48 Hours in Amsterdam

How To Spend 48 Hours In Amsterdam

Planning how to spend 48 hours in Amsterdam? Edgy and contemporary yet manageably compact, it’s a great spot. Museum-packed Amsterdam is – as it’s always been – a beguilingly engaging place to visit for a couple of days. 

Think: lazy canalside walks, world-class museums and riotous nights out all playing nicely with  engagingly liberal attitudes.

48 Hours in Amsterdam: Travel Guide

Day One:

Get on Your Bike

As soon as you’ve unpacked your things at the canalside NH City Centre Amsterdam, strike out and smartphone yourself an app-operated hire bike. Pedal-power here is everyone’s preferred way of flitting from A to B. So, getting your bearings and seeing the sights on two-wheels is definitely the way forward.

If you don’t feel like pedalling then just shout “Backie” at one of the local ‘taxi-bikes’ (the ones with yellow-coloured luggage racks) and they’ll stop and give you a lift.

Visit Anne Frank’s House

The Anne Frank House on Westermarkt is perhaps the most poignant of all Amsterdam’s many ‘unmissable’ sights. It’s eery and compelling in equal measures. Seeing the exact place where the eponymous diarist and her ill-fated family endeavoured to live in hiding during the Nazi occupation is a viscerally affecting experience. Be prepared to queue.

Open Your Mind With a Liberal Night Out

Amsterdam is known across the world for its relaxed (though some would say utilitarian) approach to prostitution and drugs. Regardless of what your own thoughts may be towards either of these vices, there’s no doubting an evening stroll around the city’s notorious Red Light district, and/or a visit to one of its famed hash cafes will open your mind somewhat, one way or another.

48 Hours in Amsterdam

Day Two:

Take an Extended Waterside Stroll

Boasting a greater concentrated area of waterways than Venice, an extended saunter along the city’s scenic canals is a fine way to kick off a day in the Dutch capital. Get up early enough to make the most of the day… And you may well get a stretch of canal – even a much-admired area like handsome Herengracht – all to yourself. 

Amsterdam things to do

Hit the Museums

The city has world-class venues like the Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum and Stedelijk Museum. So, it’s easy to see why dinky Amsterdam is said to offer more culture per capita than any other city on the planet. Does your cultural outlook lean more to the quirky side of things? Swing by the Torture Museum, Funeral Museum or Sex Museum if so!

48 Hours in Amsterdam

Enjoy a Relaxed Evening Out

One of the great things about Amsterdam is that it really does have it all. It achieves the enviable task of balancing out its riotous nightlife with plentiful options to enjoy a more laid-back evening out. Head down to Waterkant on the waterfront and you’ll get the idea: craft beers and light bites topped with city views and an easy-going vibe. Nice.

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Bo Heamyan

Bo Heamyan is a British travel writer, reporter and author. When not plotting adventurous overseas japes or motoring away on off-grid road trips, Bo enjoys re-reading Walden, worshipping Nietzsche and highlighting the dangers of conformity to his six-year-old daughter.

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