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Discover Amsterdam
Meetings and Conventions
Live, Work and Study
People cycling next to the iconic Zaan hotel in Zaandam
Image from Koen Smilde

What to do in Amsterdam in three days with the City Card

Explore Amsterdam and venture outside the city with the I amsterdam City Card in this 3-day itinerary. Get free access to over 80+ museums and unlimited public transport in the city to make the most of your visit. In this guide, you will visit major museums, take a boat tour and journey out to see the iconic windmills of the Zaanse Schans.

Day 1

10:00-12:00: View world-famous artworks at the Rijksmuseum

Image from Erik Smits Fotografie

Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam

(regular price €22.5 – free with the City Card)

Explore over 800 years’ worth of Dutch culture and history and view iconic masterworks such as Rembrandt’s The Night Watch, Vermeer’s The Milkmaid and Van Gogh’s self-portrait at the Rijksmuseum.

12:00-13:00: Time for lunch

Grab a delicious and healthy lunch to refuel for the second half of the day.

13:30-14:30: Take in the canal views with a boat tour

View of the Bloemgracht Canal
Image from Clarisa Ravasotti

(regular price €19 - free with City Card)

A canal cruise is a must when in Amsterdam. There is no better way to soak in the city than to sail past houseboats and under old bridges as you learn the secrets behind the tilting facades and merchant mansions.

15:00-17:00: Explore the nature-filled pavilions of Hortus Botanicus

This image can also be used for general promotion of Amsterdam, provided that the name Hortus Botanicus will be mentioned under the image.
Image from Barbara van Amelsfoort

(regular price €13.50 - free with City Card)

Wander around the magnificent arboretum, venture into the all-year-round palm greenhouse and take a canopy walk through three different climates, from the subtropical to the desert. This botanical garden is the perfect oasis of greenery nestled in the Jewish Cultural Quarter and is included in the City Card.

 17:00-18:30: Snack the Dutch way

De Foodhallen, Hannie Dankbaarpassage 16, Stand 8, 1053 RT Amsterdam

Try Dutch bitterballen – delicious meat stew balls fried to crunchy goodness – in the De Ballenbar in De Foodhallen. A typical snack for every group outing, the bitterbal is surprisingly versatile whether it’s filled with beef or oyster mushroom, and it’s the perfect companion to a pint of beer.

Day 2

10:00-11:00: Learn about Amsterdam’s unique canal system

Canal houses
Image from Koen Smilde

Herengracht 386, 1016 CJ Amsterdam

(regular price €16.5 - free with City Card)

Get to the bottom of it at the Museum of the Canals (free with the City Card), where you will learn all about the unique UNESCO canal belt and how it came about. Explore 400 years of history in this beautiful 17th-century mansion that gives an insight into canal-side living.

11:00-13:00: Embark on a food adventure

People shopping at the Albert Cuyp market
Image from Koen Smilde

(regular price €12.50 - free with City Card)

Discover the best local cafés and stalls of De Pijp with the Amsterdam Do-It-Yourself Foodie Tour, which is included with the I amsterdam City Card. It will lead you through family-owned businesses boasting delicious fare, from the best stroopwafels to Surinamese and Dutch snack foods.

13:00-16:00: Cycle like a local

Woman cycling in Almere.
Image from Hasselblad H5D

(regular price €15 - free with City Card)

Swap your legs for wheels and explore Amsterdam at a different speed. When the streets get too overwhelming, head out of the centre towards lush areas such as Flevopark or Vondelpark, or escape the hustle altogether in the spacious Amsterdam Forest.

17:30-19:00: Dinner time

Enjoy a delicious pre-theatre dining experience in one of the many restaurants that offer special menus that will have you fed and ready for the evening’s entertainment. 

19:30-22:00: See what the big stage has to offer

The National Opera & Ballet at nightfall, seen from a distance. This cultural institution is located at the Amstel river, close to Waterlooplein in the city centre.
Image from Jan de Ridder

(25% discount with the City Card on tickets purchased on the day of the performance)

Enjoy an evening of music and dance at the National Opera & Ballet. When you emerge, walk along the illuminated Amstel River and don’t miss the perfect picture of the shining Magere Brug.

Day 3

10:00-12:00: See the windmills of Zaanse Schans

Zaanse Schans
Image from Cris Toala Olivares

Schansend 7, 1509 AW Zaandam

(regular price over €42 – free with the City Card)

Walk along the line of green wooden facades to the iconic windmills of the Zaanse Schans and show your City Card to gain access to historical landmarks all over the village. Learn about the art of clog-making and the inner workings of a sawmill, and take a peek into the oldest Albert Heijn grocery store: the one that started it all.

12:30-15:30: Learn and taste history at the Zaans Museum and Verkade Experience

Image from Mike Bink

Schansend 7, 1509 AW Zaandam

(regular price €14.50 – free with the City Card)

Find out about the region's history and chocolate-making art at Verkade. With an interactive factory interface, you can try your hand at packing bonbons, explore the machinery of the early 20th century and develop your own chocolate wrapper. The entrance to Zaans Museum and Verkade is included in the City Card.

15:30-16:15: Travel back to Amsterdam Centraal Station

16:30-18:00: See the world differently through Outsider Art

(regular price €17.50 – free with the City Card)

The Outsider Art collection of the Museum of the Mind at H'ART Museum features artworks made by the art world – and often social – outsiders, often unconcerned by outside opinion. Experience extraordinarily authentic works of art that go against the grain in this unique collection. The entrance is included in the City Card.

18:30-20:00: Sample jenever at De Drie Fleschjes

Drie Fleschjes Jenever
Image from Drie Fleschjes

Gravenstraat 18, 1012 NM Amsterdam

Step foot in Amsterdam’s oldest tasting room, dating all the way back to 1650. It’s a great place to sample Dutch beers as well as Dutch gin, known as jenever - City Card holders get a free shot. Don’t miss typical snacks that accompany every Dutch gathering, such as old Beemster cheese with mustard, meatballs and ox sausage.