weekend in Amsterdam

Weekend in Amsterdam: How to Spend a Short Stay in This Vibrant City (2024)

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Last Updated on: 11th September 2023, 06:59 pm

Amsterdam is one of Europe’s most vibrant cities, and it’s definitely worth exploring! Making a weekend in Amsterdam the ideal getaway for anyone in Europe.

Whether you’re an art enthusiast, a foodie, or just looking for a great weekend getaway, this city has something for everyone! From its iconic canals to its rich cultural heritage, there’s so much to do and see in this Dutch capital.

Although you can spend weeks in this city, you can easily hit the best attractions if you only have 3 or 4 days in Amsterdam.

This guide will provide you with tips and recommendations on how to make the most of your weekend in Amsterdam. From where to stay to the best places to visit, we’ve got you covered. Get ready for an unforgettable weekend in one of Europe’s most exciting cities!

Key Takeaways:

  • Amsterdam is a vibrant city with plenty of activities and attractions to enjoy during a weekend trip.
  • This guide will provide tips and recommendations for making the most of a weekend in Amsterdam.
  • From where to stay to the best places to visit, you’ll find everything you need to plan an unforgettable weekend getaway.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase from one of them I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you, which allows me to keep this blog up and running!

What to Do on Your Weekend in Amsterdam

Start your weekend off right by exploring Amsterdam’s many museums.

The Van Gogh Museum is a must-see, with its vast collection of the artist’s work, as well as other works from the 19th and 20th centuries. Or if you’re into modern art, check out Stedelijk Museum to view some unique contemporary pieces.

My personal favorite is the Rijksmuseum! Trust you can spend hours exploring this incredible place.

Spend an afternoon strolling along one of Amsterdam’s canals and take in the beauty of the city from a different perspective. Don’t forget to stop for some Dutch delicacies like bitterballen or poffertjes (mini pancakes) at one of the many quaint cafes along the way!

No trip to Amsterdam would be complete without a visit to the Anne Frank House, where visitors can explore the secret annex and learn more about Anne’s life during WWII.

Pro Tip: Get the I Amsterdam City Card and make sure it’s valid for 2 or 3 days for unlimited use of public transport and access to 70+ attractions throughout the city.

Alternative Options

Visit Vondelpark

Start your morning off with a visit to Vondelpark – the largest public park in Amsterdam. This is a great place for anyone who loves nature – take some time to appreciate the beauty of this park, which includes winding paths and plenty of lush greenery. Don’t forget to take a break at one of the many cafes located within the park.

Explore Museumplein and Art Galleries

Amsterdam has no shortage of amazing museums and galleries that are all worth visiting!

If you only have time for one, we recommend visiting Rijksmuseum – it houses some of the world’s most famous works of art by Rembrandt and Vermeer. If you have more time, be sure to check out Anne Frank Huis (Anne Frank House). Other popular museums you’ll find in the Museimplein include Van Gogh Museum and Stedelijk Museum (Municipal Museum)

Weekend in Amsterdam

Go Shopping & Dining

Take some time to explore the shops around town – you can find anything from independent boutiques selling unique clothing items to traditional Dutch souvenir stores. When it comes to dining options, there is something for everyone here!

Be sure to sample some traditional Dutch specialties like poffertjes (small pancakes) or bitterballen (fried meatballs). For those who are looking for something more international, there are plenty of great restaurants serving up everything from Italian dishes to Mexican tacos!

See the Canals

Most visitors come to Amsterdam for its beautiful canals that stretch out across the city like veins through a leafy landscape. One way to experience them up close is by taking a canal cruise which will take you through some of the most stunning parts of Amsterdam while providing interesting commentary along the way.

Alternatively, consider renting a boat so that you can explore on your own terms!

Visit the Anne Frank House

The Anne Frank House is one of Amsterdam’s most popular attractions and should not be missed. This historical museum tells the story of Anne Frank and her family, who hid in a secret annex during World War II. It’s an emotional and moving experience that will leave a lasting impression.

Wander Through the Red Light District

While the Red Light District may not be for everyone, it’s a unique and fascinating part of Amsterdam’s culture. Take a stroll through the area at night and see the famous red-lit windows, bars, and coffee shops.

These are just a few of the many things to do in Amsterdam for a weekend. Whatever your interests

Where to Stay for Your Weekend in Amsterdam

Choosing the right accommodation for your weekend in Amsterdam can make all the difference. Whether you want to be close to the city’s top attractions or immerse yourself in its vibrant nightlife, there are plenty of options to suit your needs.

NeighborhoodReasons to Stay HereAccommodation Recommendations
JordaanClose to the Anne Frank House, picturesque canals, and trendy boutiques and cafesThe Toren, Hotel Mercier
De PijpHome to the famous Albert Cuyp market, great restaurants, and green spacesSir Albert Hotel, Hotel Okura Amsterdam
Amsterdam-NoordAway from the hustle and bustle, with trendy art galleries and the Eye Film InstituteDoubleTree by Hilton Amsterdam, Botel

No matter which neighborhood you choose, make sure to book your accommodation in advance, especially during peak travel seasons. You can find great deals on Amsterdam city breaks by booking through travel websites such as Expedia or Booking.com.

If you’re looking for a unique place to stay during your weekend in Amsterdam, consider booking a room at one of the city’s many boutique hotels. These establishments typically offer modern decor and amenities alongside historical charm, making them perfect for any traveler looking for something special.

No matter what type of accommodation you’re in, there are plenty of options available in Amsterdam. From traditional B&Bs to luxury apartments, there’s sure to be something for everyone!

weekend in Amsterdam

Amsterdam can be rather pricy so you may want to prepare a budget for your trip. Although I usually like to splurge when it comes to accommodation, I find it’s best to give lots of different options.

Here’s a list of the top-rated accommodation choices for a weekend in Amsterdam for every budget:

My Favorite Hotel: Hotel2Stay – affordable aparthotel-type option and close to the Sloterdjik train station with a tram station right in front of the entrance for easy access to Amsterdam Central. Check out my review of Hotel2Stay for more information.

Best Budget Hotel: Stayokay Vondelpark – it’s a hostel but well-rated.

Best Boutique Hotel: The Dylan – touted by anyone who has stayed here as Amsterdam’s best-kept secret.

Best Quirky Hotel: Hotel Not Hotel – each room is unique and is its own work of art.

Best Luxury Hotel: De L’Europe – where you can experience Amsterdam luxury at its finest.

Looking for something different for your accommodation?

Where to Eat on Your Weekend in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is known for its diverse culinary scene, from traditional Dutch dishes to international cuisine. Whether you’re looking for a fine dining experience or just some tasty street food, there are plenty of great restaurants to choose from.

For a classic Amsterdam experience, try one of the many Indonesian restaurants in the city. These establishments serve up rijstaffel, an assortment of small dishes that will have your taste buds singing!

Alternatively, sample some traditional Dutch fare at one of Amsterdam’s many brown cafés – these cozy pubs serve up hearty meals like stamppot and bitterballen with a cold beer on tap!

Amsterdam Nightlife

When the sun sets in Amsterdam, the city comes alive with vibrant and energetic nightlife. Whether you’re in the mood for a relaxed drink at a cozy Dutch pub or an all-night party at a club, Amsterdam has something to offer everyone.

Plus, if you’re spending a weekend in Amsterdam, then you’ll want to experience the nightlife.

Popular Nightlife Areas

JordaanCozy and relaxedBrown cafes and local bars
LeidsepleinLively and energeticClubs and music venues
RembrandtpleinTrendy and upscaleBars, clubs, and restaurants

If you’re looking for a more laid-back experience, head to Jordaan for a cozy night at a traditional Dutch “brown café”. For a livelier atmosphere, Leidseplein is the place to be, with its numerous clubs and live music venues. If you’re seeking a trendier scene, Rembrandtplein is your go-to with its upscale bars, clubs, and restaurants.

Specific Recommendations

  • Paradiso – A legendary music venue that has hosted famous acts such as Nirvana and David Bowie.
  • De School – A former school-turned-club with multiple rooms featuring different genres of music.
  • The Waterhole – A popular bar with live music and a relaxed atmosphere.

Of course, there are countless other bars, clubs, and music venues to discover during a weekend in Amsterdam. Don’t be afraid to ask locals for recommendations or simply explore on your own.

As with any nightlife scene, it’s important to take precautions and drink responsibly. Make sure to keep an eye on your belongings and stick to well-lit areas at night. With a little common sense, you can enjoy Amsterdam’s nightlife to the fullest.

Practical Tips for a Weekend in Amsterdam

Whether you’re planning a romantic getaway or a fun-filled adventure with friends, a weekend in Amsterdam promises to be an unforgettable experience. To make the most of your short stay in this vibrant city, keep these practical tips in mind:

What to Pack

As Amsterdam weather can be unpredictable, it’s best to pack layers for your weekend trip. Make sure to bring comfortable shoes for walking, as the city is best explored on foot or by bike. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the beautiful canals and architecture!

Getting Around

Amsterdam’s public transportation system is efficient and convenient, with trams, buses, and metros available throughout the city. You can purchase tickets at vending machines or on board, but it’s best to get a multi-day pass for unlimited travel. If you prefer to bike, Amsterdam is also known for its cycling culture, with bike rentals available throughout the city.

Cultural Etiquette

When in Amsterdam, it’s important to be respectful of the local culture. If you’re visiting a museum or other attraction, make sure to follow the rules and regulations. When dining at a restaurant or cafe, it’s customary to greet the staff upon entry and wait to be seated. Tipping is not mandatory, but it’s appreciated for good service.

Safety Tips

Amsterdam is generally a safe city, but it’s always important to take precautions when traveling. Keep your valuables secure and be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas. If you plan to use a bike, make sure to lock it securely when not in use. Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance before your trip, just in case of any unexpected incidents.


The local currency in Amsterdam is the Euro. Make sure to exchange your currency before your trip or withdraw cash from ATMs upon arrival. Most places accept major credit cards, but it’s always a good idea to carry some cash just in case.

Cost of a Weekend in Amsterdam

As you plan your weekend in Amsterdam, it’s important to consider the costs associated with your stay. This will allow you to budget accordingly and make the most of your time in this vibrant city.

The cost of a weekend in Amsterdam will depend on a variety of factors, such as your choice of accommodation, dining preferences, and the activities you plan to do. However, we can provide you with a general idea of what to expect.


The cost of accommodation in Amsterdam can vary greatly depending on the type of lodging you choose. If you’re on a budget, you can find hostels or budget hotels for as low as $30-50 per night. Mid-range hotels or vacation rentals typically range from $100-200 per night, while luxury hotels can often cost well over $300 per night.


Amsterdam has a wide variety of dining options, ranging from street food to high-end restaurants. On average, a meal at a mid-range restaurant will cost around $25-35 per person. However, you can find cheaper options, such as local markets or fast food establishments, for as low as $10-15 per meal.


There are many free or low-cost activities to enjoy in Amsterdam, such as exploring the city’s beautiful parks and historic neighborhoods. However, if you plan on visiting popular attractions like the Anne Frank House or the Van Gogh Museum, you can expect to pay around $20-25 for admission. Additionally, a boat tour of the city’s canals will cost around $20-30 per person.

Overall, the cost of a weekend in Amsterdam can range from as low as $300-400 for budget-conscious travelers to $1000 or more for a luxury stay. By planning ahead and budgeting wisely, you can enjoy all that this vibrant city has to offer without breaking the bank.

FAQs about Amsterdam

  1. What should I do on my weekend in Amsterdam?

    There are so many different activities you can do during your weekend in Amsterdam – visit museums and galleries, take a canal cruise, explore Vondelpark, have dinner at one of the city’s fantastic restaurants, or enjoy drinks and dancing until dawn.

  2. Are there any attractions for children in Amsterdam?

    Yes! There are plenty of great attractions for children to experience in Amsterdam including NEMO Science Museum (which has interactive exhibits and activities), Artis Royal Zoo (where kids can learn about animals from around the world), and Het Scheepvaartmuseum (a maritime museum).

  3. Is Amsterdam a safe city?

    Yes! Amsterdam is generally a very safe city. However, as with any other city, it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings and take the necessary precautions. Be sure to keep your valuables close and stay in well-lit areas at night.​

  4. Do you need the IAmsterdam City Card?

    The IAmsterdam City Card certainly has value. Some of the best things about the IAmsterdam City Card are that it includes public transportation (buses, trams, etc), a canal cruise, a 24-hour bike rental, and entrance to many sights including the Rijksmuseum, Zaanse Schans, and other tourist locations. In addition, it includes discounts on many other tours, restaurants, and attractions.

  5. When is the best time to visit Amsterdam?

    Visit Amsterdam during the spring or the fall for the smaller crowds but still temperate weather. However, Amsterdam is a fun city to explore in any season.

  6. Is a weekend in Amsterdam enough?

    Yes, you should have just enough time to orient yourself within the city and hit the main attractions over a weekend. However, I usually recommend 4 days in Amsterdam for the best experience.

Visit Amsterdam

Amsterdam will charm you with its beautiful architecture, interesting museums, great food choices, and lively nightlife – no matter what kind of experience you’re looking for!

Whether you’re seeking adventure or relaxation this weekend getaway should be just what you need – so book those tickets now and start planning your dream trip!

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