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What to see in Amsterdam in a 1, 2 or 3 day stay?

what to do in amsterdam in one day

The must-see attractions in Amsterdam for a one to three days stay!

Amsterdam with its rich history and sights has a lot to offer. But a lot of tourists come with a limited amount of time – then it’s all about the right decision making. What is an absolute must see and what are the attractions you can skip? With which experiences do you see the dutch lifestyle in the most authentic way? We will help you get started with our recommendations for what to see in Amsterdam for a day? Or even a 2 or 3 day itinerary.

amsterdam canals

Amsterdam is one of the most popular layover cities within the european destinations. Located near schiphol airport, it is convient to plan in some time in the city centre. Public transport brings you there just within half an hour! It is handy to have itinerary map . In the early afternoon, it is handy to visit the royal palace. This is just a few minutes walk from Amsterdam Centraal station. The european city is famous for the top attractions like an Amsterdam canal cruise, Museumplein, Amsterdam Begijnhof, Van Gogh museum.

van gogh museum amsterdam

If you like to travel further, Amsterdam is conviently connected with the Eurostar train to London. You can reach another european city within just a few hours with this high speed train. Before leaving to check out another city, have a look on the famous dutch dinners at Hemelse Modder or other attractions like the Amsterdam experience Amaze.

amsterdam canals dancing houses

What to see in Amsterdam for a day? The best day itinerary!

If you have only one day in Amsterdam you need to choose wisely. The recommended must-see attractions in one day in Amsterdam are:


Canal Cruise on a private luxury boat

  • Book a private boat tour in Amsterdam and capture a lot of the most famous attractions in Amsterdam while cruising on the canals . On the private boat, the captain will be able to tell you all the interesting (fun) facts about the city and its rich history . You can even combine it with breakfast lunch or dinnera real time saver so you can explore Amsterdam even while enjoying a meal on board. The boat is equipped with a minibar as well so you can just order your favourite drink on board.


private tour boat amsterdam open sundeck

On the private canal cruise in Amsterdam tourists can see a lot of the most famous sights from the Amsterdam canals in a much faster pace:

  1. Heineken Experience
  2. Skinny Bridge (especially nice at night!)
  3. Point of 7 Bridges (exceptional beautiful especially in the night when the bridges are lightened up)
  4. Anne Frank House
  5. Dancing Houses (the most iconic leaning houses in the city)
  6. Amstel locks
  7. Royal Carré theatre
  8. Red Light District
  9. Flower Market
  10. Rijksmuseum
  11. Amsterdam Centraal
  12. Houseboat Museum
  13. Unesco World Heritage Site
  14. Picturesque canals (like the famous Prinsengracht!)

And much more! Some local tips: The outside areas of the Amsterdam private boats give you also the opportunity for crystal clear picture taking. The cruise boats are suitable for any month of the year as they are heated and enclosed, but also have a sundeck area for the sunny summer period. The private boat cruise is also pet friendly if you are travelling with your dog.

canal cruise amsterdam with dog

See a houseboat from inside on the Prinsengracht 296K

  • Visit the Houseboat Museum to see a houseboat from inside . Discover the history of famous houseboat living . This old cargo ship was converted into a houseboat in 1960 and will show you how it turned from a freight vessel into a floating home. Explore this quirky museum within 20-40min and discover the small museum shop with dutch souvenirs. For first visit in Amsterdam highly recommended, so you can get a feeling of why houseboats are a popular place to live. Many walking tours also pass by here.


This is also one of the few museums that is dog friendly – so you can take your (small) furry friend inside as well.

  • A free but underrated activity is certainly a walk in the Vondelpark . Suitable to visit in any season, the biggest public park will show you the nature side of Amsterdam. Admire the frozen lakes in the winter or the blooming flowers and grass in the summer. This is the most scenic park that Amsterdam has to offer and right in the city centre. Sit on a bench, watch the runners passing by and soak in the dutch daily life in the Vondelpark. The dutch capital city has a lot of other options which are perfect one day visits, like the Bloemenmarkt (Flower market) or popular museums like Van Gogh and restaurants like the dutch pancake bakery.


Amsterdam itinerary for a two days stay?

.With a 48 hours stay in Amsterdam you can extend the 1 day program by the following must see activities:


Interactive exploration of the dutch capital

  • Visit the 5d flight simulatorThis is Holland ”. This interactive flight will take you through the whole Netherlands in a very realistic simulation ride . Despite its popularity, they often have capacity still last minute. Located on the other side of central station, you can just take the ferry (for free) and you are at their location within a few minutes. Watch out to take the right ferry behind central station as there is some going also to different direction. The correct ferry you need to take displays “Buiksloterweg”.

this is holland ferry

Boutique Shopping in Jordaan, Amsterdam

  • Combine your houseboatmuseum visit with a walk through the 9 streets area (dutch called “Negen straatjes”). Definitely a must-see in Amsterdam during a 2 day stay. Conveniently located (few minutes walking) between the houseboatmuseum and the Anne Frank Museum , this unique area offers a lot to explore. From pop-up stores , concept stores , boutique shops and hipster cafes – this is the trendy and vibrant area for the trend seeking citizens. This area is certainly recommended if you want to avoid the mass tourism which you might have seen at Dam Square area and the extremely busy shoping street “Kalverstraat”. 

Red Light District

The most famous districdt of the city. If you dont like to walk there by yourself, there are also guide that can lead you through this area. They will also give you handy tips about how to get the best rijksmuseum ticket.

red light district amsterdam

What is the must see in Amsterdam in three days?

Planning a trip to Amsterdam for three days? Make sure to include the must-see attractions in your itinerary! From the iconic canals and historic Anne Frank House to the bustling Dam Square and world-class museums like the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam offers a wealth of cultural and architectural delights to explore. Be sure to rent a bike and cycle around the city like a local, visit the vibrant neighbourhood of Jordaan for charming boutiques and cafes, and indulge in delicious Dutch cuisine at local eateries. With so much to see and do, Amsterdam is the perfect destination for a memorable and enriching city break.


Enrich your 2 day program with the following activity for a rewarding 3 day stay in Amsterdam:

  • A must see while being in the Netherlands, Amsterdam in 3 days is the Zaanse Schans . Go for a day trip outside the city center and visit the windmill Village Zaanse Schans. This authentic dutch village will take you back to the roots of the Netherlands. Admire the stunning windmills and explore them from inside to learn more about its mechanics and features. For what were the windmills used and what was grinded? Are they still using it nowadays? All those answers will be interactively explained. Very recommended spot for picture taking too – the background will be priceless.


zaanse schans amsterdam windmill village

Contact us for booking a private boat tour or Houseboatmuseum visit!

You can reach out to us via +31 639 051068 if you should want to book a private boat tour or if you have any further questions about the canal cruise or houseboatmuseum visit. We are happy to assist to make your Amsterdam stay unforgettable.

houseboat museum amsterdam

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