Two days in Amsterdam
If you have two days, try to wake up early on the second day (if you can) and head to the Anne Frank House first thing to avoid the lines. If you can’t pull yourself out of bed, expect to wait at least one hour in line. Alternatively, make a visit to the Amsterdam Historic Museum, one of the best kept secrets in Amsterdam, providing a great overview of all things Dutch including paintings, artifacts and model ships from the Golden Age, all located in a former orphanage dating from 1580. A visit to the Historic Museum also puts you within a stones throw of the tranquil Begijnhof. This peaceful compound is still a refuge for sisters of the Beguines Catholic sisterhood and contains the oldest chapel in Amsterdam.
After lunch, rent a bike at one of the many outlets around town and start pedaling. See our Bike Tour for specific suggestions or just cruise the city and discover the city as it was meant to be seen. Most renters close around 6pm but allow you to keep your bike overnight for a few extra Euros.
If riding a bike in Amsterdam is a little too hectic for you, head on over to Waterlooplein to visit Amsterdam’s funkiest outdoor market (closed Sundays). A block or two from Waterlooplein you can visit Rembrandt’s House, the Jewish Museum or the Willet-Holthuysen Canal House Museum, depending on your level of interest. Shopping fans should continue on from Waterlooplein across the Amstel River to Utrechtstraat, filled with interesting boutiques and fashionable duds. Catch tram 6, 7 or 10 at the bottom of Utrechtstraat to arrive back at Leidseplein and the heart of the shopping district. If you can’t help yourself, of course there’s always the Heineken Experience that promises to give you a good start on the evening with a few free refreshments.
For dinner, if you still have your bike, pedal over to the area known as De Pijp near Sarphatipark, just south of the Heineken Experience. This is Amsterdam’s most ethnically diverse neighborhood, filled with unique restaurants and cafes, and the place where locals go to get away from the tourists. Van Der Helsstraat along the west side of the park is your best bet. Alternatively, head to the Jordaan district for dinner - Rozengracht offers cheap eats while Westerstraat offers a quieter neighborhood atmosphere.
For the evening’s entertainment, checkout a local Brown Bar in De Pijp or Jordaan. If you feel like dressing up, Concertgebouw at Museumplein, Musikgebouw near central station, and the Muziektheater at Waterlooplein have what you’re looking for. Stop in early at the Uitburo Ticketshop at Leidseplein to book.
If you’re curious or just looking for a great party, go to Regulierdwarsstrasse behind the flower market to check out some of the liveliest and most friendly gay bars in the world. Nearby Odeon along the Singlegracht is a good alternative located in an old canal house with an equally lively dance floor.