3-day Itinerary In Amsterdam And Around

Visiting Amsterdam means walking and strolling through the alleys and bridges that link each of the neighborhoods. The city itself does not have great monuments or buildings to visit; it is the very charm of the city that makes it so unique. It has so many channels that no matter how good orientation you have, you will end up disoriented.

Everything you need to know for your trip to Amsterdam:

  1. Best time of year to visit Amsterdam
  2. Basic tips for Amsterdam
  3. 3-day itinerary in Amsterdam and around
    1. Days 1 y 2: Amsterdam
    2. Day 3: Volendam and Marken
  4. Amsterdam daily budget
  5. Where to stay in Amsterdam
  6. What to do in Amsterdam if you have more time

Who was going to tell me that three years after making this trip, Amsterdam was going to become my home for a while. This will allow me to get to know the country more thoroughly and to give you more advice.

Best time of year to visit Amsterdam

Without a doubt May to September. The Netherlands is characterized by its humid climate, it is not an extremely cold country. Minimum temperatures are usually close to 0ºC, but they do not usually drop much lower. The constant rain and fog is what makes the wind chill lower than it actually is.

When summer arrives the rainfall does not change, but if the temperature does, the days are longer and warmer. At the height of the summer solstice, the sun rises at 6am and sets after 10pm.

At what times might I be interested in going to Amsterdam? Definitely seeing the tulips bloom and the feast of the king are the two most relevant moments in the region. The first in mid-April and the second on April 27 when the whole country goes out to celebrate the national day in its streets.

Basic tips for visiting Amsterdam

I have updated this section with my experience living in Amsterdam.

  • Get a bike: Even if you come as a tourist, it is the best way to move around the city. Locals use it rain or shine. I recommend Swapfiets (discount code Swapfiets OSCAR45196 to get € 7.5 of free balance), they rent bikes for months for € 15 a month. I do not know how much they charge you in a normal rental store, but only if you come 2 or 3 days it will pay off. They even deliver it to the door of your hotel / airBnB if you arrange it in advance.
  • Credit cards: This is one of the points that surprised me the most. There are many stores even in non-tourist places that do not accept Visa or Mastercard. Credit cards tend to give more problems than debit cards, and card payment more problem than mobile payment. So carry cash with you just in case. Withdraw cash for free with N26. If you don’t have an N26 card register and earn 25€ of free credit
  • Accommodation: The prices of AirBnBs and hotels in the center are exorbitant, perhaps the most expensive in all of Europe. This is due to the little space that the city has to grow in the center. You will find hotels at a great price in the Sloterdijk and Zuid area, 10 minutes by tram to the center.
  • Don’t forget your raincoat and boots: It rains, it always rains even if google maps say otherwise. Do not fear, even if it rains, people go out the same and lead a normal life. For them it is the day to day.

3-day itinerary in Amsterdam and around

Days 1 and 2: Amsterdam

As we get closer to Schiphol airport we see how the landscape is changing, and Amsterdam is made up of more than 100km of canals and 1500 bridges to link the 90 islands that make it up. From Schiphol you can take a train for € 5.5 to the city center. Once at our hotel, we take the tram that will leave us at the Centraal Station. If you want a somewhat more central point, you can try to get to Dam Square, which is more or less 20-30 minutes maximum from any tourist spot in the city. From there we start our route, which will consist of visiting the main tourist spots in the center of Amsterdam during the morning.

  • Centraal Station: It is the train and bus station of Amsterdam. From here you can reach any city or town either by train or bus. The building itself is spectacular and well worth seeing from the outside.
  • Dam Square and Royal Palace: It is the central point of Amsterdam, and from here it will take you between 20 and 30 minutes to walk anywhere (we try to walk everywhere and use as little public transport as possible). From here you can see the Royal Palace, which, if the king is not there, you can visit. If you are lovers of palaces, it is a good option to visit.
  • Red Light District: The curious Red Light District of Amsterdam leaves no one indifferent. 5 minutes from Dam Square on one of the central islands, it stands out for its shop windows with prostitutes, coffee shops and lots of curious tourists entering the neighborhood.
  • Begijnhof: It is a small oasis south of Dam Square. It was an old community of Catholic women who had not taken monastic vows. It is worth going in 10 minutes to take a walk and rest in the patio.
  • Vondelpark: It is the lung of Amsterdam, although, like any park in winter, it is a bit depressing. In summer / spring it will have more charm.
  • Rijksmuseum. Yes, we know you are eager to find out: this is where the lyrics to “I Amsterdam” are. It is crowded with tourists trying to take a selfie in which all the letters are seen (difficult if it is not with GoPro). I suppose it is the typical place to go, but hey, it has nothing special. If you are interested, there is also the Rijksmuseum, with permanent and temporary exhibitions.
  • Bloomen Market: Amsterdam flower market along the canal. Here you can take the opportunity to buy souvenirs from the city, plants and seeds.
  • Markets: Apart from channels, we believe that we could highlight the city for the markets that are everywhere, from clothing, antique and food markets. You will find them in their usual places or you will find them walking around the city or in the direction of your next destination to visit. We particularly liked the Jordaan market.
  • Van Gogh Museum: Next to the Rijksmuseum if you are art lovers you cannot miss this visit as the museum houses great works by the Dutch artist.

Now, have we left things to see in the center and the old south? Sure, but our next stop is the Jordaan west of the city. Perhaps less famous but for us essential.

On the way to or along the Jordaan you will come across the Anne Frank house and its museum. On the part closest to the river you will see a green door that says “Anne Frank Huis”. We did not go in and we continued our route to the Jordaan, a picturesque neighborhood with many pedestrian streets, terraces, bars and cafes. We came across a food market where we could taste cheeses of all varieties, the odd sausage and sweets. Believe us that even if you are not hungry you will end up pecking something.

By the way, be careful with bikes because pedestrians do not have any preference for a bike. So if you don’t want to get run over, you have to look left and right before crossing a street.

Day 3: Volendam and Marken

As we anticipated, two days of visiting Amsterdam is enough, so for the third day we decided to take an excursion to a nearby place. You can catch a train and go to The Hague, Rotterdam, Utrecht…. Countless major cities, but we preferred to see something different, rather a bit of the countryside and cities near the sea. We discovered that there is a € 10 voucher for visiting a number of villages north of Amsterdam, with which you can make unlimited trips between these villages by bus. Volendam and Marken were chosen, although there are other options and routes for all tastes.

We go to Centraal Station (of course), cross the station through a tunnel to the end and look for the ticket office to buy the voucher (you can only buy it at the ticket offices with a person). We went up the stairs and waited for the bus for 15 minutes. And since the world is so small, we meet an old colleague from college on the bus!

Volendam is a small city that formerly had an important port. It is worth taking the walk along the coast and admiring the beautiful little houses, all with a lot of class and style. We imagine that in summer this little town must have a lot of life since it is full of terraces and shops. We fed up to eat cheese in a small shop / museum in the village, and after spending a little time in the village we went to Marken. To go there, there are two options: by ferry (not included in the pass), or by bus (although you have to change in an intermediate town), which takes 30 minutes.

If Volendam had charm, you cannot imagine how we fell in love with the small town of Marken. The bus dropped us off at the “Centruum” and we walked 5 minutes across a couple of bridges admiring the wooden houses until we reached the port, where we decided to stay and eat in a great restaurant. It must be borne in mind that this town is on a small island and until recently it was only connected by ferry, which explains why this town has managed to keep its essence so intact.

If you have time, we recommend you take a walk around the port and along the coast along the promenade.

Amsterdam daily budget

As you will see € 100 a day is not bad, the main item of expenses is accommodation. We stayed in a hotel that was quite good, if you travel alone through the center you will find a lot of hostels for about € 25 / day. As for restaurants, I like to eat more or less light and often do it on the go, hence the cost of food is not very high either. There are a lot of places to do takeout and if you are lucky and the weather is good you will be fabulous eating in front of a canal.

Amsterdam daily budget

Where to stay in Amsterdam

Obviously we only stayed in one hotel so I can’t recommend many places. The two places where I have stayed in Amsterdam (one the first time) and the other in the middle of the Covid pandemic are the following:

  • Holiday Inn Sloterdijk: This is a large, simple hotel, and at the same time totally new. You can book with breakfast or included. There is a supermarket right outside the hotel and you will be at Schiphol Airport in 10 minutes. To the center you have several options, train to Centraal or tram to Dam Square.
  • Stayokay Hostels Oost: On my second visit to Amsterdam I stayed one night in this hostel, I can’t give you much information about the vibe, since we were in the middle of a global pandemic and there were hardly any guests. It is worse communicated, it is only connected to the center through buses. By bike it takes about 10 minutes.

What to do in Amsterdam if you have more days

The size of the Netherlands is one of the great advantages when visiting it. No matter how far you go, practically everything is 90 minutes away by public transport. Apart from Marken and Volendam I recommend:

  • Zaanse Schans: Nice town on the river bank where you can see the mythical Dutch windmills.
  • Haarlem: Just 30 minutes from Amsterdam, celebrated for its tulip fields, it was a very important commercial port. Its majestic streets will not leave you the same.

If you plan to extend your visit, you can continue visiting Rotterdam, The Hague, Groningen and many other locations.

Since I am living in Amsterdam, I will continue to complement the information in this blog and its surroundings in order to become your reference blog in Spanish in the Netherlands.

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