As some of you know, we were planning a trip to Paris and Amsterdam in March 2020 and had to cancel at the last minute due to travel bans. Since we didn’t get to go, I recreated the Paris portion of our trip with a Paris virtual tour instead. That went over so well that I decided to do the same for the rest of our trip and created this Amsterdam virtual tour itinerary.
Amsterdam is packed with world class museums, important historic sites, and unique cultural landmarks. It was going to be a lot to pack into two-and-a-half days, but now you can explore the city at your leisure — from your couch.
I spent a lot of time researching and planning our days, choosing the most important spots for us to explore. This was a family trip so we were skipping the Red Light District and coffee shops — but you can feel free to recreate those on your own.
Whether you use this to plan a future trip, enjoy some armchair travel, or edutainment for the kids, take some time to explore the “Venice of the North,” as Amsterdam is often called.
Our “3-Day” Amsterdam Virtual Tour
Our plan was to take the train from Paris to Amsterdam and check into our Airbnb, located right above the Dutch Resistance Museum, the first stop on our itinerary.
Dutch Resistance Museum
The Dutch Resistance Museum tells the story of the response of the civil Dutch population to the occupation by the dictatorial, racist Nazi-regime. If you can’t get into the Anne Frank House, this would be a good substitute. But anyone interested in learning more about how regular people struggled against the Nazis, and made a difference, will find this small museum interesting. You can get a virtual overview with this introductory video:
Bloemenmarkt Floating Flower Market
The next stop on our itinerary was a walk across the Blawbrug Bridge to Rembrantplein for a stroll through the Bloemenmarkt “floating” flower market. You can get a sense for the bulbs, seeds, and flowers for sale at the market, which is both a tourist attraction and a working market, with this short video:
Vlaams Fritehuis Vleminck
Next, I was planning on snacking on the best fries in Amsterdam at Vlaams Friteshuis Vleminck on Voetboogstraat 33. Do you think I can recreate these at home? It seems like a great treat for snacking on while walking through DAM Square (explore via Street View) and checking out the Palace and New Church before our dinner reservation at Indonesian restaurant Kantjil & De Tijger on Spuistraat 291-293.
Anne Frank House
We bought our tickets to Anne Frank far in advance to ensure we could get in during an early time slot before the crowds. After reading the book and watching the movie, it is disappointing to not visit in person, but you can still explore the Secret Annex through this virtual tour.
This virtual tour lets you explore where Anne Frank and her family lived in hiding for more than two years during WWII. There are eight different areas to explore, including the revolving bookcase that hid the entrance to their living space, and Anne’s bedroom, where she wrote in her diary. If you have VR goggles, there is also a 25-minute Oculus VR tour that can be downloaded for free from the Oculus Store.
After an early morning visit to the Anne Frank House, we were planning on brunch at the famous Pancake House, on Prinsengracht 191. Dutch pancakes are more like crepes than the German “Dutch Baby” pancakes. I found a recipe for how to make Dutch pancakes at home so I’m going to have to try to these myself and see if we can have a real Dutch breakfast.
Next up, it was time to explore. First with a walk past the Westerkerk Church to hear the bells and through the West Market. Then we were going to explore the Jordaan neighborhood, with stops at the Amsterdam cheese museum, the De Reypenaer shop for a cheese tasting, and shopping for delftware at Heinen Delft Blauw.
Then it was going to be time to make the teen happy (see our article about Amsterdam with teens), with stops in Baskets to check out the sneaker selection and visiting the Fjallraven flagship store. Let’s check out this charming neighborhood:
Next it was time for a canal cruise. There are many options, some of which leave from Centraal Station, but we chose a smaller cruise with MANA Boat Tours, which leaves from the front of the Rijksmuseum. Explore the canals of Amsterdam with this video tour from the Guardian:
National Holocaust Museum
The last stop of this busy day before dinner at Graham’s Kitchen was to be at the National Holocaust Museum. This newer museum tells the story of resistance workers during World War II. The building was used to smuggle 600 children out of captivity to safe hiding places. This historic site hosts temporary exhibitions that tell the story of exclusion, persecution and murder, as well as survival and solidarity. Take a look inside:
Albert Cuyp Market
The next morning, we were going to start with brunch at Little Collins in the De Pip neighborhood. Afterwards, we were going to take a walk through the Albert Cuyp Market, because we love exploring food markets in cities that we visit. Watching these guys eat their way through the market (oh those stroopwafels!) makes me sorrier that we missed it:
Maybe I need to try to make stroopwafels at home:
Rijksmuseum Virtual Tour
The Rijksmuseum is the most famous art museum in Amsterdam, and they have digitized images of almost 700,000 works of art that you can explore from home. They are also hosting live virtual tours and their curators are sharing short videos from home with stories about their favorite works for art. You can find these options on the Rijksmuseum from Home website, or through the Rijksmuseum mobile app. You can also find virtual workshops that walk you through how to use the techniques of the great masters on the RijksCreative Youtube channel. Learn how to make an Impressionist style painting:
Van Gogh Museum
After taking a tour of the Rijksmuseum, we had timed-entry tickets in the afternoon to explore the Van Gogh Museum. The Van Gogh is offering a ton of online experiences and virtual tours, especially for kids. There is, of course, the Google Street View virtual experience of the museum and the video tour (shared below.)
I really love the options for kids including homeschooling lessons about art, printable coloring pages for kids. You can find all these on the “We Bring the Museum to You” page. You can get some of your questions about Van Gogh offered in this video from the museum:
Keukenhof Botanical Gardens
If we had one more day in Amsterdam, we were hoping to get to the Keukenhof Botanical Gardens, as it was opening on our last day in Amsterdam. If you want to escape into the tulips, Visit Keukenhof is giving updates to this year’s blooms and you can take a 360 degree tour on their Facebook page. You can also take a video tour of the gardens:
Have you enjoyed your tour of Amsterdam? We do hope we will get to visit in person in 2021 so leave me a comment with what else you might recommend.