How to Spend 3 Days in Amsterdam
When I first made my way to Europe back in 2010, I avoided Amsterdam. I was travelling alone, and my perception of Amsterdam was drugs and partying – and I didn't want to go it alone.
So when I returned to Europe late last year, I added Amsterdam to my list to see what all the hype was about.
And boy was I pleasantly surprised!
Amsterdam is an incredible city – one I would move to in a heartbeat. It's absolutely gorgeous to wander around, it's well connected with trams and bikes having full control of the roads making it super easy to get around. It's full of trendy bars, restaurants and cafes on every corner. And it's a creatives paradise with incredible museums on just about every topic.
I was smitten – to say the least.
I would recommend giving yourself at least a week in Amsterdam, but for those of you in a rush, here's how to spend 3 days in Amsterdam.
How to get around?
First things first, hire a bike.
You can't go to Amsterdam and not ride a bike. It would be like visiting Paris and not eating cheese... Cycling is the locals preferred method of travel. It's understandable given the population density, narrow streets and flat terrain.
There's a bike hire shop on just about every corner, and most are fair and reliable for an easy jaunt around the city.
Spend the day riding around the canals and getting lost in the beautiful city. It's honestly the best and most fun way to get around for your whole trip!
If the weather is looking a little unappealing, then get yourself an I Amsterdam City Card where you receive free entry to the cities top attractions and unlimited public transport. The price depends on the amount of days you're there, starting at €22.
Top things to do
Don't miss exploring the Jordaan district for postcard perfect canals, a maze of streets that uncover hidden alleys, cafes and art galleries.
The absolute perfect place to chill out, relax and people watch. It's particularly exciting in the summer when everyone and their dog are there. Grab yourself some beers and snacks, and just take it all in.
The Dutch National Museum is where you'll find your European masterpieces like Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and Johannes Vermeer.
The Dutch Renaissance Museum takes you back in time to what life was like in Amsterdam during World War II. This was hands down the best museum I've ever visited. It was extremely informative in a totally visual and fascinating way. This is a MUST. Don't miss Verzetsmuseum if you love learning about history.
Amsterdam is full of neighbourhood markets, so definitely check out this official list to see what's on while you're there. Markets are a fantastic way to get amongst the locals.
You can't leave Amsterdam without having one (or many more) Nutella crepes. They're delicious. And while you're at it, try a waffle to!
What's with the 'coffeehouses'?
A 'coffeehouse' or 'coffee shop' in Amsterdam is often a cafe you can buy, smoke or eat weed. But don't let that put you off visiting what the rest of the world consider a coffeehouse, there are awesome, smoke-free cafe's all around Amsterdam too!
Visiting Amsterdam's notorious coffeehouses is totally up to you and whether you're interested in legally getting high. You don't have to experience this side of Amsterdam if you're not interested in it – it's definitely not the only thing that Amsterdam should be known for! But visiting a coffeehouse is definitely an experience. Yes, an intimidating one for sure, but the staff are incredibly helpful and kind when you tell them you're a newbie.
If you're not a fan of smoking, you can always buy a space cake, which is weed baked into a cake or muffin – and they're surprisingly good. I'd recommend taking your cake to Vondel park for a chill time.
The best coffeehouses for beginners are:
The Bulldog Palace
Barney’s Breakfast Bar
And if you need anything, check out I Amsterdam, a fantastic website with absolutely everything you need to know about visiting Amsterdam. The Dutch seriously think of everything!
Have you been to Amsterdam? What did you like best?