3 days in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the Netherlands’ capital, known for its artistic heritage, elaborate canal system and narrow houses with gabled facades; legacies of the city’s 17th-century Golden Age.
The Netherlands have a temperate maritime climate influenced by the North Sea and Atlantic Ocean, with cool summers and moderate winters. Daytime temperatures varies from 2°C-6°C in the winter and 17°C-20°C in the summer.
I went to Amsterdam at the end of August 2015 and the weather was warm and pleasant, but it kept changing all the time. The first two days were sunny, but the last day it rained a lot.
There are many ways to reach Amsterdam city centre from Schiphol Airport. We chose to use the shuttle service which connects the airport with more than 100 hotels throughout the city. One way ticket costs 17€ and a return ticket 27€. The shuttles run every 10 minutes and you can purchase your ticket at the Connexxion Shuttle Desk at Arrivals 4 or the Holland Tourist Information desk at Arrivals 2.
There is also a direct train between the airport and Amsterdam Central Station. Amsterdam airport trains depart from Platforms 1 and 2 under the airport main arrival plaza day and night every day of the week. From 6am to 1am it runs every 10 to 15 minutes and from 1am to 6am it runs once per hour on the 00 minute.The ticket price is 9.50€ and some websites recommend to buy it online.If you wish to buy your ticket online, please visit the Amsterdam airport train tickets website.
If you prefer to get a taxi from the the airport you can book it in advance at the Amsterdam airport taxi transfer website.
Public transport in Amsterdam city center is operated by GVB company which provides integrated metro, tram and bus service.You can buy tickets that are valid for 24 hours for 7.50€ to 168 hours for 34€. If you buy a ticket at 3pm, it will be valid till 3pm on the following day.
Once you are in the city centre I recommend you to walk or use the tram.
PLACES TO VISIT AND THINGS TO DO
Take a canal boat cruise. I always recommend it as you can see the city from a different view. You don't need to book the cruise in advance as you will find many companies that offer this service.
Go to Dam Square (Amsterdam main square), a really lively place where there is always something going on.
Join the Red light district tour that starts from Dam Square. The tour is really interesting and the price is 14€ per person. The Red light district is one of Amsterdam main attractions, so you can't miss it!
Note: If you are visiting an European city and want to join a tour, check the Sandemans New Europe tours website. They have a good choice of tours to choose from with experienced guides.
If you are keen on museums, visit the Museum Quarter. My travel companion was an art lover, so we went to Museumplein where you can find Van Gogh Museum, the world’s largest collection of Van Gogh’s artwork;the Rijksmuseum, famous for Rembrandt’s piece, “The Nightwatch”;and the Stedelijk, a modern art museum.
At Museumplein you can take the famous picture with the "I amsterdam" sign.
After a whole morning visiting museums, Vondelpark is a great place to unwind. This expansive,19th-century urban park has a playground, ponds & an open-air theater. If the weather is nice, you can grab something to eat and relax in the park.
Amsterdam is also famous for its coffee shops, where smoking marijuana is accepted. If you are into this, maybe you can visit one on your second night in the city.
Explore Waterlooplein, one of Amsterdam famous flea markets.
Join a free walking tour of the city and get to know more about Amsterdam. Visit the Free tour of Amsterdam website. You can give the guide what you think the tour is worth. I normally give 10€ - 15€ (one person).
Visit Anne Frank House. To avoid disappointment go to the Anne Frank House website and book your tickets in advance.
You could use your last evening in the city to buy some souvenirs and some cheese!
You can end your trip of Amsterdam visiting Casa Rosso, located in the Red Light District, where they offer erotic shows.Visit their website Casa Rosso to have a look at the prices. We paid 55€ per person including 2 drinks, but you can get a better price if you book online. I think a bit expensive,but it was a different experience and we had fun!And, at the end of the day, that is all what matters!!
FOOD AND DRINK
In this city people like to drink beer. Heineken is Holland's most famous beer brand. But you can also find other famous brands like: Amstel, Grolsch or Bavaria.
I'm not a fan of Dutch food, but I will recommend some snacks and desserts that you could try if you are visiting this city.
Biterballen: These savory meat-based balls are deeply fried and traditionally served with mustard.
Kaas: Dutch cheese, usually Gouda and Edam.
Kroket: The ‘kroket’ is a deep fried roll with meat ragout inside, covered in breadcrumbs.
Patat: Dutch version of French Fries.
Rookworst: ‘Rookworst’ is a Dutch smoked sausage.
Stroopwafel: A ‘stroopwafel’ is a unique kind of cookie. It is a waffle made from baked batter and sliced horizontally. The two thin layers of the waffle are filled with special sweet and sticky syrup (the ‘stroop’) in between.
WHERE TO STAY
We stayed at Hotel Casa Amsterdam. The hotel is not in the city center but you have Amsterdam Amstel Railway Station and Amstel Metro 5 minutes away from this accommodation and it doesn't take long to get to the main attractions. This place offers rooms with comfy beds and convenient bathroom. There is a bar, rooftop terrace and in-house restaurant. Overall, it offers a good value for money.
You can get more info about this hotel or book a room using this link Hotel Casa Amsterdam.
200€-250€ for 3 days, without including flights and hotel . That includes food, drinks, transport, tickets and some money to buy souvenirs.