Intentions on going to Amsterdam for a few days? Awesome! It is my most favorite city in the world and you can spend several weeks in this city. Even after two years of living in Amsterdam, I discover new places all the time. Curious what to do during 2 days in Amsterdam? I have summed up the 15 best activities!
Wandering through the Haarlemmer area
Near the Central Station you will find one of the coolest neighborhoods: Haarlemmer. Especially the Haarlemmerstraat and the Haarlemmerdijk are extremely nice to visit, with boutique shops and a dozen cozy restaurants. Do you enjoy vintage? Amazing, because this area is all about vintage. Some very cool shops are Marbles Vintage, Rumors Vintage & Design and We Love Vintage. But don’t skip the coffee and wine bars, like The Bike Bar and Vinnies.
visit tropical Hortus Botanicus
Hortus Botanicus is the botanical city garden of Amsterdam. This tropical environment is perfect for all of you plant- and Instagram lovers, because you can make the most beautiful photo’s in here. You can also find a Hortus Botanicus in Leiden, another lovely city located in The Netherlands.
Having lunch or dinner at the Foodhallen
The Foodhallen is always a great idea if you are feeling hungry. An big old warehouse is transformed into a permanent food festival, where you can find the best bites and drinks. Asian fusion, Spanish tapas, Italian pizza’s, Dutch bites and so much more. It is always a fun place to go to, especially during the evenings.
Visit the Rijksmuseum
The Rijksmuseum is one of the main attractions in the city of Amsterdam, but I have actually never been here. I just do not really love art and museums that much, but I know a lot of people who love this museum. Make sure you have enough time to visit the Rijksmuseum during your two days trip in Amsterdam.
A Must in Amsterdam: sail through the canals
A (romantic) boat ride through the canals is definitely a must during your 2 days trip in Amsterdam. You can go on a standard cruiseliner, but you can also rent a private boat (which I highly recommend). Make sure to hire a boat via Starboard Boats, where you can rent a boat named the Manke Monnik (Lame Monk in English). This boat is ideal for birthdays, parties or when you are looking to just have a lovely day on the water. The boat has wifi, a toilet, a retractable roof and is equipped with heated pillows, so this boat is perfect for winter days as well. The boat is big enough for 40 people and you have a private skipper, who brings you through all of the canals along the historical buildings.
Strolling through the city to find the best street art
You can find a lot of beautiful pieces of street art throughout Amsterdam, so make sure you stroll down the city. Besides the city centre, you can find some amazing graffiti work at the Jordaan and around the NSDM-wharf in the north of the city.
Picnic in one of the parks
Did you know that you can find a lot of green parks in Amsterdam? The most famous one, of course, is the Vondelpark in the centre of the city, but I actually love Westerpark the most, which is located in the western part of Amsterdam. It is such a lovely spot to reside and during summer days a lot of festivals take place in this park. Make sure you buy a bottle of wine at the local supermarket and have a drink in the park or just go for a picnic!
Where to sleep in Amsterdam?
Amsterdam isn’t a cheap city and the prices of the hotels can be a bit expensive, but I have found some amazing hotels with a perfect location which are not too expensive:
- Motel One Amsterdam-Waterlooplein
- Generator Amsterdam
- XO Hotels Park West
- Amsterdam Wiechmann Hotel
- Mercure Amsterdam Sloterdijk Station
Cycle through the centre
Cycling is one of my favorite activities to do in Amsterdam. Nothing beats a relaxing cycle tour along the canals. Make sure you hire a bicycle, you can do this almost anywhere in Amsterdam, and go for a nice ride. BUT please be careful, because locals will definitely ride faster than you. Don’t go too slow, don’t ride in the middle of the streets and just be very careful.
Have a drink on one of the rooftops
Who doesn’t enjoy a good cocktail on a rooftop? Amsterdam has some lovely rooftops sightings, like the W-Hotel, Canvas and the Volkshotel. I highly recommend going here right before sunset, so you can enjoy the best views over the city.
High tea in the smallest house of Amsterdam
Back in the days it was the smallest house of Amsterdam, now it’s transformed into a tea shop at the Oude Hoogstraat. You can get yourself some lovely tea over here, but you can also do a high tea with your friends. Make sure you make a reservation in advance and enjoy a lovely high tea in this tiny building.
Shopping at the IJhallen
The IJhallen, which are located in the north of the city, is transformed into a vintage market once or twice a month just before the weekend. You can do some very cheap shopping in here. Vintage clothes, furniture, nice accessories, tableware and more: it is all cheap and secondhand! You have to pay a small fee at the entrance, but you can shop for hours.
Relax at the beach!
Beaches in Amsterdam? It is possible! Go to places like Roest (the locals favorite), Paasisland or Pllek for a day at the ‘beach’. Buy a delicious cocktail, get yourself some nice sandwiches and you’re good to go for the rest of the day!
Play some games at one of the game halls
In Amsterdam you can find three major game halls: Puck (in the Jan Evertsenstraat 747) and the Tonton Club in the centre (in the Sint Annendwarsstraat 6) and in the western part of the city (in the Polonceaukade 27). It is for adults only and it is so much fun! It’s perfect for a date as well.
Go for a cheese-, wine- or gin tasting
You can do several local tastings in Amsterdam. Of course you have to try the famous Dutch cheese, so go for a cheese tasting for sure. But you can do more tastings, like gin, wine, beer (Heineken) and other yummy drinks and food.
Last Tip: swing above the city
Close to Amsterdam Central station you will find the Amsterdam Tower, where you can go for a swing ON TOP of that building. Say whaaaat? You will go over the edge of the building, so it is definitely fun for adventurous people. The swing will cost you just five euro, but you also have to pay a fee at the entrance for the building itself.
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