Comprehensive Amsterdam 3 Day Itinerary: Your Complete Travel Guide

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Amsterdam, the vibrant capital of the Netherlands is a must visit destination. I never thought much about visiting Amsterdam until my friends suggested we go this spring. I had seen Keukenhof Gardens on Instagram, so I knew I’d at least enjoy seeing the tulip gardens. However, I was not expecting to love Amsterdam as much as I did. I really loved the city.  Given how much I enjoyed my first visit, here is an Amsterdam 3 day itinerary. Personally, I think 3 days is the perfect amount of time to stay in Amsterdam. 

Where to Stay in Amsterdam

Nestled amidst the charm of this iconic city lies the majestic Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam, offering luxury and sophistication like no other. Embark on a memorable journey with our meticulously crafted 3-day itinerary, designed to immerse you in the essence of Amsterdam while experiencing the unparalleled hospitality of the Sofitel Grand.

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Why Choose Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam:

  1. Historic Elegance: Housed within a collection of historic buildings, including a former convent and city hall, the Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam seamlessly blends old-world charm with modern luxury. Guests are transported back in time as they step into the grandeur of the hotel’s magnificent interiors, adorned with exquisite artwork, chandeliers, and antique furnishings.
  2. Luxurious Amenities: The Sofitel Grand offers an array of luxurious amenities to ensure a memorable stay. From the opulent spa and fitness center to the Michelin-starred dining establishments, every aspect of the hotel exudes sophistication and refinement. Guests can indulge in world-class cuisine, unwind with rejuvenating spa treatments, and experience unparalleled service tailored to their every need.
  3. Prime Location: Situated in the heart of Amsterdam’s historic city center, the Sofitel Grand provides easy access to a wealth of attractions and landmarks. Guests can explore the iconic Dam Square, visit the Royal Palace, or wander through the charming streets of the Jordaan district, all within walking distance of the hotel. Additionally, the central location offers convenient access to public transportation, allowing guests to easily explore further afield.
  4. Impeccable Service: Renowned for its impeccable service and attention to detail, the Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam ensures that every guest’s needs are met with the utmost care and professionalism. From personalized concierge services to bespoke dining experiences, the hotel’s dedicated staff goes above and beyond to create a truly unforgettable stay for each guest.

Other Hotel Options in Amsterdam

  1. Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam: Nestled along the prestigious Herengracht canal, the Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam offers a luxurious retreat in a tranquil setting. Housed within six historic townhouses, the hotel boasts elegant rooms and suites, a Michelin-starred restaurant, and a serene garden courtyard. We stopped at the Waldorf for drinks. It was a really nice location and the staff and servers were very friendly.
  2. Conservatorium Hotel: Located in the vibrant Museumkwartier district, the Conservatorium Hotel combines contemporary design with architectural heritage. Guests can enjoy spacious accommodations, a world-class spa, and culinary delights at the hotel’s restaurants and bars, all within walking distance of Amsterdam’s top museums and galleries.
  3. Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht: Situated in the lively Jordaan neighborhood, the Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht offers a modern and stylish ambiance inspired by Dutch design and culture. With its vibrant artwork, innovative dining concepts, and scenic views of the canal, the hotel provides a unique and immersive experience for guests.
  4. Pulitzer Amsterdam: Set within 25 historic canal houses, the Pulitzer Amsterdam exudes charm and character at every turn. Guests can unwind in beautifully appointed rooms and suites, dine at the hotel’s award-winning restaurants, and explore the picturesque surroundings of Amsterdam’s iconic canals and landmarks.

In summary, while the Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam stands out for its historic elegance, luxurious amenities, and prime location, travelers to Amsterdam have a wealth of hotel options to choose from, each offering its own unique blend of style, comfort, and convenience. Whether seeking a tranquil retreat along the canals or a chic urban oasis in the heart of the city, Amsterdam’s diverse hotel scene caters to every preference and desire.

Amsterdam 3 Day Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival and Canal Exploration

For your Amsterdam 3 day itinerary, I would suggest arriving in the morning. Upon arriving at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, make your way to the exquisite Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam, ideally situated in the heart of the city. With its elegant ambiance and exceptional service, this historic hotel promises a luxurious retreat amidst Amsterdam’s bustling streets.

After settling in, begin your Amsterdam adventure with a quintessential canal tour. Glide along the picturesque waterways, marveling at the stunning architecture and charming bridges that define the city’s landscape. Let the serene atmosphere and enchanting views set the tone for your exploration. This is the tour we did with unlimited wine and cheese. This tour of Jordaan and the canals would also be awesome. If you’re a bit more adventurous, you could try a bike tour, which I loved when I was in Paris.

In the afternoon, delve into Amsterdam’s rich cultural tapestry with a visit to the Anne Frank House. Gain insight into the poignant story of Anne Frank and her family as you wander through the preserved rooms of the secret annex. Reflect on the impact of this remarkable young girl’s diary and the resilience of the human spirit. If you’re not able to get tickets, you could do a walking tour of the Jewish Quarter.

As evening descends, indulge in a delightful culinary experience at Bridges Dining, the Michelin-starred restaurant housed within the Sofitel Grand. Savor exquisite seafood creations crafted with precision and finesse, complemented by an extensive wine selection. Conclude your day with a leisurely stroll along the illuminated canals, soaking in the enchanting ambiance of Amsterdam by night.

Day 2: Tulip Gardens in Lisse and Keukenhof

If you visit in the spring, your Amsterdam 3 day itinerary should include a trip to Keunekhof and the tulip fields in Lisse. Rise early for a day filled with natural beauty as you embark on a journey to the enchanting tulip gardens in Lisse, located just a short drive from Amsterdam. Springtime in the Netherlands heralds the arrival of vibrant tulip blooms, painting the landscape with a kaleidoscope of colors.

At Keukenhof, immerse yourself in a floral paradise spread across vast acres of meticulously landscaped gardens. Stroll along winding pathways adorned with tulips, daffodils, and hyacinths in full bloom, breathing in the fragrant scents of spring. Capture breathtaking photographs amidst the vibrant flower displays and intricate floral arrangements that define this iconic destination.

After a day of blooming splendor, return to Amsterdam and take a leisurely stroll through the quaint streets of the Jordaan district. Make sure to soak up the laid-back atmosphere and vibrant street art that epitomize the city’s eclectic charm. 

Day 3: Art and Exploration

Begin your final day in Amsterdam with a visit to the renowned Van Gogh Museum, home to the world’s largest collection of works by the Dutch master. Immerse yourself in the artist’s extraordinary legacy as you admire his iconic paintings, sketches, and personal correspondence. Gain insight into Van Gogh’s life and artistic evolution, from his early works to his later masterpieces.

Continue your artistic journey with a visit to the Rijksmuseum. It houses an impressive collection of Dutch Golden Age masterpieces, including works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Frans Hals. Marvel at centuries-old treasures spanning paintings, sculptures, and decorative arts, offering a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the Netherlands.

Optional Add-On to Amsterdam 3 Day Itinerary

As you bid farewell to Amsterdam, consider embarking on an optional day trip to the charming city of Gouda. It is renowned for its namesake cheese and picturesque city center. Wander through cobbled streets lined with historic buildings, visit the iconic Gouda cheese market, and savor authentic Dutch delicacies at local cafes and eateries. You could also go on a day-trip to see the windmills and do a cheese tasting.

What to Eat in Amsterdam

When it comes to culinary delights, Amsterdam offers a delectable array of dishes and treats that reflect the city’s rich cultural heritage and diverse influences. For your Amsterdam 3 day itinerary, make sure to find time to try the local favorites. You will definitely want to have some cheese – this wine and cheese tasting would be fun. You could also do an actual food tour, which I did in Greece. A food tour is a great way to learn a lot about the local culture. But you also must try many of the other items below. Here are some must-try foods and snacks to savor during your visit to Amsterdam:

1. Stroopwafels: These iconic Dutch treats consist of two thin waffle layers sandwiched together with a sweet caramel syrup filling. Enjoy them fresh from street vendors or indulge in larger versions served with ice cream or whipped cream.

2. Bitterballen: A popular Dutch snack, bitterballen are crispy, deep-fried meatballs typically filled with a savory mixture of beef or veal ragout. Pair them with mustard for dipping and enjoy them as a tasty appetizer or bar snack.

3. Dutch Pancakes (Pannenkoeken): Unlike American pancakes, Dutch pancakes are thin and crepe-like, often topped with an array of sweet or savory ingredients. Try them with classic toppings like powdered sugar and syrup. Or you can try more adventurous combinations like bacon and cheese. There’s a pancake to suit every palate.

4. Herring: For a quintessential Dutch experience, try raw herring, traditionally served with onions and pickles. Sample this seafood delicacy from herring stands scattered throughout the city. Or opt for a herring sandwich for a more substantial meal.

5. Cheese: With its rich dairy heritage, the Netherlands is renowned for its delicious cheeses. Sample an assortment of Dutch cheeses. Make sure to try Gouda, Edam, and Maasdam, at local markets, cheese shops, or during a cheese tasting tour.

6. Indonesian Rijsttafel: Reflecting the Netherlands’ colonial history, Indonesian cuisine has become an integral part of Dutch culinary culture. Indulge in a rijsttafel. It is a lavish feast featuring an array of small dishes, including satay skewers, spiced meats, and fragrant rice, showcasing the vibrant flavors of Indonesian cuisine.

7. Dutch Fries (Patat): Crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, Dutch fries are a beloved street food staple in Amsterdam. Enjoy them served piping hot with a variety of sauces, from classic mayonnaise to tangy peanut sauce or spicy ketchup.

8. Apple Pie (Appeltaart): Treat your taste buds to a slice of traditional Dutch apple pie, characterized by its buttery crust, tender apples, and fragrant cinnamon spice. Pair it with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the perfect sweet indulgence.

9. Stamppot: A hearty and comforting Dutch dish, stamppot combines mashed potatoes with vegetables such as kale, carrots, or sauerkraut, often served alongside smoked sausage or meatballs. Warm, filling, and bursting with flavor, stamppot is a favorite during the colder months.

10. Speculaas: These spiced Dutch cookies are a delightful treat, featuring a blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and ginger. Enjoy them with a cup of coffee or tea for a cozy afternoon snack. Or pick up a box to take home as a tasty souvenir.

You must try sweet stroopwafels to savory bitterballen and everything in between. Amsterdam offers a culinary journey filled with delicious discoveries and gastronomic delights. So be sure to indulge your senses and sample these must-try foods during your time in the vibrant Dutch capital.

Where to Shop in Amsterdam

Shopping in Amsterdam is a delightful experience and should definitely be part of your Amsterdam 3 day itinerary. There is a diverse range of boutiques, markets, and shopping districts offering something for every taste and budget. Whether you’re searching for high-end fashion, unique souvenirs, or locally crafted goods, Amsterdam has plenty of options to explore. Here are some of the best places to shop in the city:

1. Nine Streets (De Negen Straatjes): Nestled within Amsterdam’s charming canal belt, the Nine Streets area is a shopper’s paradise, featuring a network of picturesque streets lined with boutique shops, vintage stores, and specialty boutiques. Explore this trendy neighborhood to discover unique fashion finds, handmade jewelry, and one-of-a-kind gifts.

2. Kalverstraat: As one of Amsterdam’s busiest shopping streets, Kalverstraat offers a wide array of popular retail chains, department stores, and flagship stores. From fashion and accessories to cosmetics and electronics, you’ll find everything you need along this bustling pedestrian thoroughfare.

3. PC Hooftstraat: For luxury shopping in Amsterdam, head to PC Hooftstraat, renowned for its upscale boutiques and designer stores. Browse prestigious fashion houses such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Gucci, and indulge in the latest trends and high-end accessories.

4. Albert Cuyp Market: Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Amsterdam’s largest street market, Albert Cuyp Market. It stretches along Albert Cuypstraat in the lively De Pijp neighborhood. This bustling market offers an eclectic mix of stalls selling fresh produce, clothing, accessories, and international cuisine.

5. Bloemenmarkt: Located along the Singel canal, Amsterdam’s famous floating flower market, Bloemenmarkt, is a feast for the senses. Browse an array of colorful blooms, bulbs, and souvenirs at the stalls lining the water’s edge. You will marvel at the fragrant displays of tulips, roses, and other floral delights.

6. Haarlemmerstraat and Haarlemmerdijk: Explore the eclectic Haarlemmerstraat and Haarlemmerdijk streets, known for their quirky shops, independent boutiques, and specialty stores. You will find vintage clothing and handmade crafts to gourmet food shops and cozy cafes. This vibrant neighborhood offers a treasure trove of hidden gems waiting to be discovered.

7. Waterlooplein Flea Market: For bargain hunters and vintage enthusiasts, the Waterlooplein Flea Market is a must-visit destination. Browse through a diverse selection of secondhand goods, antiques, clothing, and collectibles. The bustling open-air market located near Amsterdam’s city center are delightful.

8. De Bijenkorf: This iconic department store offers a premium shopping experience, featuring an extensive selection of luxury brands, designer fashion, cosmetics, and home decor. Explore multiple floors of retail bliss and enjoy stunning views of Amsterdam from the store’s rooftop terrace.

9. Jordaan District: Wander through the charming streets of the Jordaan district, where you’ll find a mix of artisanal shops, art galleries, and antique stores. Discover unique handmade goods, vintage treasures, and contemporary artworks as you explore this eclectic neighborhood.

10. Foodhallen: Indulge in culinary delights at Foodhallen, a trendy indoor food market located in a renovated tram depot. Sample a diverse range of international cuisines, gourmet snacks, and craft beverages. You can try various food stalls, and soak up the lively ambiance of this bustling gastronomic hotspot.

Shopping in Amsterdam offers a delightful blend of old-world charm and modern sophistication. Soak up the vibrant atmosphere, discover unique treasures, and indulge in a memorable shopping experience in the Dutch capital.

Cannabis Culture in Amsterdam

Amsterdam beckons travelers with its rich tapestry of history, culture, culinary delights, and unique experiences, including its renowned cannabis culture. While exploring the city’s picturesque canals, iconic museums, and bustling markets, visitors can also partake in Amsterdam’s famous weed shops and cafes.

Amsterdam’s cannabis scene is well-known worldwide, offering a legal and regulated environment for the consumption of marijuana. Visitors can visit “coffeeshops,” establishments where cannabis products are legally sold and consumed on-site. These establishments offer a variety of strains of marijuana, as well as pre-rolled joints, hashish, and cannabis-infused edibles.

Additionally, Amsterdam is home to numerous cannabis-themed cafes and lounges, where visitors can relax and enjoy the city’s laid-back atmosphere while indulging in cannabis products. These venues often offer a range of amenities, including comfortable seating, music, and entertainment, providing a welcoming environment for both locals and tourists alike.

Whether you’re curious about Amsterdam’s cannabis culture or simply seeking a unique experience, exploring the city’s weed shops and cafes can add an extra layer of excitement to your Amsterdam adventure. As always, it’s important to consume responsibly and adhere to local laws and regulations regarding the use of cannabis.

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Amsterdam Red Light District

Amsterdam offers a multifaceted experience that encompasses its rich history, vibrant culture, culinary delights, cannabis culture, and the infamous Red Light District. As part of your Amsterdam 3 day itinerary, you may want to walk through the Red Light District. The Red Light District is located in the city’s oldest neighborhood, De Wallen. It is one of Amsterdam’s most renowned and controversial areas. Here, visitors can stroll along narrow streets lined with brothels, window displays featuring red lights, and adult entertainment venues. While the district is known for its legalized prostitution, it also offers a glimpse into Amsterdam’s history and culture.

Beyond its notoriety, the Red Light District is a bustling and vibrant neighborhood filled with eclectic shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants. Visitors can explore the area’s lively atmosphere, admire historic architecture, and experience the city’s nightlife.

While the Red Light District may not be for everyone, it remains an integral part of Amsterdam’s identity and cultural landscape. You may choose to explore its streets or simply observe from afar. The district offers a fascinating glimpse into Amsterdam’s past and present. Each facet of Amsterdam contributes to its dynamic and captivating allure, ensuring an unforgettable experience for every visitor.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, I hope you find this Amsterday 3 day itinerary helpful as you plan your trip. Amsterdam beckons travelers with its captivating blend of history, culture, and culinary delights. From exploring picturesque canals and visiting iconic museums to indulging in shopping excursions and savoring local delicacies, the city offers a wealth of experiences waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re immersing yourself in the luxurious ambiance of the Sofitel Legend The Grand Amsterdam, navigating the charming streets of the Nine Streets, or sampling delicious treats at bustling markets, Amsterdam promises an unforgettable journey filled with moments of discovery and delight. 

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