A city on a uniquely human-scale, there's so much to see in Amsterdam, focusing day trips in a single area will help you enjoy the city at a leisurely pace.
The Stedelijk Museum (Museumplein 10) houses an impressive collection of modern art. The national art museum. The Rijksmuseum (Jan Luijkenstraat 1) has a collection unique in the world of Old Masters.
The Rijks, as locals call the museum, contains only works created by artists from the Netherlands or works curated by citizens who lived overseas. Which is why you must visit the galleries containing art collected during the period when the Netherlands occupied colonies in Asia.
And, don't overlook the decorative arts collection, especially Room 3 with the amazingly detailed dolls' houses of Petronella Oortman.
Half a block away, the Van Gogh Museum (Paulus Potterstraat 7) awaits you. The collection is the most comprehensive in the world, as you would expect, given that this is Van Gogh's home. What is unexpected is the building itself. Light, airy, and spacious, a walk through the exhibit space is invigorating. The museum is one of Amsterdam's most popular.
For a picnic, you can buy a loaf of just-baked bread, a kilo of ham, and a piece of delicious Dutch gouda. Or if shellfish is your passion, freshly shucked oysters plucked that morning from the Wadden Sea are offered for sale at a modest price.