Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful and enchanting cities in the world. Its picturesque buildings, historical significance, and beautiful canals will leave you breathless. Spending just one day in the beautiful city of Amsterdam provides you with just enough time to get a taste of the city.
However, you will have to budget your time to ensure you see as much of Amsterdam as possible. The good thing about Amsterdam is that it is not a very big city, therefore, getting around to different sights and attractions is more than doable!
The slight taste of Amsterdam in just one day will leave you longing for more. If you have some time to spare, consider spending 2 days in Amsterdam to see more of this fantastic city. If you don’t have more time, no worries, one day will be excellent in itself.
One Day in Amsterdam Itinerary
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Breakfast at a Café
The first stop during your one day adventure is at one of Amsterdam’s delicious cafes. The cafes in Amsterdam are all amazing! They are so unique, and all have something different and exciting to test out. A stop at a café is the perfect way to start your day with a bang, courtesy of a delicious pastry and coffee. Some of the best ones are Coffee and Coconuts, Bamboa, and Benjis!
Make sure you remember that when in Amsterdam coffee shops and cafes are entirely different!
Related: Best Brunch Amsterdam: From a Local
Activity #1: Street Market
Amsterdam is full of street markets that have an assortment of stands just waiting to be explored. The street markets are frequented by locals looking for fresh fruits, vegetables, fish, and nuts! Also, here you can find local clothing shops, souvenirs, and other trinkets. Heading to a street market is the perfect way to feel immersed in Dutch culture and pick up some goodies.
Two of the best street markets in Amsterdam are Albert Cupy Market and Westerstraat.
Activity #2: Walk Around the Canals
The canals of Amsterdam are all stunning. There is always a different unique house and picturesque view around every corner. Spending a few hours in the morning to walk around the canals and get lost in their beauty is an Amsterdam activity that will leave you breathless!
Lunch & Sweet Treat
There are more than enough lunch places to choose from in Amsterdam; however, there are a few that stand out. One of these is the Vegan Junk Food Bar that serves an entirely vegan menu with some of the most delicious offerings ever! Even non-vegans are obsessed with the food here. It is unlike anything else in the world.
After lunch, you must get a Dutch stroopwafel. This is a sweet treat that was created in Amsterdam that everyone becomes addicted to. You can find them at various grocery stores, street stands, or you can get a special stroopwafel from Van Wonderen.
Activity #3: Go to Vondelpark
For a relatively small city, Amsterdam holds quite a few lovely parks. However, one, in particular, stands out among the rest, and this is Vondelpark. This park is located in the heart of Amsterdam and is the largest and most popular park in Amsterdam. There are colossal biking paths, tons of green space to sit on, a rose garden, and even three restaurants!
Heading to Vondelpark to walk around it and take in its beauty is a must during your one day in Amsterdam. You can even bring a blanket and some snacks and have a little picnic here amongst all the other park lovers.
Activity #4: Canal Cruise
Amsterdam is full of canals; the whole city is just a maze of winding streets and beautiful waterways. Therefore, the best and most efficient way to explore the city is by boat! Thankfully, Amsterdam has a ton of canal cruise companies that are eager to sail you around the city in their ships. Hop on one of the boats and prepare for a one to a two-hour tour of the whole city of Amsterdam. These canal cruises are especially amazing because they provide you with tons of information and facts about the city that are very interesting.
Dinner at De Foodhallen
De Foodhallen is a super exciting eating concept. It is a huge hall that is filled with different food trucks of restaurants from around the city. Here you can find specialty hot dogs, frozen yogurt, pizza, ice-cream, gin and tonics, and more! It’s the perfect place to go to where everyone can find something they like. Also, you can find some local Dutch delicacies and try a few of them.
Activity #5: Sky Lounge
Amsterdam at night and Amsterdam during the day offer very different experiences and adventures to enjoy. During the night, when the sunsets and the lights turn on, Amsterdam comes alive! There is quite a bit to do in Amsterdam at night. But one of the best things is heading to Sky Lounge for some delicious drinks with a rooftop view of the city.
The Sky Lounge is a more upscale bar in Amsterdam that has impressive cocktails and a live DJ in house every night. However, the best part is the stunning views you can get from the terrace. You can see all of Amsterdam lit up from above. It truly is magical.
Activity #6: Red Light District
This last activity is very dependent on your preferences. The Red Light District is a very polarizing topic, and if you don’t feel comfortable or don’t want to go, you don’t have to! There are a ton of other things you can do instead. But if you are curious to see it for yourself, this is the perfect opportunity to check it out.
The Red Light District has an almost carnival-like feel with its neon signs and lights and various shops and museums. If you do go, I suggest you don’t go after 11 PM as it can become a little bit dodgy after this hour.
How to Get Around Amsterdam
With just one day in Amsterdam, the best way to get around is by walking. The city is pretty small and walking to and from each activity is very doable. However, you can also get a 24-transit card and take the metros and trams if you would like to get around faster! Moreover, if you are feeling adventurous, you can rent a bike for the day. With this, you can bike around like the rest of the people in Amsterdam.
All options are perfectly fine, choose the one that feels most comfortable for you.
Author bio: Samantha Karen is the founder of the travel blog Sam Sees World. She is a millennial traveler on a mission to seek the new and unknown so she can document her experiences and inspire others to travel this wondrous world. Follow her on Pinterest and Instagram.
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I will visit De Foodhallen next time. Amsterdam is special to me as it was the first European city I ever visited. It’s also the first European city I revisited.
Now this is a city I know well! I used to visit Amsterdam all the time as my brother lived here. I love Vondelpark and of course the canals. It’s a dreamy city to visit!