Home CITY TOUR Amsterdam in 24 hours: What is a must-see?

Amsterdam in 24 hours: What is a must-see?

Amsterdam in 24 hours | Amsterdam is one of the most popular and beautiful cities for city travelers from all over the world. Sometimes, there are only 24 hours to experience this incredible Dutch metropolis’s unique charm, fantastic canals, and friendly people.

It could be a day trip from the resort on the North Sea beach, a stopover before a long journey, or a spontaneous weekend getaway.

Here are my tips for a short stay in the capital of the Netherlands.

Breakfast in Amsterdam

Breakfast in Amsterdam

Whether with or without an overnight stay, Amsterdam is a dream for all breakfast connoisseurs. Eating a good breakfast in Amsterdam is relatively easy. Every neighborhood has unique breakfast places to start the day with delicious croissants, ham, cheese, cereals, and eggs.

Cáfe Kobold – Right next to the central station, Singel 2A. There is a great ambiance and a good breakfast from 8 to 11 a.m. It is located directly on the canal.

Bakers & Roasters – This place serves a gigantic breakfast not far from Centraal station. Kadijksplein 16. Pleasant atmosphere and friendly service.

Morgan & Mees – Centrally located but away from the tourist crowds. Tweede Hugo de Grootstraat 2-6. The breakfast bar in the hotel of the same name is an insider’s tip for anyone who wants to indulge in breakfast, whether with Classic or Full English.

Croissanterie Hans Egsdorf – A fabulous little bakery. Unique Dutch sweets to go! Spuistraat 274.

Museumsplein – Rijksmuseum

Museumsplein - Rijksmuseum

Although time can be tight, one of Amsterdam’s world-famous museums is a must-visit. The Rijksmuseum is located in the museum district, and right next door is Amsterdam’s other museum celebrity, the Van Gogh Museum. Both museums are worth seeing, but I prefer the Rijksmuseum for first-time visitors to Amsterdam.

The chronologically arranged exhibition shows several thousand works of art and dates from the 11th to the 20th century. The paintings from the golden age of the Netherlands in the 17th century, such as the Night Watch by Rembrandt or the Milkmaid by Vermeer, belong to the Netherlands.

If you hurry, you can see many things in 1 or 2 hours. The number of visitors tends to be lower in the morning. But please save time at the ticket office and take care of tickets for the Rijksmuseum or the Van Gogh Museum in advance.

Amsterdam in 24 hours: Canal Cruise

Amsterdam in 24 hours: Canal Cruise

Directly in front of the imposing building of the Rijksmuseum begins the Amsterdam canal belt, which in 2010 was included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. A canal cruise is the best way to discover the beautiful old town of Amsterdam. A stay in Amsterdam without a boat trip through the historic canals with their magnificent merchants’ houses is almost unthinkable.

For those who want this pleasure right after visiting the Rijksmuseum, the nearest drop-off point is just a few meters away from Museum Square. Not far away is also the Heineken Experience, a more time-consuming attraction of Amsterdam.

The frequency of canal trips is high, and most of the time, you may lose time at the ticket counter, so again, it is best to book tickets in advance. If you plan your canal trip from elsewhere, another departure point is Prins Hendrikkade 25, on the west side of Centraal station.

The different departures on the canals

Departure opposite the Hard Rock Cafe

Canal Cruise Near Museum Square – Buy Online

Departures: Centraal Station Prins Hendrikkade 25, west side of Centraal Station, from the jetty near the cab stand.

Day canal cruise – Buy online

Departures occur daily from mid-March to October from 9:00 to 22:00. The rest is from 09:30 to 21:00, December and January only until 16:30. There are no canal trips on King’s Day, April 27.

Detailed information about canal cruise options can be found in this blog’s extensive canal cruise section.

De Hallen

De Hallen

To learn about modern Amsterdam, you should visit De Hallen. It’s about a 20-minute walk from the Rijksmuseum, or you can take streetcar number 7 to the Ten Katestraat stop. The old streetcar depot has been converted into a hip location with modern stores, a library, and a cinema.

The Hotel De Hallen is also excellent. The classic building with its open courtyard looks more like a prison. But everything together is so good that it is enough for a rating of 9.0 on 10 at booking.com.

De Hallen in Amsterdam West, Hannie Dankbaarpassage 47, is also considered a culinary highlight of the canal city with its street food market. Countless stalls have set up shop in the food halls, offering delicacies from all over the world. The selection is vast and delicious: Antipasti from southern Italy, Arabic mezze, sushi, dim sum, burgers, falafel, patisserie from France, and Vietnamese specialties.

Indeed, in the Netherlands, as in De Hallen, you can learn Italian cuisine with pizza and pasta or traditional Turkish cuisine. But for the authentic experience of Amsterdam in 24 hours, you have to try the simple and typical specialties of the Dutch.

Bitterballen – Delicious, crispy, deep-fried meat ragout balls served with mustard – Bitterballen is the classic Dutch snack that always tastes good and can be ordered anywhere.

Stroopwafel – These are delightful syrup waffles, i.e., two thin waffles held together by a layer of delicious caramel syrup. Of course, they taste best in the bakery or at a food market.

Dutch fries A different country countries mean another type of fries. The fries in Holland are legendary and something for gourmets. Hand-cut, relatively thick, crispy on the outside, and still soft on the inside. Usually, you buy them in paper bags and choose from a vast selection of sauces. For example, patatje oorlog, a mix of peanut satay sauce, mayo, and onions, or you put patat speciaal on the fries, a combination of curry ketchup, mayonnaise, and onions.

Cheese can be bought on every street corner; those who want to know it more precisely can participate in the Henry Willig cheese tasting.

Jordaan Quarter and 9 Straatjes

Jordaan Quarter and 9 Straatjes

Freshly strengthened, you can continue your afternoon in the 9 Straatjes and the surroundings in the Jordaan. Now it’s time for shopping, Bruine Café, and experience the flair between the canals. Better not to waste time in crowded shopping streets, but head straight for the 9 Straatjes (9 little streets), a must for any Amsterdam newcomer.

The Negen Straatjes are nine small streets with the fanciest stores and boutiques. You can stroll through the side streets in the canal belt of Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht, Herengracht, and Singel, shopping, snapping, and marveling between the beautiful houses, the bridges, and the canals.

Here, one stylish store follows the other. Every vintage or designer boutique, no matter how small, is lovingly decorated down to the last detail. Second-hand is available at Zipper, Huidesnstraat. 7 or Episode, Berenstraat 1, luxury chocolate for on-the-go at Puccini Bombini, Singel 184. Holland is cheese country, and the best can be found on the shelves of De Kaaskamer van Amsterdam, Runstraat 7.

If you are exhausted from browsing and walking, take a break in one of the countless cafes, bars, and restaurants. Now it’s time to get acquainted with a Dutch pastry specialty – poffertjes – the delicious, coin-sized mini pancakes with lots of powdered sugar. Best to order at Pancakes Amsterdam Negen Straatjes, Berenstraat 38, open daily until 18:00.

Cafe PlukHealthy juices, cakes, and cupcakes. Suitable for vegetarians/vegans. All products are gluten-free. Reestraat 19 – open daily until 18:00.

Screaming Beans Coffee Roasters – Small, stylish, and authentic, it is the right place for a short coffee break. Fresh sandwiches and salads, Singel 276, closes at 17:00

Café de Pels – Recommended café in traditional Amsterdam style. Snacks, cafe, and freshly squeezed juices. It’s a nice, quiet place to have a drink or a meal, Huidenstraat 25. Open until 1.00 a.m.

Amsterdam in 24 hours – Evening

Amsterdam in 24 hours ✓ What is a must-see? ✓ Breakfast ✓ The Museumplein ✓ Canal Cruise ✓ Tips & Info ✓ The Jordaan Quarter

Amsterdam’s streets shine when it gets dark in an entirely new glow. Now, all the restaurants and bars open their doors, and you should take advantage of a culinary highlight from the colonial past of the Netherlands. The famous Indonesian rice table is now one of the Dutch national dishes. The influences from Southeast Asia are also hard to miss in many other Dutch dishes. Much has been adapted to the European sense of taste. A little salt is used, and the dishes are not too spicy.

Restaurant Tip: Kartika It is located slightly outside the tourist center but quickly and conveniently accessible – a pleasant and clean place. The service is friendly, and the atmosphere is very authentic. The traditional rice plates are recommended for about 20.00 €. There it would be best if you did not think long when ordering. Indonesian beer. Overtoom 68, 1054 HL Amsterdam, +31 20 618 1879, opens at 17:00, closed Sunday.

Those who do not take part in a canal cruise during the day and would instead visit the Van Gogh Museum for an hour or learn all about the history of the canal city in the Historical Museum of Amsterdam, which is worth seeing, can make up for the boat trip with an evening canal cruise with delicious food and drinks. On the page canal cruises, you will find an extensive selection of booking options at the end of the text under – canal cruises in the evening. With Amsterdam in 24 hours, booking your evening cruise in advance is better.

Otherwise, the evening luxury cruise with a guide is always popular.

For the late evening, the detour to the world-famous red light district De Wallen and a visit to Leidseplein with the surrounding nightclubs are the center of the night owls. Rather, it is one of the traditional recommendations, but it is simply part of a short stay in Amsterdam.

✅ Tip: A late-night visit to Amsterdam’s Club Escape, one of Amsterdam’s largest and most popular dance clubs.

Organisation – Tips for Amsterdam in 24 hours

The best way to travel to Amsterdam is by train. Cheap, on time, and directly to the center of the city. Arrival is at Amsterdam Central Station. You can continue on foot, by cab, the popular ride service UBER, or by public transport, better known here as GVB. You can also reserve a bike directly at the Central Station to explore the city.

If you come by car, please do not necessarily rely on the indicated travel or arrival time of the route planner. Elsewhere, there is a lot of traffic, construction sites, and traffic jams. Gridlock on the Amsterdam Ring Road is not uncommon. Parking in the city center is difficult and especially expensive. For more information, please read my article Parking in Amsterdam. It is generally recommended to reserve parking spaces in advance, for example, via Parcklick or MobyPark.

✅ Tip: For parking, consider the cheap possibility of a parking space at the Leonardo Hotel Amsterdam. A detailed description of parking in Amsterdam is also in the abovementioned article.

Air travelers are quickly in the city center. Under Transportation, you will find all the essential information about the airport transfer, or you can book the tickets directly.

It might be exhausting, but Amsterdam is a city where you can explore almost everything on foot.

You will find some suggestions for travelers who want to stay overnight in Amsterdam or the surrounding area under Accommodation.


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