48 Hours in Amsterdam: Art, History, Music, and More
The next addition to 48 Hour Friday comes from Ashley Howe, about a city that’s completely known for it’s drugs and promiscuous behavior.  But, as crazy as it may sound, Amsterdam is SO much more than that!  I’ve been longing to go ever since my husband started traveling there for work a few years ago.
Despite the long hours he works over there, he’s still come home with some pretty crazy stories.  And of course expressed how beautiful the canals are… when there isn’t naughty business happening in the corner of his eye!  Maybe one day he’ll hold me hostage in his suitcase and I’ll get to come along. I could go without the illegal wrong-doings, but then again, it is Amsterdam 😉
Canal in Amsterdam/Gracht in Amsterdam
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Let’s face it, there is so much choice when deciding where to go in Amsterdam that it can be difficult to try and cram it all in to 48 hours. With art, history, culture, music and more there is something for everyone. Plus, Amsterdam has a rich and varied history from the first people who decided to drain the water from the land to create Amsterdam, right through the Golden Age to the present day – for example, the West India Company, the creation of the first ever stock exchange, and the Nazi Occupation of the Netherlands, to name just a few.

Here is a look at what I would do if I only had 48 hours to spend in Amsterdam.

DAY ONE
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7:45 A.M. – 8:30 A.M.
Get breakfast early at your hotel if it’s included. If you want a little extra time in bed, or you don’t have the luxury of an included breakfast I can highly recommend heading to Broodjeszaak Etentijd at Vijzelgracht 59 for something really good to eat on your way to the Rijksmuseum. It’s reasonably priced, and they have a wide variety of sandwiches – I recommend the Foccacia bread with pastrami ham stuffed with rosemary.
 
8:45 A.M.
Arrive at the Rijksmuseum early to avoid the queues – make sure you’re there before 9am when it opens. The Rijksmuseum was re-opened in April of 2013 after extensive refurbishment which took nearly 10 years and the wait was definitely worth it. It has also been completely overhauled, so now instead of being categorised by object, it is now categorised by year, so you get a much better feel for the time period.
 
 
12:30 P.M.
Refuel and grab some lunch at Omelegg. This place is awesome –  the prices are good and the food is delicious and filling. Plus, they all have moustaches, except the chef. What’s not to love? Make sure you try the goats cheese, spinach and sun-dried tomato bread.
 
2:00 P.M.
Go for a walk around the Vondelpark. This is one of my favourite parks in Amsterdam. In the summer, it’s full of people and there are BBQ’s happening left, right and center. In the winter, it’s much quieter and peaceful, but still beautiful in its own way.
 
 
3:30 P.M.
Check out the Anne Frank House where Anne and her family went into hiding during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. Book ahead online and you won’t need to stand in a queue.
5:00 P.M.
Walk around the 17th Century canal belt, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. It consists of the Singel, Herengracht, the Keizersgracht and the Prinsengracht. You’ll love the Herengracht as it has some of the most beautiful canal houses.
 
 
7:00 P.M.
Get dinner at Eetcafe Rosereijn. It’s not fancy, but the food is good and it has a great atmosphere. It’s also reasonably priced which in my opinion is a massive plus.
 
9:00 P.M.
Head to Tales and Spirits for the rest of the evening, and enjoy cocktails and music for as long as you can handle.
 
DAY TWO
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9:00 A.M.
Get up and go for breakfast at Little Collins. For those of you with a sweet tooth I can definitely recommend the coconut brioche with caramelized apples and lemon curd. If you don’t want to have a sugar crash later on, there are plenty of other really delicious things on the menu.
marmalade brioche

 

10:30 A.M.
Go to the Museum of bags and purses, which houses the world’s largest bag collection and spans over 500 years of history – from the 16th century to the present day. Bag lovers, you won’t be disappointed.
 
12:30 P.M.
Get lunch at Singel 404, for a really delicious sandwich, and if you still have room afterwards head to Winkel 43 for the best apple pie in town. You’ll regret it if you don’t.

the BEST apple cake ever!
 
1:30 P.M.
Head to the 9 Lanes for some really great shopping. Think independent stores, boutiques, and plenty of vintage shops to spend your money in. There are also plenty of great places to grab a coffee, or a sweet treat to take home with you.
 
4:00 P.M.

Go to the House of Bols to indulge in a cheeky afternoon cocktail, but not before you’ve been taken on a sensory journey through the House of Bols story, which ends in their bar.

 
6:30 P.M.
Grab dinner at Myrabelle. It is cosy, and you’ll just love it in there. If you want to have ribs, make sure you have a lot of room, because the portion is big.
8:00 P.M.
Head to Café Stevens for a relaxed evening in the bar. With music, drinks and a cosy atmosphere, it’s the perfect end to your time in Amsterdam.
Ashley Howe has been living in Amsterdam since 2011 after living in the UK for her whole life. She fell in love with the city and started a blog about Amsterdam. Since then, she has been slowly adopting the bits of Dutch culture that she loves (cycling, cheese and the colour orange), while trying desperately hard to keep the British part of her in check.
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