Have 5 days in Amsterdam and wondering how to spend it? Check out our exclusive 5-day itinerary designed to showcase the best of the city to any visitor making its way to the Netherlands capital. Go through this list to discover more.
5 Days in Amsterdam - How To Spend Your Day
Amsterdam In 5 Days - Detailed Itinerary
A Slice of Quintessential Amsterdam
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.
- 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.
- Visit Madame Tussauds Amsterdam and see statues of celebrities worshipped around the world.
- Take pictures with your favorite celebrities and enjoy a great view over the Dam Square.
- Discover the skills of the TV host in the TV studio or invent eclectic tunes in the DJ studio.
- Take an Instagrammable photo with Dua Lipa or have a cup of coffee with George Clooney.
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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- Enjoy the sights of the Dutch Capital on a delightful cruise through the illustrious canal district in Amsterdam.
- Admire Amsterdam's treasured architecture and its charming 17-century houses lining the canals.
- See famous landmarks like the Anne Frank House Museum and the Skinny Bridge.
- Enjoy immersive audio commentary in 19 languages about the ins and outs of the city.
- Choose to cruise along the capital's canals during the day or watch the city come to life after dusk.
20 Amsterdam Travel Tips & Hacks
A Blast of Amsterdam History & Culture
Rijksmuseum, ‘I Amsterdam’
Van Gogh Museum
Albert Cuyp Market
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.
- 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.
- Spend your day surrounded by art as you admire fascinating art collections inside the Rijksmuseum.
- Weave your way across the galleries and admire over 8,000 exhibited works of art.
- Marvel at the vast collection of paintings, pottery, artworks, and art history books housed here.
- Admire Van Gogh’s Self-portrait, Vermeer’s Milkmaid, and Rembrandt’s Nightwatch.
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.
- 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.
Van Gogh Museum Tickets
Headout Price: €19.50
- Step into the museum of Van Gogh, the largest collection of his prized artworks.
- This world exquisitely flaunts Van Gogh's unconventional personality and ways of working.
- Stroll past 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and 750 letters from this revered Dutch artist.
- Recognize famous artworks like Sunflowers, The Bedroom, and the Self Portrait.
- Be sure to check out exhibited artworks of Van Gogh’s contemporaries, such as Gauguin and Monet.
- Upgrade your ticket to get access to a multimedia guided tour with an immersive audioguide available in 11 languages.
Time for some street food and street shopping. A must-try delicacy at the Albert Cuyp Market is the Stroopwafel – a kind of a waffle, but really thin and stuffed with caramel. The culinary skills of the chefs making the Stroopwafel live is a treat to the eyes. You have a chance to use your bargaining skills all that you can, shopping for clothes, accessories, and souvenirs at the Albert Cuyp Market. You can also pick up some farm-fresh vegetables and fruits here.
- I recommend going hungry and walking its length before you commit to eating something.
- It is typically open every day except for Sundays and national holidays.
A Delicate Contrast Between Class & Quirk
Anne Frank House
Exploring Anne Frank House is a must. Established on a canal Prinsengracht, this house is less than a kilometer away from the Dam Square. In the Jordaan district, you’ll find a famous little house, famous for a tragic past and stories from only a few decades ago – the Anne Frank House. This is arguably Amsterdam’s most important and visited landmark. It is amazing just to be there and acknowledge the power that this one girl’s story has over so many people that visit her house every year.This is the place where Anne Frank and her family hid during the Holocaust. The museum on the premises has displays that will tell you about the life of Anne Frank and the Second World War.
- Lines are hours long, so I can’t stress enough to buy tickets online before your trip. Book your tickets far in advance.
- Re-read the Diary of Anne Frank before your visit. Reading her diary before your trip will really help to put everything you see and experience at the Anne Frank House into perspective.
Mere footsteps away from the Anne Frank House are the biggest churches in Amsterdam. Westerkerk is one of the oldest churches in the city, and the bell tower is of utmost significance ringing every full hour. It is an architectural masterpiece born in the early 17th century. A magnificent jewel in the crown of Amsterdam, the church is the city’s most popular and frequented Protestant church. Nestled in the heart of the Old City, the tower looms at a height of 275 ft., and commands some mesmerizing views of the cityscape. Reflecting a colorful past, the church is built with surprisingly modest interiors - a trail common amongst almost all Dutch Protestant churches. It is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Amsterdam.
- Modest dressing is advised.
- Children younger than 6 are not allowed. Westerkerk Tower is 7 Euro. The church is free.
A Day of Fun, Frolic & Sightseeing
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.
- 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.
- Create wonderful memories at the villages of Volendam, Marken, and the windmills of Zaanse Schans.
- Learn all about traditional Dutch craft at a wooden clog maker's and see the making of Dutch cheese.
- Choose the All-in tour option to enjoy a peaceful boat trip on the IJsselmeer, and sail past the towns of Monnickendam and Katwoude.
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.
- 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.
Full-Day Tour of Zaanse Schans, Volendam and Marken
Headout Price: €27.50
Zandvoort beach is nearly 30 minutes from Amsterdam. A quiet evening on the beach, watching the waves is all that’s required after a long day in your Amsterdam five day itinerary. For all the adventure freaks, the beach offers water sports activities including parasailing. Relax all you want before heading back to your base. Zandvoort is a favorite among solo travelers, families, as well as adventurers.
- Zandvoort can be conveniently reached by public transportation as well as by car. Zandvoort is the only seaside resort in the Netherlands where the train takes you almost directly onto the beach.
- Purchasing a day ticket for parking in one of the parking lots is the best choice if you’d like to stay in Zandvoort for the day and don’t want to sleep over in the area.
An Exciting Day On Your Feet
You can start the day with a visit to Keukenhof, one of the world’s biggest gardens enveloped with colorful tulips. Amazing flora and eye-catching scenic beauty of flowers such as fragrant hyacinths and daffodils render a breathtaking experience. Amsterdam enjoys the massive tulip blooms during the spring, which are the official flower of the Netherlands. Keukenhof is one of the world’s largest gardens and is filled with colorful tulips that you can enjoy looking at while strolling down winding paths built in the midst of them.
- As the Keukenhof Gardens sprawl over a huge 32 hectares, it is a good idea to plan your route in advance. This is so you don’t miss out on any of the amazing fountains, sculptures, pavilions and, of course, flowerbeds that lie along its 10 miles of walking trails. Make sure to pick up a map at the entrance!
- Another great way to save time and make the most of your visit is to buy your ticket online and avoid the queues. Some combination tickets also include public transport alongside the entrance fee.
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.
- 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.
- Experience Amsterdam in a unique way with this behind-the-scenes tour of the Heineken Experience, the brewery-turned-museum.
- Get to know the history of the legendary Heineken beer and the story behind its brewing process.
- Sip on 2 perfectly-chilled beer samples at the Best ‘Dam Bar and end your tour in high spirits.
- Upgrade your experience by adding a relaxing 1-hour cruise of the Amsterdam canals to your ticket.
- See the Dutch capital’s most picturesque sights along the way.
More Amsterdam Itinerary Options?
Don't have 5 whole days to Spare in Amsterdam? Check out our 1 day in Amsterdam itinerary for further inspiration.
More Amsterdam Guides
Here are a few detailed guides that will help you plan your trip to Amsterdam better.
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FAQs: 5 Days Amsterdam Itinerary
Five days is actually an ideal amount of time to spend in Amsterdam, as you have a chance to explore the city's best attractions and even enjoy a day trip in the countryside.
Yes a week is a good start for a trip in October, as the weather can be very changeable at this time of year. There will still be heaps to do though. I strongly suggest seeing the city from canal level, so a rondvaartboot trip is a must.
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.
Even a trip as small as 4 days long will be enough to give you the taste of 'Venice of North' and you will be able to cover most of the important spots. A well planned Amsterdam itinerary is very important if you want to cover more and more spots in a small amount of time.
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.
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.
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.
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.