- 1 Best Time to go to Amsterdam
- 2 How to get to Amsterdam
- 3 Getting Around Amsterdam
- 4 I Amsterdam
- 5 Where to Stay in Amsterdam
- 6 SO LET’S FIND OUT – HOW TO SPEND 3 DAYS IN AMSTERDAM
- 8 Day 2 – The Windmills of Zaanse Schans.
- 9 Day 3 – Harleem, Bloemendaal and The Canals
Amsterdam is one of the most popular cities in Europe and you must visit it once in your lifetime. The city is vibrant by night but equally mesmerising by the day. After visiting Amsterdam a few times I wanted to share my experience and how to spend 3 days in Amsterdam.
It is well known for its electric nightlife including the famous Red Light District which attracts millions of visitors every year, but there is more to Amsterdam.
There is so much this city has to offer but this time I want to share with you what is beyond the city.
If you are visiting Amsterdam for the first time you have to visit the main tourist attractions in the city. But if you have a few days then you must venture out of the city and see what there is beyond Amsterdam.
Best Time to go to Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a popular tourist destination all year round but depending on what you fancy you can chose a particular time. Like many other popular European cities, Amsterdam is bustling with tourists in the summer months when the sun is shining and you can make the most of your time outdoors but this is also the busy period so higher prices and long lines outside museums and other tourist attractions.
If you are after the famous Tulips then the best time to visit is spring and see them in full bloom. Winter is quieter and you can get some great deals but you will have to bundle up as it can get very cold.
What is the best time to visit Amsterdam? If you want to avoid the cold and the peak summer then the best time to visit Amsterdam is April or late September early October.
How to get to Amsterdam
Amsterdam is one of the most connected cities in the world with Schiphol International Airport being a European travel hub. Amsterdam is also well connected to other European cities through a network of trains and busses.
Have you ever used KLM? The national carrier KLM is a good airline to fly to Amsterdam in.
Getting Around Amsterdam
Amsterdam has a great public transport system. You can reach the heart of the city from the airport via Train Bus or Taxi quite easily. UBER is plentiful and I did use it to travel to and from the Airport.
The Dutch are famous for their bicycles and you can’t visit Amsterdam and not try riding a bicycle. One of the best ways to see Amsterdam is hiring a bicycle and pedal your way through the city.
I am sure Amsterdam holds the world record for having the most amount of bicycles in a city or country.
The hop on hop of bus including a canal ride could be your other option but for me it’s walking through the lanes of the city and finding my own way.
I Amsterdam City Card is the best way discover Amsterdam. It has been tried and tested since 1966. You can order your City Card online and make the most of your time in Amsterdam, with free entry to the city’s top attractions and free public transport for the duration of your stay I would highly recommend it.
The only small shortfall is that the I Amsterdam card does not cover your transport to and from the airport to the city. It offers some great discounts in restaurants and other partners through the city as well. For any information you need about Amsterdam and what there is around it this is your one stop shop for information. I Amsterdam.
I Amsterdam card is your answer on how to spend 3 days in Amsterdam.
Where to Stay in Amsterdam
Depending on the type of accommodation you are after there is something for every traveller in this city. From some of the swankiest hotels to basic hostels Amsterdam has it all.
The best place to stay in Amsterdam is around Dam Square or Central station. You are in the heart of the city and well connected by the various means of transport the city has to offer. If you are after a longer stay then try one of the many apartments the city has to offer and great place to start your search would be Air BnB.
As we were visiting friends this time so we did not have to use a Hotel but if I had to. I would recommend one of the NH or Marriott hotels for the best location in Amsterdam.
SO LET’S FIND OUT – HOW TO SPEND 3 DAYS IN AMSTERDAM
Spend the first day in Amsterdam in the main city. Soak in the atmosphere and visit some of the famous tourist attractions of Amsterdam. I spent the next 2 days exploring things to see outside Amsterdam.
Day 1 – Things to do in Amsterdam.
Start the day with a visit to Dam Square, the heart of Amsterdam. If this is not your first time and you are not in a rush there is nothing better than sitting in one of the typical Dutch cafes and savouring a poffertjes and coffee.
Must eat in Amsterdam –
Poffertjes are mini-pancakes a Dutch speciality served with powdered sugar. One of my favourites for these along with Dutch pancakes which are more like crepes would be Pancakes Amsterdam.
This is Holland
A stroll through the square and we head towards one of the most spoken about attractions in Amsterdam – This is Holland The ultimate Flight experience.
This is a great experience where you get an overview of how the Netherlands was created and learn all about the country and its history. Then you move into a 5D flying experience that takes you over the windmills, tulip gardens, fields and seas.
A great experience and one I would recommend especially if you have children. It has a small shop where you can pick up some great souvenirs.
ADam tower Amsterdam
Next stop is another new attraction and one making headlines on Instagram – A’DAM Lookout located on top of the A’DAM Tower in Amsterdam North.
Just a short walk from This is Holland is another great attraction and making waves on social media. A’DAM LOOKOUT is an observation deck in Amsterdam with breadth taking panoramic views of the city.
ADam Lookout has a great bar and restaurant and a unique ride up to the top. You are transported t the top of the building in a disco lift. There is an indoor seating area with a lounge and a state-of-the-art interactive exhibition about Amsterdam’s history and culture.
Apart from the panoramic views visit Europe’s highest swing on the sky deck. You swing out at a 100 metres over Amsterdam on Europe’s highest swing and a experience next to none.
A’DAM LOOKOUT is a great place to spend an evening in Amsterdam and watch the sunset over Amsterdam.
Day 2 – The Windmills of Zaanse Schans.
There is so much more to to see outside Amsterdam. Visit the windmills of The Zaanse Schans which attracts a million visitors every year. It is one of Netherlands best kept secret. Zaanse Schans is easily accessible by public transport. It is a 30 minutes’ drive from the city centre.
Zaanse Schans has no admission charges. You can get a guided day tour to Zaanse Schans from the city but suggest you head out yourself and enjoy at your own pace.
How to get to Zaanse Schans from Amsterdam? You can hop on a train from Amsterdam’s Central Station. A 15-minute train ride will take you to Koog-Zaandijk. Zaanse Schans is a 10-minute walk from the Koog-Zaandijk.
Just look out for the windmills and head towards it.
What is there to see in Zaanse Schans? Zaanse Schans is famous for its green timber houses and traditional crafts such as cheese and clog making.
The Zaans area was popular with industry and as such the large collection of windmills that powered it. A few of these are still operational and you can visit them for a small fee.
We visited the famous cheese making and wooden clog factory where you get a tour of how these arts are still preserved and get your very own clog.
Apparently they have the largest wooden shoe inventory in Zaanse Schans Clog Factory. You can buy a clog here or get photographed in a giant one.
Watch the clog makers in the workshop and learn about the history of wooden shoes in Amsterdam.
You can walk around the green spaces visit the Dutch café and savour some local delicacies or just relax and soak in the fun.
A short bus ride from Zaanse Schans is the city of Zaandam where you can spend a few hours before heading back to Amsterdam.
What is there to see in Zaandam? One of the most popular sights of Zaandam is the impressive facade of the Inntel Hotel.
A stacking of colourful traditional houses that are a reflection of Zaan region. You can visit the café of the Innetel Hotel. The hotel provides the best of tradition combined with modern-day comfort.
Day 3 – Harleem, Bloemendaal and The Canals
We started the day with a train ride to Harleem, a city of remarkable history and culture and a short train ride from central station. The city houses some spectacular monuments dating back almost 800 years including the cathedral. Harleem is a beautiful Dutch town.
It was home to some of the most well-known Dutch artists including Frans Hals.
Visit the Bloemendaal Beach
We were extremely lucky with the weather and making the most of it our next stop was Bloemendaal Beach. It has a great shore line and a lively nightlife. You can dip your toes in the North Sea or visit one of the bars and beach clubs. Bloemendaal is a popular beach outside Amsterdam. It is visited by locals and now getting known to the tourist world as well.
Bloemendaal is busy through the summer and has regular live bands and DJs. It has open air parties that go on well into the night. It is well connected by public transport and is a great place to spend a few hours when the sun is out.
After spending a lazy afternoon by the beach in Bloemendaal we headed back to the city.
One of the things on your itinerary on how to spend 3 days in Amsterdam must include a Canal Cruise.
Head back to the city for a Canal cruise and sign off with a walk down the famous Red Light District.
Without a doubt the canals and waterways of Amsterdam are one of the jewels of this unique city and you can’t visit they city and not go on a canal cruise. If you buy the I Amsterdam card this comes with a free canal cruise. You can enjoy the cruise either by the day or when the city is illuminated at night including the options of a romantic candlelight dinner cruise.
A cruise on the canal takes you back in time and gives you a lot of history about the city and how it was built and operate till date.
We complete our trip to Amsterdam with a walk down the Red Light District which is a popular tourist attraction and attracts millions of tourists every year. Some hate this and some love but everyone is curious about it and tries to visit it on their trip to Amsterdam.
There are a number of bars and pubs along the canal where you can taste some of the finest Dutch beers or simply enjoy your evening just people watching. The area is heaving with tourists, couples groups of friends and loving couples holding hands and walking along the neon light lanes and having the time of their life.
I must say it is an experience that everyone should live through once in their lifetime and wear the T-shirt – Been There Done That.
Amsterdam is home to numerous bars and clubs and boasts of a very vibrant nightlife, so if you are up for a party you are in the right city.
There is so much to do and see in Amsterdam that I can hardly relate to it as Sin City, so go ahead and plan your trip and experience Amsterdam.
How to spend 3 days in Amsterdam -Take a photo with the I am Amsterdam sign outside Schipol Airport.
HOW TO SPEND 3 DAYS IN AMSTERDAM
- Ride a tram around the Royal Palace and Dam Square.
- Go back in time with a trip to Museumplein in the heart of the museum district.
- Try out the delicious local treats like pancakes, fries and cheese.
- Sip a pint of the finest craft beers in the many pubs of Amsterdam.
- Take a canal cruise by sunset.
- Ride a bicycle and see the city the Dutch way.
- Strike a pose by the I Amsterdam sign.
- Sip a glass of wine with the famous Gouda cheese.
- Watch the windmills of Zaanse Schans spin back from time.
- Swing over Amsterdam at Adams Lookout.
- Take a canal cruise.
- Take a few tulips buds home and wake up to the smell of Amsterdam.
- Visit a Dutch cheese market.
- Try to fit into a wooden clog.
- Have a beer at Brouwerij ‘t IJ a small brewery in Amsterdam by the windmill.
- Visit the Anne Frank House.
- Go face to face with the masterpiece of Van Gough at the museum.
- Party at the beach club of Bloemendaal.
- Visit north Amsterdam by crossing over on the ferry.
- Taste the Dutch herring at the stall next to the Royal Palace.
- Fly over tulip fields at This is Holland 5D experience.
- Get lost in the streets of Jordaan filled with art.