How to spend 48h in Amsterdam

You only have 2 days to spend in Amsterdam? We created a little guide to make the best out of your 48h stay in Amsterdam.

1 buy a 48h city card

The most important tip for your 48 hours in Amsterdam is buying a 48h Amsterdam City Card that will give you access to 60 museums and attractions in Amsterdam and also allow you to use public transport for free during your stay.

Day 1

Amsterdam Central, Dam Square to the Anne Frank Huis

The first 24 hours are dedicated to the Amsterdam Central Canal Belt, which arcs in a semi-circle around the Central Station. Start at the station and head south to Damrak; this most strikingly touristy street in Amsterdam is lined with souvenir shops whose wares range from the tasteful to the amusing kitsch. At the end of the road is Dam Square, with the Koninklijk Palace on the west side and the National Monument on the east. Join the palace and enjoy the 17 illustrious rooms of the Kingdom.

Go west on the Radhuisstraat to the Westermarkt, the location of both the Homomonument — a delicate shrine to all those persecuted for their sexuality — and the Westerkerk, whose 280-foot church tower, the highest in Amsterdam, rewards climbers with a stunning view. To the north, Anne Frank House does not need to be introduced; skip the queue for pre-purchased online tickets.

Brown Cafes (coffee shops)

The brown cafés, better known as coffee shops or bruin cafés (brown cafes; traditional Dutch pubs), are the quintessence of a trip to Amsterdam. The name comes from the various smoke stains on the walls. Brown cafes have candle-topped chairs, wooden floors and a cozy vibe that makes friends linger and chat for hours over drinks.

Day 2

Museum Quarter

Start at the Rijksmuseum, another destination included in the Amsterdam City Card, the permanent collection of which boasts the finest Dutch and Flemish masters.

The most influential Dutch painter of the century has its own institution in the Museum Quarter: the Van Gogh Museum. Gerrit Rietveld 's phenomenal architecture sets the tone for this rare series of some 200 paintings and hundreds of more drawings by the poet, in addition to his Impressionist friends and Post-Impressionist disciples.

Vondelpark

Escape the city hectic life and relax in the nature at Vondelpark, the favorite place of the inhabitants of Amsterdam during sunny days for romantic couples picknicks, having a beer with friends and simply relax.

Amsterdam Red Light District

It's very likely that you've heard of this neighborhood, and to be fair, everything you've heard is probably real. From brothel to sex shops to museums, the Amsterdam Red Light District has it all. Although contrary to what many people would think, the Amsterdam Red Light District has a rather nice environment and is not as unsafe as it used to be.

Feeling like exploring this area but you feel a bit intimidated? We recommend opting for one of the walking tours offered by the city to have the opportunity to learn the history of this area in a respectful and interesting way. Refrain from taking photos or videos of the women working in the red light district as it strictly forbidden.