How many days do you need in Amsterdam to enjoy all that the city offers? While this might be a tricky question to answer, as it depends on what an individual wants, here is an all-inclusive guide on an average stay in Amsterdam.
How long is the average trip to Amsterdam? Typically, 3 to 4 days is quite enough to enjoy the beauty of the “city of canals.”
You’ll even get some extra time to take a half-day tour, to see the beautiful tulips at the Keukenhof Gardens. Although some people might say that that’s too many days as the city is relatively small, what Amsterdam can offer is quite immeasurable.
As the capital city of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is famous not only for the numerous canals that traverse the entire city but also for its rich culture and warm-hearted locals.
When you’re here, you won’t even realize when your vacation days are over – it’s a home away from home. This article will answer that exact question – how many days do you need in Amsterdam, as well as explore the most amazing things you can do while there. So, why is 3-4 days in Amsterdam enough time? Why not one or 10 days?
Why You Need Up to 4 Days in Amsterdam
By understanding what Amsterdam offers, we can easily gauge how many days in Amsterdam are enough. But how do you plan your day to ensure that you not only visit all the city’s attractions but also enjoy each visit? Here is a breakdown of your days in Amsterdam that will help maximize your stay.
First Day: Get to Know the City
Before anything else, you should first get acquainted with the city. This way, you can learn some history, explore the streets and the winding canals, as well as know exactly where some of the most renowned sites are. And, the best way to do this is through a walking tour, a bicycle ride, or even better, a canal tour.
Take a Walking Tour
A walking tour is an excellent way to get a historical overview of almost every landmark in the city, as well as the city itself. You can choose to either use Free Walking Tours or even paid private tours. Most of these tours take between 2 and 3 hours, which means you can do several other things afterward.
An excellent example of such a tour is the “2-Hour Best of Amsterdam Walking Tour” by GetYourGuide. This 2-hour tour usually starts around 3:00 pm, which means that it’s quite ideal for the arrival day.
You will get a guided tour of the top old Amsterdam sites, including the famous Red Light District, the historic Dam Square, and historical buildings, as you walk at the edge of the picturesque canals. You should definitely take note of these sites, in case you need to visit them later.
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Jump on a Canal Tour
Amsterdam canals are among the most incredible features of the city. The extensive canal network that traverses the entire city makes Amsterdam what it is.
The city grew around these canals, which makes the two inseparable. A canal tour allows you to experience the city’s beauty in a totally new dimension. And, you don’t have to take expensive boat tours – there are numerous pocket-friendly options that guarantee the best experience.
For just €13.65, you can enjoy a 75- minutes Canal Day Cruise, as you see various historic landmarks like the Amsterdam ship, Skinny Bridge, and the Golden Bend.
Sail through the city’s canals in style, and discover the magnificence of one of Europe’s most famous cities. Check out this Amsterdam canal cruise that we took during our visit.
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Take an Amsterdam Bicycle Tour or Rent a Bike
Besides being known for its numerous canals, Amsterdam is also a city of cyclists. In fact, the Netherlands as a whole is famous for its riding culture. So, what better way to see the city’s landmarks than on a bike? You can easily rent a bike for a few bucks in various shops within the city.
And, if you don’t want to ride alone, you can opt for a group ride around the city. An excellent option for this is the “Small-Group Bike Tour of Central Amsterdam,” a 3-hour tour that includes a local tour guide.
Ride a bike and socialize with a group of around 15 cyclists as you see various old warehouses, charming drawbridges, as well as the city’s most iconic buildings.
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Second Day: Visit the Famous Museums
With a total of 50 museums, history, culture, and art lovers, have so much to enjoy. While you might not be able to visit them all, you can pick a few and still get a taste of Amsterdam’s history.
Van Gogh Museum
Although the crowds here are enormous any day, this shouldn’t deter you from visiting this incredible museum. Van Gogh Museum is perhaps the most famous museum in Amsterdam, as well as the most visited site.
The best artwork of Vincent Van Gogh, one of the most influential post-impressionist painters in Western art, is all found here. This means that if you are an art enthusiast, you shouldn’t miss a tour of this museum.
The museum maintains a large collection of Van Gogh’s work, such as the Sunflower, Irises, The bedroom, and the Almond Blossom. All these are arranged chronologically, right from his earliest to the latest artwork. You can reserve the 90 minutes tour with GetYourGuide for just €21 per person and avoid the long queues.
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Visit the Rijksmuseum
Its proximity to the Van Gogh Museum makes Rijksmuseum the next best museum stop, after enjoying Vincent Van Gogh’s work. The museum contains artwork from exemplary Dutch painters like Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, and Frans Hals.
Some of the famous paintings in this museum include “The Night Watch,” “The Milk Maid,” and “The Marriage Portrait.” There’s so much to see in this museum, with over a million artworks, historical items, and craftworks, which are perfectly preserved.
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See Modern Art a Moco Museum
If you are more of a contemporary art person, then the Modern Contemporary Museum Amsterdam (MOCO) is an excellent place to end your museum tour. This museum, which sits at the heart of the Netherlands capital, is dedicated to exhibiting both modern and contemporary artwork.
Here you can interact with the work of some of the best contemporary artists such as Banksy, a street artist whose real name remains a mystery. A 1.5-hour tour here is sufficient to satisfy your love of contemporary art.
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Third-Day: Visit the City Beaches
Although it might come as a surprise to some people, the city of Amsterdam does enjoy the presence of some great city beaches. While many people are used to visiting beaches near the city, like Zandvoort and Scheveningen, the city offers quite incredible alternatives. For your third day, you can decide to take a swim or just sand-walk on one of the following beaches.
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Strand Zuid Beach
The beach, which sits between the Beatrixpark and Amsterdam RAI, boasts not less than 6,600 square feet of artificial beach property, all for your amusement. If you are visiting Amsterdam and wish to experience some beach fun, you don’t need to search far from the city. Strand Zuid, although seen as a luxury beach, offers various fun activities for you and your family.
Whether you want to sip some cocktails under the summer sun, take a swim, or just relax on the lounge chairs and hammocks, this is a great place to be.
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This is another city beach found in the northern part of Amsterdam city. It’s situated along the IJ river, next to the NDSM-Werf.
Although swimming might be impossible, you will undoubtedly enjoy walking on the sandy beach and basking in the sun. You will also enjoy the incredible view of the IJ river.
It’s also home to the PLLEK restaurant where you’ll love the live music performances, art exhibitions, and several other cultural events, as you get a taste of the Netherlands’ best cuisines.
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Ijmuiden is an incredible beach to spend your afternoon at. Sited at the mouth of River IJ, the beach is quite famous for the various water sports that take place here.
If you desire more than a cool, relaxing time on the beach reading a favorite book, you can try out kitesurfing, Blokarting, or paddleboarding. There’s so much to do here to occupy your entire afternoon.
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Fourth Day: Explore Beyond Amsterdam City
There are dozens of things to do and sites to see near Amsterdam. And, you can dedicate that fourth day to just that. Here is what you can’t afford to miss: A tour to the Netherlands isn’t complete without the sight of the beautiful tulips.
Keukenhof is one of the largest flower fields in the world, and in Europe, it’s even nicknamed the Garden of Europe. These fields occupy 32 hectares of land, with over seven million flowers planted each year, and it’s a sight you can’t forego.
Located around 40 km from Amsterdam, you’ll just need approximately 40 minutes to reach the fields. You can decide to take a private short road trip from Amsterdam or book a guided half-a-day tour to the tulip gardens. A Guided Half-Day Keukenhof Tour and 1 Attraction by GetYourGuide is a perfect tour to conclude your stay in Amsterdam.
So, How Many Days Do You Need in Amsterdam?
Frankly speaking, even with a whole month’s stay in Amsterdam, you can never run short of things to do or see. Whether it’s within the city or beyond its borders, the number of days to spend in Amsterdam will always be debatable – it’s all about how much time you have.
However, an average of 3 to 4 days is sufficient to give you a taste of the city’s best offerings. But that’s only with proper planning. We hope that this guide on how many days you need in Amsterdam, answers your questions and that your next trip here will be amazing.
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