Amsterdam in 48 hours

more than a year ago

Daunted by our extensive print guide to Amsterdam, a friend of ours recently asked us what could be seen and done in the Dutch capital in only a couple of days. With this in mind we’ve put together some sightseeing, eating, shopping and drinking highlights that can be seen and experienced in 48 hours. Rent a bike to save time or follow this tour on foot.

Day 1 – Most people arrive at Amsterdam’s Central Station so that’s as good a place to start as any other. Walk down the touristy Damrak, which is lined with bars, souvenir shops and fast food joints. If you’d like to start your day in true Dutch fashion then grab a deep-fried frikandel and frites at Manneken Pis or just keep walking down the street. The enormous red brick Beurs van Berlage building on the left was considered cutting-edge architecture in its day and inspired the Amsterdam School of design that was to follow. Just ahead is Dam Square home to street performers as well as the National Monument, a 22m-high pillar that looks like a white phallus. On the opposite end of the square you’ll find Royal Palace Amsterdam whose interior is so opulent you’ll think you’ve been transported to Versailles. Although by no means a must-see, if you really want to queue up and spend €22 then you can also visit Madame Tussauds.
Next walk down the Kalverstraat, which is a pedestrian shopping street where you can find major fashion brands as well as cafés and fast food shops. You’ll pass the barely noticeable Papegai, a former clandestine church that is open to the public. Take a quick look and head down the street until you see the Spui Square on your right. It’s full of cafés as well as one of Amsterdam’s premiere English-language bookshops, The American Book Center. For affordable Dutch food you can’t beat 't Lieverdje just around the corner on the Singel. We always order the uitsmijter or the pea soup. If you’re looking for the ultimate Amsterdam bruin café experience then have a drink and a soup and sandwich at Café Hoppe on the Spui, which has been around since 1670.

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