48 amazing hours in Amsterdam – travel guide

What an amazing city. Years ago I spent three months hopping around for my internship, and the city has never left my heart (corny much). Amsterdam has everything you want. You need some help getting around and what to do? Huppa, have fun with my Amsterdam travel guide.

The combination of the canals and their houses, the 17th-century architecture, the many tourists and the coffee shops, the down-to-earth Dutch people and the desire for peace in their city, the Red Light District, the Museum Quarter: Amsterdam is very unique. And everyone is welcome. Right?

Amsterdam travel guide - I really need my space - travel blog

Do you want to know what to do for a weekend, where to eat and drink and where the best stores are? Huppa, my Amsterdam travel guide incomingggg!

Amsterdam travel guide: to do

Rijksmuseum

An impressive museum, thanks to the many works by 17th-century Dutch masters such as Rembrandt and Vermeer. But the entire Museum Quarter is fun. Close to each other: the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum, but also the Concertgebouw, the Vondelpark and many shopping opportunities such as the P.C. Hooftstraat and the Cornelis Schuytstraat.

Amsterdam travel guide - I really need my space - travel blog

Flower market

The only floating flower market in the world, which has been around since 1862. Crazy! The Dutch take their flowers seriously, so this is a definite must-visit.

Red Light District

Winkwink. Call it what you want, in Amsterdam this is an iconic part of the city. Walking through is an attraction in itself, but be respectful.

Canal cruise

Okay, I do not think they really call it a cruise, but you’re on a boat so that’s that. In any case, it is a great way to see Amsterdam from a different point of view.

Vondelpark

One of the most beautiful parks ever, especially when the weather is nice. Pass by the Albert Heijn, take a bottle and some snacks and bam, impromptu picnic. Always fun.

Anne Frank-huis

Never been before, mainly because there is always such a long line. That does not mean that it isn’t a must-do if you are interested in the Second World War. This house was the hiding place of Anne Frank, where she also wrote her diary.

Museum Willet-Holthuysen

This double-fronted townhouse was built in 1687 on the Herengracht, one of the city’s fanciest canals. You had to be very rich to live here, which was definitely the case for Abraham Willet and his wife Sandrina Holthuysen, who lived there from 1861 to 1895. Now, their house is a museum. Very impressive to see how the wealthy people live(d).

Amsterdam travel guide - I really need my space - travel blog

EYE Filmmuseum

Not so old, though already iconic in Amsterdam. This thanks to the cinema, the film museum and the cafe and restaurant that it houses.

Westergasfabriek

Always something fun to do there, with all those creative people that are hanging around. Old gas factory, now a place with bars and restaurants and where you can watch movies.

Amsterdam travel guide: to shop

Kalverstraat & Rokin

Kalverstraat and Rokin are what Oxford Street is for London, Champs-Elysées for Paris and the Meir for Antwerp. All the major brands are there: Urban Outfitters, H&M, Zara, Stradivarius, MAC, Pull & Bear, Monki, …

De 9 Straatjes

Yay. Nine super cozy streets. They connect the Prinsengracht, the Keizersgracht, the Herengracht and the Singel with each other. Great for walking and discovering the many boutiques and concept stores.

De Pijp

Super cozy neighborhood with not that many tourists but great shops.

Amsterdam travel guide - I really need my space - travel blog

Vintage

Looking for vintage? No stress, Amsterdam has a lot to offer. The best stores: Episode, Marbles Vintage & Design, Rumors, We Are Vintage and Zipper.

Records

Concerto is a GIGANTIC store (1000m²!), which means that they have a lot of records. Maybe on the more expensive side, but it’s nice to find everything you are looking for. Go to Waxwell if you are more into hip-hop. Back Beat for jazz and Eardrum Buzz for new wave!

Amsterdam travel guide - I really need my space - travel blog

Amsterdam travel guide: to eat

Mama Kelly

On Wednesdays (and every other day), we wear pink. 

The Avocado Show

If you’re looking for some pieces of art made from avocados. Only when you have a lot of time, waiting time is long. 

Vegan Junkfood

Going crazy on vegan food: yes please!

Metropolitain

Perfect lunch stop during shopping.

Sticky Fingers

For that kind of people that like food but also like Instagram.

Lucy’s Cheesecake and Coffee

Because who doesn’t like a piece cheesecake during a shopping spree?

Amsterdam travel guide - I really need my space - travel blog

De Drie Graefjes

For when you want to go hard on the tastiest and largest pie pieces EVER. And yes, you can ask for a doggy bag.

Amsterdam travel guide: to drink

De Ebeling

Cozy much.

Café de Ceuvel

Perfect in sthe ummertime.

Bar Botanique

A bar that looks amaaazing. 

Bourbon Street

Cool bar with some entertaining live music.

Chupitos

Shot bar. Great for 30 minutes or so, but still, it’s impressive to see how they set fire to your shots.

Amsterdam travel guide: to sleep

Staying in Amsterdam has become a lot more expensive in recent years. I did enjoy Volkshotel, véry hipster, but a bit out of the center. In the same category: The Student Hotel.

Do you prefer to be more central? Hotel Vondel is a boutique hotel and is really cool and close – you’ve guessed it – to the Vondelpark and Leidseplein.

Amsterdam travel guide - I really need my space - travel blog

Good to know

Best time to visit? Doesn’t really matter. Summer, winter, autumn, spring: Amsterdam’s always beautiful. In the winter it is always slightly colder (with all that water), the summer is busier. From March to May is the tulip season, so yay!

Transport? The tram runs as good as anywhere in the center. Every time you have to buy a ticket, so a day pass is useful. Are you visiting Amsterdam more often? Then pick up a public transport chip card, which you can recharge every time. That way, you do not pay per journey but per stop. When the weather is nice: rent a bike! Amsterdam is super bike-friendly, so nothing to fear.

Top days? On April 27 it is King’s Day, a national holiday celebrating King Willem-Alexander’s birthday. The whole country is turned upside down, it is one big party. Finding hotels that date is a bit of a challenge, but it is highly recommended to be in Amsterdam that day. So much fun. Speaking about fun: in the weekend of 3 – 5 August it’s Gay Pride, and since the Netherlands is progressive in the LGBTQ-field, that weekend is also known to be one big party, with boat parades and parties everywhere.

Did you like this Amsterdam travel guide? Hooray. Have fun in the city!