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Amsterdam in 2 days - 10 Things Must Do

Amsterdam is one of the city I visited during my Europe trip back on 2010. There are a lot things to do and see but we don’t really have much time, only 2 days. So you can imagine how hard it is to decide where and what we should go. My MUST LIST are Red Light Street, Windmill and Tulips Garden. Here are 10 thing you should do if you only have 2 or 3 days in Amsterdam.

1. Visiting Tulips Fields
We went to Keukenhof Gardens, a very spacious park with 7 million flower bulbs bloom over 32 hectares that open for just eight weeks in spring. Stroll around the garden, enjoy the breeze air, the beauty surrounding area. Buy a combo-ticket to avoid a queue in the entrance counter.

If you have more time, biking is recommended to explore Holland’s Flower Strip. Rent your bike at main entrance of Keukenhof Garden (10 Euro, including the cycle route), the route range from 5km to 25km.
How to get here : Take a train from Amsterdam Central Station to Schiphol, then take bus 858 from Schiphol Plaza, the bus is at the Arrival Hall 4, next to Starbucks.

2. The Anne Frank Museum
This museum is a hiding place where Anne Frank, a Jewish girl from Nazi during the second World War and wrote her diary. Take the time to explore the museum and the history behind it, unfortunately I don’t have much time to go inside.

3. Dam Square
Dam Square is at the centre of the city, is where peoples like to gather and hang out. Catch the street performance here and take picture with them or just spent the time people-watching while having a meal or drink at a restaurant and café around.

Just across the dam square you also can find The National Monument, a memorial to the victims and veterans of the Second World War.

4. I AM AMSTERDAM, the iconic sign
Don’t miss out to take picture on this iconic sign. There are four location of this iconic sign but the popular one is at the Museumplein square. We took picture near the De Waag (The weigh house) at Nieuwmarket Square.

5. Visiting museums at Museumplein
Most of the museum like Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum are located in square Museumplein, all of them only walk distance. If you are a museum person, I believe you will love it. The square of Museumplein is the cultural beating heart of Amsterdam, the open square pulses with many activity, in the winter the square transform to outdoor ice rink.

6. Strolled at the Red Light District
This is a must! Where else you can see and experience this kind of things? The activity in this area start in the evening. Strolled in the alley, gazed at the sexy almost naked ladies in the glass storefront on the left and right of the alley. This is some kind of experience.

This area is safe, there are a lot of police around in unofficial uniform not only standby for the visitors but also for those ladies. Taking picture of them is highly not permitted, they can report you to those police if you did.

7. Canal Cruising
We took this canal cruise to utilize our last few hours in this city before heading back to Lyon. Maybe because of low season, there are only few peoples join this canal cruise. We will explore the Amsterdam’s protected canal ring, one of UNESCO World Heritage and also discover many interesting facts about the city as the tour leader will tell you story along the way. The tour leader took a glass of that brown canal water and asked the tour participant to smell it, convincing us that there is no smell at all, even tough the colour is brown, and he is correct.

8. Visit the Windmill
One of the global image of Netherlands is windmills, there are eight remaining windmills in Amsterdam but most of these windmills only open on National Windmill Day, the only windmill open to public all the time is Molen Van Stolen. It is still in use too, located on the outskirts of the city. But unluckily it was under repair, we couldn’t go inside the windmill

There is one windmill at Keukenhof which we didn't know at first, but we never regret to visit that one at the Molen Van Stolen because the beautiful scenery and the looks of Amsterdam outskirt.

If you don’t have intention to go up inside the windmill, just go to de Gooyer, a registered windmill as a National Monument, also tallest wooden mill in the country. The de Gooyer also houses of a brewery that still sells the traditional Dutch beer.
How to get to Molen Van Stolen windmills : Take a tram line 2 from Central Station to final stop, then continue 10 minutes walking

9. Try Raw Herring, the local food
Local food, the first thing that I always looking for when I visiting a new country/city. One of the local food you have to try in this city is herring, you can choose raw, smoked or pickled one. My local friend bought a raw herring at a herring cart near Amsterdam Central Station, it has a strong, savory, rich and salty flavor. I tried their local drink too but it is very strong, it is like it burns my tounge, I only manage to drink a sip.

10. Walking or Biking Tour
Choose what is your preference or do both if you much time. You can find the FREE walking tour at Dam Square. We didn’t join any of group walking tour but we did our own walking tour, with a local friend as free local guide

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