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Discover Amsterdam
Meetings and Conventions
Live, Work and Study
Overview of Dam Square with a view of the National Monument
Image from Koen Smilde

Things to do on a solo trip to Amsterdam

As one of the world’s safest cities and with cultural inspiration everywhere you look, Amsterdam is the perfect destination to enjoy at your own pace. Here’s some inspiration for where to go and what to see if you’re rolling solo in the Dutch capital.

Find accommodation to suit your style

Interior of Generator Amsterdam hostel near Oosterpak in Oost
Image from Generator Amsterdam

The best thing about accommodation in Amsterdam is there is something for everyone, and even a lone wolf needs a spot to rest its head. If you want to meet friendly faces while flying solo, a vibrant hostel might be ideal for you. Some of the most popular include Ecomama, Stayokay Amsterdam Vondelpark and Clink Noord. Alternatively, seek out a hotel with unique quirks, such as the Conscious Hotel Group, with sustainable, stylish furnishings powered entirely by renewable energy. Read our guide to accommodation for solo travellers for a round-up of great options.

Discover art at every turn

Melkweg Expo exhibition opening contemporary art
Image from Francoise Bolechowski

Museums and galleries are a sanctuary to the solo traveller – and there are countless options to discover in Amsterdam. Take the opportunity to explore at your own pace, lingering over your favourite artworks for as long as you like. The big-name masterpieces can be found at Museumplein in the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Stedelijk Museum. Alternatively, check out the immersive art experiences at Nxt Museum or some of the city's independent galleries and contemporary art spaces. Keep an eye on our seasonal exhibition guide and what's on pages for up-to-date arty tips.

Work in a laptop-friendly café

Co-working spaces at Volkshotel.
Image from Volkshotel

Amsterdam is a creative city that attracts large numbers of entrepreneurs and freelancers. If your idea of solo travel involves a leisurely morning working on that passion project, many laptop-friendly cafés provide the perfect ambience. The Hoxton and De Kanarie Club welcome flex workers to their well-equipped workspaces, while cosy local favourites like Volkshotel and Benji's Toko are perfect for people-watching and sipping a flat white while you finish your masterpiece.

Browse the markets

People shopping at the Kraaiennest market with the mosque in the background
Image from Koen Smilde

Another essential activity on any trip to Amsterdam involves browsing for hidden treasures at the local markets. Find antiques and collectables, locally grown fruit and vegetables and must-try Dutch food like poffertjes (mini pancakes) and cones of fries slathered in mayo. The Albert Cuypmarkt in De Pijp is the biggest, while the Dappermarkt in Oost, Noordermarkt in De Jordaan, and Waterlooplein in the city centre also offer a glimpse of Amsterdam’s authentic charm. Solo shoppers will enjoy the lively atmosphere and the chance to practise Dutch phrases with friendly locals.

Discover the city’s foodie scene

Sushi at Taiko restaurant in Conservatorium hotel
Image from Conservatorium Hotel

Just because you’re flying solo doesn’t mean you can’t tuck into the incredible cuisine the city offers. For a cheap and cheerful lunch about town, we’ve written an expert guide to the best sandwich in Amsterdam – whether you’re looking for a bagel, bánh mì or broodje haring. We’ve also got guides to everything from vegan restaurants and veggie hotspots to swanky seafood bars, dim sum and the city’s best tacos. Browse our food and drink pages for more flavour inspiration, and keep an eye on the weekend guide for new openings and culinary pop-ups.

Take in a movie at an art-house cinema

FC Hyena cinema cafe restaurant in Noord
Image from FC Hyena

Amsterdam’s independent cinema scene is strong, with English-language screenings taking place every night across the city. Lab111 in Oud-West is the place to go for art-house flicks. Housed in one of the city’s most unusual converted spaces, a former pathological anatomy lab, and its own dedicated Stanley Kubrick-inspired bar, it is about as quirky as cinemas get. Likewise, FC-Hyena in Noord and the stunning art deco interiors of Pathé Tuschinski are also well worth checking out.

Catch a gig or concert

People in line for Paradiso during Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) 2022.
Image from Jan de Ridder

Amsterdam boasts some of the world’s most iconic concert halls and gig venues, the agendas of which are jam-packed any night of the week. Paradiso, located in a former church squatted in the 1960s, has grown into a renowned performance space with various stages hosting some of the biggest names in pop, rock and electronic. Smaller venues like Tolhuistuin, Bitterzoet and Cinetol showcase a range of bands on a more intimate stage. For more, here’s our roundup of the best vinyl bars, jazz clubs and classical music venues.

Shop for quirky gifts

24H West 2017 De Hallen Maker Market shopping
Image from Merijn Roubroeks

Missing your loved ones at home? Show them you’re thinking of them by shopping for unique made-in-Amsterdam gifts as souvenirs. Once a month, De Hallen invites local artisans to The Maker Market to present their wares. Browse the stands and displays of clothing and accessories, books and other knick-knacks and trinkets to gift or keep for yourself. Alternatively, stroll the unique boutiques of the Negen Straatjes, dig for rare vinyl at one of the city's hippest record stores or check out the best Amsterdam-based streetwear brands.

People watch from a cosy brown bar

Café Kuijper window logo exterior
Image from Café Kuijper

There’s no place better to meet people than on the barstools and terraces of the city’s bruine cafes (brown bars). These historic drinking holes are dotted throughout Amsterdam – offering unpretentious beer prices and an authentic atmosphere. Pubs like Café de Oranjerie and Café de Tuin in the Jordaan or Café Kuijper in Oost are great spots to peruse the paper or people-watch passing locals with a coffee. Then, you can soak up the neighbourhood buzz as they liven up throughout the evening.

Cruise the canals

Canal cruise boat goes under the bridge over the Herengracht canal.
Image from Dennis van de Water

When you touch down, The best way to get a city overview is to hop on one of Amsterdam’s world-famous canal cruises. Most include a free audio tour, so you can jam a headset on and not speak to anybody (if you don’t want to) as you take in the unique views of the iconic buildings and picturesque waterways. This dedicated page includes the most popular tour companies to book with, or why not check out a more alternative comedy tour courtesy of Those Dam Boat Guys?

Read a book in the park

Woman sitting under tree at Rembrandtpark
Image from Jan de Ridder

After a busy day of sightseeing, there’s nothing finer than having time to sit down with a good book. Fortunately, there is no shortage of parks, green spaces, and waterside chill-out zones in Amsterdam to help you locate the perfect reading nook. By the rose garden in Vondelpark or under a shady tree in the sprawling Rembrandtpark are both excellent secluded spots to delve into a literary escape. And if you’re looking for your next good read, here are guides to Amsterdam for book lovers and the best English-language bookstores.