Visit Amsterdam in one day

Planning to visit Amsterdam in one day? Amsterdam is a bustling city! Visiting the city for one day and seeing everything is simply not possible. Do you want to do the tourist stuff, go shopping, do cultural activities, take a city tour, a canal cruise, visit a museum, it’s all possible. But… you can’t do it all… To prevent that you will be wandering around in the city and end up doing nothing, we will help you to make a planning for an Amsterdam-in-a-day-trip!

Amsterdam Dam Square

This day trip starts on the Dam Square and goes no further than 700 meters around it. And I have to admit that you could also spend several days only in this area.
So, drop yourself off at Dam Square, leave your heels at home (believe me) and have fun!
Dam Square is a square in the center of Amsterdam. It has a rich history. Around the year 1200 a dam was built in the Amstel River that connected two sections. This dam became wider and wider, eventually large enough to be a square and around 1400 it became the administrative center of the city. Ships were able to moor here, trade was conducted and later several buildings erected and it eventually became one of the most famous squares in Amsterdam.

On the square itself it’s always busy. Both with people and with pigeons! Dam Square is the favorite place of pigeons in the city. They are also properly fed by tourists, a good reason for them to linger there. But we are not going to do that!

Dam Square is a fantastic place to start your day trip. If you look around you see impressive buildings. The Royal Palace, the Nieuwe Kerk (translated: new church), Madame Tussauds, the Bijenkorf, Hotel Krasnapolsky. You also immediately taste the atmosphere in the city. I would like to describe the atmosphere as international, touristy, vibrant, on the move. And that in a city that breathes history. A unique experience!

Walk the Damrak

From Dam Square, walk towards the Central Station. This street is called Damrak and is the main street from Dam Square to Amsterdam Central Station. The walking distance is approximately 700 meters and very nice to walk. As soon as you turn into Damrak, you will already see the station. Because this street is the connection between the station and the city, many people walk here. If you pass by smoking people, don’t inhale too deeply. It might affect you :-)
Along the way you will pass different restaurants, shops, the Beurs van Berlage (stock market), Body Worlds and many canal cruise companies. Halfway, just after the Beurs van Berlage you suddenly see a row of beautiful canal houses with the characteristic facades of Amsterdam. Selfie time!

Visit De Bijenkorf

On the way back from the station to Dam Square you will pass the Bijenkorf. One of the largest department stores in Amsterdam. With its 5 floors and 20,000 m2 shopping area, you can have a good time here. There are a number of brand stores in the building, such as Burberry, Louis Vuitton and Valentino. They sell clothing, travel articles, beauty products, books, home accessories and you can also have a coffee here. On the 5th floor there are several coffee, lunch and wine and dine options with a beautiful view of the city.

De Bijenkorf Amsterdam

Lunch time in Amsterdam!

There are many little restaurants on the Damrak, these are clearly visible from the street and are often the more busy, touristy or fast food places. Other places to eat are a bit more hidden and often good options for lunch.
As already mentioned, the 5th floor of the Bijenkorf is a nice option. Tables with a view, a fresh lunch and the possibility to charge your phone.
Hotel Krasnapolsky is located next to the Bijenkorf. This hotel has a Grand Café at the front (the Dam Square side) where you can walk in for lunch.

Visit Cultural Amsterdam

On Dam Square in front of Hotel Krasnapolsky and the Bijenkorf you will find also the National Monument. A large white pylon with a memorial wall around it. It is the National Monument for the commemoration of the Second World War in the Netherlands.

The imposing building on Dam Square is the Royal Palace Amsterdam. Once built as a town hall, now used as a museum, used for exhibitions and as a reception palace for the current King. If there are international state visits, the visiting head of state is staying here. If there is no state visit, you can visit the Royal Palace.

On the right of the Royal Palace is the Nieuwe Kerk. Built in the 15th century, it no longer serves as a church, but is used for exhibitions. With it’s location next to the Royal Palace, it also serves for the Royal Family. All the inaugurations of Kings and Queens since 1814 have taken place here as well as the wedding service of the current King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima. You can of course visit the Nieuwe Kerk.

A little less historical but also cultural, is Madame Tussauds on Dam Square. Take a photo with George Clooney, Michiel Huisman, Rembrandt van Rijn or do a staredown with Rico Verhoeven who has the first moving figure of Madame Tussaud’s Europe.

Not tired yet of one day in Amsterdam?

Walk right into the Kalverstraat next to Madame Tussauds. A 1 km long shopping street. Or walk along the right side of the Royal Palace, cross the street and visit Magna Plaza, a very nice mall.
And you can continue shopping for a long time! Most shops in the Kalverstraat are open until 19:00, the Bijenkorf until 21:00 and Magna plaza is open until 22:00 every day of the week!
So is it possible to visit Amsterdam in one day? I will let you be the judge of that ;-)

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