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One Day in Amsterdam Itinerary: Amazing Expert’s Guide for 2024

Ready for this mega epic one day in Amsterdam itinerary?

Heck yeah, you are since Amsterdam is an ultra-rad city that is brimming over with lots of super cool things to see, even if you only have 24 hours in Amsterdam.

And I am the beyond perfect person to tell you how to spend a day in Amsterdam since I basically find myself in Amsterdam every chance I can get.

No really. It’s gross how many times I’ve been to Amsterdam and it’s gotten to the point where my friends are like, “Ughh…can you go somewhere else?”

But I just can’t help it! Between the incredible museums, delicious pancakes, and stunning canals I never run out of things to do.

And neither will you if you’re planning a Amsterdam three day itinerary. However, a quick itinerary can be difficult to plan since you’re short on time and want to see as much as possible.

So, step away from the generic AF guidebook and use my 1 day in Amsterdam itinerary to plan the trip of a lifetime.

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Where to Stay During Your One Day in Amsterdam Itinerary

Canal Boats in Amsterdam

Not gonna lie, Amsterdam is a very un-cheap city. Plus, there are about 12 million different places that you could stay at during your 24 hours in Amsterdam.

So, finding an epic hotel can be more than a little challenging, especially if you plan to solo travel to Amsterdam.

However, use my handy insider’s guide to select an epic accommodation, regardless of your budget.

  • MEININGER Hotel Amsterdam Amstel (budget) – I love and have stayed in MEININGER before because while it is a hostel it doesn’t feel like a hostel, but like a boutique hotel. It’s also located near the Amstel station and everything is clean, with great lockers, fab staff, and tons of outlets by your bed.
  • Singel Hotel Amsterdam (mid-range) – This super snazzy hotel looks out onto a canal in Jordaan and is a 5-minute walk from Central Station. Rooms are spread out across three renovated 17th-century houses and include a delicious continental breakfast as well as 24-hour front desk service.

My #1 pick for one day in Amsterdam is this Anne Frank Tour!! You’ll see secret parts of Amsterdam 🇳🇱, get to inhale delish apple pie 🥧, and will get context for your visit to the Anne Frank House.

One Day in Amsterdam Itinerary

1. Breakfast and Exploring Canals

View of the row houses along Brouwersgracht canal and the housbaots in the water during your one day in Amstredam itinerary.

Look, the canals of Amsterdam are basically the star of the show when visiting this picturesque city.

And that makes sense since the 165 canals of Amsterdam have been a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site since ye olde 2010.

In fact, they were originally created in the 17th century to promote trade and transportation within the city.

Today though, they are just super cute and an essential part of any one day in Amsterdam itinerary.

So, after having a mega epic local breakfast at Festina Lente (The burrata on toast and lattes are delish. Plus, the service is tip top) take a stroll and enjoy famous canals like Singel, Brouwersgracht, Prinsengracht, and Keizersgracht.

And yes, I know I left Herengracht Canal off the list. But, it is easily one of the most iconic canals in the city.

Therefore, you’ll definitely see it later during your 24 hours in Amsterdam.

2. Explore the Nine Streets

Depending on how much time you have you can take a breath and meander along the Nine Streets or the series of cobblestone lanes that connect the canals between Raadhuisstraat and Leidsegracht.

After all, this area is named for the nine famous streets in Amsterdam that include

  • Gasthuismolensteeg
  • Berenstraat
  • Oude Spiegelstraat
  • Huidenstraat
  • Runstraat
  • Wijde Heisteeg
  • Wolvenstraat
  • Hartenstraat
  • Reestraat

And while there are tons of great restaurants and boutiques to explore, feel free to grab a coffee at either Screaming Beans or Kaldi before shopping for vintage gear at Episode, Zipper, or both.

You can also check out some of the best and most modern art in the city at stylish galleries like Keren de Vreede Gallery.

You could also book an Amsterdam food tour and explore the area that way with an awesome local guide. This way you could quickly and easily sample some of the best Amsterdam desserts.

3. Dam Square, Royal Palace, and Damrak (Optional if you do the Anne Frank Tour Below)

View of the Royal Palace with vibrant tulips out front in Dam Square.

After you’ve had breakfast and seen a few canals, walk down Damrak which is basically the giant road that will eventually take you to Amsterdam Central Station.

This is a pretty historic place that will take you past local landmarks like Beurs van Berlage which is basically the old Stock Exchange.

Continue to Dam Square since this open area is uber-famous and home to the Royal Palace.

And while you can DEFFO purchase tickets to explore the interior of the Royal Palace, I’d skip it this trip since you’re only planning a one day in Amsterdam itinerary.

Don’t get me wrong, the Royal Palace is nice but there are other cooler things to do with a day in Amsterdam.

So, take a few minutes to soak up the lively atmosphere of these places and take a few photos before moving on with your Amsterdam one day itinerary.

4. The Béguinage (Begijnhof)

View of the charming houses inside of the Begijinhof.

Easily one of the best hidden gems in Amsterdam, the Begijnhof is a super cool, historic inner courtyard that was once home to an insular Catholic women’s community.

In fact, this group has been around since the 14th century and created this charming enclave as a quiet place to live within the city where they could practice their faith.

And while there are no members of the Catholic sisterhood currently living here, feel free to stop by any time between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm.

This way you can take photos and soak up the charm of this place during your one day in Amsterdam itinerary.

After all, highlights include a private community garden as well as two on-site churches that still hold mass services. Just don’t plan to spend a ton of time here since you’re really just looking around.

5. Floating Flower Market

Red, yellow, and pink tulips for sale at a flower market in Amsterdam.

As you probably already know, the Netherlands is known for its exquisite Tulip fields.

And while there aren’t too many fields of tulips in the city itself, you can walk down the road to Residence Flower Market and grab some cool Amsterdam souvenirs.

Yes, this spot on this 24 hours in Amsterdam itinerary is touristy and crowded. However, it’s the place to go if you want to buy some tulip-inspired gear or some traditional Dutch items.

So, swing by and pick up bulbs, fresh bouquets of tulips, magnets, postcards, and Dutch clogs.

6. Classic Canal Cruise with a Wine and Cheese Option

Tour boat gliding through the canals of Amsterdam.

⭐️ Rating: 4.6/5.0 (7237 Reviews) Price: $21.76 per person Duration: 60 minutes📍Meeting Point: Anne Frank House or Central Station Operator: BFlagship Amsterdam Details: Read more on Get Your Guide Now!

While you can see many of the city’s most famous canals from dry land there is something so magical about taking a scenic boat ride through the city.

Therefore, no 24 hours in Amsterdam itinerary would be complete without mentioning an Amsterdam Classic Boat Cruise.

And this one is a great option. Not only can you add an optional unlimited wine, drinks, and Dutch cheese tasting to the experience (for just $10 extra) but the staff are so helpful and will make you feel right at home.

Then, once everyone’s ready, you’ll glide past the Red Light District, see the Skinny Bridge, and continue on to the Old Harbor.

“Just lovely! Beautifully restored canal boat, with a knowledgeable and funny guide and assistant who were able to make a group of strangers feel at home. Great introduction to Amsterdam and its history. Heineken beer is also available. It is across from Central Station.”

Anonymous (read more reviews now)

As you relax, your fun and friendly skipper will tell you all about the history of the area. Just don’t leave without taking tons of pictures of the panoramic views all around you.

Also, be sure to kiss your loved ones as you cruise underneath the iconic Skinny Bridge.

Pro Tip: If you’re visiting during peak season then book well in advance. I would also get off at the Anne Frank House so you can do that experience next.

ProsCons
You can enjoy live commentary and incredible serviceBoarding process can be confusing
The unlimited cheese and wine option is a great deal for an additional $10.00The boarding process can be confusing
Lots of time slots to choose from
Drinks never go empty for long

7. Anne Frank House

View of a man riding a bike in front of the Anne Frank House during 24 hours 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!

Because you have just one day in Amsterdam you will really only have time to see one museum while you’re here.

And while the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum are both awesome, I highly recommend booking this tour and visit to the Anne Frank House instead.

Pro Tip: If you’re hungry then walk to the nearby Pancake Bakery and get a traditional Dutch Pancake for me. My personal fave is the cheese and pineapple pancake. I know it sounds weird but it’s really good.

Now, just to be clear, you 100% do NOT have to do a tour of the Anne Frank House to visit. You could easily book tickets on your own (do this about 6 weeks in advance) and visit independently.

However, when you go it alone you really don’t get important context for what you’re looking at during your 1 day in Amsterdam itinerary.

And since this is such a culturally significant place, I implore you to visit it as part of a tour.

Now, this private tour is one of the best and starts you off at the Portuguese Synagogue.

Honestly, it’s one of the most gorgeous places in the city and goes largely unnoticed by most tourists.

It’s also a great place to get oriented to the city’s Jewish history before heading to the Jewish Historical Museum and JHM Children’s Museum.

Now, the real highlight of this museum is seeing four Jewish synagogues before continuing to Dokwerker, where you’ll get info on a strike in February 1941 against the Nazis.

Other highlights include Hortus Botanicus (so pretty), The Memorial of Auschwitz in Wertheimpark, and the Plantage neighborhood.

Next, visit the Holocaust Namenmonument with 100,000+ names inscribed on it before heading to Dam Square (and the Royal Palace and 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)

You’ll then wrap things up at Westerkerk church tower since Anne admired this building from her window before concluding your tour outside the Anne Frank House.

Don’t worry though, you’ll learn all about the museum before grabbing your tickets and heading inside solo. Yeah, this museum is small so it’s better if you explore on your own.

Pro Tip: This tour will take you through the Jordaan neighborhood so you can skip that part of this one day in Amsterdam itinerary if you did this activity.

ProsCons
Live English GuideTickets to the museum may be sold out so you will visit virtually
Explore parts of the city most tourists don’t get to seeNon-refundable
You’ll get to sample the best apple pie in Amsterdam (so good)Can be expensive for small groups
Offered 7 days a week and includes tickets to the museumNo pick up offered

8. Explore the Jordaan Neighborhood (Skip if you did the Anne Frank Tour)

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

The Jordaan neighborhood is a charming little spot that is hidden away from the crowds.

So, take some time to stroll through the area’s quaint streets and narrow canals before checking out a wealth of chic shops, quiet pubs, and sleek restaurants.

If you have time, visit the vendors at Noordermarkt Square Market before hunting for hidden treasure at the Antiques Centre Amsterdam.

You can also grab a drink at Bar Oldenhof before having a giant slice of the most delicious apple pie at Winkel 43.

It’s served with an enormous helping of whipped cream, is absolutely delicious, and is easily one of the best desserts in Amsterdam.

9. Museumplein – The Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum

View of the I Amsterdam sign in Museumplein.

Museumplein, roughly translated to Museum Square in English, is a stunning place where you can find all sorts of museums to explore during your one day in Amsterdam itinerary.

However, if you are not a fan of museums then this is still a great spot since there is a large park for you to explore.

Plus, you can admire the lovely buildings and snag a selfie with the now-famous “I Amsterdam” sign that sits in front of the Rijksmuseum.

Jk. Sadly, this sign was removed in 2018 but you can still find one at the Schipol Airport.

Anyway, if you opted not to go inside the Anne Frank House and want to see another museum instead then this is the place to do so while spending a day in Amsterdam.

Just be sure to get your skip-the-line tickets well in advance to avoid wasting time waiting in line. And your options include:

  • Rijksmuseum – This is probably the largest and most well-known museum in the city. It features tons of paintings from the Dutch Golden Age and I LOVED visiting since there is an ultra-rad library inside too.
  • The Van Gogh Museum – Not gonna lie, this is my all-time fave museum on this 1 day Amsterdam Itinerary. So, if you’re a fan of Van Gogh then be sure to visit since you can see like over 200 of his paintings. Yes, it will be crowded and you should book tickets well in advance.
  • The MOCO – This is a fun street art-themed museum that is perfect for anyone who doesn’t really like museums. They also have some works from Banksy on display so deffo worth your time.
  • The Stedelijk Museum – Rad museum with exhibits on contemporary art and design. Perfect if you like modern art and hate dealing with intense crowds during your one day in Amsterdam itinerary.

Pro Tip: If you’re not into museums then try the check out the House of Bols Experience instead.

You’ll learn how one of the oldest brands of spirits on the globe is manufactured and will get to sample a cocktail once you’re finished.

10. Heineken Experience (Optional)

View of a bottle of Heineken in Amsterdam

⭐️ 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!

If time allows and you feel so inclined then feel free to give the Heineken Experience a try during your 1 day Amsterdam itinerary.

Personally, I am not a huge fan since it is uber-touristy. Plus, I’m not a big drinker. And if I was going to drink beer it would be a nice local craft beer.

But, regardless of how I feel, the Heineken Experience is still beloved by many. Therefore, I added it to this 24 hours in Amsterdam itinerary.

And since this place is a quick 15-ish minute walk away, be sure to go if this is a must-see for you.

So, head inside the original Heineken Brewery, which was founded in 1867 by Gerard Adriaan Heineken.

You’ll then get a quick introduction to the place from the staff before you get to explore this very Dutch, very interactive museum on your own.

Along the way, you’ll see what it takes to make a bottle of Heineken as you try games like “Brew U”.

“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)

You’ll then end your visit with a tasting that includes two drinks that amount to a small taste of Heineken. Or, if you’re not a drinker then you can just sip on a soft drink instead.

And because this place is very popular, be sure to book your tickets well in advance.

Pro Tip: FYI, this place is card-only and will not accept people who are late.

11. End Your Day with this Amsterdam Red Light District & Coffee Shop Tour

View of the red hue of the red light district in the evening.

⭐️ 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!

Chances are that even if you know nothing about Amsterdam you’ve probably heard of the infamous Red Light District well before planning your one day in Amsterdam itinerary.

See, this is the spot in the city where you’ll find tons of coffee shops (aka cafes where you can enjoy weed) and prostitutes advertising their services in red-hued windows.

Yup, all of this is totally legal and to get a real feel for this place you should visit in the evening or on a weekend. Just remember to refrain from taking photos since it is not allowed.

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

Not only will your helpful expert guide show you the first coffee shop in Amsterdam but you’ll learn a ton about this part of the city and get a better appreciation for it.

I know I did. I recently did this tour and feel like I know so much more about this unique part of the city.

“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)

Next, visit the most famous canals and roads in the neighborhood as you admire the red-hue of local windows and learn about the fascinating history of this place.

Finally, have a lively talk about the legalization of prostitution, understand the challenges workers in the sex industry face, and learn about coffee shop culture.

ProsCons
Great way to better understand this neighborhood and Dutch culturePeople 18 years old and under are not allowed on this tour
Multiple departures per day at 4:00 pm, 6:00 pm, and 8:00 pm
Expert commentary from a local
Available in four different lnaguages

My #1 pick for one day in Amsterdam is this Anne Frank Tour!! You’ll see secret parts of Amsterdam 🇳🇱, get to inhale delish apple pie 🥧, and will get context for your visit to the Anne Frank House.

Map of One Day in Amsterdam Itinerary

Map of this one day in Amsterdam itinerary.

One Day in Amsterdam Itinerary FAQs

Can you do Amsterdam in 1 day?

While you can see most of Amsterdam’s major highlights in a day, one day is not enough time to visit the entire city.

However, you will be able to do a canal tour, visit a top museum, and see several charming neighborhoods if you only have a day in Amsterdam.

What to do in Amsterdam in 5 hours?

With 5 hours in Amsterdam, you could:

  • Check out the Anne Frank Museum.
  • Visit a local cafe Walk through the Red Light District and visit a Coffee Shop
  • See the Central Library
  • Go for a bike ride

How Much Does It Cost to Go to Amsterdam for a Day?

If you want to spend a day in Amsterdam then it will cost you around €60.00-€80.00 if you’re a budget traveler.

However, if you’re a more midrange traveler then it will cost between €100.00 and €150.00 per day.

Can you Walk Around Amsterdam in a Day?

Although most locals bike throughout the city, Amsterdam is a very compact, picturesque place that is extremely walkable in a day.

Plus, many attractions are concentrated in central areas, making it easy to visit many top landmarks in a short amount of time.

Additional Amsterdam Resources You’ll Love

There you have it! That just about wraps up this one day in Amsterdam Itinerary!

Tell me, did your fave spots make it on this guide to 24 hours in Amsterdam? If not then let me know in the comments below.

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