You’ll be surprised how much of Amsterdam you can see in just 24 hours. Arm yourself with comfortable shoes a good map (and perhaps the I amsterdam City Guide app), and get ready for an adventure! Here’s a selection of tips for what to see and do in a single day in Amsterdam.

Cruise the canals

A quick canal cruise is one of the best ways to acquaint yourself with the city. During your trip, you can also jot down a few places that you might want to visit later. A few of the most notable canal cruise operators include LoversCanal and Holland International.

Visit a museum

Dive into Amsterdam’s cultural scene and explore one of its most popular museums, like the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh MuseumStedelijk Museum or Anne Frank House.

Lunch break

Rest your tired feet and fill up on a hearty sandwich, soup or salad at a conveniently-located lunch spot, such as Gartine (Taksteeg 7), De Bakkerswinkel (multiple locations), Le Pain Quotidien (multiple locations) or Klavertje 4 (Utrechtsestraat 69).

Ready, set, shop!

Wander through one of Amsterdam’s many shopping areas to mingle with the locals, pick up designer duds, admire delightful boutiques or stock up on unusual treats:

If shopping isn’t your thing, you might want to stop by one of Amsterdam’s unusual museums or canal house museums for an extra dose of culture.

Go for an evening stroll

Simply walk around one of Amsterdam’s neighbourhoods and soak up the local atmosphere. For example:

  • Canal Ring: Majestic canal houses and Golden Age glory
  • De Pijp: Vibrant neighbourhood with a mix of students and families
  • De Plantage: Lush green neighbourhood with broad avenues near the zoo
  • Jordaan: Former working-class neighbourhood transformed by local shops and cafés
  • Oud Zuid: Pass the Vondelpark and discover a more refined side of Amsterdam

Drinks with a view

Time to reward yourself after a long day of sightseeing. Order a fancy cocktail at one of Amsterdam’s bars with a view, such as:

  • Twenty Third: Sip champagne and snack on oysters at this chic sky bar in the Hotel Okura.
  • SkyLounge: Located inside the DoubleTree hotel, this sky bar offers 360° views just minutes from Central Station.
  • Canvas op de 7e: Visit this fun and funky bar in a former newspaper office for drinks and views from the 7th floor. (* Please note that Canvas op de 7e will be closed for renovation until early 2014).
  • EYE Film Institute: Watch the sunset from the outdoor terrace for expansive views over the IJ River.

Dinner time

By now your stomach must be growling. Sit down for a satisfying dinner at one of Amsterdam’s many restaurants like Haesje Claes (traditional Dutch), Loetje (steak; Johannes Vermeerstraat 52), The College Hotel (fine dining run by students) or Blue Pepper (upscale Indonesian).

A night on the town

If you’ve still got energy to spare, treat yourself to a night out! Amsterdam has an amazing variety of bars and clubs, but if you’d prefer a concert, play or dance performance, visit the Last Minute Ticket Shop (open daily 10:00 – 17:00) and spontaneously pick a show at up to 50% off.