3 days in Amsterdam is definitely not enough to see all of this beautiful city.
Unfortunately, this was all the time I had as I was heading to Utrecht to visit friends and see the start of the Tour de France.
I would have loved more time to explore the surroundings of the city as well as the many delights hidden in the dense network of the inner city.
There is so much to see and take in, that three days would never be enough. 72 hours in Amsterdam is certainly not enough!
However, if you’re only going to visit Amsterdam for a brief period, there are a number of things I would recommend doing in this short time.
If you’re wondering what to do in Amsterdam in 3 days, then read on!
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How to spend 3 days in Amsterdam
Quick 3 Days in Amsterdam itinerary Day 1 – Walking Tour, Rijksmuseum, Red Light District Day 2 – Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank House, Heineken Experience Day 3 – Cycle around Amsterdam, Canal Tour, Vondelpark
Some of the best things to do in Amsterdam
3 days in Amsterdam is not enough to appreciate the beauty of this great city. There are so many things to do in Amsterdam, that I think 5 days would enable you to see most of the city!
However, as this guide is focusing on what to see in Amsterdam, I’ll list a few great places to visit while you’re in the Dutch capital!
This is my suggested Amsterdam itinerary for 3 days for you to mull over!
Anne Frank Museum
Anne Frank is famous around the world for the diary that she kept during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. The house that she hid in is now a museum, detailing the ordeal that her family went through.
The museum is popular and there are long queues outside for virtually the whole day.
It costs €9 to enter, my advice would be to head there early in the day or pre-book tickets to avoid queuing for too long!
Amsterdam is famous for its canal network. Doing a Canal Tour is a great way to explore the city and to see why so many Amsterdam quotes have been inspired by the city’s canal network.
You get to see the city from a different perspective and the tours are very informative. This was one of the best things that we did during our 3 day trip to Amsterdam!
Our tour was a bit unique as our guide took a wrong turn and got the boat stuck under a bridge!
This definitely made the trip more memorable. Don’t worry, this is a rare occurrence, but a funny one nonetheless!
The Heineken Experience is recommended if you are a lover of beer. One drawback is that it’s not a working brewery, but you will learn a lot about the history of the company You’ll also learn that the Dutch are quite picky about how they drink their beer!
It costs €18, but you can pick up discounts cards around the city that you get a €1 or €3 discount.
Included in the price is two drinks at the end of the tour, so it’s worth the price in my eyes!
Click here to book your Heineken tour and Canal cruise now!
Amsterdam itinerary – Day 3
Cycle around Amsterdam
This being the Netherlands, there are bikes everywhere! It’s no exaggeration to say that there are more bikes than people in Amsterdam, they are literally everywhere.
This is one activity you should definitely do in your 3 days in Amsterdam.
Another activity that I highly recommend is going on one of the canal tours.
This is a great way to see the city and learn a lot about the architecture of the buildings and why they are built the way they are.
Our trip involved the boat getting stuck under a bridge, so they can be eventful trips!
An alternative to a tour is to rent a canal boat in Amsterdam instead. You won’t be able to drive the boat yourself but you will be able to explore more of the canal system and see Amsterdam from a different perspective!
This is the largest park in Amsterdam, and definitely, somewhere you should check out!
It does get quite busy during the summer, but that shouldn’t put you off visiting!
It’s a great area for relaxing and there are lots of areas for sports if you need some more exercise!
Other places to visit in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a big city and there’s a lot of interesting things to do here! If you’re not keen on doing some of the things above, then check out some options below for your 3 days in Amsterdam!
Johan Cruyff Arena – The Johan Cruyff Arena is home to Ajax FC, one of the most famous football teams in the Netherlands and Europe! If you’re a big football fan visiting the stadium is a must! Click here to book now!
Houseboat Museum – As the name implies, this is a museum dedicated to living on a houseboat!
Jewish Historical Museum – This museum goes into detail about the history of the Jewish people in Amsterdam. It also has interesting exhibits about how the Jews suffered during the Nazi occupation.
Rembrandt House Museum – The Rembrandt Museum is the house that the artist lived in between 1639 and 1658. If you’re a fan of Rembrandt, this is definitely for you! Click here to book your ticket now!
Tulip Museum – Yes there is a museum dedicated to tulips in Amsterdam! This is a lesser-known attraction and a cheap one, as it only costs 5€ to enter!
Keukenhof Gardens – Although the gardens are not in the city, they are easily accessible as a day trip from Amsterdam. You’ll get to see rows and rows of tulip fields, which make for brilliant photos!
Amsterdam Travel Tips
Where to stay in Amsterdam
When considering where to stay in Amsterdam, it can be difficult to sift through the sheer number of hotels and hostels in the city. As one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, there is no shortage of accommodation available in the city.
You’ll find plenty of hostels and hotels, but if you want your own apartment, it’s worth checking out Airbnbs in Amsterdam. There are lots of them in Amsterdam and this means you can stay in an apartment with all the benefits of this rather than a hotel.
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay during your trip to Amsterdam, I have a few suggestions for you below!
Amsterdam is one of the more expensive cities you can visit in Europe. Prices here are above the average for the rest of the Netherlands and high in general compared to other European countries.
You will need to budget for your trip to Amsterdam, otherwise, you could find yourself spending more than you intended!
The prices in the Netherlands can be expensive, but it’s nowhere near as bad as 3 days in Oslo is for your bank balance! Eating out can eat into your budget, but with plenty of options, you can keep costs down if you’re sensible.
Below are the average prices for the essential services you will use during your three days in Amsterdam.
They take into account what you need to visit the city comfortably and don’t include take extras such as tours, nights out, souvenirs/clothing. They are deemed as ‘non-essential’ extras!
Single Bus/Tram ticket: €2.80
Unlimited Day Pass: €7.50
Bike Rental: €3-12/day
Train from airport to city centre: €5.30
Best time to visit Amsterdam
The best time to go to Amsterdam is definitely during the summer. The country has a climate which is similar to that of the United Kingdom with wet and cold winters and summers that can be hot but also have a fair bit of rain.
I visited Amsterdam during the summer and the weather was excellent. It was over 30 degrees nearly every day and there was hardly any rain at all. Obviously, this doesn’t mean that will always be the case, but the odds of less rain are higher during the summer.
The winter can be cold in Amsterdam, but that shouldn’t put you off. The city is just as beautiful in the winter as it is in the summer. Plus, there might be fewer tourists in Amsterdam during the winter months!
Whatever time you choose to visit Amsterdam, make sure you purchase travel insurance beforehand. It pays to protect your valuables and yourself as unexpected events can always happen, such as your canal boat trip getting stuck under a canal!
May to August: Warm weather; more tourists
March to April and September to October: Moderate weather; a reasonable amount of tourists
November to February: Cold weather; fewer tourists
How to get around Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a compact city, which means that most things are within walking distance. You can easily walk to most places in 15 to 20 minutes if you know where you’re going.
If you don’t, or you prefer to get there quicker, the city is served by a very well connected tram service. A 24-hour pass will cost you €7.50, this is excellent value if you intend on using the trams to get around the city.
The other option is to rent a bike, which will allow you to explore the city at your own leisure. Ask your hostel if they offer rental bikes, otherwise, you can head to one of the numerous rental shops to pick one up.
People in Amsterdam do cycle fast, so be prepared for some fierce bell-ringing if you’re deemed to be getting in the way or going too slow!
To get to Amsterdam Noord, you will need to take one of the ferries near Amsterdam Centraal Station. They are free and run 24/7, so you won’t be waiting around too long if you want to check this part of Amsterdam out!
Perhaps one of the best things to do and this is probably the case in any city, is just to wander around and explore.
In my experience, this is the best way to see a city and can lead to you discovering places that you didn’t realise were in Amsterdam.
Of course, there is more to do than what I have listed above, but this is based on spending 3 days in Amsterdam or a few days less or more.
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