Wheelchair-accessible sights and attractions in and around Amsterdam
Whatever time of year you are visiting Amsterdam, there is an activity to suit your every whim. Whether you are looking for inventive ways to combine seeing the city with learning its history, or if you’re searching for calm between all of the adventure, the Dutch capital has something for you. Check out our suggestions for wheelchair-accessible sights and attractions in the list below.
A canal cruise is essential in any Amsterdam itinerary. Blue Boat Company is currently the city's only tour operator with fully accessible canal boats for visitors to book. Six of their 15 boats in operation are wheelchair accessible. Therefore, it is essential to call ahead to find out which departure times will have an accessible boat in use. To board the boat in your chair, use the jetty at Stadhouderskade 501. Once on board, enjoy all the major city sights right from the water, making a boat tour an ideal introductory activity for your trip.
City Sightseeing Bus
If you’d rather take in the waterways from land, the City Sightseeing Hop On Hop On Bus is a great choice. With a 24 or 48-hour ticket available, you can flexibly use the buses to see Amsterdam during your stay. Each bus has one wheelchair space available downstairs, with ramps to enter and exit the bus. With audio commentary in 18 languages, this tour suits many global visitors. Taking you through nine key areas, including Vondelpark, the Jordaan, and Museumplein, it is the perfect way to traverse the city whilst learning along the way, too.
Artis Royal Zoo
Say hey to the city’s animal residents at Artis Royal Zoo, located in the Plantage neighbourhood of the city, close to plenty of other attractions. The zoo has signposted wheelchair-accessible routes throughout, making it easy to plan your journey through the enclosures. There are plenty of accessible bathrooms, including inside the on-site restaurants. Not only home to living creatures, Artis has a Planetarium, letting visitors take a peek up into the solar system or watch the daily educational shows (in English and Dutch, depending on the time of day).
Johan Cruijff Arena
Named after the most iconic Dutch footballer in recent history, The Johan Cruijff Arena is home to the city’s football team, Ajax, alongside their many trophies from historic wins. The guided tour of the stadium is open to all, but the organisers ask you to email (email@example.com) in advance with your access needs if you are a wheelchair user so that they can plan a suitable route around the stadium during your visit. At the Arena, there is a Febo restaurant serving up hot burgers and fries alongside a fan shop with all the classic Ajax merchandise you could want.
If a boat cruise is a top priority on your trip to Amsterdam, a trip to see the tulip fields is undoubtedly a close second. Keukenhof blooms from March to May, and the grounds are well suited to wheelchairs, offering hire of them onsite and allowing visitors to enter using their own wheelchairs, electric chairs, and mobility scooters. On site, there is a choice of accessible restaurants with multiple accessible bathrooms. To avoid crowds during peak season try arriving first thing in the morning or choose a midweek time slot instead.
Royal Flora Holland
If you are visiting outside of Keukenhof season, fear not; there are still ways to see the national flower of the Netherlands in full bloom. However, it does involve skipping a lie-in. The Royal Flora Holland Auction plays host to millions (yes, millions) of flowers a day, importing roses from Kenya and sending chrysanthemums straight to Poland. Watch the hustle and bustle of the flower trade at the largest auction in the world, and be sure to look out for the unique bidding system in place, too. The visitor centre is open from 7:00 - 11:00 on weekdays only. The auction closes early on Thursdays at 9:00. The centre is accessible via an employee-controlled lift.
Jewish Quarter Walking Tour
Although Anne Frank’s house itself isn’t accessible because of its age and location, there are still many ways to learn and appreciate the Jewish history of the city. This English Language Walking Tour of the Jewish Quarter is an excellent option if you want to see some of the city's historical landmarks. From the Portuguese Synagogue to the National Holocaust Names Monument, your guide will explain the historic moments from WW2, accompanied by passages from Anne Frank’s diary. To ensure the best experience as a wheelchair user, inform the booking agent of your needs when purchasing tickets.
Royal Palace of Amsterdam
Arguably the grandest building in the city, the Royal Palace of Amsterdam was once home to King Louis Bonaparte and is now centre stage for royal weddings and state dignitary visits. For most of the year, however, it is open to regular visitors too. Once you cross the Dam Square cobbles, the palace can be accessed via a ramp to the right of the main entrance. Once inside, a series of lifts are available to access the various rooms on display, as well as a disabled bathroom on the ground floor. If you fancy mingling amongst historical artworks and marvelling at extraordinary chandeliers, booking a ticket to see the palace is a perfect way to while away an afternoon in the city.
Hollandsche Manege (Living Horse Museum)
The Netherlands ' oldest equestrian driving school is nestled between the bustling Leidseplein and leafy Vondelpark. Known as the Living Horse Museum, the attraction stays true to its name, with over a dozen horses living in the on-site stables, which visitors can stroll through. First opened in 1744, horse riding is a lesser-known part of Amsterdam’s social history. The museum has exhibits and biographies of the most famous Dutch riders and pays homage to the most notable horses in competitive history. The museum is accessible via a platform lift, which also allows visitors to stop by the cafe. If you happen to be in town on the 1st or 3rd Sunday of the month, you can witness the Vondel Carousel demonstration, a display of riders exhibiting their skills to classical music.
Zaanse Schans is a perfect choice for a day out away from the modern city centre. A trip back in time, this area of Old Holland gives visitors a look into life in the 17th and 18th centuries. Not all parts of the historic site are accessible, but there are still places to visit while using your wheelchair. The Zaans Museum is accessible, with wheelchairs also available to rent to those who would like to use one and has wheelchair-accessible toilets at the front entrance. The Jonge Schaap Mill is accessible to wheelchair users, too. After seeing some of the sites, make your way along the canal paths, imagining the slower pace of life Dutch people enjoyed.