3 Days in Amsterdam

3 Days in Amsterdam

Discover Amsterdam in 3 days, journeying from historic lanes and art hubs to authentic Dutch delights and the vibrant pulse of the city’s nightlife.

The heart of Europe, Amsterdam, dubbed the “Venice of the North”, is a mesmerizing blend of waterways and heritage.

Every canal reflects tales of timelessness, slender gabled houses, and modern art. Beyond its scenic bridges and cobbled lanes, there’s a heartbeat, a rhythmic dance between the past and the present.

As you wander the streets, Amsterdam unravels stories of age-old traditions and forward-looking visions. And you may even decide that 3 days in Amsterdam is really not enough.

Immerse yourself, for this city isn’t merely a place on a map; it’s a heartfelt journey, a continuous tale waiting to be embraced.

Day 1: A Journey through Amsterdam’s Historic Lanes and Gastronomic Delights

Step into the rhythmic heart of Amsterdam, where history meets contemporary flair.

From cycling the city’s iconic lanes to indulging in its savory gastronomic delights, Day 1 promises a captivating immersion into Dutch heritage. Begin your journey pedaling through scenic neighborhoods, pausing to savor the nation’s favorite snack: bitterballen.

As the day unfolds, let the artsy vibes of Nederlandsche Dok en Scheepsbouw Maatschappij (NDSM) and the regal aura of Dam Square captivate your senses.

A day brimming with authenticity awaits!

Day 1 Highlights in Amsterdam

  • Cycling Tour: Traverse iconic neighborhoods and The Nine Streets.
  • Bitterballen Tasting: Enjoy this Dutch snack at a historic restaurant.
  • NDSM Exploration: Visit the vibrant STRAAT Museum.
  • Dam Square: Explore key landmarks like the Royal Palace.
  • Red Light District: Optional guided tour into its history.
  • Jenever Tasting: Savor traditional gin at renowned cafes.

Begin with an authentic Dutch experience: Cycling Around Town

Pedal through picturesque neighborhoods like Western Islands and De Pijp, starting from Central Station. Feel the city’s pulse as you meander through The Nine Streets, embracing Amsterdam’s preferred mode of transportation.

(3 hours)

Explore Amsterdam as the locals do by renting a bicycle

Indulge in the Dutch delicacy – bitterballen

You must be hungry after your cycling adventure. Relish the flavors of the Netherlands at a traditional restaurant, especially one nestled within Central Station’s historic confines.

(1 hour)

Set sail to NDSM

A quick ferry away, NDSM is a vibrant cultural space. Explore the STRAAT Museum, a haven for street art enthusiasts, and witness the city’s modern creative spirit.

(2 hours)

End your day at Dam Square

The city’s heart pulses with energy. Discover landmarks like the National Monument and the Royal Palace, and feel Amsterdam’s age-old grandeur.

(2-3 hours)

Celebrate the Dutch Spirit with a Jenever Tasting

Embrace Amsterdam’s nightlife, savoring traditional jenever at historic cafes.


  • Sip on the national spirit in iconic spots like Hoppe or Cafe de Drie Fleschjes.
  • Engage with bartenders, learning the history of this celebrated gin.
  • Mingle with locals, sharing stories and toasts.

Learn about Amsterdam’s culinary traditions from a knowledgeable guide

Optional Evening Exploration: Historical Journey in the Red Light District

Delve deeper into Amsterdam’s history with a guided tour, uncovering tales behind the famed district.


  • Navigate the district with knowledgeable guides.
  • Understand the evolution of this unique area.
  • Interact with locals and gather firsthand narratives.

Did You Know?

In Amsterdam, bicycles rule the roads! The city is home to more bikes than people, with an estimated 880,000 bicycles compared to its 850,000 residents.

This cycling culture makes it one of the most bike-friendly cities in the world. In fact, there’s a saying that if you haven’t had a bike stolen in Amsterdam, you’re not a true “Amsterdammer” yet.

Always a hub of activity, the city’s bike lanes and racks are perpetually teeming with cyclists, showcasing Amsterdam’s commitment to sustainable and efficient transportation.

Day 2: Embracing Amsterdam’s Artistic Core and Market Marvels

Day 2 is calling with a tantalizing blend of Amsterdam’s artistic genius and vibrant market scenes.

Start your day amid masterpieces, exploring Van Gogh’s and other legends’ realms at the iconic Museumplein.

Allow the city’s canals to narrate tales of yesteryears as you meander through its aquatic arteries. As hunger pangs hit, dive into the culinary legacy of Pancakehouse Upstairs, a 16th-century delight.

Day 2 Highlights in Amsterdam

  • Museumplein: Experience art from Van Gogh, the Rijksmuseum, and the Stedelijk.
  • Canal Cruise: Explore Amsterdam’s historic and modern stories via its waterways.
  • Pancakehouse Upstairs: Savor traditional pancakes in a 16th-century setting.
  • Markets Exploration: Visit Bloemenmarkt and Albert Cuyp Market.
  • Heineken Experience: Delve into the history and taste of this iconic beer.
  • Vondelpark: Unwind in Amsterdam’s peaceful green space, possibly catching live performances.

Start at Museumplein: A feast for art lovers

Dive into the world of Van Gogh, marvel at Dutch masterpieces at the Rijksmuseum, and get a taste of modern art at the Stedelijk. These spaces house art and narrate stories of epochs and evolution.

(3 hours)

Set out on a canal cruise

Experience Amsterdam from its waters. As you glide, watch the city’s iconic landscapes come alive, sharing whispers of history and modernity.

Want more of the waterfront experience?

Dive into Amsterdam’s unique maritime culture, and learn how its 2,500 houseboats offer visitors an unparalleled experience with amenities from kayaks to breakfast, all set against the city’s iconic canal backdrop.

(2 hours)

Relish an afternoon at Pancakehouse Upstairs

Treat yourself to pancakes at this 16th-century establishment. Let every bite take you on a journey through Amsterdam’s culinary heritage.

(1 hour)

Dive into market wonders

From the Bloemenmarkt’s floral beauty to the bustling Albert Cuyp Market, let each stall narrate tales of trade and tradition.

(2 hours)

Conclude with the Heineken Experience

Dive into the story of one of the world’s most iconic beers. Discover its history, the brewing process, and exclusive tastings.

(2 hours)

For those looking for a serene evening

Relax in Vondelpark: Engage with locals, relish the natural beauty, and perhaps, catch a live performance in Amsterdam’s beloved park.

Don’t worry, there’ll be plenty of time to party coming up…

Did You Know?

Amsterdam boasts more canals than Venice, with over 100 kilometers of waterways crisscrossing the city.

Combined with its more than 1,500 bridges, these canals have led to its nickname, “Venice of the North.” The Canal Ring, or “Grachtengordel”, was even designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2010, a testament to its historic and architectural significance.

Day 3: Savoring Dutch Countryside Tranquility and Amsterdam’s Night Pulse

On the third day, let the serene landscapes of the Dutch countryside whisk you away, unveiling an enchanting tableau of iconic windmills, bustling cheese markets, and quaint crafts.

From Zaanse Schans to Edam, every moment resonates with the authentic charm of rural Holland. But as dusk settles, the city’s energetic night pulse beckons. Dive into Amsterdam’s renowned Red Light District, hopping from one lively venue to the next.

Day 3 Highlights in Amsterdam

  • Dutch Countryside Exploration: Visit windmills at Zaanse Schans, experience the cheese market in Edam, and explore crafts in Volendam and Marken.
  • Amsterdam Red Light District Pub Crawl: Delve into the city’s nightlife with a guided pub crawl, experiencing vibrant venues and engaging with nightlife enthusiasts.

Embark on a Day Trip: Traditional Holland Exploration

Journey into Dutch countryside delights – windmills at Zaanse Schans, the cheese market in Edam, and local crafts in Volendam and Marken. This day promises an authentic touch of rural Holland.

(6.5 hours)

Gain an overview of rural Holland on this full-day tour

Electrify your night: Amsterdam Red Light District Pub Crawl

Plunge into Amsterdam’s nightlife, hopping across vibrant bars, clubs, and pubs. Guided by nightlife connoisseurs, engage with the city’s pulsating heart, one drink at a time.

(5 hours)

Check out the ultimate way to discover the best nightlife in Amsterdam

Discover Amsterdam like never before!

Dive into the top 19 must-visit spots in Amsterdam, weaving together the city’s rich history, vibrant culture, and unique experiences. Learn more about what to do, where to stay, and what to look out for!

Did You Know?

Amsterdam’s nightlife has a unique feature known as “Nachtburgemeester” or “Night Mayor.”

This position, separate from the city’s official daytime mayor, is dedicated to ensuring the vibrancy, safety, and sustainability of Amsterdam’s night-time economy and culture.

The Night Mayor acts as a mediator between the nightlife businesses, residents, and the official city council, helping to address concerns and innovate the nocturnal scene.

This innovative approach showcases Amsterdam’s commitment to fostering a thriving, balanced, and harmonious night-time environment.

Where to Stay in Amsterdam?

Choosing the best area to stay in Amsterdam depends on your preferences, budget, and the type of experience you seek. Whether you prefer the lively atmosphere of the city center, the artistic charm of Jordaan, or the cultural diversity of De Pijp, Amsterdam has a neighborhood to suit every taste.

Consider factors such as proximity to attractions, local transportation options, and the overall atmosphere when selecting the perfect base for your exploration of this enchanting city.

See our article on some of the best areas of Amsterdam to stay in while visiting.

Amsterdam Awaits: Unravel, Immerse, and Enjoy!

Amsterdam is not just a destination but an experience waiting to enjoy.

Let this 3-day itinerary be your compass, guiding you through a blend of iconic landmarks and hidden treasures.

Ready to embark on an unforgettable journey?

Discover More Hidden Charms and gather invaluable insights for your trip to Amsterdam.


Veteran, former expat, former travel agent, investor, digital content creator and creative soul. Make your escape to discover and explore a range of exotic places and amazing destinations around the globe

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