With some planning, 48 hours allow ample opportunity to experience Amsterdam, with its canals, museums, and Red Light District, as well as some of its surrounding highlights. Here are your options for making the most of two days in the capital of the Netherlands.
Day 1: Experience the City
Morning: Begin with an Amsterdam city tour to gain an overview of the capital. Opt to zip around by Segway, saving time and foot fatigue, or take in the main attractions on a hop-on hop-off boat journey along the city’s UNESCO-listed canals, benefiting from unlimited use for a chosen period.
Afternoon: Spend your afternoon learning about the city’s coffeeshops and sex trade history as you explore sights associated with Amsterdam’s renowned alternative culture, or opt to visit trendy Jordaan for a taste of Dutch fare and the opportunity to meet and dine with locals.
Night: Unwind after a busy day on a nightlife tour of popular area bars to experience the city after dark. Or, if you’re not quite ready to hang up your exploring hat for the evening, discover the De Wallen neighborhood on an Amsterdam Red Light District tour.
Day 2: Beyond the City
Morning: Discover the Netherlands' wider heritage or the impact of one of the country’s most famous exports with a morning spent exploring the Rijksmuseum or Van Gogh Museum, starting early and taking advantage of skip-the-line access to maximize your time.
Afternoon: With a number of historic villages, charming windmills, and the colorful Keukenhof Gardens nearby, it’s well worth spending a few hours outside the city. Take advantage of flexible half-day tours that offer a range of departure and return times, allowing you to explore at your own pace.
Evening: Take a seat on a canal boat and relax after two days of sightseeing with a cruise along moonlit waterways. Evening cruises typically include drinks and snacks, but if you’d rather end with a more complete dining experience, opt for dinner cooked and served in the home of a local chef.