Amsterdam is one of the most popular travel destinations in Europe. This capital of the Netherlands is lively, fun and full of amazing things to do and see for a fulfilling holiday.
From some of the world’s best museums to the legendary Red Light District, canal cruises and unforgettable events, there is so much to do when you spend 3 days in Amsterdam!
Although this isn’t a lot of time, you’ll have enough time to create an Amsterdam itinerary that lets you feel the city’s atmosphere. Here are some travel destinations to add to your to-do list!
See also: A weekend in Amsterdam: Sights
What to include in your 3 days itinerary in Amsterdam
Here are some things you really shouldn’t miss if you only have 3 days in Amsterdam:
The Rijksmuseum is one of the most famous art museums in the world, so a must-see for any art lover on their Amsterdam trip! This fantastic museum pays homage to art and history in Amsterdam, including an illustrated history of Holland, shown through its numerous collections, which include over 8000 objects and paintings.
If you are interested in discovering art and culture you must see this. It is located in the Grachtengordel district of Amsterdam and is open daily from 21:00 to 17:00. Tickets cost €20.00 for adults and are free for under 18s, a guided tour costs €5 extra.
Note that tickets are only available online as you must select a start date for your selected date.
If you want to visit the entire museum, you will need at least 4 to 5 hours. So arrive early so you have time for another activity in the afternoon.
Suppose you’re more of a drinker than an art lover. If so, you might want to take part in a Heineken Experience during your 3 days in Amsterdam. This is the first brewery Heineken ever built. Visitors receive two free beers and a tour of the history of the brewery.
It is open Sunday to Thursday from 10:30 am to 7:30 pm and Friday and Saturday from 10:30 am to 9:00 pm. Tickets range from €21 to €55 depending on whether you want to add extras like a VIP tour, additional live music or a simple guided tour. Note that you should book online.
Amsterdam GoCity Pass Owners do not pay on arrival.
100 Highlights Cruise
Short on time but want to see as much as possible? Get ready to snap photos on a 100 highlights cruise. You’ll pass many central monuments that are essential to any Amsterdam itinerary, such as the Westerkerk, canal houses and more.
Some might argue that this is the most beautiful canal cruise in all of Amsterdam. The 100 Highlights Cruise lasts one hour and is available year-round. It departs from Central Station, Rijksmuseum and Damrak. The costs are between €15 and €19.50 and can be conveniently purchased online. Amsterdam GoCity Pass Holders get free access.
Audio guides are available for this tour in over 19 languages: Arabic, Cantonese, Dutch, English, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Thai.
Tour de BonTon
This tour is only suitable for people over the age of 18 as it includes a trip to the Red Light District, one of the most famous places to add to your Amsterdam itinerary.
BonTon is one of the most historic sex workhouses in Amsterdam and is located in the heart of the district.
This unique attraction in Amsterdam can educate you about the history of the building, sex work in the city and its development throughout history. This tour takes you through the different rooms of the house. Ticket prices start from €21 and can be purchased online or on site.
If Keukenhof isn’t on your Amsterdam itinerary, you’re doing it wrong – or maybe you visited during the blustery season!
The Keukenhof near Amsterdam in the city of Lisse is a spectacular floral exhibition that attracts around 1 million visitors annually. Don’t miss this, from tulips to hyacinths to daffodils. It usually takes place from March to May every year.
Tickets can be purchased online every year from October for the following year. Lisse, the South Holland host city of Keukenhof, is only 30 minutes from Amsterdam and Schiphol Airport. It has since grown into the largest flower garden in the world, with spectacular tours covering over 15 km of paths through 32 hectares of flower gardens.
Suppose you are a nature lover and you want to relax amidst the tranquility of fresh flowers. In that case you should try to visit Keukenhof in spring. Adult tickets start from €17 if purchased only, or €18 if purchased upon arrival at the park.
Read on: Reasons to visit the Netherlands in spring
Amsterdam Muiderslot Castle
Maybe you are a history buff. In this case, if you only have 3 days in Amsterdam, you must see Amsterdam Castle Muiderslot!
Step back in time to explore this incredible 13th-century castle and its surroundings. Castle Muiderslot is a UNESCO World Heritage Site from the Middle Ages. It is part of the Amsterdam Defense Line.
Here you will find many rooms including an armory, moat, historical collections and much more. Audio tours are also available if interested. Tickets can be bought online and cost €16.50 for adults. However, you pay nothing if you have a GoCity pass.
Why do you need a 3-day GoCity pass in Amsterdam?
If you’re considering cramming the most into your 3 days in Amsterdam, consider getting one GoCity Pass for Amsterdam.
This all-inclusive pass is valid for 1-5 days depending on your choice. It costs €79 for a 3-day pass that gives you free entry to various attractions and museums in Amsterdam. You get free access to all the places mentioned in this article and many others!
Using a GoCity pass is an economical way to visit attractions during a short trip and saves you waiting in line. You can visit attractions with a total ticket value of €530 even though you only pay €79 for your ticket, so it’s really a smart choice!
Simply download the GoCity Pass app to your phone and show it when needed. You can also print it out if you want a paper copy. Through the app or website you can make reservations for places that require a reservation, such as the Rijksmuseum, Heineken Experience and others. GoCity Passes make traveling a breeze!
hp – The pass also includes bike rental to tick the most important item on the bucket list of cycling in Amsterdam.
Below is an example of how much you can save on a sample 3 day itinerary:
With a little pre-planning, you can get the most out of your 3 days in Amsterdam
Amsterdam has tons of unique attractions that will keep everyone happy no matter what your fancy, so enjoy your next adventure in the city of canals! While three days is short, with a little pre-planning and advance booking you can definitely tick off some great activities. Allow some time to wander aimlessly along the canals and simply enjoy the city without having to rush to every attraction.