Are you feeling a bit restless and craving an adventure? Why not embark on a solo trip to Amsterdam? The Dutch capital offers plenty of opportunities for solo travelers to explore, discover and have a great time.
In this guide, we will help you prepare for your solo adventure to Amsterdam by answering some important questions – is it safe to travel alone in Amsterdam, when is the best time to visit, where to stay and how to get around.
Last updated on: 02-01-2024
How safe is Amsterdam for solo travelers?
Amsterdam is considered a very safe city for solo travelers. It is often recommended as a great destination for first-time solo travelers due to its safety and infrastructure.
The city is well-lit at night, has a good public transit system, and the overall personal security is high. While there are some neighborhoods with bad reputations, overall, the city is safe for solo exploration.
According to the Safe Cities Index 2021 by the Economist, Amsterdam was ranked as the 2nd safest city in the world in terms of personal security.
Violent crime is very low, and the biggest concern is usually related to petty crimes such as bike theft and pickpocketing, particularly in the Red Light District.
(Fun) facts about Amsterdam
Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, is located in Western Europe. With its historic architecture and famous landmarks like the Anne Frank House, it attracts solo travelers from around the world.
The city’s canal system, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site, provides a unique way to explore Amsterdam.
As a bike-friendly city, it offers an extensive network of cycling paths for travelers to enjoy. English is widely spoken, making communication easy.
What is the best time to visit Amsterdam?
The best time to visit Amsterdam is between April and May or September and November. During these periods, you’ll encounter fewer tourists, enjoy mild temperatures, and experience the city as the locals do.
The weather is typically pleasant, and the city hosts numerous festivals. September is particularly recommended as the summer crowds have dispersed, and the good weather tends to linger for a few weeks, along with the bonus of fewer crowds.
Each season has it’s own charm and characteristics:
- Winter, while less crowded, can be quite cold, with temperatures fluctuating between 30 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit, but it offers the advantage of lower hotel rates and airfare deals.
- Consider a solo trip to Amsterdam during the spring, when you can witness the breathtaking beauty of blooming tulips at Keukenhof Gardens.
- If you prefer longer daylight hours and pleasant weather, summer is the ideal time to visit.
- Fall brings colorful foliage and fewer crowds compared to peak tourist season, creating a more peaceful environment for exploration.
What are the most important holidays and festivals in Amsterdam?
Amsterdam hosts a variety of important holidays and festivals throughout the year. Some of the most significant ones include:
- King’s Day: Celebrated on April 27th, this is Amsterdam’s biggest celebration, featuring festivals, outdoor concerts, and markets. The city is adorned in orange, and the atmosphere is lively.
- Amsterdam Light Festival: This winter festival features stunning illuminations and light installations throughout the city, creating a magical atmosphere.
- Amsterdam Gay Pride: This event takes place in early August and is one of the most famous and colorful gay pride celebrations in the world.
- Holland Festival: Running most of June every year, this is the country’s biggest performing arts festival, featuring a wide range of performances including theatre, visual arts, classical music, dance, and opera.
These are just a few examples of the many festivals and holidays that take place in Amsterdam throughout the year, showcasing the city’s rich cultural heritage and vibrant atmosphere.
How to meet other solo travelers in Amsterdam
Attending social events specifically catered to solo travelers is an excellent way to meet travel buddies exploring the city on their own.
Additionally, downloading a solo travel app or joining online travel communities dedicated to solo travel allows you to connect with fellow solo travelers in Amsterdam, where you can exchange tips, recommendations, and even plan meetups.
Participating in group activities and tours is another effective method to meet fellow solo travelers, as these provide opportunities for interaction and shared experiences.
Choosing to stay at hostels or accommodations that encourage social interaction among guests can also lead to meeting new people.
Is Amsterdam expensive for solo travelers?
Amsterdam can be relatively expensive for solo travelers. The cost of living in Amsterdam is higher than in many other cities, with estimated monthly costs for a single person being around €1,891.
According to Numbeo, the Netherlands holds the 25th spot on the Cost of Living Index by Country.
However, the city offers a wide range of accommodations suitable for solo travelers, and there are plenty of activities that can be enjoyed for little or no cost. While dining out and some attractions may be pricey, there are also many affordable options available.
The perfect 5-day itinerary for solo travelers in Amsterdam
Day 1: Begin your solo adventure in Amsterdam by immersing yourself in the vibrant city culture. Take a walking tour of the city center, where you can explore the charming streets and soak in the lively atmosphere.
Visit popular landmarks like Dam Square and the Royal Palace, and don’t forget to indulge in some delicious Dutch treats along the way.
Day 2: Experience the beauty of Amsterdam’s famous canals by taking a relaxing canal cruise. Sit back and enjoy the picturesque views as you glide along the waterways, passing by historic buildings and iconic bridges.
This is a great way to see the city from a different perspective and learn more about its history and architecture.
Day 3: Take a day trip to Zaanse Schans and immerse yourself in the beauty of the Dutch countryside. Explore the windmills, visit traditional Dutch houses, and learn about the country’s rich history and heritage.
This is the perfect place to escape the bustling city and enjoy the tranquility of nature.
Day 4: Explore the charming neighborhood of Jordaan, known for its picturesque streets, art galleries, and cozy cafes. Take a leisurely stroll along the canals, browse through the unique boutiques, and discover hidden gems in this vibrant area of Amsterdam.
Day 5: Immerse yourself in art and history by visiting the Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh Museum. The Anne Frank House offers a glimpse into the life of Anne Frank and the harrowing experiences of those who went into hiding during World War II.
The Van Gogh Museum houses an extensive collection of works by the famous Dutch artist, including his iconic Sunflowers painting.
What are the best ways to get around in Amsterdam?
The best ways to get around in Amsterdam are:
- Biking: Amsterdam is known for its biking culture, and cycling is one of the most convenient and popular ways to travel around the city. There are numerous bike rental shops, and the city is equipped with bike lanes, making it safe for cyclists.
- Public Transport: The city has an extensive and well-priced public transport system, including trams, buses, and ferries. The GVB OV-chipkaart is a convenient ticket option for using the public transport system. The I amsterdam City Card offers unlimited use of the public transport system for 24, 48, or 72 hours.
- Walking: Amsterdam is a very walkable city, and many of the main attractions are located in the city center, making walking an excellent option for getting around and exploring the city.
Driving in central Amsterdam is not recommended due to narrow streets, abundant bicycle lanes, and limited parking. Taxis are available but are relatively expensive.
5 Must-try dishes in Amsterdam
When it comes to solo travel in Amsterdam, experiencing the local cuisine is a must. Even though the Netherlands is not famous for it’s cuisine, there are some dishes and snacks worth trying:
- Stroopwafels: These are thin waffle cookies with a layer of caramel syrup. They are a popular sweet treat and can be found at supermarkets, bakeries and food trucks across the country.
- Bitterballen: These are deep-fried, crispy meat-based snacks, often served with mustard. They are a popular bar snack and a must-try for visitors.
- Kroketten (Croquettes): These are deep-fried, breadcrumb-coated rolls filled with a thick, creamy ragout. They come in various flavors, including beef, vegetables or chicken.
- Pannenkoeken (Dutch Pancakes): These are larger and thinner than American pancakes and can be sweet or savory. They are often enjoyed with a variety of toppings, such as syrup, fruit, or bacon.
- Haring (Herring): Raw herring is a popular snack in the Netherlands, often served with onions and pickles. It is a must-try for seafood lovers and is often enjoyed from herring stands in the street.
Pepijn is the founder of Likeplan. He mainly writes about solo traveling. With over 10 completed solo trips, he writes from his own experience with the mission to encourage other people to go out and explore by themselves.