Home » A WEEKEND IN AMSTERDAM [2024]

A WEEKEND IN AMSTERDAM [2024]

Amsterdam Canals
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There is one thing that I love about Amsterdam, and that is the relaxed vibe you get as soon as you enter the Netherlands. It is different from other cities. This guide will give you all the information you need for a weekend in Amsterdam, including all you need to know before planning your trip to Amsterdam.

I have visited throughout Europe. It is not just that this cool city of Amsterdam has canals running through it or that there are bikes everywhere. There is something about this city I can’t put down in words; it is just a feeling I get when exploring this cool European city. If you only have a weekend to explore, then here is a weekend guide that you can jam-pack as much of this Dutch Capital city as possible. 

i amsterdam

Amsterdam originally got its name back in October 1275, meaning dam in the river Amstel. Since then, this amazing city in Europe has been built to scale, meaning that very few buildings are constructed over 6 feet (which is rare in this day and age). 

With very few roads more than two lanes deep, this city is known for being flat and bicycle-friendly, which makes it easy to ride almost anywhere! Enjoy this Amsterdam travel guide to ensure you have a great weekend Amsterdam break.

How to spend a weekend in Amsterdam

Travel to Amsterdam  

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol – Although there are five airports in the Netherlands, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is the most conveniently located in Amsterdam. It is only a 15-minute train ride to the city! Schiphol is also the primary hub for KLM, so most flights will fly here. In addition, both KLM and Singapore airlines fly directly in under 13 hours.

Transport in Amsterdam

Public transport in Amsterdam

I would recommend I AMsterdam City Card is probably the easiest way to get around on public transport in Amsterdam. You can order it online or pick one up from the visitor’s centre. The I AMsterdam City Card also includes entry into major attractions, bike rental and canal tours. Buses are also available and can be prepurchased.

Taxi and Uber

You can catch either metred taxis or Ubers in Amsterdam. However, it isn’t always the best way to get around as traffic conditions make public transport a better option on most occasions. 

Bikes

Cycling around Amsterdam is by far the most cost effective and easiest way to see this fantastic city. With Amsterdam named the “Cycling capital of the world,” it is without a doubt the most convenient way to get around. 

Canal cruise

Things to do during a weekend away in Amsterdam

There are so many things to do in Amsterdam, whether you are spending a long weekend in Amsterdam or wanting a weekend break in Amsterdam. 

This city has something for everyone: there is so much to explore on your weekend break in Amsterdam. Here are a few of my favourite things to do in Amsterdam.

Stroll down the red light district. 

If you are spending the weekend with kids, then this probably won’t be on your bucket list. However, if children aren’t by your side, then stroll down the red light district as it isn’t what you may think. There is more to this area than what reputation might have you believe. 

You can venture into the Red Light Secrets (museum of Prostitution), stroll through sex shops and purchase tickets for live shows. 

Travel tip – If this isn’t your thing, then do not worry; there are some great bars in the area worth checking out.

red light district

Cruise down the Canals

If you purchase you I Amsterdam city card, jump on the Canal tours. These Canal cruises offer you the luxury of hopping on and off (just like the bus does) at major attractions.

It also has a relaxed feel, with commentary and a slow pace; it is a great way to take in the spectacular views that this city offers.

Travel tip – The Canal tours go a different route to the on-off buses, so it is a good idea to choose both options when purchasing tickets. 

Canals in Amsterdam

Visit the Anne Frank house.

 Anne Frank’s house is an integral part of History because Anne Frank’s story shows the strong will of a German teenage Jewish girl who, for 761 days, spent her life hidden in a secret annexe with seven others in a home in Amsterdam. This house is where she wrote her diary and other well-known writings. 

Travel tip – Anne Frank’s house is a must-see on your weekend Amsterdam Break. However, the lines are long and booking before arriving will save you the disappointment of not being about to visit the Dutch home at all and join one of the walking tours.

Anne Franks house

Explore the Museumplein district

The Museumplein (English for museum square) is where you will find a neighbourhood full of museums during your Amsterdam travel. The museums include the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum and the concert hall Concertgebouw.

My favourite is the Rijks museum which consists of Dutch history and art—voted in the top ten best museums in the world on multiple occasions; entering this beautiful building, you will see why!

Travel tip – If you are a lover of art, then you must visit The Van Gogh museum. Booking online for your weekend away in Amsterdam is advisable.

Rijikmuseum

Hire a Taxi Bike

Suppose you would like to see the city via bicycle but don’t have the leg power to do it. Or do you want to sit back, relax, and be a little more friendly to the environment?

Then hire one of the many taxi bike ride services dotted in and around the city. For a fee, your guide or peddler (if that is what he is called) will take you anywhere you want while you sit back in comfort and enjoy this great long weekend in Amsterdam.

Travel tip– negotiate your price before jumping into the back and he starts peddling. 

bike taxi

Try the delicious foods that the Netherlands have to offer.

You can not leave The Netherlands without trying Stroopwafel. This delicious waffle is now famous around the world. Originated in a place called Gouda, approximately an hour’s drive from Amsterdam. 

You may recognise the region because it is renowned for its Gouda cheese. Gouda cheese was founded in the 12th century and is known for being one of the oldest known cheeses to date. 

Frites (also known as Patat) is the Dutch version of French fries. Although initially from Belgium, the Dutch love them and have become somewhat of a favourite. Although you can choose the western way of toppings ( ketchup), the Dutch have unique toppings that are worth a try. These include mayonnaise, peanut sauce or curry. 

For most, liquorice is a soft type of sweet candy, but for the Dutch, the Zoute Drop is a delicious type of salty liquorice. If this isn’t your thing, there is no need to worry; there is plenty of liquorice everywhere. As the Netherlands consume more liquorice than anywhere else, you will not find yourself short of a place to find this delicious treat on your weekend in Amsterdam.

The Kroket (Croquette in English) is a favourite in many countries worldwide. This famous treat is made with many different flavours, but why not try the traditional Kroket in beef or veal? You can eat it on its own or serve it with white bread; either way, it is delicious!

Okay, we all love a good meatball, but the Dutch love their bitterballen. These delicious treats are a little different because they have a thick coating on the outside. The bitterballen is a favourite at bars when you have a drink, generally served with mustard. It is a must-have when ordering a beer!

Travel tip– With the Netherlands being the world’s largest cheese exporter (Gouda and Edam being the most well-known), try the other types during this beautiful weekend away in Amsterdam. Want something a little different? Try a guided tour of Zaanse Schans with Cheese Tasting & Clog Factory.

Dutch food

Jump on a bicycle and explore

This city of Amsterdam is excellent for exploring, especially on a bike. If there is a city more worthy of a bike ride, naming this city “the bike capital of the world” was for a reason, and you can see why! Explore the streets on your two-wheeler and park on the road as you visit some landmarks and tourist spots, or you get a bite to eat at the many cafes Amsterdam offers.

Travel tip – You can hire a bike and explore this city yourself or head to one of the many bike tours. Either way, grab a bike and start peddling.

bikes in amsterdam

Visit the Heineken Brewery

If you are a beer lover, then, of course, you would have heard of Heineken Brewery. You would have heard of Heineken even if you aren’t a beer lover. So don’t miss out on this. Book your Heineken tour online to experience how this world-famous beer became world-class and get the opportunity to taste it for yourself.

Travel tip – This is a great interactive tour, so make sure you take loads of photos and have lots of fun with it. 

Heineken tour

Enjoy lunch by the canal at Hard Rock Cafe.

I know that Hard Rock Cafe probably wouldn’t be your first choice, but the view from the restaurant is impressive. Set alongside the canal, this is an excellent location if you plan to enjoy a canal tour. In addition, you can now book online to ensure you are waiting in a long line (like we did). 

Travel tip – Ask for a table by the window to ensure you get the most out of the canal view.

Hardrock cafe

Visit the Johan Cruijff ArenA

Whether you enjoy The Johan Cruijff Arena (formerly known as Ajax Stadium)  guided tour or visit this arena for a game or a concert. The Johan Cruijff ArenA is home to Amsterdamsche Football Club Ajax and is one to put on your bucket list.

After you finish your tour or watch a concert or football game, head over to Villa arena, where you can sit at the bar and order a drink or some pub food, it is a great day out for everyone. 

Travel tip – Book all your tickets online, and arrive early to concerts and football matches, as it gets busy!!!!

AJAX

Book a ticket to The Royal Palace Of Amsterdam

The Royal Palace of Amsterdam is King Willem-Alexanders reception palace. This 200-year-old Palace has many stories to tell, dating back to when King Louis Bonaparte first transformed this beautiful building into a Palace. 

Although King Willem-Alexanders resides in The Hague, this Palace is impressive and is used on Royal occasions and gala dinners; this includes state visits and award ceremonies. 

Travel Tip – You must book your tickets online as the Palace may be closed on the weekend you choose to visit Amsterdam.

Accommodation Amsterdam city

There are all types of accommodation in Amsterdam. So here are a few perfect places to stay on your weekend in Amsterdam. 

Houseboat Prince-Avalon

The Houseboat Prince-Avalon is a unique place to stay on your weekend Amsterdam break. You are centrally located in the Jordaan District on the Brouwers Canal, within walking distance of some Amsterdams Trademark locations. Make your experience here a memorable one by booking online via booking.com.

The Conservatorium Hotel 

The Conservatorium Hotel is in the heart of the museum district, and if this weekend break in Amsterdam is a little bit of a splurge, then this is the hotel for you.

Inside this hotel, you will find it is a masterpiece in itself; this beautifully designed hotel makes you feel like you have stepped right into the heart of a museum. With all of the famous museums within walking distance, this is the perfect place to stay the weekend in Amsterdam.

Canal House Apartment

If you would prefer to feel more like a local when visiting Amsterdam for the weekend, then book into Canal House Apartment, where this two-bedroom apartment in a great location will have you surrounded by significant landmarks.

Wake up in a building dating from 1952, sit on the terrace with your cup of coffee and get ready for the day ahead. The Canal House Apartment is the perfect place for your weekend getaway in Amsterdam.

museum district Amsterdam

Staying Safe in Amsterdam

Are you worried about insurance? Don’t be as SafetyWing is the world’s first International Travel Medical Insurance developed to meet the needs of entrepreneurs and remote workers travelling or living abroad. I can not recommend travel medical insurance enough! For those who are going to be away for long periods, live and work abroad or are nomad travellers.

Amsterdam

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Tried and Tested Recommendations 

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Insurance -We all know how important travel insurance is when you are abroad, but we also know how expensive it can be as well, right? Well, I am here to help solve both those problems. Safetywings is both affordable and reliable and better still easy to purchase. There are no hidden agendas, just choose the dates you will be away and check the coverage you need. It is that simple.

Car Hire– If you are planning to hire a car on your next trip, DiscoverCars is the perfect solution, why? Because you will find it in most countries around the world and all mandatory fees are included in the price, so there are no hidden surprises.

E-sim– If you want to know the most affordable way to be connected when travelling, it is with an e-sim. I have to admit I have come late to the party on this one, and I wish I had known earlier as it would have saved me hundreds of dollars in the past. I have been using Airalo for the past few months now and it has been so easy to set up and use while I am away. 

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Author

  • Paula Barreca Barnes

    So 17 years ago, my husband and I set off with our little family in tow, embarking on a short-term assignment in Taiwan. Although without any knowledge of expat life or the Taiwanese culture, we took the chance and decided this would be an exciting little adventure; little did we know it changed the direction of our lives forever.

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