Discovering the city together is a great way to connect with colleagues, clients and (potential) business and collaboration partners. Amsterdam offers a great range of incentive activities for MICE visitors. The city is home to world-famous canals, more than 75 museums, fascinating sights and memorable group activity options. On top of that, some of the country’s most unique attractions can be found just outside of the city. In this article we collected the best incentive ideas and social programme tips in Amsterdam for MICE groups.
Read the latest COVID-news and updates for meeting planners to find the latest regulations on group visits.
Group dining and private dining in Amsterdam
Connecting with colleagues, partners and clients usually starts with an informal group dinner after a day of listening, participating and discussing at the venue. Amsterdam offers a wide range of restaurants for groups to enjoy a great meal together, whether you are looking for group-friendly restaurants with the typical Amsterdam atmosphere or interested in private group dining options at some of the city’s most unique venues. The culinary melting pot also includes many sustainable, vegetarian and vegan options if your group desires this.
Recommended incentive ideas and social programme tips in Amsterdam
The Rijksmuseum is one of Amsterdam’s most popular museums. The monumental building on Museum Square showcases an expansive collection of more than 750 years of Dutch and global history. Including spectacular paintings by Dutch masters such as Rembrandt, Van Gogh, Johannes Vermeer and Frans Hals - as well as Delftware, sculptures, archaeological artefacts, clothing, Asian art, prints, items from Dutch maritime history and contemporary art. Groups can take a stroll around the museum, book an audio tour or a guided tour.
One of the best ways to enjoy mesmerising Amsterdam is through its most unique feature: the canals. Taking a canal cruise is considered a ‘must do’ for first-time visitors. Canal cruises can vary from tickets only to group arrangements including dinner and/or drinks.
Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum houses the largest collection of art by Vincent van Gogh. The collection includes more than 200 paintings, 500 drawings and 700 of his letters, as well as works by other artists from the 19th century. The Van Gogh Museum is located next to the Museum of Modern Art, in the middle of Amsterdam’s Museum Square. Groups can book a guided tour, audio tour or individual tickets.
In a city that counts more bicycles (nearly 900,000) than inhabitants (800,000+) and more than 500 km of bike lanes, a guided bike tour is ‘as local as you can go’ with your group! Explore Amsterdam’s iconic streets, parks, hotspots and lesser-known places by bicycle for a memorable incentive activity.
Heineken Experience and local breweries
The interactive Heineken Experience takes you on an exciting journey through the story of one of Europe’s most popular beers. The experience is housed inside Heineken’s historic brewery in the centre of Amsterdam and is among the city’s most visited attractions. You’ll get a unique behind-the-scenes brewery tour, beer tasting and lots of insights. Groups can book individual tickets or a VIP-guided tour with tasting.
More into smaller local breweries? Then visit one of Amsterdam’s well-known local breweries such as Brouwerij 't IJ (the IJ Brewery) - located next to a windmill - or Brewery de Prael - located right in the heart of the city.
Anne Frank House
A visit to the Anne Frank House is high on the list of nearly every visitor to Amsterdam. The Anne Frank House offers special programmes for groups. It takes you through the story of Anne Frank in the context of the Second World War and the persecution of Jewish people, and guides you about the museum and the Anne Frank House. After a 30-minute introduction, the group can tour the museum. Anne Frank House tickets are sold online only.
Walking Tour of Amsterdam
Let a ‘real Amsterdammer’ show you around the city on a guided walking tour. This way, your group can discover the best Amsterdam has to offer. Experience the Dutch culture, get lots of local tips and discover the hidden secrets of Amsterdam. Food tours and walking dinners are also great ways to discover the city while filling your stomach with local delicacies.
Do you have questions or need advice on your incentive programme? Contact us.
Incentive ideas for day trips in the Amsterdam Area
The Zaanse Schans is a unique residential area in which the 18th and 19th centuries are brought to life. It offers a perfectly preserved glimpse into the Netherlands’Dutch industrial past with its traditional wooden houses, windmills, barns, clog warehouse, cheese factory, pewter foundry, bakery museum and workshops. The Zaanse Schans is located just north of Amsterdam and attracts nearly a million visitors per year, making it one of the Netherlands' best loved attractions.
Volendam Fishing Village
Visit the charming fishing village of Volendam, just 20 km north of Amsterdam. The picturesque town is located on the shores of the IJsselmeer and known for its traditional wooden buildings and homes, the harbour with its fishing boats, a lively shopping and residential street named De Dijk, the Volendam Museum which offers you a trip back in time, the Cheese Factory and many options to take boat trips and/or have your group picture taken in traditional Dutch clothing. This day trip can be combined with a visit to Edam or Marken, two other distinctive villages just a stone’s throw from Volendam.
Visiting Amsterdam in spring? Then a trip to the world-famous flower gardens in Lisse is a great way to spend the day with your group. The Keukenhof flower park is only open six - eight weeks a year, around the end of March, April and the beginning of May. Grab your chance to watch 7 million flower bulbs bloom over 32 hectares, see the flower shows and experience the theme pavilion. Many flower arrangements are real pieces of artwork. Group tickets are available.
Want to get out of the city for the day? A visit to the Dutch countryside is a great way to unwind and enjoy the area’s natural diversity ‘off the beaten track’. A close by option is Amstel River Countryside, with villages dating back to the 12th century, such as Ouderkerk aan de Amstel. Old Holland offers fishing villages such as Volendam, Edam, Monnickendam and Marken, cheese markets (great for cheese tastings) and scenic waterways. Explore man-made polder land reclaimed from the sea - providing vast scenic views, new cities filled with architecture and not-to-be-missed land art. Immerse yourself in the Flower Strip region in spring, when millions of flowers bloom, creating one of the world's most unique sights. Or head inland and enjoy the many Leisure Lakes near Amsterdam by sailing boat, motorboat or canoe. Connected by rivers, canals and small channels, these picturesque lakes make for a fantastic getaway.
Looking for adventure on the water or with your toes in the sand, sunbathing, swimming, beach bars, tranquil nature or the perfect location for a teambuilding activity during your incentive trip? You'll find it all at Amsterdam's beaches. Just outside Amsterdam lies one of the most unspoiled coastlines in Northern Europe. Multiple towns are located across the beach area, with Zandvoort, IJmuiden, Bloemendaal and Wijk aan Zee as the main visiting spots. Amsterdam CVB can help you find the right partner for a teambuilding activity, contact us if you have any questions.
I Amsterdam City Card
Extending your stay in Amsterdam to explore the city after your meeting, conference or event? Then consider getting an I Amsterdam City Card. The card gives you access to all major highlights and more than 70 museums, city-wide public transport, a canal cruise and bicycle hire. Benefits are saving money and getting exclusive discounts at restaurants, attractions and concerts. I Amsterdam City Cards are available for 24, 48, 72 or more hours.
Let us help you create your incentive programme!
Questions about your incentive programme or can you use some help finding the best incentive activities for your group? Amsterdam Convention Bureau is here to help you and answer any questions you might have.
Please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or WhatsApp +31 (0)682747079.