I’ve finally found the motivation to write this big old post about our Amsterdam trip. Please pause now; pop the kettle on & return with a good old cuppa because I’m about to round up our Amsterdam weekend in one go. If you are planning a trip then this is the post for you because it’s got lots of recommendations & everything we managed to jam pack into 72 hours in Amsterdam.
72 hours in Amsterdam
Booking travel, accommodation & packing
Let’s start where it all began with booking our trip! We used the sky scanner app as we usually do to find European holidays that won’t break the bank & it turned out March wasn’t expensive. It was our first trip booked via easyJet rather than Ryan air & to be honest I’d much rather opt for Ryan air in the future. We just used sky scanner to see the cheapest weekends available that I could use the last of my holiday allowance & considering we booked around October we still got a good deal.
We tend to use sky scanner alongside AirBnb because there’s no point booking cheap flights if accommodation is stupidly expensive. It’s our usual process so why deviate! I did do a little research on accommodation because I like to see where’s a good place to stay for getting around & for pictures. Both Jacob & I like staying in the more artistic areas so we booked a room in the district of Jordaan (5 mins from Anne Frank House).
This was the second time we had booked just a room via Airbnb rather than an apartment just cause we really wanted to scrimp on the accommodation. There are tonnes of really cute places to stay (we’d definitely try a houseboat next time) for under £100 a night so unless you’re comfortable being in someone’s house don’t feel like you have to just book a room.
March was a pretty cheap time to visit Amsterdam because it’s still pretty cold. It was frecking freezing when we went & I am pregnant so I’m always a bit warmer than usual. Just saying… This meant packing wasn’t the easiest. Basically I would advise someone who doesn’t have an ever growing bump to pack for colder weather. Think layers, good waterproof shoes, a raincoat & a scarf to protect from the wind. I have a post on what I wore that can be found here if you’re planning a winter visit.
Getting around in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is surprisingly a small city & easy to get around. From the airport we booked a train into Amsterdam central & then walked down to our room. It was about a 15 minute walk over a few canals. At the airport station we did buy a 24hr tram ticket but we honestly didn’t use it. I have been told by a few people that in Amsterdam a 24hr ticket means 24 hours of travel so it can pretty much be used for your whole trip.
We just didn’t need any form of travel other than trains to the airport & a good pair of shoes! Everything is so close together & in all honesty getting a tram would take longer because you have to walk to a tram station. They are very central because of the canals so you are pretty much going out your way to get to the station just for a tram when you could have walked where you needed.
My top tip for getting around is use google maps download function. Download the Amsterdam city map & then mark the places you want to visit. You can save places you want to visit. That way we just used the map to get from A to B all day long. We luckily always have 4G so we didn’t need to worry about working out the directions ourselves but it’s best to download the map just incase you don’t have internet access.
What to do in Amsterdam
72 hours was actually a decent amount of time to see a lot of Dam. We could have maybe stayed a day or two more if the weather was warmer but we did nearly everything we wanted. Below is a big old recommendations based on places we actually went to so they’ll be more out there to research too!
If you’re looking for a big old museum that shows you the history of Amsterdam then the Rijkmuseum is for you. We bought tickets for the museum in one of those tourist shops because it was a little cheaper but you could quite easily buy when you arrive. It does get very busy & the entrance is huge so its probably easier to buy in advance. They have lockers & a cloakroom but I would advise you not to take too much with you. The lockers were so cheap but it was like a fight to the death to get one. We needed one as it was raining that day so we wanted to remove our wet layers but you could easily carry a bag around with you. The cloakroom had a huge queue so we weren’t fussed on that.
There are a tonne of exhibitions to see but it wasn’t my favourite place. There’s a lot of similar paintings & I’m much more a sculpture kinda person. There’s a few Van Gough paintings to see but if you really want to explore his art then book his museum (in advance!!). We unfortunately missed out on tickets since we didn’t realise it books up very quickly. The Rijkmuseum is a good place to go especially on a raining day but I would also say you could give it a miss if you’re pushed for time.
Ripley’s believe it or not
This was the first place we visited when exploring as it’s situated on the main square. We thought it’d be a bit of fun after our flight & we didn’t want to do anything to heavy as we were shattered. Turns out it was really good. There’s loads to see & interact with. I was amazed at how much they squeezed in but that did mean a lot of stairs! The coffee shop upstairs was really cute & comfy as well.
As you can tell the Moco museum was high on my to-do list & you can probably see why. It’s a modern art lovers dream! Plus there’s a lot of Banksy art on show (stated saved for preservation but I guess its pretty much stolen street art). It’s a small museum so it is a bit of a squeeze & even on a rainy low season day it was rammed. It’s not the easiest place for people with anxiety because of how busy it gets but I would definitely recommend visiting if you can.
Anne Frank house
This was the one exhibition we booked in advance because you can’t book tickets upon arrival. You can book on the day but that means being on the site at the right time. It was so much easier to book online when tickets became available. We booked for around 6pm which was still pretty busy but also meant we could eat then head home after. The Anne Frank house was the one reason I wanted to visit Amsterdam & it was really worth it. You are giving a free audio tour & you can take your time (to an extent) exploring the place that hid such a famous family.
It was fascinating & I just think history is such an important part of humanity. I also try to visit the places that have been preserved for us to learn from & this was high on my list. After visiting the death camps in Poland it was important to me to see the famous Anne Frank house. A tip from us would be to take some plugin earphones for the audio tour.
Please forgive me for the lack of photos; I seem to have lost them all for this particular museum. Going to a sex museum is highly recommended when you visited Amsterdam but it wasn’t the highlight of my trip. I wasn’t very interested in the red light district or that side of life so I’m probably not the best person to judge it. It’s definitely something to do if you have time but be warned it’s a hotspot for stag parties so it’s busy.
As you can imagine I was very happy to learn there’s a floating flower market in Amsterdam. It was high on my lists for places to visit & it didn’t disappoint. It wasn’t as picture perfect as you see online but if you spend a little time exploring it’s fascinating. It pretty much is a bunch of flower shops situated on water but it also has some beautiful displays like this flower ceiling! There’s lots of tulips on sale & cacti (duh my favs!). We didn’t go in tulip season so I can only imagine how beautiful in can be when they are beginning to bloom.
Lastly something a little more on the retail therapy side. Marbles vintage kept cropping up when I was looking for recommendations so I added a few of their stores to my map. I actually really loved exploring their stores but I didn’t buy anything. It’s not the right time for me to be shopping with the every growing bump but any other time I would have been broke. The dutch definitely know how to wear vintage!
Where to eat in Amsterdam
Now onto the best bit; where to eat! Honestly we had the best breakfasts in Holland & we also ordered from just eat. There wasn’t a lot of dinner places but the cafes made up for it for sure. Plus they do the best sweet treats! Are you ready for the Insta cafes you’ve been dreaming off?
The breakfast club
I followed the breakfast club just before we left & I have to say this was our favourite place. It was very busy but luckily as two people we just sat at the bar in the window so we didn’t even have to wait. The food was to die for! I opted for scrambled eggs & sausages whereas Jacob got the full breakfast. I ended up stealing most of his beans because they were delicious! I could honestly eat so many of them. The coffees were lush but they do use a lot of foam so if that’s not your thing I wouldn’t order lattes on your trip.
Pluk is one of those cafes that are very picture perfect & you can see why. The decor is lush, the food is prepped for a photo & the sweet treats are beaut. They even sell a few homeware items. We did have to queue for about 20/30 minutes for a table but we didn’t mind since it was keeping us out of the rain. Jacob ordered the eggs Benedict & I had a chicken & avocado dish. Both very grammable & delicious.
Onto the best pancakes of my life!!!!! We popped into the corner bakery after our museum tours & it was so worth it. The decor was beautiful & of course snappable but everything on the menu was so divine it could have been bare walls & I’d still wanna visit. I opted for the red velvet pancakes with all the trimmings & a hot chocolate freak shake! Jacob had sandwich because he wasn’t really looking for a sweet treat even if he ate most of my freak shake… (who could resist tho?). The food was so delicious & it really didn’t cost that much so it’s high on my list of recommendations!
I know this technically isn’t a place to eat but when I posted about visiting Amsterdam everyone told me to stock up on the Tony’s chocolate so we had to pop in. It was such a cool place compared to our chocolate shops. You could try any of the flavours on offer & then grab yourself a bar too. It did turn out cheaper to buy sets from the airport so that’s a heads up but I think if you are nearby the shopping centres then pop in just to play with all the flavours.
When to visit
That’s all we got up to in the long weekend we spent in Amsterdam so I’m going to end it here. The last thing I would say is if you are looking for less people clogging up your photos then the winter is a good time to visit. However if you don’t mind lots of people & you prefer warmer weather then I would wait till the summer season hits. I probably wouldn’t visit again in the winter because I didn’t enjoy it as much but I would visit in the summer if I was passing through Europe.
Amsterdam was never high on my list to visit but I did feel like it’s one of those cities that deserves a weekend trip. I’m glad to have visited & if I was to go back I would revisit the cafes & add a few more exhibitions to my list for sure. Turns out 72 hours in Amsterdam was plenty of time to see the sites & stuff our faces but there’s a few more things we wish we could have done.
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