Two Days In Amsterdam, Netherlands
Visiting Amsterdam, Netherlands? You CAN See A Lot In A Short Time! We Proved It!
In the summer of 2009, our family travelled to Europe for a Baltic cruise. Our disembarkation port was Amsterdam so we planned a couple of days there. I can honestly say that we did not plan to see as much as we did and I was really amazed at how much we packed in in a short time.
Journey with us on our visit to Amsterdam, Netherlands, and hopefully you will take away some ideas that might help you when you are in Amsterdam for just a day or two.
The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam focuses on art, craft and history and owns many paintings from the Dutch Golden Age as well as a large selection of Asian Art.
When we visited in the summer of 2009, most of The Rijksmuseum Museum was closed for renovation. I think that was actually in our favour as the museum had organized an exhibit of select pieces.
We spent exactly the perfect amount of time enjoying some of the most amazing sights that the Rijksmuseum had to offer. Our teenage sons found enough military history in the artwork to keep them interested for about an hour. The Night Watchman was definitely a highlight. It is rather large and impressive painting.
The Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum
It is pretty obvious what the focus of The Van Gogh Museum is. It houses over 200 paintings, 500 drawings and more than 750 letters by Van Gogh.
The Van Gogh was high on my list of museums to see but we knew that two museums focused on art in one day after a vacation filled with visiting galleries, museums and palaces, would be pushing the limits of my very patient but nevertheless teenage boys. We chose, therefore, to leave them outside on a park bench reading their books while we went in for a quick peek. We spent about an hour inside and managed to see the better part of Van Gogh's collection.
Van Gogh's work is so common in our culture and is reproduced on just about anything you can imagine. I do like his floral pictures but I decided that my favorite is a picture that I had not seen before or at least was not very familiar with, Wheatfield With Crows.
Van Gogh: A Brush with Genius - A Imax documentary film about Vincent Van Gogh's life and works.
The Anne Frank House
The Anne Frank House was definitely a highlight of our days in Amsterdam, especially for myself who had read Anne Frank's book as a young girl. However, my teenage sons were also able to appreciate what they saw. If you are interested, here are a few additional pages devoted to Anne Frank.
- Our Visit To Anne Frank's House
A visit to Anne Frank's house in Amsterdam comes highly recommended by my family and if you have any history with, Anne's tragic story you will leave speechless.
- Anne Frank Movie and Documentary Film Reviews
There are numerous Anne Frank movies and documentaries available. Learn about the best here on this page.
- The Diary of Anne Frank (1959) Movie Review
I read the book as a girl and since have been intrigued by Anne and her world. It was natural then that I'd want to see the movies. Here my review of the 1959 movie, The Diary of Anne Frank.
The Historic Canals
The Historic Amsterdam Canals
Of course, we had a boat tour of the canals and we really did enjoy it. We chose and paid a bit more for a tour which had bar service. When we climbed aboard that boat, we were tired and ready to rest awhile and have a cold drink...the candlelight and peanuts were a nice bonus. This was the last night of our European tour. We were ready for a break and I cannot imagine a more beautiful resting spot. The canals really were lovely.
If you are travelling with children, tweens or teenagers, you no doubt will have someone that really, really, really wants to have a ride in the paddle boats. Be warned that those paddle boats close earlier in the evening than you might expect. Our 15-year old son was quite disappointed when he and his father wandered over to the canal to rent one on our last night in Amsterdam and found them closed for the night.
The Hard Rock Cafe
The Hard Rock Cafe
The Hard Rock Cafe is definitely a perfect dinner destination for teenage boys!
Definitely not what you might think of as one of Amsterdam's sights but definitely a stop worth mentioning. We had the friendliest and most relaxed service there. We were able to sit outside and unwind. The Hard Rock Cafe was even close enough to our hotel that my husband managed to sneak in some birthday shopping when we were not looking.
The Amsterdam Dungeon
Amsterdam's 25 Best Sights - 25 must see sights in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Fodor's makes excellent travel guides, which I always consult before I leave home. Amsterdam's 25 Best has what you need to enjoy Amsterdam, and 25 of the must-see sights.
"When you get off the plane at Schipol, this is the book you want in your pocket. Aside from the breezy overview and the tips for navigating this delightful city, the book includes a folding map that's water-proof, wipeable and compact. Even an afternoon at the Heineken brewery won't do it any harm. By all means, read all you can before you go, including Fodor's guide to Amsterdam and Holland, but pack this in your carry-on and you'll be ready to enjoy the city as soon as you arrive." ~ Lynn Hoffman
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I apologize for the lack of personal photos on this page. Amsterdam was our last stop before we returned home to Canada and our photographer, it seemed, had lost his motivation for taking pictures. Where I did not have one of our own to share, I requested permission to use pictures from photographers on Flickr.