Netherlands Diary: Amsterdam in 3 Days

Amsterdam-canal

Hello, there! Amsterdam in 3 days, you say? That is a hell of a challenge, considering how big and interesting this city is. As you all can agree (or will, after reading this), Amsterdam is a really special place. It surely deserves more than 3 days of visiting, because there is a lot to take in. Unfortunately, that was all the time I had since the entire trip was to Cuba, with another layover in Mexico City. Amsterdam is an inner network of canals and a city with absolutely amazing architecture. It is worth a visit anytime. For the city break lovers (like me in Veliko Tarnovo), this is my guide for Amsterdam in 3 days.

Day 1

1. Free walking tour

Amsterdam-streets-Netherland

The streets and the canals of Amsterdam are absolutely magic. The first thing I suggest to do is walk around the city and inhale its culture, or just book in advance a free walking tour. These are tours guided by a local who will take you to the most important places in Amsterdam and it lasts about 3h. If you don’t want/have time to book it (I didn’t either), just wander around the beautiful streets and discover this magnificent city on your own!

Time: as long as you want 

2. Red Light District

When visiting Amsterdam in 3 days only, Red Light District is not a place you can miss. This is one of the famous neighborhoods of Amsterdam, the place most people are looking forward to seeing. “Is it exactly like I’ve heard?” Yes, it is. The district is filled with narrow streets and display windows where the ladies are trying to lure you with their charms. During the day it is alright, there aren’t many windows filled and it’s quite calm. During the night, though, it becomes really crowded and with a little bit of help, let’s just say that their magic works 😉

You’re not allowed to take photos, though, so be careful. I did not know that at first, but I’m glad I was told before anything bad happened. I’ve heard the girls in the Red Light District are really mean when it comes to photographs or videos. I wonder why…

Time: approx. 30 mins. 

3. The Royal Palace & Dam Square

Royal-palace-amsterdam
Royal Palace at Night

The Royal Palace is an outstanding building dating from the Dutch Golden age in the 17th century. The Palace was first built as a town hall, but now it is used by the monarchy for state visits and other kingsy stuff.

It is impressive and it can even be visited, although I did not enter. Here is the official link in case you want to find out more. It is situated on the Dam Square in the city center, so you can’t miss it even if you’d want to.

The Dam Square is one of the most important locations in the city due to its notable buildings and events. Besides the Royal Palace, you can also see Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum and the gothic New Church.

Time: approx. 30 mins. 

4. Begijnhof

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The Begijnhof was one of the oldest Beguinages in the city of Amsterdam. Curious to know what it means? It is like a courtyard (pictured) surrounded by houses where only the beguines used to live. These beguines were like nuns, they took a vow of chastity, they lived separately and went to church every day, but they were free to go give up their vow anytime they wanted.

The last Amsterdam Beguine died in 1971, but this landmark is now the site of 2 churches and, as I’ve heard, there are still only single women who live there. The entrance is through a door of a normal house and a hallway and it can be easy to miss. You can just Google the exact location and use maps when you’re around.

Price: free

Time: approx. 30 mins

Day 2 

1. Rijksmuseum

Rijksmuseum-Amsterdam in 3 Days

Oh, this amazing museum! You’d need at least 3h to explore it and enjoy all that it has to offer. For visiting Amsterdam in 3 days, this might seem a little bit time-consuming. But I assure you it’s not. First of all, the building is impressive and it surely doesn’t disappoint. It is the largest art museum in the country and for a reason. It was restored for about 10 years and now it looks just great. Second of all, the collection that it hosts is absolutely stunning. I love art and I love going to museums in every country that I visit, but I am not a really big connoisseur, to be honest. But this museum had so many well-known paintings and it was fantastic. The 3h spent there weren’t enough, but the museum was closing so we had to go.

Rijksmuseum-Amsterdam-Netherlands
Details

The art collection has, among others:

  • The Night Watch – Rembrandt
  • Self-Portrait – Van Gogh
  • The Battle of Waterloo – Jan Willem Pieneman
  • The Milkmaid – Vermeer

and a lot of other art pieces, around 8000 to be more specific. It is really worth a visit.

Milkmaid-Rijksmuseum
The Milkmaid
night-watch-rembrandt-rijksmuseum
The Night Watch

Price: 17,5 EUR. for adults

Time: approx. 3h 

2. Vondelpark

vondelpark-amsterdam in 3 days
Vondelpark

You think probably that a walk in the park wouldn’t be the most fun thing to do when you’re visiting Amsterdam in 3 days only. But you have to. This park is one of the most popular in Amsterdam, where dutchies gather for picnics, theater, film and all kind of events. As I’ve noticed, it is one of the few green places in Amsterdam, a city filled just with water and cobblestone. So if you want to take a breath of fresh air and a pause from the hectic city, you can go to Vondelpark. It is a oasis of calmness.

Time: take all the time you need

3. DoubleTree by Hilton SkyLounge

 

amsterdam in 3 days hilton above view night
Amsterdam seen from Hilton SkyLounge

This place has good food, really creative drinks, and a great view. It is perfect for the summer when it’s warmer, but it’s also great during the rainy season; you can go on the terrace and just admire the view.

evil drink cup creative cocktail
The evil cocktail

Day 3 

1. A’dam Lookout Tower

 

A'dam lookout tower amsterdam in 3 days
The A’dam Lookout

If you’re visiting Amsterdam in 3 days, this point of interest is another one you cannot miss. This tower is a 360° observation deck which offers a panoramic view over Amsterdam. As you probably know, I have a passion for viewing cities from above and this is one of the places which offers this kind of experience. The view is absolutely fantastic, but take good care of your personal belongings (mainly camera/phone) because the wind is really strong with this one. Other than that, there are some exceptional photos you can take here:

A'dam view top wind amsterdam
All our photos together are like this. Not kidding. Yay!

As a do-something-you-never-did-before, they have a swing on top of the building that swings over the edge. I didn’t have the guts to try it, but people were having fun so I guess it’s safe.

A'dam view amsterdam on top above
View from the top

Price: 12.5 EUR. for adults + 5 EUR. the swing

Time: 1h. 

2. Eye Filmmuseum

The Eye Filmmuseum Filminstitut Amsterdam in 3 days
The Eye

This impressive building has a creative architecture and it preserves since 2012 films screened in the Netherlands. I have not visited it entirely, but from what I have seen, it looks very futuristic. In contrast, they have 3 interactive pieces in the hallway where you can see ways in which film were made in the beginning. On the outside, there is one of the Iamsterdam signs.

Iamsterdam sign amsterdam in 3 days
Iamsterdam

In order to get here, you can take the ferry from the Centraal Station.

Price: 13 EUR. for adults

Ferry: free.

ferry amsterdam a'dam the eye filmmuseum
The Eye and A’dam – ferryboat view

3. Lombardo’s

This one is for the food lovers. This place has some of the best burgers I have ever eaten. It is a small, cozy place, with just a bar to sit at while eating. But I assure you: it is worth it! Yum! This is their website.

Extra:

There are some other places that I would have liked to visit, but maybe some other time. However, I’ll list them here, in case you are better at time management and can find the time to visit these, also:

1. Van Gogh Museum – another great museum
2. Anne Frank House – the Jewish Girl who hid here in order to escape the Nazis during WWII. Here she wrote her famous diary.
3. A Canal Cruise – lasts about 1h and you can visit Amsterdam from another point of view. Suitable activity even for when you’re visiting Amsterdam in 3 days
4. Heineken Experience – for beer lovers
5. Foodhallen – for foodies
6. Bike Tour – take a spin in the most bike-friendly city

This is my personal guide for visiting Amsterdam in 3 days. Hope it has helped you plan your next visit to Amsterdam or it has convinced you to go see this spectacular city.

Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it 🙂

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