Things to do in Amsterdam

Amsterdam 3-Day Itinerary – How To Spend 3 Days in Amsterdam

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Have 3 days in Amsterdam and wondering how to spend it? Check out our exclusive 3-day itinerary designed to showcase the best of the city to any visitor making their way to the Netherlands capital. Go through this list to discover more.

3 Days in Amsterdam - How To Spend Your Day


  • Day 1 in Amsterdam: Dam Square, Royal Palace & Amsterdam Canal Cruise 
  • Day 2 in Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum,‘I Amsterdam’, Van Gogh Museum, Heineken Experience
  • Day 3 in AmsterdamZaanse Schans, Volendam, Marken

Amsterdam In 3 Days - Detailed Itinerary


Day 1

A Slice of Quintessential Amsterdam

Run Time

Dam Square

Price

Royal Palace

Duration

Canal Cruise

Dam Square
Royal Palace
Canal Cruise
Welcome to Amsterdam, hope you had a smooth flight. Have you already exited customs and received your baggage? Great take a short walk from the Central Station to Dam Square, built nearly 750 years ago. This is where the Amstel dam was located, which gave Amsterdam its name.

Dam Square

MORNING 9 AM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 3 HOURS

Top Amsterdam Attractions

Historic Landmark

Follow the crowds of tourists from Amsterdam Central Station to the Damrak—a wide boulevard lined with souvenir shops that culminates at Dam Square. This city square, known as "The Dam," also marks the endpoint of other well-traveled streets like Nieuwendijk, Kalverstraat, and Damstraat. Dam Square is the triumphal checkpoint of countless visitors to Amsterdam and an ideal first stop punctuated by local attractions such as Madame Tussauds. Enjoy this jam-packed square, jostling with locals and tourists day and night, rightly known as the heartbeat of the city.

Travel Tips
  • The prices of the things here will be on the higher side, so make sure to dig a hole in your pockets on your visit to the square.
  • It’s advisable to carry an international debit/ credit card like MasterCard, American Express, etc. so that you don’t face any trouble while paying bills.

🇳🇱  Local Travel Tip 🇳🇱  

It is advisable to visit the Dam Square during the early mornings as it would give more time to explore and visit all the places. Make a list of the places you would like to visit in advance at it would make things easy.

Royal Palace

Noon 12 PM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 2 HOURS

Top Amsterdam Attractions

History Buffs

Discover the most historic, the most opulent, and for these reasons, the most visited of them all - the Royal Palace on the Dam. The balcony of the palace has historical significance as the introductory place of Queen Beatrix in 1980, and then the consummatory location where Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Máxima kissed in view of the public to seal their marriage in 2002. Your tour is incomplete without a visit to the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, originally a city hall, and later became the palace of King Louis Napoleon. A guided tour to the palace’s rooms gives you a real sumptuous feel of royalty.

Travel Tips
  • It's highly recommended to book your tickets for the palace online in advance. You can get tickets in person the day of, but the lines can be long.
  • The palace is located on the western edge of the city center, and is very easy to reach on foot. However, if you're coming from further out, Madrid's excellent public transportation network can get you there quickly and efficiently.

🇳🇱  Local Travel Tip 🇳🇱  

Avoid long queues. Visitors can skip the line by purchasing I Amsterdam Card. Remember to ask for the audio guide, as it is always included in the entry fee.

Restaurant Recommendations

Grab lunch near the Royal Palace
Café Restaurant De Koperen Bel | Café het Paleis

Canal Cruise

EVENING 5:30 PM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 2 HOURS

UNESCO World Heritage Site

Most Marked Characteristic of Amsterdam

Head down to the most marked characteristic of Amsterdam, its 165 canals. Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2010, it was originally intended to encourage trade and transport and today provides a way for travelers to take in the city’s sights and attractions in an unforgettable way. You can take a canal cruise from one of the many tours that operate on the canal, and they usually take one hour.

Travel Tips
  • To ensure that you have the best experience here, grab your Amsterdam Canal Cruise Tickets pre-hand and maybe pre- book your seats as well ( if possible).
  • For those who like to travel at their own pace, the Hop-on-hop-off cruise would be the perfect choice. It gives you the flexibility of roaming about at your own pace. The ticket costs are quite reasonable for such an experience.

🇳🇱  Local Travel Tip 🇳🇱  

The handy hop-on hop-off waterbus is a great way to get around and see the city.

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Day 2

A Blast of Amsterdam History & Culture

Run Time

Rijksmuseum, ‘I Amsterdam’

Price

Van Gogh Museum

Price

Heineken Experience

Rijksmuseum
Van Gogh Museum
Albert Cuyp Market
Let us delve deeper into Amsterdam history, culture, and art on our second day. These places will take you back in time and will tell you about the history, art, and culture of Amsterdam. Heineken Experience, housed inside Heineken’s historic brewery in the center of Amsterdam, this interactive museum will take you on an exciting, behind-the-scenes journey through the wild world of one of Europe’s most popular pilsners

Rijksmuseum,‘I Amsterdam’

MORNING 9:00 AM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 3 HOURS

Popular Photography Spot

Most Popular Museum

We are starting off the day right outside the Rijksmuseum with the iconic ‘I Amsterdam’ sign which is a popular photography spot for all tourists. Pose for some wacky pictures around the ‘I Amsterdam’ sign and let the vibe of Amsterdam sink in. Be as crazy as the place is! The most popular museum in Amsterdam, the Rijksmuseum takes you on a journey of the Dutch middle ages. It showcases artifacts and paintings from centuries ago. The museum has an entire section dedicated to the life and paintings of Rembrandt, a notable artist from the Dutch Golden Age.

Travel Tips
  • The opening hours of the museum are 9 am, and it is best to reach by then to avoid the rush and queue.
  • Fitski’s number one piece of advice for visiting the Rijksmuseum is to set an early alarm and beeline for the Gallery of Honor. The museum’s most famous painting, “The Night Watch” by Rembrandt van Rijn, is framed by an arched entryway at the far end of the hall.
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🇳🇱  Local Travel Tip 🇳🇱  

Set an early alarm and beeline for the Gallery of Honour. The museum’s most famous painting, “The Night Watch” by Rembrandt van Rijn, is framed by an arched entryway at the far end of the hall.

Restaurant Recommendations

Grab breakfast at Rijksmuseum
Café Caron | The Café

Van Gogh Museum

AFTERNOON 1:00 PM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 3 HOURS

Most Popular Tourist Attraction

Top Amsterdam Attractions

Next up is the most popular tourist attraction in the city, but don’t let the crowds deter you. The “Van Gogh Museum” features many of Van Gogh’s best works of art alongside an excellent biography of his life.Art lovers can enjoy one of the best creations of famous artists of those times such as Matisse, Monet, and Manet.When you’re done exploring this museum you can stop by its quaint gift shop and buy some unique Van Gogh souvenirs.

Travel Tips
  • Make sure to buy your entrance tickets for the Van Gogh museum before your trip – unless you don't mind waiting in line for more than 3 hours 🙂
  • Keep in mind that photography is not allowed inside the museum.
Recommended Reads

Van Gogh Museum Tickets

Headout Price: €19.50

Book Now

🇳🇱  Local Travel Tip 🇳🇱 

Buying an online ticket will save you a lot of time! While buying the tickets, you choose a time-slot and you need to arrive within 30 minutes.

Heineken Experience

EVENING 3:00 PM || RECOMMENDED DURATION: 2 HOURS

Beer Lovers

Interactive Tour

Next, you can visit the Heineken Experience. The tour here educates about the history of the Heineken Beer company and its relation with the city of Amsterdam. A tour to the company with a climax of beer tasting opportunities would bring the thrill in the minds of beer lovers. This famous beer company started in Amsterdam in 1864 and with the Heineken Experience you’ll be able to learn more about this company’s history as well as the city it was founded in. This interactive tour will take you through the historic building where this company got started and finish with a special beer tasting. You’ll also be able to learn how to draft a Heineken yourself at the end.

Travel Tips
  • It is advisable to have Heineken experience contact number as it would help in solving any queries related to the tours and timings.
  • Book the tickets in advance as getting tickets at the last moment is difficult and the last tickets are sold 2 hours before the closing time.
Recommended Experiences

🇳🇱 Local Travel Tip 🇳🇱  

The Heineken Experience has designed a digital app that provides extra information and fun facts as you explore the brewery. Unlock the app when you enter the Heineken Experience to get the most out of your visit.

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Day 3

A Day Trip from Amsterdam

Run Time

Zaanse Schans

Run Time

Volendam, Marken

Anne Frank House
Westerkerk
Westerkerk
Now to kick start Day 3, take the opportunity to explore the serene countryside of the greater Amsterdam region. A day trip to the windmills of Zaanse Schans or take a day trip to the picturesque village of Volendam and Marken.

Zaanse Schans

Take day trip Amsterdam to Zaanse Schans

A visit to Amsterdam wouldn’t be complete without visiting the world-famous windmills. Start your day with a trip to the famous Zaanse Schans, an open-air museum where the 18th and 19th centuries are brought back to life in The Netherlands. A day trip to the windmills of Zaanse Schans, the old Holland fishing villages – Volendam and Marken, and the gorgeous golden Zandvoort beach is on the cards. Walk or bike through the green meadows breathing in the fresh air and appreciating the view of picturesque windmills.

Travel Tips
  • Plan to spend at least three hours here to get the most out of the free attractions. If you want to visit the museums, allocate a bit more time.
  • Wear layers, it gets a bit windy on some occasions. There’s a reason these windmills were located here and were working well.
Recommended Experiences

🇳🇱 Local Travel Tip 🇳🇱 

Pack comfortable walking shoes for the trip to Zaanse Schans. The neighborhood is quite appealing and you wouldn’t want uncomfortable shoes to prevent you from exploring it.

Volendam, Marken

Take day trip Amsterdam to Volendam

Looking to get away from the bustling city and experience a more serene landscape? If so, you can take a day trip to Volendam. This town is located in the northern part of the Netherlands and is well-known for its colorful houses, fresh seafood, and windmills. In fact, you can take a peaceful one hour cruise down the canals here to learn more about these historic windmills and houses. The tour will also stop by a local cheese factory where you can enjoy a snack of freshly made cheese.

Travel Tips
  • Allow a total of three or four hours for a visit. It allows you plenty of time to discover the village on foot and do some fun things. If you have more time, you can also visit the surroundings and Marken.
  • The tourist office Laag Holland has put together a nice walk through Volendam. It’s a free audio tour available on your phone. In about an hour, you can walk past all the highlights of Volendam. You will hear a large portion of Volendam history supplemented with images of paintings to illustrate the life of the past.
Recommended Reads

Full-Day Tour of Zaanse Schans, Volendam and Marken

Headout Price: €27.50

Book Now

🇳🇱 Local Travel Tip 🇳🇱 

The best way to visit the village of Marken is by ferry as it gives you a chance to enjoy the panoramic views of the villages; however, if you are looking for a faster way to reach Marken then it is by road.

Restaurant Recommendations

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Spend 3 Days in Amsterdam Under €102


Barring your accomodation and food expenses, here's an approximate of how much you'll spend in Amsterdam over 3 days. Headout guarantees the best price on the internet, so simply buy your attraction tickets from the Headout website and get 5% Cashbacks and 6 Euros Discounts on every other purchase!


Day 1 : Skip-The-Line Entry Tickets to Rijksmuseum + 1-Hour Canal Cruise
€32.81
Day 2 : Saver Combo - Canal Cruise & Van Gogh Museum Direct Entry
€35
Day 3 : Skip-The-Line Entry Tickets to the Heineken® Experience with Free Drinks
€34

Total

€101.81

Book your Amsterdam Attractions tickets on Headout, and spend just €101.81 on your 3 day vacation in Amsterdam! Hit up all the prime attractions in the city and save more while you explore more.

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Amsterdam in 3 Days - Itinerary
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Public Transportation In Amsterdam


Amsterdam in 3 Days - Itinerary

Getting around in Amsterdam using public transport is convenient and easy on the pockets too. Here are your options:

  • Metro: Amsterdam's metro network originates from Central Station and connects to the city's outlying districts including Bijlmer, Amstelveen and Diemen. With over five different routes and 39 stations, the metro is perfect for long-distance travel. You can purchase a one-hour ticket or a rechargeable public transport chip card at GVB service desks or vending machines at metro stations.
  • Buses: There are three primary bus operators in Amsterdam: GVB (operating mostly within the city), Connexxion and EBS. The bus network in Amsterdam is pretty comprehensive and well connected with over 42 different routes across the city. Buses are also the cheapest mode of public transport in Amsterdam. You can purchase single-journey tickets or one-hour tickets directly from the driver. A more convenient option would be a 24-hour ticket which grants you unlimited access to the bus network for an entire day.
  • Trams: An iconic part of Amsterdam's public transport network, the tram service is best suited for short-distance travel within the city. One of the quickest ways to get around and into the city centre, the tram in Amsterdam is spread across 14 lines and 100+ stops. When travelling by tram, most locals make use of the public transport chip card (OV-Chipkaart). However, if you’re in the city for just one day, you can get a one-hour ticket aboard a majority of Amsterdam trams -- a ticket attendant sits in a booth towards the rear of most trams.
  • Ferries: Take a ferry to cross River IJ if you're on a walking tour, or using your cycle or moped. The ferry service is free of cost and a great way across the water to and from Amsterdam Noord.
  • Bikes: One of the best ways to explore Amsterdam in all its glory is on a bike. You'll find cycles or fiets available everywhere in the city for rent. You can rent a cycle for around €7 for a couple of hours or €9.50 for a day.

If paying for all the modes of transport seems like too much effort, make use of the convenient I Amsterdam Card. This card gives you free access to over 70 museums, city-wide public transport and discounts on restaurants and concerts. If you're nervous about navigating the unfamiliar Amsterdam landscape, there are many apps you can use to plan your travel.

Where To Stay in Amsterdam?


Amsterdam in 3 Days - Itinerary

Amsterdam is home to a variety of housing options since it sees millions of tourists every year. Depending on your budget, you can choose to stay in either quirky, comfortable hostels, welcoming homestays or luxurious hotels. Here’s a list of options to choose from:


Recommendations:

1. Around Van Gogh Museum:

2. Around Rijksmuseum:

3. Around Anne Frank House:

Amsterdam Travel Tips


  • Given how bike-friendly Amsterdam is, there's a dedicated lane for bikes in the city. Make sure you stick to this lane while riding. Also, don't stop in the middle of the lane to click photographs since you'll be obstructing the way for other riders.
  • Amsterdam is one of the few cities in the world where cannabis is legal. You'll find countless Coffeeshops within the city selling marijuana and related products. Note that this Coffeeshop is different from your regular Coffee Shop. Ask around if you're having trouble locating a Coffeeshop.
  • Pack regular clothes like jeans, thin sweaters or light jackets, since the city has a very laid back vibe. Also, no matter what time you visit Amsterdam, bring a scarf since it gets pretty windy during the evening.
  • Remember to carry an umbrella at all times. Amsterdam weather is often unpredictable and you don't want to be stuck in the rain, especially when you only have one day to explore the city.
  • Fridge magnets and keychains aren't the souvenirs you would want to take home from Amsterdam. Instead, you can choose from unique Dutch licorice, candy, cheese or alcohol. You'll also find wooden clogs at Zaanse Schans, funky crockery, cookie moulds and more items specific to Amsterdam.
  • Socket Type C, E And F can be used to charge your devices in Amsterdam.
  • When planning your trip, book tickets for the attractions you're planning on visiting as well. Booking tickets in advance not only works out to be cheaper but you can also avail discounts and cashback offers.
  • Amsterdam is famous for its beautiful, multicolored tulips. Please note that tulips bloom only from mid-March to mid-May. Don't be fooled by sellers offering tulip bulbs in spring.
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FAQs: 3 Days Amsterdam Itinerary


How many days is sufficient for Amsterdam?

Three days in Amsterdam is more than enough time to see all the city's biggest sights, plus head out of town for a quick day trip.

What is the best month to go to Amsterdam?

 The best time to visit Amsterdam is between April and May or September and November – right before or directly after the summertime high tourist season.

Is Amsterdam expensive to visit?

Amsterdam is one of the 10 most expensive places to live in Europe. So yes, Amsterdam is definitely not cheap to live in. Especially 'binnen de ring' (in the most central neighbourhoods) prices could be double or triple compared with places in for example Friesland or Limburg.

Is it easy to walk around Amsterdam?

Unlike most European capitals, Amsterdam's streets in the center are relatively traffic-free and easy to navigate on foot. As you explore these city streets, you will pass by dazzling landmarks, cafes, galleries and exclusive independent shops.

How many nights should I stay in Amsterdam?

As a general rule, most travelers can plan on spending between 2-4 days in Amsterdam, depending on whether or not they take any day trips, and how long they plan to spend in the Netherlands overall.