Spending 48 hours in Amsterdam…
You might not think 48 hours in Amsterdam is enough time, and yes, if you want to truly acclimate yourself to the city and their customs while seeing all the marvelous attractions it has to offer …. 48 hours might not be enough. BUT, if it’s all the time you have to spare, book your tickets and go because there is so much you can check off your bucket list in those brief 2 days….and I guarantee you will not regret it.
If you are going to pull the trigger, I suggest flying in for a weekend so that you optimize the positive vibes and good energy in which the city draws out of all its inhabitants and visitors. When booking your flight, it is a good idea to look into the earliest possible arrival times at Schiphol Airport (Amsterdam’s international airport) in order to take full advantage of your time. The airport is pretty close to Central Amsterdam, around 22 min by car or about 35-40 minutes via public transport.
When deciding where to stay, it is first most important to think about your budget. How much will you want to spend on the flight? Lodging? Food? Activities? Regardless, it’s important have a plan when it comes to budgeting for your trip.
The great thing about Amsterdam is that if you want to spend a decent amount of money on a hotel or Airbnb, you totally can! However, if that isn’t necessarily in the cards for you, fear not! There are many decent and inexpensive options to explore in and around the city, you just need to do a little research to find what suits you best!
Rent Bikes! Amsterdam is regarded as the city of bikes and as soon as you arrive, you will understand. Not only is biking a great way to see the lively architecture that decorates the city, you also get some exercise! Be sure to ask wherever it is you’re staying if they have bikes, have discounts to local rental shops, or suggestions for the best place to rent. That will make navigating how to find them a little easier, although there are rental shops ALL over the city.
For lunch, I suggest keeping it short and sweet in order to delve into as much as possible. Grab a sandwich at any café (I suggest going to Dam Square or Liedersplein) and then head to Vondelpark. Here you can find a spot to sit and enjoy your meal while also observing Amsterdam’s natural beauty. There are also a ton of vendors in the park, so if you just want to head there and grab a street waffle, hotdog etc. with a cold Heineken, that is also an option!
After lunch, I suggest biking over to the Amsterdam museum to learn about the city and how its evolved in the last 800 years! This is a fun way to get your history lesson in. If you want to be prepared, you can order tickets ahead of time online, but you can also get them the day of at the museum.
If you are someone who likes to make plans as you go, head over to the Jordaan district next. Here you will find lots of trendy shops and hip eateries with a range of cuisines. Personally, I made never made reservations and I didn’t wait more than 5 minutes for a table.
Viewing the city via the canals is another MUST do. There are canal tours at all times of the day, however I recommend going at night to see all the lights of the city and enjoy the atmosphere. It is spectacular. There are all sorts of tours you can do so I suggest finding one that works with your budget. I also recommend you book the tour ahead of time and online.
Now that you have spent time exploring Amsterdam, spend the better half of your morning exploring areas that might have sparked your interest from the day before. After this, consider spending a majority of your day at the marvelous museums the city has to offer.
Start with the Anne Frank House. The only way you can view this historic site is by purchasing tickets online, so be sure to do that! Another site worth visiting is the Van Gogh Museum, which is dedicated to none other than Vincent Van Gogh. You do not need to purchase tickets prior to visiting. Another museum worth checking out is the Moco Museum, which is conveniently located next to the Van Gogh Museum.
There are endless possibilities for having an amazing experience with only 48 hours in Amsterdam. Don’t worry about not being able to do it all…it only gives you more of a reason to come back!
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