Explore Amsterdam in 24 Hours

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Like the digital nomad you are, you are constantly on the go. Not one to ever settle in one place, you are constantly looking for your next destination (Dubai, Capetown- the list goes on and on). And with all this never-ending travel comes the hassles and frustrations of long-distance transportation.

We’re talking about numerous bumpy bus rides, high-speed train rides, and hours spent flying thousands of meters above the ground. This lifestyle isn’t easy, and you definitely need to be able to handle whatever life throws at you, and take things as they come.

Picture this: You are on the way to your next destination excited to explore an unfamiliar city, only to hear the news that your connecting flight was cancelled. You’re stuck in Amsterdam for a full 24 hours.

Now if you were anyone else, this would completely ruin your schedule. But luckily, travellers with an adventurous and open-minded spirit see this as a fantastic way to explore somewhere unexpected.

And in a city with excellent train connections between the airport and the city, you are sure to visit many major sites in the heart of Amsterdam. Here is our list of how to explore most of Amsterdam in 24 hours.

Explore Amsterdam Canals on Foot

While most people might say that the best way to explore Amsterdam is by bicycle, there is just as good a case to be made for walking. Yes, it may seem more romantic to pedal down the streets of scenic roads, but you run the risk of overlooking many of the city’s details.

Take a short walk along the Brouwersgracht, one of the most beautiful canals in the city. Walking along this canal quite literally feels like you’re in a movie scene. There are boats of every colour dotting the canal.

There are many walking tours available that will take you to see some of the iconic sights. Some of the most notable canals include Singel, Keizersgracht, Prinsengracht and Reguliersgracht.

Explore Canals by Cruise

Yes, viewing the canals from the streets is nice, but why not get the full experience by floating down one of their 165 canals? It is probably the most memorable way to discover the city’s historical centre.

Most canal cruises take an hour, and you are bound to learn countless interesting facts about the city along the way. A few of the most well-known companies are Blue Boat, Lovers, and Stromma.

If you’ve only got 24 hours, an excellent option is the ‘hop-on-hop off’ service, which breaks up the cruise by stopping for some sightseeing in between.

Learn More: here.

Wander through Dam Square and past the Royal Palace

Damrak is definitely a must-see, as you can take a quick walkthrough Dam Square and past the Royal Palace. Even if you don’t have time to go inside the Royal Palace, it is definitely worth the trip.

The Palace is used for many Royal Events during the year, such as the reception of the foreign heads of state and the King’s New Year reception. Snap a picture in front of this historical palace and feel like royalty!

Explore the Floating Flower Market (Bloemenmarkt)

Another beautiful sight to see in Amsterdam is the floating flower market, full of bright and fragrant fresh flowers. No matter rain or shine, this part of the Singel canal in the city’s centre is open every Monday to Saturday.

Explore its range of hundreds of flowers and plants, as well as authentic Dutch souvenirs!

Learn More here.

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Visit a Museum (Van Gogh, Anne Frank House, Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk)

Amsterdam is celebrated for its wonderful museums, but if you’ve only got a day, we recommend choosing just one to visit.

Some of the top museums we suggest are either Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank House, Rijksmuseum, and the Stedelijk. Tickets for these museums do sell out quickly, but you can try online at 9 am on that day to snag last-minute tickets.

If you are unable to secure tickets and only have the day in Amsterdam, it’s not worth it to waste your time queuing at the museum.

Click here for more information!

Visit Heineken’s Oldest Brewery

In the heart of Amsterdam lives the very first Heineken brewery, founded over 150 years ago. The Heineken experience offers you a guided tour through the brewery, showing you had it all began, and where they are today.

And of course, what better way to finish off the tour than sipping on a perfectly chilled Heineken in their very own bar? You’ll leave the brewery with knowledge about the best ways to taste and enjoy your Heineken beer.

Head to their website for available tours!

Get Cozy in an Authentic Brown Cafe in Red Light District

Although it is not everyone’s cup of tea, the Red Light District is certainly one of the most unique places in the world. From brothels to sex shops to museums, this area has it all. Depending on your schedule, you can easily visit during the day or at night, but you are sure to get the full experience by visiting in the evening.

However, there is also a wide variety of coffee shops and typical Dutch brown cafes, attracting many interesting individuals. Sip on an iced latte or a cold beer and admire the charming 14th architecture of the buildings and tree-enshrouded canals.

Some helpful tips if you do visit: watch out for pick-pockets, do not take photos of the occupied windows, travel in a group if you can, and do not buy anything from dealers.

Read More about some of the best brown cafes

Visit Amsterdam Begijnhof

Begijnhof is no doubt one of the prettiest yet unknown places in Amsterdam. Created in the 14th century in order to house a commune of pious Catholic women (begijnen), Begijnhof can be found behind a door on Spuiplein. Due to its hidden location, most tourists simply do not know to visit it.

Although most of the homes are occupied, the pathways around them allow for public access to views of the pristine lawns and charming courtyards. There, you will be able to see some of the oldest houses in Amsterdam, as well as the only remaining wooden house from the 14th century!

Learn More here

Enjoy a Stroll through the 9 Little Streets and the Jordaan Neighbourhood

Quite possibly one of Amsterdam’s most charming neighbourhoods, Jordaan’s peaceful streets makes it the ideal place for a stroll.  Along the way, you will encounter the Negen Straatjes (9 Little Streets), which boasts gourmet restaurants, boutique shops, and classic Dutch cafes on every street corner.

These cobbled streets connect the main canals between Raadhuisstraat and Leidsegracht. They are famous for their speciality stores, vintage shopping, and small independent boutiques. You’ll be able to leave the city with unique pieces to add to your wardrobe!

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