I have been lucky enough to visit Amsterdam and Paris many times. I studied abroad in Amsterdam, brought my dad there in 2018 and then my husband in 2022, and did a quick overnight in 2023. I visited Paris on my first solo trip to Europe in 2012, with my dad in 2018, on our way to and from Prague in 2019/2020 and again with my husband in 2022. So after all of those visits, I’m pretty confident in my Amsterdam and Paris itinerary!
Amsterdam was my home for the first half of 2014 when I studied abroad at the University of Amsterdam. I fell in love with the canals, the skinny houses and the delicious pancakes. Paris was the place where I first found myself enchanted by Europe, which is hard not to be when you’re picnicking in front of the Eiffel Tower! Both cities are unique, incredible and very easy to visit on one Paris and Amsterdam trip to Europe.
Ready? Let’s dive into my Amsterdam and Paris itinerary for 7 days in Europe!
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7 Day Amsterdam and Paris itinerary FAQs
Can you do a day trip from Amsterdam to Paris?
Yes, you can do a day trip from Amsterdam to Paris, but it will be a very long day! It’s a 3.5 hour train ride from Amsterdam to Paris, meaning you’ll spend seven hours on the train to go there and back. While it is possible, I would recommend spending a night or two in Paris. Not only would this make your travel schedule more relaxing but there’s also enough to see in Paris to easily fill two days.
Is it better to go to Paris or Amsterdam?
Luckily with this Paris and Amsterdam itinerary, you don’t have to choose! Obviously I think you should go to both cities but if you can only choose one, I’d base it off of your interests and what is most convenient for you to get to.
Both cities are popular and will be crowded, especially in high season (summer). Both cities experience all four seasons, though Amsterdam is generally colder and wetter. And both cities are easy to get to with international airports and good connections through the rest of Europe. You’ll also find English is widely spoken in the tourist areas of both Paris and Amsterdam, though more widely spoken throughout Amsterdam and the Netherlands.
I’d choose Paris if this is your first trip to Europe, you want to see the Eiffel Tower and you’re excited about French foods like fresh croissants, crepes and fine dining. It’s a great place to stroll along the Seine, wander in and out of art galleries, practice your French and go on day trips to places like Versailles or Disneyland. While Paris doesn’t always live up to the magical image everyone paints in their mind, it is a must-see city.
I’d choose Amsterdam if you’re envisioning walks along the canals, admiring the skinny houses and trying not to get hit by bikes. Like Paris, it’s a great city for foodies (Dutch pancakes, anyone?), art lovers (visit the Van Gogh or Rijksmuseum) and those looking for a bit of European charm. It’s slightly more off-beat than Paris, with its Red Light District and liberal take on soft drugs, but certainly not an under the radar city.
First trip to Amsterdam? Check out 12 things to know about Amsterdam before you go!
How many days are enough for Amsterdam?
I’d suggest spending three days in Amsterdam. That gives you enough time to see the highlights, like the Anne Frank House and art museums, while still making time to slow down and sail down the canals or enjoy a coffee in the park. But if you’re really short on time, you can hit a few must-sees on just one day in Amsterdam.
How many days should a person spend in Paris?
Similarly, I think three days in Paris is a great amount of time. If you’re not as interested in art museums or exploring the different arrondissements (neighbourhoods), you can enjoy just two days in Paris. But most people would benefit from three days or more if you want to take day trips or explore some lesser-known areas of Paris.
Is it better to fly from Paris to Amsterdam or take the train?
You may think it’d be better to fly from Paris to Amsterdam, since the direct flight only takes 80 minutes and can currently be purchased for as low as $57 CAD ($42 USD, €39) one-way, but I would recommend taking the train. Flying always takes longer than just the flight time; you have to get from the city to the airport, check in, go through security, wait around, board and do most of that again on the other side. So an 80 minute flight becomes a multi-hour experience.
Taking the train from Paris to Amsterdam is easy. You can easily get to Paris Gare du Nord, the main train station in Paris, by metro or Uber. From there it’s a direct 3 hour and 15 minute journey with Thalys to Amsterdam Centraal. As the name implies, Amsterdam’s train station is in the city centre, easy to walk or take public transit from to your final destination.
At the time of writing, the cheapest one-way train ticket is $73 CAD ($54 USD, €50). So for just a little bit more than the flight, you can travel from Paris to Amsterdam in a much simpler and smoother way, plus probably end up saving time!
Book your Paris to Amsterdam or Amsterdam to Paris train here!
What is the cheapest way to get from Amsterdam to Paris?
The cheapest way to get from Amsterdam to Paris is by bus. Flixbus and BlaBla Car Bus drive this route with buses leaving many times throughout the day. The journey takes from 6.5 hours to 9 hours, depending on departure time, stops en route and traffic. Tickets are currently as low as $31 CAD ($23 USD, €21) one-way.
While obviously cheaper than flying or taking the train, it will take you longer to bus from Amsterdam to Paris and will likely be less comfortable. But if you don’t mind a longer and less comfortable journey, it’s a good way to travel and save money!
Book your Amsterdam to Paris or Paris to Amsterdam bus here!
Don’t want to plan your own trip? Check out Amsterdam and Paris vacation packages
If you don’t have the time or interest to plan your own Amsterdam and Paris itinerary, why not jump on a multi-day tour? While not for everyone, these small group tours are a great way to see the world with little stress, leaving the professionals to make all of the arrangements. Check out this 4 day Amsterdam and Paris trip or this 7 day Amsterdam, Paris, Brussels & Germany trip!
But if you are wanting to plan your own trip, let’s dive into my 7 day Amsterdam and Paris itinerary:
Day 1: Amsterdam’s most famous streets
We’ll start your Paris Amsterdam itinerary for 7 days with a sweet treat! You can go for a scone, apple pie or Dutch pancakes. Scone lovers should head to De Bakkerswinkel in Westerpark. Westerpark was my local park when I lived in Amsterdam during university. My friends and I would frequent De Bakkerswinkel at least once a week, always craving their freshly baked scones with clotted cream and jam.
Apple pie lovers will head to Winkel 43 for their famous Dutch apple pie, traditionally eaten cold and with whip cream. Or if pancakes are more your thing, visit The Pancake Bakery for a wide array of sweet or savoury, simple or exotic Dutch pancakes. Can’t decide between scones, apple pie or pancakes? Have one now and another for lunch or dessert later!
After your sweet start to the day, it’s time to take a more serious note. You’ll head to the Anne Frank House for the incredible tour through the home where the Frank family hid during WWII. I’ve visited this house quite a few times and always find it to be a moving and worthwhile experience.
Pro tip: Since this is one of the most popular things to do in Amsterdam, make sure you book your tickets as soon as you can! Tickets must be bought in advance, online and for a specific time slot. As per the official site: “Every Tuesday at 10am CEST all tickets become available for a visit six weeks later.” Buy your Anne Frank House tickets here.
Plan on a lighter afternoon after your heavy visit to the Frank house. I suggest jumping on a canal boat tour, many of which leave from right outside the Anne Frank House museum. A canal boat ride is a must in Amsterdam! Not only are the canals an important part of Amsterdam life and history, but they provide a beautiful avenue to explore the city.
After your boat ride, you can wander the picturesque Jordaan neighbourhood where you’ll find great shopping on the Nine Streets, picture perfect views of canals, bridges and skinny houses, and quirky museums dedicated to things like cheese and houseboats. I think the best part of Amsterdam is just walking around and soaking in the city. When you get hungry, pop into Foodhallen, a food venue with 21 stands to satisfy any cravings.
Where to stay in Amsterdam
If you’re looking for an accommodation that screams “only in Amsterdam,” you’ll want to check into SWEETS Hotel. SWEETS is a collection of 20+ independent hotel suites across the city, each a former bridge house on the canals. It doesn’t get more quintessentially Amsterdam than that! Imagine waking up every day in a piece of history with the best canal view? Check out my full review of SWEETS Hotel in Amsterdam here.
If you’re doing this Paris and Amsterdam trip on a budget but don’t want to sacrifice style, cleanliness or location, I highly recommend checking into THIS HO(S)TEL. This cube hotel is located just a few minutes’ walk from Amsterdam Centraal train station and provides private cube-style rooms, similar to a capsule hotel, in a very cool, modern environment. I stayed here in January 2023 and really enjoyed it! It’s perfect for the traveller who doesn’t need a lot of space and wants to save on Amsterdam accommodation costs.
Or find an Amsterdam accommodation that works better for you:
Day 2: Amsterdam royalty, red lights and rice tables
On Day 2 of your Paris and Amsterdam itinerary it’s time to check some more Amsterdam must-sees off your bucket list. We’ll begin with a walk through Amsterdam’s more touristy side, visiting Dam Square and the Royal Palace. While most people just admire this building from the outside, it’s worth going in to see the beautiful rooms and ceilings with the audio guide tour.
For even more about Amsterdam’s history and culture, why not join a free walking tour? Many leave from Dam Square, so this would be the perfect time to join one. I love going on free walking tours to get an affordable (you should still tip your guide) overview of a new city. Or, do like the Dutch do and take a tour on two wheels with a city bike tour!
In the afternoon, journey east of Dam Square to the famous Red Light District. You don’t have to partake in any Red Light activities just to walk through the area, but you also shouldn’t gawk at people like you’re in a human zoo either. It might be best to join an organized tour of the Red Light District to learn more about Amsterdam’s liberal practices.
Finally, I recommend ending the day with a dinner of rijstaffel, which is Indonesian rice table. It’s a bunch of small Indonesian dishes, similar to tapas, and a speciality in the Netherlands. I’ve taken my mom, dad and Colin out for rijstaffel on three separate trips to Amsterdam and it’s been delicious every time!
Where to stay in Amsterdam: SWEETS Hotel or THIS HO(S)TEL
Day 3: Amsterdam indoors and outdoors
On your final day in Amsterdam, enjoy a mix of the city’s best indoor and outdoor activities. Head over to Museumplein where you’ll have your pick of Amsterdam’s best art museums. Van Gogh enthusiasts should, of course, head to the Van Gogh Museum. I visited this one with my dad in 2018 and really enjoyed it.
The Rijksmuseum is a good pick for classic art lovers, Stedelijk Museum is perfect for lovers of modern art and design, and Moco Museum is best for fans of Banksy. I particularly loved Moco Museum as I enjoy Banksy’s work and appreciate that it’s a smaller place to explore.
Most of these art museums will sell out if you’re visiting during peak season, so get your tickets ahead of time. This will also save you waiting in a long line on the day! Get your Rijksmuseum tickets here, your Van Gogh Museum tickets here, your Stedelijk Museum tickets here, and your Moco Museum tickets here.
Planning to visit lots of museums and attractions during your time in Amsterdam? Then check out the Amsterdam City Card which includes entrance to 70+ museums, public transit, bike rental, discounts to restaurants and shops, and a canal cruise!
After a morning of museums, stroll through nearby Albert Cuyp Market where you’ll find fresh produce, snacks and local wares. Pick up picnic supplies and then walk over to Vondel Park, the biggest park in Amsterdam. Spend the rest of your day enjoying the nice weather in the park by lounging on the grass, walking along the trails or going for a bike ride. Or if you have more art to see, head back to Museumplein after your picnic lunch.
Where to stay in Amsterdam: SWEETS Hotel or THIS HO(S)TEL
Day 4: Take the train from Amsterdam to Paris
We’ve reached the midpoint of our 7 day Amsterdam and Paris itinerary. Today you’ll make your way to Amsterdam Centraal to catch your 3.5 hour Thalys train to Paris Gare du Nord. Book your Amsterdam to Paris train tickets here (make sure to look for “0 changes” if you want the direct route). Alternatively, you may choose to take a bus, fly or rent a car.
Depending on what mode of transportation you choose, you may need this whole day to get to Paris or you may only need a few hours. If you have the flexibility, I’d recommend taking a late morning or early afternoon train. That way, you still have time for a final morning in Amsterdam to take care of any sightseeing you didn’t get to. Or you can just enjoy a delicious brunch or last walk along the canals. You’ll also get into Paris early enough to be able to check into your next accommodation and head out for a nice dinner.
Where to stay in Paris
I recommend staying at OKKO Hotels in Paris. This hotel is a short walk from the Gare du Nord train station where your train from Amsterdam will come in, meaning you won’t have to lug your bags on public transit or pay for an Uber/taxi. Despite being by the train station, it’s tucked away from the hustle and bustle and offers a really stylish and modern haven in Paris, while still being affordable.
Or find a Paris accommodation that works better for you:
Day 5: Paris highlights
The first day of the Paris part of your Paris and Amsterdam trip is all about the highlights of Paris. Start with the famous Arc du Triomphe that sits in the middle of one of the wildest traffic circles in Paris. Luckily, pedestrians can cross underneath and don’t have to brave the roundabout!
After checking out the Arc, either from ground level or the panoramic viewing platform, stroll down Champs D’Elysees, Paris’ most well known shopping street. Even if you can’t afford to shop at the designer stores, it’s fun to walk by and get a feel for the city. Keep walking until you cross over the beautiful Pont Alexandre III bridge and head towards the Eiffel Tower.
No trip to Paris is complete without a visit to the Eiffel Tower! I suggest picking up picnic supplies on nearby Rue Cler and setting up on the lawn or benches in front of the tower. Snack on grapes and cheese, pour yourself some wine and feel totally Parisian. Afterwards, head up the tower for a beautiful view over the city. Get your Eiffel Tower tickets here!
Finally, end your first day in Paris with a cruise down the Seine. This is a beautiful way to see Paris from the water and fall in love with the City of Lights!
Where to stay in Paris: OKKO Hotels
Day 6: Paris for artists
The 6th day of your Paris and Amsterdam trip is all about artists, which means we’re heading to Montmartre. Known as the artsy, bohemian area of town, Montmartre was once home to Van Gogh, Picasso, Dalí and Monet. You can learn more about the area on a free walking tour or explore it on your own.
Head up the hill to Sacre-Coeur to walk through the beautiful church and admire the view of Paris from above. Meander through cobblestone streets where you’ll find performers, artists and shops set up. Stop for a glass of wine and don’t miss a selfie outside the famous Moulin Rouge. Even better, grab tickets for a Moulin Rouge show!
Want to see Paris at your own pace with an audio guide and transportation? Check out a 1, 2 or 3 day hop-on hop-off Paris bus tour!
Where to stay in Paris: OKKO Hotels
Day 7: Paris museums and parks
Sadly, it’s the last day of your Amsterdam and Paris itinerary. But we have saved some of the best things to do in Paris for last! Start your day with a croissant and then head to the most famous museum in the world, the Louvre. Not only is the Louvre home to Mona Lisa (which always seems to let people down when they finally see her in person) but it has miles and miles of other incredible art to see. I’ve visited twice and have barely scratched the surface of what’s on display.
Because it’s so popular, Louvre tickets can sell out or require you to stand in a long line to get in. Skip the line and secure your visit with a timed-entrance Louvre ticket, small ground guided tour ticket or Seine river cruise and Louvre combo ticket.
You could also visit Musee D’Orsay for more art in a stunning building or any of the many other museums and art galleries that call Paris home. If you’re planning to visit quite a few museums in Paris, check out the Paris Museum Pass which includes entrance to 60+ museums and monuments.
After all that art, head towards the Latin Quarter. Here you can admire Notre Dame (reopening in December 2024, but you can check out the reconstruction progress from the ground), Sainte-Chapelle and the Shakespeare and Company bookstore. Wander on to the Jardin du Luxembourg, a beautiful park where you can enjoy a final picnic in Paris!
Where to stay in Paris: OKKO Hotels
Options to extend your 7 day Amsterdam and Paris itinerary
Need more ideas for your time in Paris and Amsterdam? Or want to extend your trip and see more of Europe? I’ve got you covered!
- To get from Amsterdam to Paris, you cross right through Belgium, making it the perfect addition to your Amsterdam and Paris itinerary. Check out my Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam itinerary or my posts on Brussels, Ghent and Antwerp.
- London can also be easily added to a Paris and Amsterdam trip; it’s a 2.5 hour train ride from Paris to London. Check out my 3 day London itinerary for more ideas on what to do in one of my favourite cities in the world.
- You can also extend your time by heading out on day trips from Paris or Amsterdam. From Paris, visit the beautiful Palace of Versailles, see medieval monuments at Mont-Saint-Michel or explore the gardens of Giverny. From Amsterdam, admire windmills in the Dutch countryside, cruise past historic homes in Giethoorn or discover more Dutch cities like Rotterdam, Delft and The Hague.
- Of course you could also spend a lot more time exploring in Amsterdam or Paris. Both cities have so many museums, galleries, attractions, monuments, parks, restaurants, theatres, bars, shops and more for you to discover!
What do you think of my 7 day Amsterdam and Paris itinerary?
Would you add, remove or change anything? Let me know!