Please sign in to post.

How many days in Amsterdam?

I'm getting ready to book flights to Europe next fall and Amsterdam will be the first city for us to say in for a few days. So, I'm asking how many days do we stay in Amsterdam? We board a boat on a Wednesday at 6PM and will come by train from Frankfurt arriving in the afternoon. I'd like to stay in the city centre near the tarin station and the dock which are close to each other. A day trip to Bruges is a possibility so that will add a day. We will likely rent a private apartment in the city. We are interested in cultural sights, mingling with locals and exploring the old city. Your suggestions for the length of time here is appreciated. Bye for now, Gerry

Posted by
7196 posts

4 days. it is always crowded so that is enough.
edit: I agree: that is long way to go to Bruges on a day trip maybe go there 1st spend 3 nights and then to Amsterdam

Posted by
21084 posts

Personally, I wouldn't consider Bruges a viable day-trip from Amsterdam. The minimum train time will be 2 hr. 45 min. That's with two transfers. There's a single-transfer route, but it takes longer (3 hr. 12 min.). Driving will not be faster.

Posted by
1464 posts

I agree with the previous posters who said that Bruges is not a viable day trip from Amsterdam. There are many closer options that have similar charm with quiet canals: Delft, Leiden, and Hoorn are places I visited that might fit the bill, and I know there are others I didn't make it to. Haarlem is also a great day trip and is only a short train ride away.

I would try to arrive on Friday to give you plenty of time both in Amsterdam and for whatever day trips you decide on.

Posted by
70 posts

Thanks for the great advice. Concensus is that Bruges is a stretch for a day trip so I'll explore the other canal towns nearby. We might even stay at one of these quieter towns and do a day trip into Amsterdam. We prefer smaller towns and it doesn't seem that there is a lot to see in Amsterdam that we would be interested in anyway.

Posted by
1005 posts

I would stay in Amsterdam for 4 nights minimum. There is so much to see and do there, especially for someone who is "interested in cultural sights, mingling with locals and exploring the old city." But an apartment may be hard to find, since the city is cracking down on AirBnB rentals. Even if you find one, I'd be very careful since it may not be legal and could sudden go out of business before you get there. If you are taking a cruise from Amsterdam, the Mövenpick Hotel is right next to the cruise dock. I don't like big, business-class hotels, so I wouldn't stay there, but maybe for convenience sake, you should consider it. It's within walking distance of the trail station. There's also an Ibis and a Doubletree Hotel right next to the train station. For a day trip, I agree with other posters that Bruges is too far away. Consider Haarlem or Delft instead (though I'd rather just stay in the city myself).

Posted by
2320 posts

I gave Amsterdam a full 5 days this April and that was perfect for me, with 3/4 of one day spent visiting Keukenhof. There's plenty to do and see and just a lovely city to explore so I'd say no less than 4 days.

Posted by
2829 posts

Amsterdam is home to some of the largest art collections in the World, old and new, and laid in an unique architectural setting. That should be enough to keep anyone interested in either of them busy for a good 5 days before even moving to other activities.

Posted by
1353 posts

We've stayed in Haarlem in the past as I also prefer staying in smaller towns. For me 2 full days is more than enough. If you have 4 why don't you consider doing 2 nights in Brugge and 2 nights near Amsterdam?

Posted by
70 posts

Thanks, Jill, for that suggestion. I did want to visit Bruges as well as Amsterdam and this way we can take the train from Frankfurt to Bruges, stay there for 2 - 3 days and then go on to Amsterdam. I've learned that on the first day after we board the boat the previous evening, the cruise includes two different excursions in Amsterdam so I don't need as many days there as I thought. We'll likely rent a self catering apartment in Bruges and a hotel near the port in Amsterdam. I like this plan. Comments anyone?

Posted by
7738 posts

In Amsterdam stay in the charming Canal Ring area or in Jordaan. Two days in not long enough. There are many excellent day trips you can take from Amsterdam by train to The Hague, Haarlem, Delft, Leiden, etc. There are many museums in The Netherlands, including the Rijksmueum , Van Gogh Museum and Ann Frank Haus in Amsterdam and Mauritshaus in The Hague. Buy tickets online in advance.

Posted by
1353 posts

Suki, Not everyone enjoys multiple days in a big city. We've been to Amsterdam twice. Last time we planned 2 nights, but on the 2nd day my husband and I both decided we had enough and left a day early. We really enjoyed our visit to Marksburg Germany instead:) Our first trip we stayed 3 nights in Harlem which I felt was more than enough. One of those days we did take a day trip to Madurodam as we had our 11 year old with us.

Posted by
2916 posts

On a past trip my H and I spent 2 days in Amsterdam and touched the surface. I am returning in the spring for 7 full days (8 nights) and I expect there will still be things I miss. A city this size can not be 'seen' fully in a couple days, IMO. So, essentially, you need to determine what you want to get out of the experience and pick the amount of days you need to spend there accordingly. You could 'see' it in a day, but you can't experience it in that limited amount of time, IMO.

Posted by
70 posts

Jill and I are obviously small town people whereas others prefer a big city. I've been to Europe 16 times, many trips included England where my son lived for 18 years. Italy is our favourite country. In all those trips, I've only really enjoyed 3 large cities: Rome, Siena and Barcelona. My favourite small towns are Vernazza (Cinque Tere), Venice, Greve-in-Chianti, Chefalu, Ville France sur Mer and Rovinj. The trip I'm planning for next fall will likely see us in some new countries: Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Hungary and the Czech Republic. Because we will be on two river cruises, we will visit several larger cities although only for the day. We have many days when we are not on a boat and I hope to visit smaller towns and stay for a few days. The large cities do have the museums, art galleries, churches, etc. but it's the smaller towns where we find it easier to connect with local people and feel more relaxed and comfortable. I'll continue to seek advice and suggestions on these forums but I feel I have the Amsterdam part sorted. Thank you all.