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How To Spend The Ultimate Weekend In Amsterdam

Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands, is a vibrant and eclectic mix of history, culture, and modernity. Known for its picturesque canals, world-class museums, and lively neighborhoods, the city offers an unforgettable weekend escape. Whether you’re a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, here’s a comprehensive guide to spending the ultimate weekend in Amsterdam, with a focus on must-do activities like a canal cruise and a visit to the stunning Keukenhof Gardens.

Day 1: Exploring the Heart of Amsterdam

Morning: Start with a Hearty Dutch Breakfast

Begin your day with a traditional Dutch breakfast at a cozy café. Try popular spots like The Pancake Bakery, famous for its Dutch pancakes, or Bakers & Roasters for a hearty brunch. Fuel up with local favorites such as stroopwafels, poffertjes, and freshly brewed coffee.

Late Morning: Discover the Historic Canals

No trip to Amsterdam is complete without experiencing its iconic canals. A Canal Cruise Amsterdam offers a unique perspective of the city. Choose a guided tour to learn about the history and architecture of the 17th-century canal ring, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Several operators offer themed cruises, including romantic evening tours and family-friendly options.

Afternoon: Dive into Amsterdam’s Museums

Amsterdam is home to some of the world’s most renowned museums. Head to the Museum Quarter, where you can visit the Rijksmuseum, housing masterpieces by Rembrandt and Vermeer. The nearby Van Gogh Museum showcases the largest collection of Vincent van Gogh’s works. If contemporary art is more your style, the Stedelijk Museum is also in the vicinity.

Lunch: Savor Dutch Cuisine

For lunch, explore the nearby Albert Cuyp Market in De Pijp. This bustling market offers a variety of street food, from herring and kibbeling (fried fish) to international cuisine. Don’t miss the chance to try a traditional Dutch cheese platter.

Late Afternoon: Stroll Through Vondelpark

After a day of museum-hopping, unwind in Vondelpark, Amsterdam’s largest and most popular park. Enjoy a leisurely walk, rent a bike, or simply relax by the ponds. The park is a perfect spot to people-watch and soak in the city’s laid-back vibe.

Evening: Experience Amsterdam’s Nightlife

As night falls, head to the Jordaan district, known for its charming streets and vibrant nightlife. Begin with dinner at a local restaurant like Moeders, which offers hearty Dutch dishes in a cozy setting. Then, explore the lively bar scene or enjoy live music at venues like Melkweg or Paradiso.

Day 2: A Day Trip to the Keukenhof Gardens

Early Morning: Journey to Keukenhof

On your second day, venture outside the city to the world-famous Keukenhof Gardens. Located about 40 minutes from Amsterdam, the Keukenhof is one of the largest flower gardens in the world, known for its stunning displays of tulips and other spring blooms. To ensure a hassle-free visit, book your Keukenhof Tickets in advance.

Morning: Explore the Gardens

Arrive early to beat the crowds and take full advantage of your time in this floral paradise. The Keukenhof features over seven million flowers, with meticulously designed themed gardens, pavilions, and exhibits. Whether you’re an avid gardener or simply a nature lover, the vibrant colors and fragrant blooms are sure to captivate you.

Lunch: Picnic Amidst the Flowers

Bring a packed lunch or grab a bite at one of the on-site cafes. Enjoy your meal amidst the beautiful surroundings, perhaps near one of the scenic ponds or under a blossoming cherry tree.

Afternoon: Continue Your Floral Adventure

Spend the afternoon exploring more of Keukenhof’s 79 acres. Don’t miss the windmill, which offers a panoramic view of the tulip fields, or the various pavilions that host rotating flower shows. For an extra treat, take a whisper boat tour through the surrounding bulb fields to see the flowers from a different perspective.

Late Afternoon: Return to Amsterdam

Head back to Amsterdam in the late afternoon. If you still have energy, take a leisurely bike ride around the city. Amsterdam is incredibly bike-friendly, and cycling is a great way to see more of its hidden gems.

Evening: Enjoy a Canal-Side Dinner

For your final evening, treat yourself to a memorable dining experience by the canal. Restaurants like De Kas, located in a set of greenhouses, offer farm-to-table dining with fresh, seasonal ingredients. Alternatively, opt for a classic Dutch dining experience at Restaurant Greetje, where traditional dishes are prepared with a modern twist.

Night: Take an Evening Canal Cruise

End your day with another magical Canal Cruise Amsterdam, this time under the starlit sky. Many cruise operators offer evening tours that showcase the city’s illuminated bridges and buildings, providing a romantic and serene conclusion to your weekend.

Day 3: Final Discoveries and Farewell

Morning: Visit the Anne Frank House

Start your final day with a visit to the Anne Frank House. This poignant museum, located in the actual building where Anne Frank and her family hid during World War II, offers a powerful and moving experience. Due to its popularity, it’s best to book your tickets in advance.

Late Morning: Explore the Nine Streets

After visiting the Anne Frank House, explore the nearby Nine Streets (De Negen Straatjes). This charming neighborhood is packed with boutique shops, art galleries, and cafes. It’s the perfect place to pick up unique souvenirs or enjoy a leisurely coffee break.

Lunch: Try International Flavors

Amsterdam’s culinary scene is incredibly diverse. For lunch, try one of the many international eateries in the city. Whether it’s Indonesian rijsttafel, Surinamese roti, or a Middle Eastern mezze platter, you’ll find a myriad of flavors to satisfy your taste buds.

Afternoon: Relax in the Botanical Garden

Spend your last afternoon in the tranquil Hortus Botanicus, one of the world’s oldest botanical gardens. Explore the various greenhouses, butterfly house, and the impressive collection of exotic plants. It’s a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Late Afternoon: Final Canal Stroll

Take a final stroll along the canals, soaking in the picturesque views and vibrant atmosphere one last time. Perhaps visit the Bloemenmarkt, the famous floating flower market, to purchase some tulip bulbs to take home as a memento.

Evening: Farewell Dinner

For your farewell dinner, choose a special restaurant to cap off your ultimate weekend. Consider dining at a Michelin-starred restaurant like Ciel Bleu for an unforgettable culinary experience with panoramic views of the city.

Night: Reflect and Relax

After dinner, find a cozy spot along the canals or at a local bar to reflect on your weekend. Enjoy a final drink, whether it’s a craft beer, a glass of Dutch gin (jenever), or a refreshing cocktail.


Amsterdam is a city that effortlessly blends rich history, vibrant culture, and natural beauty. With this guide, you’ll be able to experience the best of what the city has to offer, from an enchanting Canal Cruise Amsterdam to the breathtaking splendor of the Keukenhof Gardens with your pre-booked Keukenhof Tickets. Whether you’re exploring world-class museums, indulging in delicious cuisine, or simply enjoying the scenic canals, your weekend in Amsterdam is sure to be an unforgettable adventure.

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