‘When I’m in Holland, I eat the pannekoeken.’
Have you ever booked a flight with an overnight layover? In route to Greece, we had an overnight layover in Amsterdam. This flight saved us some money plus allowed us to have about 18 hours in a new city!
Here are a few suggestions for things to do with limited time in Amsterdam.
We found it very easy to jump on the train from the airport to the central station in Amsterdam. The system was very easy to navigate and efficient for transporting us into the main city area. Once we arrived, we took the first few minutes to explore the station. It’s a gorgeous building!
Visit Anne Frank House
So if you are like us and thought you could visit the Anne Frank house during a layover in Amsterdam, make sure you go there first! No, really… run there when you get off the train. After taking a leisurely stroll through the streets, we arrived and found this line. It wrapped around the building and down the street. What a bummer!
Unfortunately, we decided not to stand in-line during this visit. We will have a proper visit when we return during a future trip. Typically we like to get to popular places like this before they open so we can get in early and explore before the masses arrive! Also, it is usually a great time to take pictures without a bunch of random people in your photos.
Eat a Pancake
After our long flight from the states to Amsterdam, we were hungry! One of our “must try” items for our trip was a pancake! We chose both a sweet one and savory. For the savory, it was covered in spinach, brie, cashews and honey. The sweet pancake was topped with apple, raisins, sugar nuts, Cointreau, vanilla ice cream and whipped cream.
We ate at The Pancake Bakery right alongside the canal. This was perfect opportunity to enjoy the delicious pancakes with a view of one of the famous canals! It was a great time to people watch.
Walk or Bike through Jordaan
Jordaan was one of our favorite neighborhoods we walked through during our layover in Amsterdam. It was filled with art galleries, food and shops. We will definitely look to stay in this area when we return for a longer trip. It’s nice to get around on foot, but would be even better explored on a bicycle!
View it from the Water
Amsterdam is full of canals and for our layover in Amsterdam we decided to explore the city by water. We booked with Amsterdam Canal Cruises and found the tour to be very informational as we cruised through the canals. Great views from the glass windows that opened and let in a cool breeze. It also had a glass roof that provided protection from a light rain while we were exploring the city.
We loved getting the different perspective of the city from the water. This was the perfect tour and we would recommend it regardless of the amount of time you are in the city. While on the tour we were able to capture a lot of unique angles of the buildings and canals in our pictures. We also had better perspective on the size of the city. This helped us as we navigated the streets after our tour.
We had to try one of the Jenevers and we found In de Olofspoort to be the perfect spot! So perfect that we tried more than one! They also have many different Dutch liquors to sample. The bartender was great and took time to explain the history of the bar/building. He also explained how Jenevers is made and provided us with samples of some unique Jenevers found in the In de Olofspoort bar.
Walk Along the Canals
The architecture is so unique in Amsterdam, we had fun walking along the canals and admiring the row houses. After our long international flight from the states, it was nice to relax while strolling through the streets.
While airports typically aren’t exciting, Schiphol offers quite a few shops and restaurants to explore. Even if you have a short layover in Amsterdam, get out and take a photo with the famous sign!
What’s your favorite activity in Amsterdam? Our layover left us wanting to see more!