Updated: Oct 25, 2022
We know travel time is precious, and that sometimes there are just too many things to do on your bucket list than time allows. Although we recommend spending 2-3 days in Amsterdam, below outlines the highlights of this great city, easily completed in just 24 hours.
Morning in Amsterdam
[conveniently located near our recommended Amsterdam hostels]
1. Grab some delicious traditional Poffertjes (Dutch Pancakes) at De Carrousel
Traditional Dutch pancakes are called poffertjes. They are a battered treat resembling small, fluffy pancakes and are typically served with powdered sugar and melted butter ack. A great place for authentic tasting poffertjes is De Carrousel, a family-friendly establishment with fun carousel décor. They serve Dutch pancakes and poffertjes alike with strawberries on the side. We highly recommend trying their caramel Poffertjes. The brown sugar caramel sauce is rich and will easily satisfy your sweet tooth.
Also Read: Must Try Foods of Amsterdam
2. Head to De Pijp and check out the Albert Cuyp Market
De Pijp is a very popular neighborhood in Amsterdam, home to ethnic restaurants, eclectic shops, the Latin Quarter, and Albert Cuyp Market. Named after a 17th century painter, Albert Cuyp Market is a remarkable open-air market with 300 stalls of vendors selling souvenirs, food, clothing, and even fresh produce. Just around the corner from Albert Cuyp Market, Sarphatipark is a beautiful city park. Take a break from the day's adventures by stopping to relax, read a book, have a cup of coffee, or enjoy a picnic with food from the local street vendors of Albert Cuyp Market.
3. Be sure to grab Rudi's Original Stroopwaffels at the Albert Cuyp Market
If you are looking for the real “Syrup Waffles”, look no further! These stroopwafels are as authentic as it gets, served to locals and tourists alike. Stroopwafels are two thin vanilla cinnamon wafer cookies filled with a delicious caramel syrup. Stroopwafels are said to have been originally invented when a baker added syrup to some leftover breadcrumbs. They soon became a sensation and have been enjoyed across the Netherlands ever since. Be sure to try one for yourself!
J&L Recommended: our favorite sweet treat in Amsterdam!
4. Head to the Museum Quarter of Amsterdam and admire the beautiful art of Van Gogh
Located in the museum square of south Amsterdam, this is one of the most popular museums in the Netherlands. The museum takes you on a journey through the life of Vincent Van Gogh, displaying an extensive collection of his beautiful artwork and letters. It is recommended to buy tickets in advance in order to avoid crowds and secure entry for your desired travel dates. Be sure to plan for several hours to explore this museum, as there are many levels and exhibits dedicated to the great works of this talented artist.
Tickets: €19 / Person (under 18 is free)
Afternoon in Amsterdam
5. Enjoy a peaceful moment at Vondelpark
A large and beautiful park on the west side of Amsterdam. While dodging bikers throughout the winding paths, check out the open-air theater, rollerblade rental, cafés, as well as, statues and sculptures throughout this park. Cozy, relaxing and altogether fun, strolling through this beautiful park was one of the highlights of our trip to Amsterdam. The greenery, water, and interesting sights make for a perfect place to unwind and take a step back from the bustling city.
6. Pay your respects at the Anne Frank house
Dedicated to the Jewish wartime diarist, Anne Frank, this museum is an eye-opening experience. This 17th century canal house preserves the hiding place of Anne Frank and her family during the holocaust. With an exhibition of the life of Anne Frank, as well as, information regarding persecution and discrimination during the holocaust, this popular Netherlands museum will certainly provide a thought-provoking experience.
Tickets: €14 / Person
7. Head next door to the Amsterdam Cheese Museum
This place is HEAVEN on earth for cheese lovers. This is an essential stop on your trip for free samples to taste unique flavors of Holland cheese, the chance to see the most expensive cheese slicer in the world on display, and the opportunity to dress up like a Dutch cheese farmer.
Don't Miss!: Try all of the free samples
Evening in Amsterdam
8. Head to the heart of Amsterdam at Dam Square
The main square in Amsterdam and one of the most important parts of the city. Given its name for having been the first dam itself, connecting the two settlements on either side of the river. The dam grew large enough to consist of the town square, central to both commercial needs and government affairs. The Royal Palace is on one side of the square and the National WWII is on the other. Today, there are many frequent events that occur within this square, as it is known to be the capital of the Netherlands.
9. Experience authentic Dutch Bitterballen (Croquettes) at Eetsalon van Dobben
Bitterballen is deep fried, bread crumbed, Dutch meatballs generally eaten to soak up large quantities of beer. They are typically eaten as appetizers or pub food and you will be able to find them at many locations throughout Amsterdam. They are also known as croquettes (kroket), which is technically a larger version of bitterballen but essentially the same thing. To try an authentic and tasty bitterballen, we recommend heading to Eetsalon van Dobben. This is a truly authentic Dutch restaurant, opened in 1945, and offers a full menu of affordably priced Dutch cuisines. They serve their croquettes on a brioche bun with a crisp outside and soft, creamy inside. Stop by for a quick snack, or a full meal!
Also Read: Brussels Belgium Complete Guide
10. Celebrate your day in Amsterdam with a brew at IJ Brewery
Recommended Brew: IJwit (Wheat Beer-Witbier 6.5% ABV)
Brouwerij't IJ is a beautiful brewery in a quaint location alongside Holland's tallest wooden windmill, De Gooyer. There are short tours offered. Do not forgot to grab one of their tasty food platters and bar snacks with your brew of choice. We recommend the IJwit, which is a full-bodied Amsterdam wheat beer that is slightly cloudy with a golden color and a soft, foamy head. This has a slightly sweet aftertaste and will definitely delight the senses.