersed in the culture, legacy, and traditions of this astounding country as you admire stunning landscapes, explore quaint fishing villages, visit a local cheese producer, see a clog factory and stand in aew of iconic windmills.

And one of the major highlights of this tour is a trip to Zaanse Schans, which is a living open-air museum that showcases the country’s rich industrial past.

Here, you can see incredible historic windmills, participate in traditional workshops, and check out authentic wooden houses while earning about their significance in Dutch history.

You’ll also stop by the charming town of Edam, which is known for its world-famous cheese.

So, wander through the well-paved streets, admire the charming architecture, and immerse yourself in traditional cheese-making culture with a visit to a local cheese factory.

Don’t miss out on the opportunity to sample the delicious Edam cheese, famed for its special red wax coating.

Then after tasting Edam and gouda cheeses, you’ll be transported to the magical island of Marken, where you can discover the traditional houses and visit a wooden shoe factory.

During your time at the factory, you’ll learn about the craftsmanship behind these brilliant Dutch shoes before learning about the unique maritime heritage of the area.

Enjoy the quiet atmosphere of this peaceful island, with its characteristic wooden houses, and make the most of your Amsterdam 3 day itinerary.

“Really glad we did this tour, our guide was extremely knowledgeable and took great care of us throughout the trip. Just wish we had little extra time at the windmills but rest was good. When you go to the cheese factory definitely try and get the WestZaner Smoked Chili cheese (if you like the spice), we regret not getting more.”

Anonymous (read more reviews now)

Yup, booking this tour is a total must for anyone looking to experience authentic Dutch culture beyond Amsterdam’s city limits.

Plus, it offers you an incredible escape from the city while allowing you to explore the beauty of the Dutch countryside and its iconic landmarks.

With a well-rounded itinerary, this tour is an epic choice for travelers seeking an authentic taste of the Netherlands while they spend 3 days in Amsterdam.

Pro Tip: The WestZaner Smoked Chili cheese is beyond amazing if you like spice like me!!!

Really well-pricedNot wheelchair accessible
See a variety of different places in the Netherlands in a short amount of timeNo pick up available
Spend 45 minutes with real Dutch windmillsHave has issues with unfriendly guides
Get back early enough to relax or enjoy other activitiesZaanse Schans portion can feel rushed


The black gate to Vondelpark with letters  in yellow that read "Vondelpark". There are also trees and houses in the background.

If you have time after you’re amazing day trip then you should absolutely visit Vondelpark too.

After all, Vondelpark is a huge public park and a serene oasis of natural beauty in the heart of Amsterdam.

This charming park offers a peaceful respite from the busy streets of Amsterdam with its incredible ponds, shady trees, lush greenery, and winding pathways.

Visitors can also relax in the sunlight while enjoying leisurely walks, having picnics on the grass, or riding bikes along the impressive trails.

Additionally, the park’s appealing bridges, open-air theaters, charming sculptures, and vibrant flower beds add to its glamour.

In fact, area highlights include the statue of the poet Vondel, the Groot Melkhuis, an iron music dome, and a historical Pavilion that is home to the restaurant Vertigo, with its epic seasonal terrace.

So, whether it’s a moment of quiet contemplation or a chance to meet up with family and friends, Vondelpark’s beauty makes it a beloved gathering place for locals and tourists alike.

And as the largest and most famous park in the city, Vondelpark remains a great spot to unwind with its numerous children’s playgrounds and charming cafes and restaurants

Book this Anne Frank Tour now!! It introduces you to secret parts of Amsterdam 🇳🇱 most visitors don’t see. You also get to enjoy EPIC apple pie 🥧 and get essential context for your visit to the Anne Frank House.

Map of the Best Amsterdam 3 Day Itinerary

Map od the best 3 day Amsterdam itinerary.

Amsterdam 3 Day Itinerary FAQs

Is it Worth Going to Amsterdam for 3 Days?

Because Amsterdam is such a compact and well-connected city, with many centrally located landmarks, it’s easy to see many of the city’s major attractions in three days.

Plus, you’ll have more than enough time to do a quick day trip to other parts of the county too. Yup, you’ll have way more time then if you only spent a day in Amsterdam.

How Many Days is it Worth Staying in Amsterdam?

If you can, try and spend 4 days in Amsterdam since a long weekend is the perfect amount of time to explore the city’s major highlights.

In fact, you’ll even have enough time to do a cool day trip and to enjoy some of the city’s best hidden gems too.

How Expensive is Amsterdam for 3 days?

For 3 days in Amsterdam, you should plan on spending between €180 and €240 as a budget traveler.

However, if you’re a mid-range traveler then plan to spend between €300 and €450 since it is definitely one of the more expensive cities in Europe.

Is 4 Days Too Long in Amsterdam?

No, 4 days is not too long in Amsterdam. It’s a perfect amount of time to tackle all of the main attractions and to see lots of unique things too during your Amsterdam itinerary.

Additional Amsterdam Resources You’ll Love

So, there you have it! That just about wraps up this guide to the perfect Amsterdam 3 day Itinerary.

Tell me, did your picks for the best things to do with 72 hours in Amsterdam make the list? If not then let me know in the comments below.

And if you found this post useful, don’t forget to sign up for our email list before joining out Facebook group so that you can get the best travel advice possible.

Kirtika Saha

Tuesday 5th of July 2022

Thanks for sharing this valuable content with us this work is appreciable and I have bookmarked your website.


Wednesday 29th of August 2018

I have been wanting to visit AMsterdam for a while. those veggie pancakes sound good.


Thursday 30th of August 2018

They are amazing and I really hope you get to visit soon and try some of these amazing foods!

Priya Florence Shah

Monday 27th of August 2018

I would love to visit the Van Gogh museum. Huge fan of his. Also would love to eat a Stroopwafel.


Monday 27th of August 2018

Stroopwafel and Van Gogh sounds like the perfect day to me.


Monday 27th of August 2018

Excellent itinerary. I've added it to my Pocket. It's been a long time since I've been to Amsterdam. This post makes me want to schedule a return visit sooner rather than later.


Monday 27th of August 2018

Oh, I am so happy to hear that. I really hope that you get to return sooner rather than later.


Saturday 25th of August 2018

I could cover very less museums when i was in Amsterdam and honestly I don't have regrets.. Lol. But this is a perfect itinerary. I am now craving for a stroopwafel :|


Monday 27th of August 2018

Stroopwafels are the best and honestly, that's what I love about itineraries. You can add and take away what you want and really make it your own so that you can have the best trip ever.

Comments are closed.