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Two Days In Amsterdam, Netherlands

Updated on March 16, 2015
Two Days in Amsterdam
Two Days in Amsterdam | Source

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.

Click here to order this Amsterdam art print from Allposters.

The Rijksmuseum

The Rijksmuseum

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Holland
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Holland | Source
The Rijksmuseum
The Rijksmuseum | Source

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.

Click here to buy this image of the Rijksmuseum from Allposters.

The Van Gogh Museum

The Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum | Source

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.

Van Gogh: A Brush with Genius (IMAX) [Blu-ray]
Van Gogh: A Brush with Genius (IMAX) [Blu-ray]
Van Gogh: A Brush with Genius is available on blu-ray or DVD by clicking right here.

The Anne Frank House

Photographic Print of Anne Frank House
Photographic Print of Anne Frank House | Source

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.

Click here to buy this photographic print of Anne Frank's house from Amazon.

The Historic Canals

The Historic Amsterdam Canals

Historic Amsterdam Canals
Historic Amsterdam Canals | Source

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

Hard Rock Cafe Amsterdam
Hard Rock Cafe Amsterdam | Source

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

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.

Have you been to Amsterdam, Netherlands?

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    • Blackspaniel1 profile image


      9 years ago

      Very nice

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 

      9 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      yet to visit amsterdam. thanks for sharing your tour experiences. ~blessed~

    • Titia profile image

      Titia Geertman 

      10 years ago from Waterlandkerkje - The Netherlands

      I've been there a lot, I'm a Dutchie, I used to live in Haarlem, close to Amsterdam and the sister of my mom's mother lived in Amsterdam, so I visited her quite often. I don't like to go there now, too many people, too crowded for my taste.

    • M Schaut profile image

      Margaret Schaut 

      10 years ago from Detroit

      I didn't make it to Amsterdam when I've visited Europe, of course it is very hard to see everything you want to when travelling. Beautiful page!

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 

      10 years ago from USA

      I've never been there but thank you for the wonderful tour!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      What a wonderful education for the entire family!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 

      10 years ago from Arkansas USA

      What a nice, short tour of Amsterdam through your eyes, Brenda. Very enjoyable!


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