How to get the best out of one day in Amsterdam?
I recently went for only 36 hours. If you want to know how to spend one day in this chilled and beautiful city to the fullest, follow me on my recent journey.
How to get from the airport?
Getting to and from the Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is pretty easy. You can either take a train, that goes directly to the Amsterdam Central Station. It is the fastest way (15-20 minutes) but also the most expensive for €5.20. You can buy the train tickets from ticket machines right at the airport.
Just a little less (€5) costs an Airport Express Bus. The bus will take you to the Rijksmuseum, from where you can take the public transport to your final destination. The journey lasts around 30 minutes. The bus driver will sell you the ticket, but only for cash, no credit cards.
For public transport within the city, you can buy a one day ticket for €7.50 (this one is valid on trams, metro, and blue buses). You can plan your journey via the GVB website or app, that is very easy to use.
There is plenty to see in Amsterdam. Rijksmuseum is the largest in Amsterdam and mainly focuses on Dutch art. The artworks on display range from those as old as the Middle Ages up to those from the 20th century. The museum has a large number of paintings by Rembrandt and Vermeer as well as the famous auto-portrait by Van Gogh.
The actual Vincent Van Gogh museum that has the largest collection of Van Gogh’s paintings and drawings and also focuses on the life of this artist. To the
The Heineken Experience which is a must-see for all beer lovers. Although the brewery is not active anymore, it still provides detailed tours on how beer is made, which ingredients go in it and how to drink it properly.
And finally, the Anne Frank House that is a museum devoted to the German diarist, who was hiding in the secret room of this house.
As we only had one day so we skipped the museums and just strolled around the city that is great for walking. You can also rent a bike and ride around the canals. The prices are around €10 for one day. Just be careful, the streets are really busy and a lot of people owns electric cars that are really quiet.
We found this beautiful place, Stach. A great place to grab a quick bite, coffee or something for a sweet tooth. And as a bonus, it’s really pretty and photogenic.
Where to sleep?
We arrived late and were leaving early in the morning so it made sense for us to stay at a hotel near the airport. We slept at ibis Schiphol that was really nice, clean and inviting.
If we stayed for longer or as a group of friends I would definitely consider renting a houseboat. There is nothing more Amsterdam-like than sleeping on a boat. You can find a lot of nice houseboats on Airbnb or Booking.com has own houseboat section.
Begijnhof – the only inner court in Amsterdam with origins dating back to the Middle Ages that used to be a home to the beguines (religious women). Very beautiful and relaxing place.
Where to eat?
We found this great place called Black & Blue and had the most amazing nachos with cheese, which we ate so fast that I didn’t even snap a picture of. For the main course, we had a delicious salad and 12 O’clock dish that was sort of a brunch menu.
Visiting the Red Light District
There wouldn’t be a proper day trip to Amsterdam without visiting the famous Red Light District that is not known only for prostitution. There are also many bars, clubs, coffee shops, sex shops and even sex museums located there.
The existence of the red light districts in Amsterdam dates back to the 14th century. Today, it is one of Amsterdam’s popular attractions.
The best time for visiting the area, if you wish to see it lit up and alive, is during the evening or at night. The place got its name from the red neon lights and lamps that are used in most windows behind which there are individual sex workers offering their services.
What journey would I recommend?
Journey 7.6km walking from the Van Gogh museum (down left).
- Van Gogh Museum – world’s largest collection of Van Gogh’s paintings
- I Amsterdam Letters – popular selfie spot 🙂
- Heineken Experience – a beer lover’s must
- Rembrandt Square – square with a sculpture of famous painter Rembrandt van Rijn and a nightlife spot
- Flower Market – the only floating flower market in the world
- Begijnhof – the only inner court in Amsterdam with origins dating back to the Middle Ages
- Dam Square – central square of Amsterdam
- Western Church – Renaissance protestant church
- Anne Frank House – The museum is devoted to the memory of Anne Frank
- Canals of Amsterdam
- Old Church – one of the oldest buildings in Amsterdam
- Red Light District – the nightlife hub of Amsterdam
Amsterdam is definitely a city, that you can enjoy to the full in one day. I wish we had more time to visit some museums or explore outside of the city but even within one day, we had a great time. The one day actually felt like a week, because we did and see so much.