Amsterdam City Pass: A 3-day itinerary with the I amsterdam Card

Visiting Amsterdam is a great idea! Saving money is a great idea! So…doing both is a perfect idea. Am I right?

I’ve created this 3-day I amsterdam card itinerary specifically so you can make the most of this Amsterdam city pass.

Whenever I buy a city pass, I agonize over how to best use it. You know…to get my money’s worth.

Part of the iamsterdam sign at the airport. Travel with the Amsterdam City Pass

In these three days, I’ve made a conscious effort to mix things up a bit so you get an taster of the area with this Amsterdam pass. Day one is about the must-do things while you are in the city and maximizing the discounts available. Day two takes you outside the city to the famous area of windmills, Zaanse Schans. Finally, day three are spots that I think anyone would find interesting.

You might wonder if the I amsterdam card is worth it? Well, these three days are packing with mostly free things to do in Amsterdam and discounts at special experiences and meals. Also, free public transportation is included in your Amsterdam city pass. Learn how to use the public transportation system here.

Let’s dive in, shall we?

Order your I amsterdam card here

Disclaimer: this information is accurate at the timing of writing, but be sure to check the little booklet they give you for the most up-to-date version.

Day 1 – Say “hello” to Amsterdam with the I amsterdam city card

Eat Breakfast at Pancake Bakery

Start your day with Dutch pancakes, or as we called them here, pannenkoeken! Get the ones as big as your plate and you’ll be stuffed for a few hours. Sean tends to go savory and I like my sweet fruit options. If, by chance, you’d rather have pancakes in the afternoon, go for the ones with a little alcohol in them 😉

Discount: 25% off excluding drinks

Take a Canal Cruise

Sean and I talk about if there was just one thing you’d recommend, what would it be? For us, in Amsterdam, it’s a canal cruise. Touristy? Yes. But hey, it’s a phenomenal way to see the city and I think getting a different perspective is always a great idea.

Discount: FREE

Choose Your Museum

I don’t know what you like, so this is pretty open-ended. There are many museums included in the I amsterdam city pass, so you’ll want to choose whichever you are most interested in. My favorite (if you’re going to force me to choose) is the National Maritime Museum. But I totally understand why, if you’re in Amsterdam, you’ll visit one of the most famous museums like the Rijksmuseum or the Van Gogh Museum.

Discount: FREE

Lunch at Cafe Restaurant Blue

Thanks to this Amsterdam city pass, you can take a break with lunch at Cafe Restaurant Blue with a discount. It’s in the “mall” Kalvertoren. I put quotation marks there because it’s not like a mall we have in the United States…well, really it’s just tiny. Anyway, head up to the top for some lunch and one of my favorite views of the city.

Discount: 25% excluding drinks

Experience the famous drinks at House of Bols and Heineken experience

Have a drink experience while you’re here! Amsterdam is known for Bols and Heineken, so hitting up one of their experiences is a great way to spend an hour or so. I’ve also included this in my foodie guide to Amsterdam, so check that out if you’re looking for foodie (and drink) experiences.

Discount: 25% off each experience

Have a Cheese Tasting at Reypenaer Kaas

Let the foodie day continue! You’ve got to try Dutch cheese. I mean…it’s world famous and you won’t regret it. Unless you are lactose-intolerant or vegan. Then, please skip this step! My take away from cheese-tastings is that you’ll always leave a little pleasantly surprised. I love that.

Discount: 25% off a one-hour tasting

Enjoy Dinner at Restaurant-Café De IJ-kantine

Hop on the free ferry behind Amsterdam Centraal Station and head towards NDSM where you’ll find very cool areas to walk around with great street art. Near the ferry, you’ll find De IJ-kantine. With great views and a nice menu to choose from, this is a perfect spot to end the day and see a different part of Amsterdam.

Discount: 25% off excluding drinks

Windmills and Bikes
Zaanse Schans, North Holland, the Netherlands

Day 2 – Explore Zaanse Schans and the windmills with the Amsterdam city pass

Feast at Restaurant 1ste klas for Breakfast

Head to Amsterdam Centraal Station for a classy breakfast in this first-class, award-winning restaurant from 1889. In the old days, social classes were strictly observed and the waiting rooms were no different. Experience the glamour of yester-year in the train station while enjoying a lovely breakfast.

Discount: 25% on your total bill

Cruise to Zaanse Schans longish cruise

If you’re feeling leisurely, take the Zaanse Schans ferry from the back-side Amsterdam Centraal Station to Zaanse Schans. The cruise lasts somewhere between 1.5-2 hours and is incredibly scenic. It’ll take you directly to the windmill village that visitors love to see. You can take the same boat back, as well. (If you don’t want to take a boat, you can buy a bus ticket to go, instead. Bus 391 is at the back and upstairs in Amsterdam Centraal Station)

Discount: FREE

Visit Zaanse Schans

The area around the windmills in Zaanse Schans is completely free to explore. There’s no entrance fee. However, if you want to go inside the windmills, you’ll use your I amsterdam card to get in for free. Double-check the booklet that comes with the card to be sure it works at the windmill you want to visit.

Discount: FREE

Take a Windmill Cruise at Zaanse Schans

As I said before, taking a cruise is one of my favorite ways to see a place. Here’s a great opportunity to see a different perspective of the windmills–from the water! Since the windmills sit on the water, this is a must-do activity. Learn more about this windmill cruise.

Discount: FREE

Learn history and culture at the Zaanse Museum

To learn more about the windmills and what they are all together in this area, head to the Zaanse Museum. It’s also a great spot for when it gets rainy 😉 However, it’s about more than windmills. You’ll see exhibits on many facets of Dutch culture. Definitely worth a visit.

Discount: FREE

After-adventure snacks at Bar Bitterbal

Once back in Amsterdam, head towards Utrechtsestraat to have some bitterballen. You must try this food in the Netherlands…it’s basically mandatory. It’s a fried ball of ragu and at Bar Bitterbal, there are so many flavors to choose from–even vegetarian and vegan options. This is a great afternoon spot to relax for a bit, or a pre-dinner snack. We have a full list of foods to try while in Amsterdam, don’t miss out!

Discount: 25% on your bitterballen order

Dinner at Pasta Basta

I hope you had some good long walks because now it’s time to load up on the carbs at Pasta Basta in the center of Amsterdam. Despite its location, you might forget which country you are in. When you enter, you’re transported to Italy with the help of talented opera singers and delicious pasta.

Discount: 25% off excluding drinks

Amsterdam on Brouwersgracht

Day 3 – Last day with the I amsterdam card

Breakfast at Yoghurt Barn

Surprisingly, there’s more than yoghurt here. You can get overnight oats, toast, wraps, and smoothies, just to name a few options. If you’re vegan, there are loads of choices for you, too. Yes, even at a place called Yoghurt Barn.

Discount: 25% off excluding drinks


To see Amsterdam from a totally different perspective, head to the A’DAM LOOKOUT in Amsterdam Noord. Simply take the free ferry behind Amsterdam Centraal Station and you’re a 2 minute walk away. You can head to the top for an insane view and for a little extra, you can swing over the edge!

Discount: FREE

Lunch at De Waag

Ready for lunch? Head to Nieuwmarkt and walk right into the beautiful historic building of De Waag. It used to be a city gate but is now a restaurant with the most charming interior. Ask for recommendations, or choose for yourself off the menu. I’d always recommend a nice glass of beer or a gin & tonic with lunch if you’re up for it.

Discount: 25% off excluding drinks

Meet some animals at Artis

The Amsterdam Zoo, or Artis, has an incredibly interesting history. The zoo’s format is unique and fun for everyone. There’s so much to see and experience, especially considering you can basically walk through the exhibits…as in, you are with the animals. It’s a special thing to do and so memorable if you have kids! Well, or if you’re a kid at heart, I loved it!

Discount: FREE

Learn at Micropia

If you’re a science-nerd, or just someone super interested in life, then Micropia is a great spot to visit. It’s right by Artis, too, so it’s a very convenient next stop. You’ll get to learn about all the microbes that are in the world and even live on our bodies. It’s so interesting and such a well-done museum/interactive exhibit. You can stand in front of a wall and learn how many microbes are on you. That’s super cool!

Discount: FREE

Explore the plants at the Hortus Botanicus

This botanical garden is truly an oasis in Amsterdam. It’s calm, it’s beautiful and the inside area is so nice and warm. When you have a city as bustling as Amsterdam, it’s so nice to pop into a place that educates as much as it relaxes.

Discount: FREE

Enjoy dinner at Wagamama

This Asian-style restaurant has so many delicious options that it’s impossible to make a wrong choice. Vegans have it pretty difficult, too, because their menu is filled with goodies. Plus, their fresh juices are so refreshing.

Discount: 25% discount on the entire bill

When you visit Amsterdam, you’ll want to find the best places to stay and you’ll also want to know what to do on a rainy day in Amsterdam. We’ve got you covered! Since we live in Amsterdam, we get a lot of questions about visiting the city. If you’re coming soon and want to learn more, we have a whole section of the website dedicated to Amsterdam content. For videos of Amsterdam, head on over to our YouTube channel. Subscribe to see more as we post them.

Let us know if you visit and if you use our tips! We love to help and we love to know if we helped.

Wishing you joy and travels!

Jessica Cutrufello wearing a green floral dress, glasses and pink lipstick

Hi! I’m Jessica, an American who made Amsterdam her home in 2014. I share European gems through food and memorable experiences. Want to know more? Head to my about page or check out my YouTube channel.

Travel with us - Tuscany October 2022