Explore Amsterdam on foot… in a day

[dropcap]A[/dropcap]msterdam is one of my all-time favourite cities. It oozes charm, style, elegance and culture. I love the architecture and could walk for miles admiring the old leaning buildings by the side of the canals. It’s also the creative capital of Europe.

[pull_quote_center]There is a lot to see and do in Amsterdam. If you are pressed for time, you can fly in the morning, explore the city on foot and fly back in the evening.[/pull_quote_center]

You will be amazed how much of Amsterdam you can cover on foot. As a tourist (or a one day visitor), you will be mostly interested in the old central part with the canals, old buildings, museums, cafes and shopping.

[quote_box_center]A world of caution though: stay sober and don’t be tempted to walk in a coffee shop and sample all the “cakes” and smokes they have on offer. That will ruin the rest of your day and you won’t be able to enjoy your stay.[/quote_box_center]

Make sure you wear something comfortable and have plenty of memory cards and batteries for your camera/phone. There’s a picture waiting to be taken literally everywhere you look.

You will cover just over five miles from point to point. It’s an easy walk with plenty of stops along the way.

Book the earliest flight going in and the latest coming back. When you land at Schiphol Airport, take the train to Amsterdam’s Central Station. The train ride itself is just over half an hour. You can get a coffee and a sandwich to have on the go as you arrive at the station. Welcome to Amsterdam, let’s go and explore.


Dam Square is in the historic heart of Amsterdam. It’s a very busy place and there’s something going on every day. Its west side is dominated by the Royal Palace and next to it is the Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) – a 15th century Gothic church. The Dam is also home to the National Monument – a white stone pillar, erected to commemorate victims of World War II. Madame Tussaud’s is next to Dam Square.

Getting away from the hustle and bustle of Dam Square couldn’t be easier. Just take a gentle stroll on Kalverstraat – one of Amsterdam’s main shopping streets and the most expensive shopping street in the Netherlands. It’s very busy but it gives you the chance to satisfy your shopping addiction.


Begijnhof Amsterdam
Begijnhof inner court in Amsterdam

Even if you can’t pronounce it, Begijnhof is worth a visit. It’s Amsterdam’s oldest inner court. It’s very peaceful and very beautiful. The old historic houses that centre on it are worth a picture (or two). Just bare in mind that most of them are private, so respect their privacy.


The Netherlands is famous for its flowers (and the tulip of course). Amsterdam is home to the world’s only floating flower market. There you can see all sorts of flowers and buy some souvenirs.


Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, I amsterdam letters
Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and the “I amsterdam” letters

It’s time to take a selfie and make your visit to Amsterdam official. The “I amsterdam” letters are an absolute selfie must. You will find them in front of Rijksmuseum. It’s the Dutch National Museum and it’s dedicated to art and history. Well worth a visit if you have the time.

Rijksmuseum is on Museum Square and is quite close to the Van Gough Museum.

Don’t forget to share your Amsterdam selfie on every social media profile you have. Your friends will be “really pleased for you”.


The Heineken Experience may not be a typical arts/history museum but it does give you the chance to learn about one of the Netherlands’ most famous exports – Heineken beer. You can even sample the produce. Just bare in mind that you have a few more places to go to and a plane to catch.

The tour takes about one and half hours. You can book tickets online here and save a couple of Euros. Remember to print your tickets and take them with you.


Magere Brug Skinny Bridge Amsterdam
Magere Brug – the Skinny Bridge in Amsterdam

A Skinny Muscles article about Amsterdam has to include the Magere Brug or the “Skinny Bridge”. It’s “skinny” because when it was first built in 1691, it was very narrow.


Rembrandtplein Rembrandt Square Amsterdam
Rembrandtplein – Rembrandt Square in Amsterdam

Rembrandtplein (Rembrandt Square) is a famous square in the centre of Amsterdam. It’s named after my favourite painter ever – Rembrandt who owned a house nearby. The square is a very lively place and a favourite meeting point. There are lots of restaurants and cafes where you can sit down and give your feet a rest.


Every city has one but Amsterdam’s reputation is for a reason – it has not one but three Red Light Districts. The most famous and the largest of them is De Wallen in the city centre and it’s conveniently on your way back to the train station 🙂

[quote_box_center]You’ve done it: Amsterdam in a day and on foot. It’s time to head back to the Central Railway Station and get train back to the airport.[/quote_box_center]