48 hours in Amsterdam

17 Mar 2016

Elaborate waterways and quaint cobbled streets combine with fascinating culture and hedonistic nightlife to make Amsterdam one of our favourite destinations for a short break. This is how we’d spend two days there.

Day One

Arrival
It’s easy to get to the city centre from Amsterdam airport. The train runs every 15 minutes direct to Amsterdam Centraal Station and costs just 3.80€. The bus takes a little longer at around 30 minutes, costs 3.60€ and departs from the airport every 30 minutes. A taxi is around 40€.

10am
Start the day by devouring an authentic Dutch breakfast. You’ll find no shortage of quirky cafes serving up rich coffee and traditional hagelslag (chocolate sprinkles served on bread) but, for breakfast with a difference head to the Homomonument. Here you can board the Gs Brunch Boat, which sets off three times a day.

With two cafes back on land, Gs are experts when it comes to all things runny, fried and sunny-side up. They offer brunch, two drinks, dessert and coffee for 37.50€, complete with a cruise down the Keizersgracht canal through Gratchengordel.

2pm
Time to discover some of the city’s museums! While you could choose the Rijksmuseum or Van Gogh Museum, top of the list is the Anne Frank House. Here you’ll find that famous secret annex, and learn about the Frank family and Amsterdam’s role in World War II. 

 

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8pm
Just a short taxi ride away in the Watergraafsmeer area, you’ll find Restaurant en Kwekerij De Kas – a dining experience with a twist. The restaurant is set inside a collection of greenhouses that date back to 1926. Inside these and across the farmland, Kwekerij grow all their own veggies and herbs and then base their menu on the harvest that day. They team it with locally sourced fish and meat, which means you’re getting the best of Amsterdam. The 3-course fixed menu is 49.50€ while sitting at the chef’s table costs 130€ per person.

 

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Day Two

10am
Start your day with a walk along the Singel Canal to Vondelpark, the city’s most famous park. Along the way you can stop in at Reypenaer, the cheese-tasting room, and pick up some of your smelliest favourites. Then, meander along the rustic avenues and stop in at the Bloemenmarkt (below), the world’s only floating flower market, before making your way to Vondelpark.

 

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2pm
For a unique dining experience, head to REM Eiland in Amsterdam West. The restaurant is set in an old sea rig and former pirate radio station, but now offers great views and fab food. Diners can enjoy the classic Amsterdam sandwich for less than 10€ or a 2-course meal for 22.50€.

 

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4pm
The steamy chambers of retro spa Sauna Deco is the place to relax before the trip comes to an end. It’s located in Gratchengorden and costs 23.50€ for a standard entry, although you can add various treatments onto your visit.

6pm
Tomaz
in the medieval district will give you a large helping of Dutch cuisine to bid you farewell. This cosy and cute hideaway serves Dutch delights such as stamppot (potatoes mashed with vegetables and served with smoked suasage). From here, it’s a 15-minute walk to the Amsterdam Centraal Station, making it the perfect stop before you board the train back to the aiport.


5 Hotels We Love in Amsterdam

Park Hotel Amsterdam
Where:
City-centre, within walking distance of major museums.
Why we love it: This stylish hotel has been nominated for a World Travel Award every year since 2011. On-site MOMO Restaurant attracts locals as well as guests, plus there’s a spa, a fitness centre and a Gallery Zone where local artists exhibit their work.
Click here for rates and availability

Hotel de Hallen
Where:
In southwest Amsterdam, close to boutiques, museums, galleries and markets.
Why we love it: This 4-star hotel is housed in a renovated former tram depot from 1902. The new design smartly blends the building's industrial design with Scandinavian furniture and a contemporary art collection.
Click here for rates and availability

Hotel JL No76
Where:
In the buzzy Fashion & Museum quarter, near Vondelpark.
Why we love it: This boutique property is housed within two 18th-century townhouses. It’s a minute's walk from the high-end shopping street PC Hoofstraat, a 4-minute walk from the Vondelpark, and within five minutes of the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum. All rooms and suites have free Wi-Fi & a Nespresso machine.
Click here for rates and availability

Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht
Where:
On Prinsengracht, one of Amsterdam’s most beautiful canals.
Why we love it: This Alice in Wonderland-themed design hotel is perched on one of the city’s loveliest canals. The Anne Frank House and chic Nine Streets and Jordaan shopping districts are within walking distance, and the Rijksmuseum is a cycle ride away on one of the hotel’s free-to-borrow bikes.
Click here for rates and availability

Hotel Okura Amsterdam
Where:
Pretty canalside location in the De Pijp neighbourhood, just outside the city centre.
Why we love it:
East meets west at the 5-star Okura Amsterdam, where you’ll find Japanese flower arrangements sitting alongside antique Dutch furniture in the vast lobby, and two Michelin-starred restaurants, serving Japanese Teppanyaki and fine French food. This is the tallest hotel in the city.
Click here for rates and availability


Want more? Check out our full list of Amsterdam hotel deals


This post was written by guest blogger Vicky Philpott, the travel writer behind VickyFlipFlopTravels (and frequent visitor to Amsterdam)

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