Every traveler has its own ambitions when visiting Amsterdam. For some people the trip to Amsterdam is about exploring the picturesque streets, canals and historical brick architecture. Some people want to see Rembrant and Van Gogh. Some people associate it with plants – some buy tulips, the others cannabis. At the end, there are always those who’ll first go to the Red Light District. And while spending only one day in Amsterdam is not enough to explore all of the above, it’s enough to take a glimpse of what this vibrant Dutch city has to offer. One thing is sure – it won’t be boring, even a one tiny minute of it.
What’s the best time to visit Amsterdam?
While the city is famous either as summer and winter destination, you should know that winters can be really rough, with the strong north breeze and temperatures going below zero. Late spring and summer offer more enjoyable weather and much more outdoor activities. Early fall is definitely the most romantic part of the year, perfect for couple getaways.
One Day in Amsterdam Itinerary
Top things to do in Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Follow this guide and make the best of your trip even if you’re short on time. These are the top sights and things to do on your one day in Amsterdam.
Start your day with the canal cruise
This relaxing canal cruise is the perfect way to start your morning in Amsterdam and to get a general overview of the city before it gets too crowded. Numerous canals are incredibly beautiful, especially when observed from the boat. Pick the smaller boats if you want to save some money, cause the bigger ones can get too pricey. The tours shouldn’t last more than an hour.
Rent a bike
Another great way to maximize your super short stay is to rent a bike just after the canal cruise or instead of it. You should know that Amsterdam is all about bikes so you won’t have any problem finding a rental place or a bike lane once you’re on the road. It’s usually the fastest transport if you’re visiting only the central part of the city.
Have fries for a snack
It won’t take you long to realize you can buy fries all over the city. It’s almost impossible to pass by the fries place and not to buy one. Find those who offer a wide selection of dipping sauces and enjoy your snack while siting next to the canal.
Buy souvenirs at the Flower Market
Bloemenmarkt or the Flower Market is the best place to buy a unique Dutch souvenir. This unique floating market offers a wide range of flowers and plant seeds, cactuses and other stunning flowers. Just across the market, there are a few great cheese shops, so don’t miss those too. Even if you’re not into buying it, at least try some free samples.
Lunch break around Leiden Square
If you’re hungry and you crave for some tasty food, you’ll find plenty of options around Leidseplein (Leiden Square) or any of the streets around the square. Even if you’re just into grabbing a cup of coffee, it’s a nice place to sit and people-watch.
Visit the museum of your choice at Musuemplein
The Museumplein is the square surrounded by the several most important Amsterdam museums – Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum and Stedelijk Museum. It’s also the place where famous “I AMsterdam” sculpture is located. Choose the museum regarding your preferences. If you admire the work of Van Gogh and want to see his “Sunflowers” check out the largest collection of that post-impressionist painter in The Van Gogh Museums. For a wider selection of the great authors such as Rembrant and its “Night Watch” go to Rijksmusuem. However, if you’re into contemporary and modern art – Stedelijk is one of the greatest in the whole Europe. Don’t miss it for a world.
Relax at the Vondelpark
After a long day of walking or pedaling, Vondelpark is an incredible green oasis for any kind of relaxation. Even if you just want to enjoy a leisurely drink, there is a nice bar Blauwe Theehuis in the middle of the park. If you’re traveling on a budget, it’s a great place to have a picnic brunch bought in the nearby supermarket.
Have a Dinner at the Foodhallen
Gastronomy of Amsterdam is very diverse, so you can basically eat whichever international cuisine you can think of. If you want to have them all in one place at one time – Foodhallen would be your ideal dinner place. It’s more an indoor food market rather than a restaurant, but it offers a wide variety of delicious food.
Stroll around the Red Light District
Red Light District is not something everyone has interest visiting. However, this controversial neighborhood is worth visit even just for its electric atmosphere, but for a very brief time. Expect a lot of brothel windows, erotic shops and coffee shops in the area.
It’s a party time
Amsterdam clubs are not that famous as those in Berlin. Still, it has a thriving party scene, especially nowadays. If you’re looking for a great club in the very city center visit Paradiso or Melkweg. Melkweg used to be a milk factory back in the days but was later transformed into a live music and dance club. Those that are into underground dance music shouldn’t miss De School – a club that’s placed in a former school building. If you’re into something more Berlinish – Radion is a great, less commercial underground club. It’s worth to visit even if it’s not central.
Where to stay in Amsterdam?
Room Mate Aitana
Room Mate Aitana is a designer hotel located in the very center of the city, on an island in the IJ River in Amsterdam, surrounded by water. It features stylish rooms with the spectacular views of Amsterdam. It’s a perfect choice for travelers that only have little time in Amsterdam since it’s located very close to the Amsterdam Central Train Station and walking distance to the Dam Square.
Monet Garden Hotel Amsterdam
Located only a short walk from the Dam Square, Monet Garden Hotel Amsterdam offers nicely decorated, modern stay in the heart of the city. The whole interior feels pretty cozy and charming at the same time. Certain rooms offer some nice canal views.
Hotel2Stay is a modern, bright and super comfortable accommodation that features a sauna, fitness center and a bike rental. It is located just next to the Sloterdijk bus/train/tram/metro stations therefore it can be easily reached from every part of the city, even an airport.
The Student Hotel
The Student Hotel is a one-of-a-kind space that combines the energy of a university campus with the style and service amenities of a boutique hotel. Its communal spaces are designed to fully enjoy your stay – it offers a sun terrace with an amazing city view, bar and the restaurant, fitness center, fully designed lobby where you can relax and a game room where you can play some ping pong or pool.
Motel One Amsterdam
Motel One Amsterdam offers contemporary design, amazing comfort and a great value for money. Its fresh, chic and modern designs will surely make your stay both trendy and relaxed.
Extra tips for visiting Amsterdam
– Although the city center is best explored on foot or by bike, public transport is very efficient so don’t hesitate to use one.
– Amsterdam accommodation is quite expensive and it gets full quite quickly. The earlier you book it, the cheaper you get it.
– If you’re planning on visiting the museums, always book the tickets online to avoid the long lines.
– Make your trip to Amsterdam even more exciting! Check out Tripadvisor for all the activities and organized tours in Amsterdam or around the area. Make sure to purchase your tickets to all the attractions right away to skip the queues.
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