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Either arrive the night before or early in the morning. First stop is the Van Gogh Museum. Next head over towards the I Amsterdam Letters to take some photos as it’s right there. You’ll see the National Museum, but I’d recommend going another day since you would have just spent a couple hours at the Van Gogh Museum. Walk over to the Gouden Bocht (the Golden Bend), which is where there are tons of mansions. Nearby is the Flower Market. For lunch I recommend Broodje Bert, a specialty sandwich shop. Amsterdam is very serious about its sandwiches, so do not underestimate their tastiness. If you need some coffee, stop by Koffiehuis De Hoek. Don’t worry, this is not a ‘coffee shop’ (wink, wink)–it is an espresso bar.
In the afternoon, you can stroll around and step in to some stores and then head to Rembrandt Square. Walk through some of the canals. For an early dinner I recommend hipster Hannekes Boom. It is on the water and is always a good time.
Head to Saphatipark and walk through it on your way to the Albert Cuyp Market–one of Amsterdam’s coolest street markets. Don’t forget to try out some snacks, like poffertjes (mini pancakes). Nearby is also a great vintage clothing store called Kiloshop. Walk through Dam Square and the Royal Palace of Amsterdam on your way to the Central Station. From here take a ferry to Buiksloterweg where the EYE Film Institute is located. It is great to get out on the water, as well as see the city from the other side of the river. The Institute itself is also an architectural masterpiece. Afterwards, heads back across the river to look for some lunch.
After lunch, go to the Basilica of Saint Nicholas. From there it is time to go to the Anne Frank Museum. If you managed to get reserved tickets then that’s great. At the time of writing, if you didn’t have reserved tickets, you could line up around 3pm to try and buy a ticket.
If you are up for it, visit the Red Light District in the evening. Please, do not take ANY photos. Not only will you be berated by guards and the women themselves, but it is extremely disrespectful. Nevertheless, enjoy your time and head out to a bar for some good Belgian or German beer. There are plenty all over the city.
By day three you probably are starting to get a hang of the city, so I’d recommend venturing out for at least half the day. Utrecht is a great option because it is like a mini-Amsterdam with half the amount of tourists. It has canals like Amsterdam, and also has an incredible amount of charm. It is really easy to travel by train and takes just 30 minutes. Utrecht is also really easy to navigate. As the religious centre of the Netherlands, there are so many churches to see. The main one is St. Martin’s Cathedral, but you will find yourself running into many other churches. When you walk into downtown Utrecht you will see that the town has so many great places to eat. Frietwinkel has the best fries. I also want to recommend Olivier, a large pub housed inside an old church. It is such a cool experience, so do not miss out!
On your final day, head to the National Museum. It will take you at least a couple hours, so afterwards walk around the city a bit and find a nice place for lunch. Also visit Vondelpark! It was known as the hippy park back in the 60s, but regardless it is a great place to relax. From there, it is time to head home!