How to Spend a Weekend in Amsterdam: A Sample 2-Day Itinerary

Weekend in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful and unique cities in Europe, packed with history, art, culture, and amazing food. However, with only a weekend to explore, you’ll want to make the most of your limited time. Here is a suggested 2-day sample itinerary to help you see some of the top sights and experiences Amsterdam has to offer.

Weekend in Amsterdam


Day 1

Start your first morning off right with a trip to one of Amsterdam’s lovely cafes for coffee and breakfast. Many cafes serve delicious Dutch pastries and sandwiches to fuel you up for the day. After fueling up, head to the Rijksmuseum, one of the top art museums in the world. Spend a couple hours browsing their extensive collection of masterpieces from the Dutch Golden Age, including works by Rembrandt, Vermeer and many others.

After working up an appetite at the Rijksmuseum, walk over to one of the food stalls in the nearby Albert Cuyp Market for a light lunch. Wander through the stalls browsing fresh produce, cheeses, meats and more while enjoying your food. Then it’s time for a break – relax in one of the many parks located throughout the city. Vondelpark is one of the most popular and centrally located.

In the late afternoon, pay a visit to the Van Gogh Museum to admire the works of the brilliant post-Impressionist artist. Be sure to book tickets in advance online during peak season. The museum does a fantastic job of showcasing Van Gogh’s evolving artistic journey throughout his life.

For dinner, head to one of Amsterdam’s distinctive neighborhoods and try the local cuisine. The Nine Streets neighborhood is bursting with authentic eateries serving Indonesian rijsttafel dishes and other specialties from the former Dutch colonies. 

After dinner take an evening canal cruise through the scenic heart of Amsterdam bathed in light. It’s the perfect way to observe the picturesque architecture and lifestyle on the waterways at dusk.

End your busy first day with a visit to one of Amsterdam’s famous coffee shops. Despite what you may have heard, coffee shops are actually places where people purchase and consume cannabis, alongside drinking coffee of course. 

While it may not be for everyone, exploring one can give fascinating cultural insights into the Dutch stance on legal substances. Just be aware that public drinking of alcohol is prohibited.

Day 2

Start day two with a visit to the lovely flower market near the canal rings, a delight for the senses. Then spend the morning at the Amsterdam Museum for an interactive introduction to the city’s remarkable history from its founding in the 13th century to modern times.

For lunch, walk over to Amsterdam’s lively waterfront area along NDSM-werf for casual street food trucks and sandwich shops. Afterwards, take a leisurely stroll along the scenic Amsterdam Noord waterfront and bike paths. Rent a bike and cruise along the trails for spectacular city skyline views across the water.

In the afternoon, it’s time for guided tours in Amsterdam to dive deeper into the city’s hidden stories and landmarks. A walking or bike tour is a great way to efficiently cover ground and learn interesting facts from local guides. Some popular options include canal boat tours, neighborhood food crawls, and Red Light District explorations.

For your final dinner in Amsterdam, head to one of the excellent seafood restaurants in the Negen Straatjes district. Fresh fish like halibut, mussels and North Sea crab are specialties. Afterwards, catch a live music show or performance at the esteemed Concertgebouw concert hall in the evening. End your Amsterdam adventure with drinks at a lively pub in the scenic Rembrandtplein square surrounded by glowing architecture.

Hopefully this 2-day itinerary provides you with a good starting point to experience some of Amsterdam’s top attractions and activities efficiently during a short weekend visit. Of course, you may want to add or subtract certain items based on your personal interests. With smart planning, it’s very possible to immerse yourself deeply in this fascinating city even with just a couple days to explore.