36 Hours In Amsterdam, Netherlands

36 hours in amsterdam

Discover the absolute best that Amsterdam, Netherlands, can offer you, from the riveting sights and sounds with the city itself, to the natural landscapes that define the region. From the Van Gogh Museum to the Ann Frank House, Dam Square to The Rijksmuseum, there’s so much to explore once you reach the Netherlands. This 36 hour guide to the very best of Amsterdam will introduce you to local history, retail and cuisine exclusive to the area. From waterborne cruises to immersive educational experiences, the guide will leave you impressed at the sheer quality and the diversity of everything that makes Amsterdam the unforgettable endeavor that it is! Be sure to check out the following 36 hour guide to Amsterdam, for a renewed definition of local hospitality.

Day 1, afternoon: Visit Van Gogh Museum or Stedelijk Museum

Van Gogh Museum
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user A,Ocram used under CC0

Whenever you visit Amsterdam, make sure that you create time to witness some of the finest in artistic works that the world has to offer you. First and foremost, make your way to the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, a fully functioning testament to the full scope of Van Gogh’s best works and contributions. Located in Museum Square, the Van Gogh Museum is conveniently located in close proximity to the Stedelijk Museum, Concertgebouw and Rijksmuseum. Featuring a constantly changing portfolio of displays, exhibits and presentations, the Van Gogh Museum has since 1793 captivated art enthusiasts, locals and visitors alike.

Likewise, the Stedelijk Museum makes a wonderful visit regardless of the day, as a testament to modern and contemporary art pieces. Located like the Van Gogh Museum in the Netherlands’ Museum Square, the Stedelijk Museum enjoys hundreds of thousands of visits every year; you’re invited to find yourself among them, touring hallways of modern artistic renderings, together with rotating exhibits and feature collections, from locally sourced artists and internationally renowned contributors.

Van Gogh Museum

Address: Museumplein 6, 1071 DJ Amsterdam, Netherlands

Website: Van Gogh Museum

Opening hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Price: Approximately 21.58 USD per person; visitors under 18 get in free

Day 1, evening: Canal cruise with dinner, then attend a night exhibition at Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam

Posted by Rederij Aemstelland on Friday, 8 November 2013

One of the unique dinner enterprises that you can make your own in Amsterdam is the Amsterdam canal dinner cruise. Amsterdam Private Boat Tours allows you and your significant other to enjoy some well-deserved alone time, while enjoying select wine choices and entrees specifically prepared for your enjoyment. A 45-minute experience takes you across gentle canal waters while you enjoy an intimate culinary setting.

Once you embark across the canal, your table is adorned with choice wines, after which point your choice of entree is delivered right to your table by a full-service wait staff. Furthermore, you’ll find yourself situated atop a classic salon boat. And, depending on the actual size of the group that you plan on attending with, you can even take the liberty of selecting the menu options before you leave the dock.

Supplement your enjoyable evening with a visit to the Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam, a photography-based museum that offers locals and visitors the chance to witness four exhibitions of individual genres of photography. Each of the four exhibits can change at any given time, providing you and the family an excuse to come back time and time again, no matter how many times you’ve walked through their friendly front doors before.

Amsterdam canal dinner tour

Address: Aemstelland Boat Company, Binnenkant 1, 1011 BG Amsterdam

Website: Amsterdam Private Boat Tours

Price: Approximately 68.90 USD

Day 1, night: End the day with drinks at De Pijp or clubbing at Paradiso night club

James Brown @ Paradiso, Amsterdam
Source: Photo by user Ville Miettinen used under CC BY 2.0

Before you call it a night in Amsterdam, head to De Pijp for a quick drink. This region is filled with Middle Eastern culinary experiences as well as everything from alcohol to appetizers, entrees and indigenous desserts. You’ll also discover breweries in the vicinity where you can sample acclaimed beers and vintage cocktails. You can even find beer tastings in De Pijp, a wonderful complement to a relaxing evening.

If you’re in search of a faster-pace conclusion to your day, hit up the Paradiso night club, one of the best clubs to be found in the Netherlands. Each of the DJs set to perform at the Paradiso night club is listed beforehand on the website, together with a select listing of other attractions and special offers. From jazz to hip hop, there exists a wide variety of musical genres that take center stage at the Paradiso night club, each of which represents another reason why you need to frequent the club before calling it a night!

Paradiso night club

Address: Weteringschans 6-8, 1017 SG Amsterdam, Netherlands

Website: Paradiso night club

Day 2, morning: Breakfast, visit the Royal Palace of Amsterdam and then stroll to Madame Tussauds Wax Museum

Palacio Real, Ámsterdam, Países Bajos, 2016-05-30, DD 07-09 HDR
Source: Photo by user Diego Delso used under CC BY-SA 4.0

After a productive first day in Amsterdam, followed by a restful sleep, keep the fun going with a hearty breakfast. You’re going to need the energy for another action-packed day in the Netherlands! It’s time to visit the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, one of the crown jewels of the country located in Dam Square. The palace building and ambiance alike are steeped in history, originally constructed in the 1880s as a city hall venue. After housing King Louis Napoleon, it was later converted to accommodate the Dutch Royal House. Recent renovations have made the Royal Palace of Amsterdam even more open to the public, and regular tours take place on the grounds to familiarize visitors with its grandeur, unique architecture and rich pastime. From its bells to its doors, the Royal Palace of Amsterdam is, in its entirety, entirely worth the investment to visit.

For an entirely different class of local entertainment, make the short transit to the local Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, for an introduction to some of the most lifelike wax figures to be found in the country. Known for their impeccable design and attention to detail, any Madame Tussauds Wax Museum is worth the time if only to gaze upon notable figures from across time. Interestingly, you can witness popular figures specific to Amsterdam’s own political sphere, including international leaders. From Ann Frank to soccer superstar Ronaldinho, there exists a diversified portfolio of wax figures that await your discovery on the inside of Amsterdam’s Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.

Royal Palace Amsterdam

Address: Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 147, 1012 RJ Amsterdam, Netherlands

Website: Royal Palace Amsterdam

Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Day 2, afternoon: Wander around Dam Square or relax in Vondelpark

Dam Square Amsterdam
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Mariordo used under CC BY-SA 4.0

From this point, you have a few options, one of which is as simple as wandering around Dam Square, and taking in the many sights and sounds that the space itself has to offer. The optimal location of Dam Square itself makes it well-situated for foot traffic and frequent tourist visitation, putting you in the right place to discover Amsterdam at a pace most conducive for your own enjoyment. While you’re in Dam Square, you should definitely check out both the National Monument and The New Church, as well as the aforementioned Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.

Nearby, Amsterdam’s Vondelpark provides an alternative form of outdoor exploration, in the form of a public park characterized by awe-inspiring natural flora and fauna. Located in Amsterdam-Zuid and successful in attracting roughly 10 million visitors per year, this park has, since its opening in 1865 entertained locals and visitors alike with its open-air theatre, wide recreational spaces and playground for smaller children to enjoy. The park itself is also home to some of its own culinary flavors, allowing you the privilege of enjoying a bite to eat without ever leaving the recreational vicinity. Furthermore, Vondelpark hosts regular events, including Fridaynightskate and a yearly April King’s Day celebration.

Dam Square

Address: Dam Amsterdam, Netherlands

Website: Dam Square

Day 2, evening: Dinner at Choux, found near the Central Station

Posted by Choux on Saturday, 23 May 2015

A delectable dinner in Amsterdam is easy as a visit to Choux. Conveniently located near Amsterdam’s Central Station, Choux offers the passerby a well-renowned menu characterized by a diversified portfolio of options, regardless of your individual preferences and dietary restrictions. Fortunately, at Choux, vegetables are given prominent time to shine. Featuring a constantly changing assortment of entrees, Choux deserves to serve as your dinner option once you’ve acquainted yourself with the lay of the land.

Sample the Swiss Chard or the Jerusalem Artichoke, or opt for a bold flavor and try the Savoy Cabbage on for size. The wine list at Choux is also not to be undermined; bottles can be recommended based upon your preferences, or you can choose any option that best suits what you know you’re looking to make your own. Whether it’s their piemonte or their vino bianco options, you’re sure find a winner under Choux’s roof in Amsterdam.


Address: De Ruijterkade 128, 1011 AC Amsterdam, Netherlands

Website: Choux

Opening hours: 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Price: Approximately 55 USD

Day 2, night: Visit House of Bols for the Cocktail experience

Posted by Bols Cocktails on Wednesday, 16 May 2018

You can’t call it a night until you’ve discovered the joys of the House of Bols in Amsterdam. Marketed and presented as entirely more than a source for high-end beverages, instead a culinary and intellectual experience, the House of Bols does not disappoint. It effectively delivers you the best sights, sounds and flavors that a gin museum can offer you, complete with tastings of their finest creations. For even more action, stick around and check out their distinctively chic bar, home to a wide variety of enviable cocktails perfect for putting those finishing touches on an enjoyable evening in the Netherlands.

One of the best parts of the House of Bols is the fact that when you elect to embark on their in-house tour, you can do so at your own speed. Their self-guided tour serves as a wonderful introduction to everything that makes the location itself well worthy of mention. From their history to their current creations, you and all visiting guests are provided with a holistic understanding of the House of Bols, from inception to present day exploits. And you’ll also be allowed the opportunity to virtually deconstruct a cocktail, in order to discover all of the individual flavors that contribute to the experience. Better than anyone else, you’ll understand what makes a cocktail from the House of Bols a cut above the rest.

House of Bols

Address: Paulus Potterstraat 14, 1071 CZ Amsterdam, Netherlands

Website: House of Bols

Opening hours: 1 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Price: Approximately 18.15 USD per person

Day 3, morning: Breakfast then shopping at De Bijenkorf before departure

De historische koets vol met pakjes, klimpieten aan de Amsterdamse gevel en in de lichthal, de Bijenkorf heeft...

Posted by de Bijenkorf on Monday, 14 November 2011

After another restful night’s sleep in Amsterdam, it’s time to get in some last-minute retail shopping before you depart! Head over to De Bijenkorf, a collection of upscale stores that will satiate all of your shopping needs before you leave. Regardless of what you’re looking for whenever you visit De Bijenkorf, you’re going to find it and more. The largest of the retail chain’s outlets is conveniently located in the aforementioned Dam Square, providing you exclusive, privileged access to their flagship location and friendly service alike.

You’ll also be able to identify the retail chain itself from the outside, given the fact that is it defined by unique architecture. A dated building with contemporary, high-end retail held inside the interior, De Bijenkorf is everything you could ask for with regard to one, final shopping endeavor before your time in Amsterdam comes to an eventual conclusion.

De Bijenkorf

Address: Dam 1, 1012 JS Amsterdam, Netherlands

Website: De Bijenkorf

Opening hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Amsterdam is a place worth exploring

Make the most of your time in Amsterdam, Netherlands with our 36 hour guide and enjoy your trip!!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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John Gallagher is a digital marketing consultant and writer from San Diego, California. When he isn't thoroughly enjoying the writing process or pretending he thoroughly enjoys the revision...Read more

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