Amsterdam what to do and see

Amsterdam – what to do and see

Spending a weekend in Amsterdam, known as the “Venice of the North”, is a captivating experience that fascinates travelers with its picturesque canals, charming brightly colored townhouses and vibrant atmosphere that distinguishes it. A weekend in Amsterdam represents the ideal time to fully enjoy the charm of this city, immerse yourself in its history and culture, and experience the pulsating energy of the various neighborhoods.

If you arrive by train or if you stop at the central station to reach the city centre, the ideal is to let yourself be influenced by the ” bicycle palace “, a structure that has become a destination of inspiration for photographers and where thousands of people park their cars every day. own bike before setting off: the amazement effect is guaranteed.

Five minutes from the central station you can see Dam Square , one of the places most visited by tourists. The Royal Palace and the former Nieuwe Kerk cathedral overlook the square, within which it is possible to admire the national war memorial which commemorates all the victims of the Second World War. From this point on you can walk among shops and streets bustling with tourists, until you reach Spui , a lovely and characteristic square which hosts various markets every week, from the flower market to the book market.

But let’s see in detail what to do and see in Amsterdam on a weekend, which is only 2 hours away from Italy with Naples-Amsterdam flights for example.

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Day 1: A dive into history and art

Who has never heard of “the channels”? A series of waterways arranged concentrically which are called Grachtengordel , it is precisely around these that the rest of Amsterdam expands. These canals are flanked by ancient houses which retain all the charm of the past, making the whole area appear like a large, perfectly preserved open-air museum.

Around the canals there are numerous points of interest for tourists: churches, parks, the Westerkerk bell tower and Anne Frank’s house , the place where the young Jewish woman hid from the Nazis during the Second World War.


Take a tasty break in one of the many cafés that dot the streets of the centre. Sample a poffertjes , a miniature Dutch pancake, or a stroopwafel , a delicious cookie with caramel syrup.


Dedicate the afternoon to a boat ride on the canals . Cruise past houseboats, picturesque bridges and flower gardens, admiring the city from a unique perspective. If you have time, visit the Van Gogh Museum , entirely dedicated to the Dutch genius, or the Heineken Experience Museum , to learn about the history of the famous brewery.

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Treat yourself to a romantic dinner in one of the many restaurants in the center. Try typical Dutch cuisine based on herring, potatoes and vegetables, or choose a place with a panoramic view of the canals.

Day 2: Markets, themed neighborhoods and relaxation

tulip flower in box


Start your day at Amsterdam’s floating flower market , known as “Bloemenmarkt” , one of the city’s most iconic attractions and a unique showcase of Dutch flower culture. Located along the Singel, one of Amsterdam’s oldest canals, this floating market is a vibrant and colorful place where visitors can immerse themselves in the beauty and variety of Dutch flowers and plants.

The Bloemenmarkt is a historic market that dates back to the 17th century, when flowers and plants were transported by boat from nurseries in the surrounding regions and sold directly from the boats. Today, although much of the market consists of shops and fixed stalls, the historic atmosphere and tradition of floating flowers continues to be preserved.

The market offers a large selection of flowers, bulbs, indoor and outdoor plants, as well as floral souvenirs and gardening supplies. Popular species include tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and orchids , along with myriad other seasonal and exotic varieties. You can buy bouquets of flowers ready to take home or bulbs to plant in your own gardens.

One of the most charming features of the Bloemenmarkt is its lively and picturesque atmosphere. The colorful stalls overlooking the canal, the fragrant scents of the flowers and the sound of flowing water create a unique sensory experience that enchants visitors of all ages.

Then continue your walk towards the Jordaan , a picturesque neighborhood with vintage boutiques, art galleries and cozy cafes. Located northwest of the historic center, Jordaan was originally a working-class neighborhood, but today it has become a trendy place. Its narrow, winding streets are lined with historic buildings dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries, with ornamental facades and charming architectural details. Jordaan is also famous for its organic market, the Noordermarkt, and its lively atmosphere during local festivals and celebrations.


Drop by Foodhallen , a covered food market with a wide selection of street food located in a converted historic building in the Kinkerbuurt area. This vibrant space hosts a variety of food stalls and restaurants offering a wide range of culinary delights from around the world. From traditional Dutch dishes to international delicacies, visitors can enjoy a selection of high-quality food in a casual and convivial environment. In addition to gastronomy, Foodhallen also offers special events, live entertainment and a lively atmosphere making it an ideal location for an authentic dining experience in Amsterdam.


Explore Amsterdam’s themed neighborhoods. Visit De Pijp , the trendy neighborhood with its murals and alternative vibe, or the red light district , famous for its legalization of prostitution.

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End your weekend on a high note with a bike ride , the Dutch’s favorite means of transport. Relax by pedaling along the canals, immersing yourself in the magical evening atmosphere of the city.

Tips for seeing Amsterdam

  • Buy the Amsterdam City Card to get discounts on museums, attractions and transport.
  • Rent a bike to get around the city like a true Amsterdammer.
  • Book tickets for the most famous museums in advance to avoid long queues.
  • Taste typical Dutch cheeses in one of the many specialized shops.
  • Take a walk in Vondelpark , Amsterdam’s largest park, for a moment of relaxation surrounded by nature.

Amsterdam is a city that knows how to conquer with its unique charm. A weekend getaway is just a taste of all it has to offer, but it will be an unforgettable experience that will leave you wanting to return.

Useful information

How to get

Amsterdam is easily accessible by plane from Italy. Schiphol Airport is connected to the city center with an efficient train and bus service.

Regarding flights from Italy to Amsterdam, there are several options available which we will see below. Major airlines operating direct flights from various Italian cities to Amsterdam include KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Alitalia, easyJet, Vueling and Ryanair, among others.

You can find direct flights from cities such as Rome, Milan, Venice, Naples (and other major Italian cities) to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS), which is the main airport in the Netherlands.

Flights from Naples to Amsterdam , for example, take around 2 hours and can be booked on the website or through other search engines specializing in flights. Using these platforms, you can compare fares, choose the most convenient times and ensure a comfortable journey to the lively Dutch capital.

body of water under white sky

Where to sleep

In Amsterdam, there are several areas where you can find accommodation suited to your travel needs and preferences. Here is an overview of the main areas to sleep:

1. Old Town (Centrum): This is the most central and lively area of ​​Amsterdam, characterized by picturesque canals, charming cobbled streets and a wide range of hotels, hostels and bed & breakfasts. Here you will find many tourist attractions such as Dam Square, the Royal Palace and the Red Light District. It is ideal for those who want to be in the heart of the action and have easy access to the city’s main attractions.

2. Jordaan: This charming neighborhood is renowned for its picturesque canals, winding streets and quaint historic buildings. It’s a quieter area than the centre, but still full of cozy cafes, art galleries and trendy boutiques. Jordaan is perfect for those looking for a relaxing and authentic base, but still close to the main attractions.

3. De Pijp: Also known as the Market District, De Pijp is a lively, multicultural neighborhood famous for its Albert Cuyp market, trendy cafes, ethnic restaurants and vibrant nightlife. It’s an ideal area for those looking for a more bohemian and trendy vibe, with a variety of accommodation options ranging from boutique hotels to rental apartments.

4. Oost (East): This fast-growing area has become increasingly popular with travelers in recent years. Oost offers a variety of cheaper accommodation options than the historic centre, along with a lively cultural scene, picturesque parks and a wide range of trendy restaurants and bars. It’s perfect for those looking for an authentic experience away from the tourist crowds.

5. Oud-West (Old West): Located just outside the centre, Oud-West is a trendy and cosmopolitan neighborhood with a large selection of trendy restaurants, cafes, shops and boutiques. It’s an ideal area for those who want to live like a local and enjoy neighborhood life, with a variety of accommodation options ranging from boutique hotels to rental apartments.

Regardless of the area you choose, Amsterdam offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit every type of traveller, from the smallest budgets to the most luxurious experiences. 

When to go

The best time to visit Amsterdam is spring (April to June) and autumn (September to November), when the climate is mild and the days are long.

What to pack

For a trip to Amsterdam, it is important to pack a suitcase considering both the local weather conditions and the activities planned during the visit. Here are some tips on what to include in your suitcase.

1. Versatile clothing : Since the Dutch climate can be variable, it is advisable to bring versatile clothing suitable for cool temperatures and possible rain. Include lightweight layers that can be layered to accommodate temperature changes.

2. Raincoat or Umbrella: Amsterdam is known for sudden rain showers, so a lightweight raincoat or compact umbrella can be helpful in protecting you from sudden downpours.

3. Comfortable shoes: Plan on doing a lot of walking to explore the city, so make sure you bring comfortable, durable shoes that are suitable for long walks on uneven pavement and cycling.

4. Shoulder Bag or Backpack: To avoid safety concerns, it is advisable to carry a secure shoulder bag or backpack with zippers to protect your belongings while you are out and about in the city.

5. Power adapter: You don’t need a power adapter for a trip to Amsterdam as the sockets are like the Italian ones.

6. Travel documents and payment cards: Remember to bring your passport or valid ID, airline or travel tickets, credit/debit cards and any accommodation or activity booking documents.

7. Personal hygiene products: Includes all your essential personal hygiene products, such as shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrush and daily hygiene items.

8. Medicines and first aid kits: If you take medicines regularly, make sure you bring enough supplies for the duration of your trip. Also include a small first aid kit with plasters, painkillers and other over-the-counter medications to deal with any inconveniences during your trip.

9. Travel guide or map: Although many people today use apps and digital maps, having a paper travel guide or city map can be useful for orienting yourself and planning your days.

10. Electronic Equipment: Don’t forget to bring your cell phone, charger, camera or camcorder with you to capture the special moments of your trip. I also recommend a tripod or selfie stick. 

An additional tip : if you are planning a trip to Amsterdam it is a must to pack something orange. The city is always in the mood for parties and during these Amsterdam is tinged with only one color, orange!

Remember to also have valid travel insurance before departure and if you don’t know which one to choose, in this post you will find my advice. 

Be sure to make a personalized list based on your specific needs and planned activities during your trip to Amsterdam. Have a good trip!!

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