What to see in Amsterdam in 3 days

If you are thinking about taking a little trip around Europe, don't miss out on our guide explaining what to do in Amsterdam in 3 days. It will prove very useful in ensuring you don't miss out on all the incredible things this amazing city has to offer.

What to see in Amsterdam in 3 days

You can do a lot in three days, but this won't be enough when you discover the number of places to see in Amsterdam. From museums to incredible and iconic places, to coffeeshops and Venice-style canals; this city has it all! Also, not only is the city amazing, you will also find people from every corner of the globe.

We know you can't wait to find out what to see during a weekend in Amsterdam before you pack your suitcases. So without further ado, let's get on with it!

We will uncover the best places to see in Amsterdam according to your preferences

Your trip could go in thousands of different directions given that there are more than 50 things to see in Amsterdam. So, you decide!

Do you prefer a relaxed trip and visiting all there is to see in Amsterdam as a tourist? Or maybe something more active? Whether you're studying, working or travelling with your kids, I promise that you won't find a lack of things to do in Amsterdam.

And now, let's look at different ways of travelling so that you enjoy your trip the way you like it and can decide on things to see in Amsterdam according to your taste.

Are you travelling on a budget? Look up what there is to do in Amsterdam for free

Whoever said that travelling is expensive? Visit Amsterdam in 3 days without spending a penny! Generally, a student is always going to have a tighter budget so there's never any harm in knowing the places in Amsterdam which you can see for free as well as some tricks to enjoy this city without spending a lot of money. There are lots of free things to see in Amsterdam!

What to see in Amsterdam in 3 days

  • Save on transport
  • Why not start by renting a bike? One can say that undoubtedly Amsterdam is the bike capital of the world. Wherever you look, you will see families with their kids, groups of friends and people from all classes riding along on a bike. Feel the true Dutch spirit and rent out a bike for 3 days for less than €20! You will be able to get to wherever in a flash and thanks to the city's thousands of parking zones, will be able to park it wherever you like. Support sustainable tourism!

  • Visit the Van Gogh Museum for free
  • Get yourself an I Amsterdam City Card to gain access to all the worthwile places in Amsterdam. And don't forget to ask for free admission into Amsterdam's Van Gogh Museum and discover all there is to see there! As long as you have this card, this is one of the free things to visit in Amsterdam so don't let it pass you by. Such opportunities do not come around all the time!

  • Visit Begijnhof
  • You won't need to break the bank in order to enjoy the tranquility and peace of Begijnhof, a peaceful haven in the form of a 14th century courtyard built by a group of women for charity. Architecture typical of Amsterdam sorrounds the courtyard, separating it from the hustle and bustle of the city.

  • Take a free boat trip
  • Perhaps you thought you would leave Amsterdam without navigating through its majestic canals? Make space to include this plan for things to do in Amsterdam in one afternoon, it will only take up 5 minutes of your time and is worth every second. Normally, you have to pay for a boat trip along the canal but you can catch a ferry called Buikersloterwegveer which is completely free and takes you over the canal. It's not as intense as other cruises can be but it's a worthwile experience!

  • Visit the gardens of the Rijksmuseum Museum
  • The museum itself is a must visit, but if you're scarce on funds you should know that few people realise that you can visit the gardens completely free. It's an ideal place to go when it's sunny, perfect to breathe in the fresh air as you roam past statues, fountains and marvelous pieces of architecture.

  • Sign up to a free tour
  • As its name suggests, free tour is exactly that, a free tour around Amsterdam's most emblematic places but peculiarly, you will also end up learning about the locals' best kept secrets about the city. Sign up and discover the best things to see in Amsterdam without having to spend a pound. It's up to you whether you want to give a tip to whoever shows you around the city!

    What to see in Amsterdam in 3 days

    Are you planning a family trip? Discover what to see in Amsterdam with kids

    Family trips are unforgettable and without doubt, unique experiences. As well as everything I have mentioned already, now you will find out about some of the most ideal places in Amsterdam to visit with children, making your experience worth remembering.

  • Visit the flower market
  • If you ask what to see in Amsterdam in May, April or March, I'll say you've struck gold because this is the perfect time to go and enjoy Amsterdam's flowers and bulbs. One of Amsterdam's curiosities and what most catches the attention of European citizens, is its peoples passion and dedication to flowers, especially to tulips. As a family you can breathe in and take in the joyful atmosphere in the flower market, also called Bloemenmarkt. What you wouldn't expect is that it's built over the canal!

    Although if you're looking for tulips in Amsterdam on a mass scale, I recommend that you go to Keukenhof park. It's halfway between Haarlem and The Hague and if you go in spring you'll be able to appreciate one of the best explosions of colour you will have ever seen.

    What to see in Amsterdam in 3 days

  • Visit Museumplein
  • Christmas in this city can turn into a holiday of dreams so in case you're interested in what there is to do and to see in Amsterdam during December or January, I recommend that you visit Museumplein square. As well as being home to the majority of the city's notable museums, this square is ideal at Christmas time as every year an ice rink is installed which I'm sure your kids would love to enter.

    What to see in Amsterdam in 3 days

    These places, as well as the others that you will find in this guide and that you may find interesting, will help you plan your trip and have in mind what to see in Amsterdam in 3 days with kids. You will have a great time!

    What to see in the centre of Amsterdam: what's hidden in each neighbourhood

    First of all, you don't want to miss out on seeing important things in central Amsterdam do you? Perfect. In that case pay close attention because we're showing you the best places to go and see in the centre of Amsterdam. Don't miss any of them.

    What to see in Amsterdam in 3 days

    Places and buildings to see in the centre of Amsterdam in 3 days

  • Leidseplein Square
  • This square is easily the city's most active and busiest. In and around it you will be able to uncover countless possibilities: bars, restaurants, cinemas, casinos, clubs and also the famous coffee shop chain The Bulldog. When I say everything, I mean everything!

  • Dam Square
  • This is undoubtedly one of Amsterdam's most emblematic squares, the heart of the capital. Amsterdam literally rose up from this square, this was where the very foundations of the city were built. In the middle of the square you will be able to find the National Monument, built in 1956 in memory of those who died during the Second World War.

  • Visit the neighbourhood of Jordaan and its canals
  • One thing you have to see in Jordaan are its beautiful boutiques and lovely shops. You will find them distributed throughout the neighbourhood, made up of narrow and cosy streets, dissected by the canals which divides up the city into rings.

  • Anne Frank's house
  • Visit the house museum of Anne Frank, a place which oozes history every step you take. Have you heard of Anne Frank's diary, the most inspirational book regarding the persecution of the Jewish during the Second World War? Good, so you'll be able to get to know the place where the protagonist of this brutal and incredible story lived. The tales you will discover in this place will make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up on edge. If you want to know more you'll have to go and see for yourself, I'm not giving away any spoilers!

  • The Rijksmuseum
  • The Rijksmuseum is without doubt a must see if you go to Amsterdam. This museum has everything you could possibly imagine; in it you will learn bucket loads of curiosities related to the Dutch golden age. You will also see collections of Asian and Egyptian art as well as works from the likes of Rembrandt, Vermeer and Van Gogh.

    What to see in Amsterdam in 3 days

    Neighbourhoods in Amsterdam that you can't afford to miss

  • Chinatown
  • To many people's suprise, Chinatown is one of the zones if not the zone with the most history and old buildings in the city. There is a lot to see in Amsterdam's Chinatown such as the Fo Guang Shan Holland Buddhist Temple which you will easily be able to recognise due to its Chinese architecture. It also has numerous typical Asian restaurants and coffee shops amongst other things.

  • The Jewish district
  • This neighbourhood is burdened with a great historical weight which will leave you speechless. Amongst its streets, the famous Anne Frank lived here for a time. Sign up for a free tour and discover what Anne Frank's life was like here and the places she often frequented. You will be suprised by the amount of things to see in the Jewish quarter, from the Auschwitz monument to the famous Jewish Historical Museum. Furthermore, you can visit two house museums in the area: as well as Anne Frank's house, you can also visit the house of the painter Rembrandt.

  • The Red Light District
  • If you still aren't sure about what to see in Amsterdam's Red Light District or indeed about what you will find, I assure you it will be different to what you expect. This neighbourhood is one of the city's most peculiar. The night, the liberal spirit and the eccentric atmosphere will call out and whisper to you so that you inevitably end up there.

    As you will well know, this area is famous for being home to numerous brothels, sex shops and bars where you can smoke marijuana. Do Coffee Shops ring a bell? In Amsterdam, and definitely in this area, you will find many of these cafés. What makes them special is that inside you can buy and consume many marijuana products and its all regulated and legal. The Bulldog is a famous chain with more than 5 shops operating in the capital. So you won't find it hard to locate them.

    Stroll through the streets of the Red Light District and allow yourself to be dazzled by its red neon lights and extravagent atmosphere although if you're going with kids, best to visit during the day. Furthermore, don't forget to admire the astonishing architecture of its leaning buildings and cobbled streets, typical of the city's medieval core.

    What to see in Amsterdam in 3 days

    Venture outside the city and explore things to do in Amsterdam and outskirts in 3 days

    Although up until now we have already seen many places, I assure you that as long as you're batteries are charged, we can still squeeze in a bit more to do in these 3 days. If we hurry, we already have sorted the places to see for 2 days in Amsterdam. So, let's not waste anymore time and plan the things to see in Amsterdam and its sorroundings for the last day!

    What to see in Haarlem, Amsterdam

    One of the things to see outside of Amsterdam is the city of Haarlem. This town, a mere 12 miles from Amsterdam, is one of the most charming places you will find in the outskirts of the capital.

    Walk through its characteristic streets until you reach Grote Markt, Haarlem's main square. There you will be able to visit the Grote Kerk, or the Cathedral of St Bavo, where you will see the most famous organ in the world. Approach it and in doing so, marvel at how it has been graced by such great musical composers as Mozart and Händel.

    Carrying on with the theme of history, later you can go and visit De Adriaan's windmill, a beautiful structure on the banks of the river Spaarne. Windmills are very much national treasures in the Netherlands so I encourage you to visit it and learn more about their function and importance to the country.

    All good, now it's time to relax a bit. You can't leave without having something to drink in Jopenkerk (Jopen)! You won't believe it, but underneath its outward facade as a church, Jopen hides a brewery. A good idea would be to try one of their incredible beers whilst you rest and recover your strength to continue!

    What to see in Amsterdam in 3 days

    What to see in The Hague, Amsterdam

    Only half an hour away from Amsterdam, known as the global capital of justice due to the International Court of Justice being situated here, The Hague is well worth a visit. In practical terms, we can think of this city as the political and administrative capital of the country.

    In The Hague you will be able to visit such emblematic places like the Palace of Peace (where the court is) and also Noordeinde Palace, one of the four official residences of the Dutch royal family.

    And if you want to experience something unusual, you can't leave without first making a visit to Madurodam! A fun park for all ages, you will feel like a real giant as you pass by Holland's most emblematic buildings all to scale in miniature form. It's a great way of not missing out on anything!

    What to see in Amsterdam in 3 days

    Villages to visit close to Amsterdam: Visit Zaanse Schans and Edam

    As well as these incredible cities, there are many options to choose from and a lot of villages to see in Amsterdam in one day. For example, where are the famous windmills which everyone takes photos of? And the famous Edam cheese, where does it come from? Satisfy your intrigue!

  • Zaanse Schans
  • Do you want to know where to find the famous windmills? Good, you can find them in Zaanse Schans, a dream-like place in Zaandam, in the municipality of Zaanstad. This scenery so characteristic of The Netherlands is definitely a curiosity worth visiting if you're in and around Amsterdam.

    Take a walk though this traditional village and discover what life was like in the country back in the olden days, dating back to the 17th century. Discover the milk and cheese dairy farms, its windmills and its tin factory which I bet that, within the blink of an eye, will transport you into another era.

    What to see in Amsterdam in 3 days

  • Edam
  • Can you visualise the characteristic Dutch cheese covered in a fine, red cover? Yes you guessed it, it's Edam cheese. The village of Edam is located right by lake IJssel (IJsselmeer) and is a charming naval town. If its fame precedes it, this is only thanks to its famous Edam cheese, recognised the world over. Visit its dairy farms and factories and delve deeper into a world of rich tradition and history dating back to the 18th century.

    What to see in Amsterdam in 3 days

    And that's the whole tour!

    Don't forget to follow us on Instagram and Twitter to read more eye opening posts like what to see in Amsterdam in one day. And you? Have you already been to Amsterdam? Tell us how was your experience as well as your favourite places!

    By sharing your story, you will help fellow travellers to continue to quench their yearning for travel!

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