Day 2 in Amsterdam is set in the Old South, whose celebrated Museum Quarter houses the pride of Dutch patrimony in its three institutions, and where the Vondelpark with its innumerable attractions sprawls.
Start at the Rijksmuseum, another attraction included in the I amsterdam Card, whose permanent collection boasts the best of Dutch and Flemish masters. The museum is under renovation until 2013, but visitors can still drop in to see "De Meesterwerken", a temporary exhibition of the Rijksmuseum's most beloved masterpieces. This naturally includes Rembrandt's De Nachtwacht, the Leiden-born artist's 1650 ensemble portrait of city militiamen, as well as selected works by Jan Vermeer.
The Rijksmuseum collection reaches into the 19th century, but the most seminal Dutch painter of the century has his own institution in the Museum Quarter: the Van Gogh Museum. Gerrit Rietveld's phenomenal architecture sets the scene for this entirely unique collection of some 200 canvases and hundreds more sketches by the artist, in addition to his Impressionist friends and Post-Impressionist disciples.
Catapult into the 20th century with a quick meal at the Cobra Café. If the artworks from the Brussels-born Corneille or the Amsterdammer Karel Appel (the "Br" and "A" in CoBrA, respectively) tickle your fancy, pencil in a trip to the brilliant Cobra Museum in nearby Amstelveen for next time; for now, it's off to another bastion of modern art, the Stedelijk Museum.