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Fabrique des Lumières at Westerpark - Gustav Klimt exhibition.
Image from Culturespaces / Eric Spiller

Wheelchair-friendly things to do on a rainy day in Amsterdam

Amsterdam can be a rainy city at any time of year. Apart from having an umbrella on standby, you’ll want to have an idea of the indoor activities that will keep you warm and dry. A range of these activities are also accessible to wheelchair users. Read on to discover a selection of wheelchair-friendly things to do in Amsterdam on a rainy day.

Josephine Rees
Josephine Rees is British-Dutch and the founder of Able Amsterdam. She writes about all things wheelchair-friendly in the Dutch capital.
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Immerse yourself in an audiovisual experience at Fabrique des Lumières

Fabrique des Lumières - Gustav Klimt audiovisual exhibition.
Image from Culturespaces / Marijn van Laerhoven

Fabrique des Lumières uses innovative technology to showcase artwork through images and music. Colourful projections dance across the 17-metre-high walls inside the historic Westergas building. Since opening its doors in 2022, Fabrique des Lumières has exhibited modern and contemporary works by famous artists such as Salvador Dalí and Gustav Klimt and photographer Jimmy Nelson.

  • Fabrique des Lumières is located on the ground floor. Entrance doors are wide and threshold-free, and exhibition halls are spacious. Fabrique des Lumières has a disabled toilet. The only area that is not accessible to wheelchair users is the viewing plateau in the main exhibition hall, as it can only be reached by a staircase.

Get lost in a book at the OBA Oosterdok library

people sitting outside OBA public library
people walking in and out of OBA
Image from Bas Uterwijk

Located near Amsterdam Central Station, the OBA Oosterdok is one of 28 public libraries in Amsterdam. The library boasts ten floors full of books, periodicals, magazines, CDs, and Wi-Fi-connected computers. The OBA Oosterdok also includes two cafes with cosy areas to read and have a bite to eat.

  • A platform lift takes wheelchair users from the entrance hall into the library. Lifts provide access to every floor. There are multiple disabled toilets. Certain books are located on high shelves, making it difficult to reach if seated in a wheelchair. The outdoor terrace has a stunning panoramic view; however, this view is obstructed if seated. To experience the same view, look out of the floor-to-ceiling windows on lower floors.

Learn about Amsterdam’s canals at the Grachtenmuseum

Grachtenmuseum inside, Arie Schippers exhibition, people watching paintings
Image from Bryony Rijks

The Grachtenmuseum (Museum of the Canals) is dedicated to the history and importance of Amsterdam’s grachten (canals). The museum is housed in a 17th-century canal house on the magnificent Herengracht at number 386. As well as modern interactive exhibitions, the Museum of the Canals includes two beautiful period rooms.

  • The Museum of the Canals is one of the only wheelchair-friendly historic canal houses in Amsterdam, reason alone to visit. Wheelchair users can enter via a side entrance where, at the push of a button, the steps transform into a platform lift. All exhibition floors can be accessed with a lift, and ramps are placed where needed. The Museum of the Canals has a disabled toilet. Some things are out of sight for wheelchair users, such as part of the museum’s doll house. The museum garden can currently only be accessed by a staircase.

Enjoy brunch at Dignita Hoftuin

Dignita Hoftuin brunch restaurant
Image from Koen Smilde

Dignita Hoftuin's location is the perfect place to sit and watch the world go by. This all-day brunch restaurant is tucked away behind H’ART Museum in the calm green Hoftuin garden. Dignita offers a seasonal brunch menu with nutritious, locally sourced ingredients where possible.

  • The entrance to Dignita Hoftuin has two wide manual doors and a threshold of approximately one cm. The restaurant includes a disabled toilet, though it is less spacious than the above locations. Dignita Hoftuin’s outdoor terrace is wheelchair accessible. While Dignita has several locations in Amsterdam, only Dignita Hoftuin is wheelchair-friendly. 

View iconic Dutch paintings at the Van Gogh Museum

A person with a person in a wheelchair admiring the Van Gogh Museum at a sunny Museumplein.
Image from Jan de Ridder

The Van Gogh Museum celebrates the life and art of the world-renowned Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh. The ‘Sunflowers’, ‘The Bedroom’, and ‘The Potato Eaters’ are just some of the masterpieces on display here. With over 200 artworks, the museum is home to the most extensive Van Gogh collection worldwide.

  • The Van Gogh Museum has lifts to every floor and collection. Exhibition halls are spacious, and artworks are easily visible for wheelchair users. Some of the information is, however, displayed in small font, making it hard to read when seated. The Van Gogh Museum has several disabled toilets. Chaperones accompanying a wheelchair user have free admission to the museum. The gift shop can be accessed via a platform lift.

Josephine Rees is the founder of Able Amsterdam, a website about wheelchair-friendly places and activities in Amsterdam. For more information, follow Josephine on Instagram and check out the Able Amsterdam website. 

Josephine Rees
Josephine Rees is British-Dutch and the founder of Able Amsterdam. She writes about all things wheelchair-friendly in the Dutch capital.
Follow Josephine