Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, is a city we admire very much with its world-famous museums, canals, nightlife and architectural elements. In the Netherlands, you can feel the taste of freedom in your bones. Because in these cities, you can see that freedom is a value given to human beings. This brings development, prosperity and minimizes the crime rate.
- How to get from Schipol Airport to Amsterdam?
- Amsterdam Itinerary: Day 1
- Amsterdam Itinerary: Day 2
- FAQs in Amsterdam
How to get from Schipol Airport to Amsterdam?
The closest airport to Amsterdam is Amsterdam Airport, known as Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS). You need to take your flight in this direction. The most convenient way to reach the city from the airport is by train. You can get from Airport Schipol to Amsterdam Centraal Station in about 20 minutes.
All ticket transactions for trains can be easily completed at the vending machines located inside the stations. You can choose one of the round-trip or one-way options, the name of the station you want to arrive at, your departure date and make the necessary payments by credit card.
Amsterdam Itinerary: Day 1
Accommodation in Amsterdam
It can be done easily without waiting in line or communicating with people. We arrived late at night and went to the campground where we were going to stay. You can find the details of advantageous accommodation in Amsterdam in our Amsterdam Accommodation article.
We will start visiting Amsterdam from Dam Square. Dam Square is a popular square where many events take place. There are many famous and historical buildings around it. There is a Simit Palace with two entrances on Nieuwendijk and Eggeristraat streets north of Dam Square. On our first day in Amsterdam, we had breakfast with bagels, pastries and tea and then started to visit Dam Square. Dam Square, which is also seen as a meeting point for tourists, is covered in a separate article for a more organized article.
Amsterdam Canal & Boat Tours
After visiting Dam Square, it’s time to join one of Amsterdam’s wonderful boat tours. Amsterdam canal tours, which last about 1 hour, are the ideal way to visit dozens of canals consisting of islands and connected to each other by bridges. Amsterdam must be seen from the water.
This is a routine tourist activity, be sure to join the canal tours. The boats are on the right side of Damrak Street on the way from Dam Square to Amsterdam Centraal, it is impossible not to see them.
The boat tours drop us off where they pick us up. We can continue our program where we left off. Amsterdam’s central train station is almost the heart of the city. Walk through Amsterdam Centraal towards the back and across the river you will see The Eye Film Institute.
It is a building worth seeing with its extraordinary architecture. Films, posters and photographs, especially Dutch archives, are exhibited inside. We didn’t go there because it didn’t interest us, but those who want to go can reach it in about 5 minutes by boat.
St. Nicholas Church
Then we are on our way to NEMO. NEMO is a science museum. On our way to NEMO, we see St. Nicholas Church on the right. Since it is taller than the other buildings, it immediately attracts attention. The church was one of the most important churches in Amsterdam.
NEMO Science Museum
When we arrive at the Science Museum NEMO, it attracts attention with its architectural structure. NEMO Science Museum, which has an unusual design and looks like a ship, is all about science and experimentation. It is an excellent science museum where especially children can learn a lot and spend long hours.
It is possible for children to conduct experiments on physics, chemistry, biology, technology, sensation, and any other subject they may encounter in their lives. The museum also has a terrace floor where you can watch Amsterdam without any mountain tops. Entrance to the terrace is free.
National Maritime Museum
When you leave the NEMO Science Museum and turn left, the square building you will see is the maritime museum. The National Maritime Museum exhibits everything that should be in a maritime museum such as models, photographs, maps, etc. about the maritime and shipping in Amsterdam’s history. Since we don’t have time for the maritime museum, we don’t enter this museum.
Rembrandtplein is one of the busiest squares in the city. In the center of the green park is a statue of the famous Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn, created by Louis Royer in 1852. The statues of the characters in Rembrandt’s painting The Night Patrol, completed in 1642, were erected in the square of the park in front of Rembrandt’s statue.
These characters represent the musketeers of various ranks among Amsterdam’s guardian soldiers. The park is surrounded by cafes, restaurants, nightclubs and coffee shops where you can sample various substances.
When you come to Rembrandtplein, do not leave without seeing the Magere Brug bridge, built in the 17th century and called the weak bridge. At coordinates 52.36358, 4.90239, the historic bridge is one of the most famous among Amsterdam’s hundreds of bridges.
Rembrandt House Museum
After the Magere Brug bridge, which can be opened and closed, we head towards Rembrandt’s house, where he spent many years, through the square with Rembrandt’s statue. Located 750 meters away, the Rembrandt House Museum is where the artist painted many of his works. Rembrandt, who went bankrupt when he could not pay the loan on the house he bought, sold his house and all his belongings and moved to another house.
Seeing the workroom of a master painter like Rembrandt, an admirable pioneer, and visiting the guest rooms and kitchen gives you different feelings. In the museum, there are also applications for the artist’s working style, and since the emphasis is on the color tones that Rembrandt often used in his works, you have the chance to examine his works from a different perspective.
After leaving Rembrandt’s house, we head north. There is a monumental building in Waag, one of the sleepless areas of Amsterdam. Known as the Weight House or Waag, this building, built in 1488, serves as a restaurant today. The lighting inside is provided by about 300 candles.
Het Kleinste Huis
The smallest house in Amsterdam is located at Oude Hoogstraat 22. 2 meters wide and 5 meters deep, this small one-storey building is one of the national heritage of the Netherlands. If you want to enter this small house, you can visit it Tuesday – Saturday between 11:30 – 18:00. Today, the building is used as a place where you can drink tea and do a little shopping.
Red Light District
Amsterdam is very popular for its canals. But there is another point that makes Amsterdam popular, De Wallen, which is considered the center of drugs and prostitution.
It is a place where prostitutes are decorated with red lights every night and people get high in the world’s most popular coffeeshop. This is the Red Light District. Although night is when it comes alive, the nature and canals are just as enjoyable to watch during the day.
We leave the Red Light District to visit again at night and come back to the place where we took the boat tour. The museums close one by one as the hours go by, but there are some museums that are open in the evening, so we left these museums for last in order to make the most of our time.
Amsterdam Sex Museum
Our first stop was the Amsterdam Sex Museum, located on Damrak Street, directly opposite where we started the boat tour. It is a museum that every country with an open horizon has at least one.
If not in Amsterdam, where else? The museum, which includes various toys, reliefs, sculptures and photography exhibitions, is very well designed in terms of interactivity and interaction with visitors.
Body Worlds Exhibition
We are now going to Body Worlds, which is located a few buildings down from the sex museum towards Dam Square. Body Worlds is one of those exhibitions that you must visit once in your life. Every visitor comes out of it with admiration. Because the museum is based on real human bodies.
People who donate their bodies after their death are subjected to a kind of mummification with the plastination technique performed by the founder of the museum. I am sure you will have an unprecedented experience in the exhibition where real human muscles, bones, organs and nervous systems speak. Body Worlds Amsterdam entrance fee is 20€.
Today we managed to visit all of the places on our list of places to visit. We visited the center of Amsterdam, where the life is, and we walked a total of 27 km during the day. It gets dark very late in Amsterdam, especially in the summer, it can still be light at 23:00, and since we didn’t find it convenient to go home before it got dark in the evening, it would be quite late when we got to our accommodation. Don’t forget to see the Red Light District in the evening before heading to our campsite. Witness for yourself how life flows here.
Amsterdam Itinerary: Day 2
Although we started the second day in Amsterdam in rainy weather, the weather did not disappoint us and the clouds gave way to sunny skies. We can see that Amsterdam’s climate is very variable in short periods of time. For this reason, make sure to bring something with long sleeves.
The second day in Amsterdam will be busier than the first day. The fact that there are many places to visit and well-preserved historical buildings foretells that it will be a day with a lot of walking. Our schedule is a bit tight and we need to do things faster than yesterday.
But that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy Amsterdam, the city of freedom. Prepare to make the most of this beautiful city, one of the pioneers of tourism and known as the capital of liberalism.
The city is located on a flat area, so everyone can easily use bicycles. Especially for locals, bicycling is easier than driving. CEOs, ministers, directors, managers, workers, civil servants, everyone rides their bicycles to work. We even see a mother and father traveling by bicycle with their three children.
When we see the 3-story bicycle parking lots, we realize how much the city has embraced the bicycle culture. There are areas for connecting bicycles everywhere. We did not rent a bicycle for 2 days in Amsterdam so that it would not be a burden for us. If you are traveling around the city on foot, you should be careful of cyclists and not walk on bike paths.
De Gooyer Windmill
Our first stop on the second day will be a windmill. De Gooyer is one of the 6 windmills in Amsterdam and the closest one to the center. The longest wooden windmill in Amsterdam, De Gooyer, also known as Funenmolen, was first built in 1725 on another spot.
But in 1814 it was moved piece by piece to its present location, on the foundations of another windmill. Since 1925 it has been used as a house. Although the idea of living inside windmills may seem strange, many windmills in Amsterdam have been inhabited for years.
Tropenmuseum is next, which we preferred because it was free with our Amsterdam Card, but we were very pleased when we entered. The museum is one of the most important ethnography museums in Europe. You can reach the museum 700 meters from the windmill by following the canal, so don’t get carried away and spend too much time.
Artis Zoo & Micropia
After the Tropenmuseum we will go north to the Artis Zoo and Micropia. Both are next to each other, but since it is over 1,5 km walking distance, we will use the bus. We get on at the Alexanderplein bus stop after crossing the river and get off at the Artis bus stop. This saves us a lot of time.
Since we haven’t had breakfast yet, we find a cute cafe called Cafe Koosje where we get off the bus stop and fill our stomachs with coffee and croissants. Then we enter the Micropia Museum. Micropia gives us the chance to see all the bacteria that accompany us throughout our lives. Micropia Museum is a must visit because it is a very different experience.
In everything we use in our daily lives, there are many bacteria that cannot be seen with the naked eye. We can see these microorganisms up close, witness their movements and understand their position in our lives more clearly.
After visiting Micropia, it was time for the zoo. Although it doesn’t seem wise to try to fit the zoo into Amsterdam’s tight schedule, we find ourselves in the queue for tickets. Our turn comes, we buy our tickets and enter the Artis Zoo after passing the staff in charge.
Amsterdam Zoo is full of animals with a diversity worthy of Amsterdam. It is possible to see many animals such as elephants, deer, camels, seals, seafood, monkeys and gorillas. We leave after watching the animals.
Now, we quickly make our way to Museumplein, the Museum District. Take tram 9 or 14 from the stop opposite the Artis stop and get off at the Spui (Rokin) stop. After walking a bit, take tram 5 from Spui (Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal) stop. Then get off at the Rijksmuseum stop and you will arrive at Museumplein.
The event called Heineken Experience gives beer lovers a good beer experience. We didn’t join the Heineken Brewery Tour because we don’t like beer. You are allowed to drink 2 beers when you enter. In the museum or in the factory, you can learn about the foundation of Heineken beer, how it came to the present day and which tools are used. The Heineken Experience is 500 meters from the Rijkmuseum and bus number 754 runs from the Stadhouderskade stop in front of the museum.
In the Museum District, we take the road by the Stedelijk Museum, turn right and walk about 500 meters. On the left we see the gate of the peaceful Vondelpark. The 1,500 meter long park is located on an area of 47 hectares. Many local and foreign people come here to relax, find peace and freeze time. It is very pleasant to lie down against the lake and the lush green areas and watch the clouds.
Anne Frank’s House
It is time to visit Anne Frank’s House, one of the symbolic names of Amsterdam. The Anne Frank Museum is the place where the tragic story of the young writer, who managed to hide from Niza Germany for 2 years and kept a diary to express her experiences, takes place. After hiding for 2 years, she was rescued by an intelligence
There can be very long queues in front of the Anne Frank Museum, but we leave it for the evening so that we don’t have to rush anywhere. If you can get in line, you will definitely enter the museum, you just have to be in line before the entrance closes.
Next to the Anne Frank House is a big church called Westerkerk. It has one of the few towers you can climb in Amsterdam. Don’t leave without seeing the Anne Frank statue on the other side of this church.
There is a monument next to the river east of the Westermarkt church. It was built in 1987 to support gays and lesbians in the Netherlands, where same-sex marriage was legalized. There is a triangle going down to the riverbank and two other triangles at the same points and from above it looks like a single triangle. Be sure to see the monument while you are there.
FAQs in Amsterdam
What is the meaning of letters XXX?
The letters XXX, which you will see during your Amsterdam trip, have become the symbol of Amsterdam and each of them has a meaning. Born from a sailor who was killed by being stretched in the shape of an X, the letters are believed to protect the city. Throughout its history, Amsterdam has struggled against fires, floods and plague. Each letter represents these adversities.