Amsterdam is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. This capital city of the Netherlands is lively, fun and full of amazing things to do and see for a fulfilling holiday.
From some of the best museums in the world to the legendary Red Light District, canals tours and unforgettable events, there is so much to do while spending 3 days in Amsterdam!
Although it’s not too much time, you’ll have enough time to create an Amsterdam itinerary that lets you feel the city’s surroundings. Here are some destinations you can't miss to add to your to-do list!
See also: A Weekend in Amsterdam: Places to See
What to include in your 3 days trip to Amsterdam
Here are some things you really can't miss if you only have 3 days in Amsterdam:
The Rijksmuseum is one of the most famous art museums in the world, so it is a must see for any art lover visiting Amsterdam! This magnificent museum pays homage to the art and history of Amsterdam, featured through its numerous collections, including an illustrated history of Holland, which contains more than 8000 objects and paintings.
If you are interested in exposing art and culture, you need to check it out. It is located in the Grachtengordel area of Amsterdam and is open daily from 9 - 5 PM. Tickets cost € 20.00 for adults and free for those under 18, and an additional € 5 for a guided tour.
Remember that tickets are only available online, as you must choose a start date for your chosen date.
If you want to see the whole museum, it will take you at least 4 to 5 hours, so be sure to arrive early so that you have time to focus on other activities in the afternoon.
Suppose you are more of an alcoholic than an art lover. In that case, you may choose to go for a Heineken experience in your 3 days in Amsterdam. This is the first brewery that Heineken has made. Visitors can get two free beers and a tour of the brewery’s history.
It is open Sunday - Thursday from 10:30 - 19:30 PM and Friday and Saturday 10:30 - 21:00 PM. Ticket prices range from € 21 - € 55 depending on if you want to add an extra, such as a VIP tour, extra live music or a general guided tour. Remember that you should book online.
Amsterdam GoCity pass holders do not pay upon arrival.
100 highlight cruises
Time is short, but want to see as much as possible? Get ready to be photographed on a 100 Highlights cruise. You will pass many important monuments that are important for any Amsterdam itinerary, such as Westerkark, Canal House and many more.
Some might argue that this is the most beautiful canal cruise in the city of Amsterdam. The 100 Highlights Cruise lasts one hour and is available all year round. It departs from Central Station, Rijksmuseum and Damrak. The cost range is 15- € 19.50 and can be purchased online for convenience. Amsterdam GoCity Pass holders can get free access.
Audio guides for this tour are available in more than 19 languages: Arabic, Cantonese, Dutch, English, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Thai.
This tour is only for people 18+, as it involves traveling in the Red Light District, one of the most famous places to add to your Amsterdam itinerary.
Bonton is one of the most historic sex workshops in Amsterdam and is located in the heart of the district.
This unique Amsterdam attraction can teach you about the history of the building, the sex work of the city and its development throughout history. This guided tour will take you to different rooms of the house. Tickets start at € 21 and can be purchased online or locally.
If Keukenhof isn’t on your Amsterdam trip, you’re doing it wrong - or you went in the storm season!
Keukenhof Hall, located near Amsterdam in the city of Lis, is a spectacular flower show that welcomes about 1 million visitors a year. You certainly don’t want to miss it, from tulips and hyacinths to daffodils. It usually runs from March to May every year.
Tickets can be purchased online every year from October next year. Lice, the southern Dutch host city, is just 30 minutes from Keukenhof, Amsterdam and Schiphol Airport. It has since become the world’s most extensive flower garden, with spectacular guided tours covering more than 15 kilometers across 32 hectares of flower gardens.
Suppose you are a nature lover and want to relax in the midst of fresh flowers. In that case, you should try to go to Keukenhof in the spring. Adult tickets only start at € 17 if purchased, or € 18 when purchased at the park.
Read related: Reasons to travel to the Netherlands in the spring
Amsterdam Castle Muiderslot
Perhaps you have a history buff. In this case, you should check out the Amsterdam Castle Muderslut if you only spend 3 days in Amsterdam!
Go back in time to explore this incredible 13th century castle and surroundings. Castle Muiderslot is a UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Middle Ages. It is part of Amsterdam's defensive line.
You can find many rooms including an arsenal, trenches, historical collections and much more. Audio tours are also available if you are interested. Tickets can be purchased online and cost 16.50 for adults. However, you don't have to pay anything if you have a GoCity pass.
Why do you need a GoCity pass for 3 days in Amsterdam?
If you are considering spending most of your 3 days in Amsterdam, you should consider getting a GoCity pass for Amsterdam.
This all-inclusive pass is valid for 1-5 days depending on your preference. It costs 79 for a 3-day pass, which gives you free access to various attractions and museums in Amsterdam. You will get free access to all the places mentioned in this article and many more!
Using a GoCity Pass is a cost-effective way to visit the site during a short trip and saves you from having to wait in line. You can access attractions with a total ticket price of € 530, despite paying only € 79 for your ticket, so this is a really wise choice!
Just download the GoCity Pass app to your phone and present it if needed. If you want a paper copy, you can print it. Using the app or website, you can save for places that require bookings, such as the Rejoix Museum, the Heineken Experience, and more. GoCity Pass makes travel a breeze!
PS - This pass also includes bike rentals to tick off the main bucket list item for cycling in Amsterdam.
Below is an example of how much you can save on a three-day itinerary:
Spending most of your 3 days in Amsterdam is possible with some pre-planning
There are plenty of unique attractions in Amsterdam to make everyone happy no matter what you enjoy, so enjoy your next adventure in the city of Canal! Although three days short, you can definitely start some great activities with some pre-planning and advance booking. Leave some time to wander aimlessly along the canal and just go to town without rushing to every attraction.