Amsterdam isn’t the most popular and obvious city to travel solo to, I don’t think. Before I went to Amsterdam for the first time I really wasn’t sure if I should do a solo trip to Amsterdam. Would it be worth it? Would I have a good time in Amsterdam considering I wouldn’t be going out drinking and smoking? Can you visit Amsterdam solo??
Well, I did have a lovely weekend in Amsterdam solo, so much so that when I was offered to return 10 months later, once again solo, to check out the newly renovated Stayokay Vondelpark Hostel, there was no way I was going to pass up the offer!
When I went on this solo trip to Amsterdam I really focused on the fears I had around visiting Amsterdam as a solo female traveller before I first went and how funny these fears felt now after visiting twice. However, I know that at the time, the feelings and thoughts I had about Amsterdam were real and they were what put me off visiting for so long!
So let me give you 10 tips on how to enjoy solo travel in Amsterdam and reassure you that you can visit Amsterdam alone!
Amsterdam Solo Travel
- More of My Amsterdam Posts to Help You Plan Your Trip!
- One Day Amsterdam Itinerary for a Solo Traveller!
- How Much Money I Spent during a Weekend in Amsterdam on a Budget!
- Walking Guide through the Centre of Amsterdam!
1. Stay in a Hostel in Amsterdam
Everyone knows that staying in hostels are great if you’re travelling on your own, whether it’s because you want to actively meet people or whether you just want a friendly check-in and friendly staff (I find hostel staff much nicer and more friendly than hotel staff generally).
On my solo trip to Amsterdam, I did really love my stay at Stayokay Vondelpark Hostel but my biggest Amsterdam solo travel tip is to make sure you choose accommodation in Amsterdam that you’ll feel comfortable in and suits your style, this will make your Amsterdam solo travel experience even better.
For example, there are so many hostels in Amsterdam!! Some are focused on people who just want to party so if you want to experience the Amsterdam nightlife you can meet people in these hostels, but if that’s not your thing, that’s ok, just don’t stay in hostels that rave about their parties in their description on Booking.com.
To find the best place to stay in Amsterdam as a solo traveller that is just right for you, click here to see a huge choice of accommodation on Booking.com.
AIRBNB IN AMSTERDAM
Alternatively, if you want to feel more like a local during your solo travel in Amsterdam, I’d recommend looking into the awesome Airbnb’s in Amsterdam like this:
2. Things To Do in Amsterdam Alone
I used to think that the majority of people who went to Amsterdam went there to get high and to get drunk and that if I wasn’t doing this I would be the odd one out? But that’s simply not true!
Amsterdam is such a gorgeous city with so much to see that you could spend days exploring its canals, streets and parks. There are lots of things to do in Amsterdam alone such as Canal Tours, Walking Tours, Bike Tours and visiting World-Class Museums to keep you busy beside wandering the City on your own.
There’s no reason why you shouldn’t go to Amsterdam to do these things like you would in any other European City and City in the World for that matter.
To encourage you to visit more of Amsterdam’s main attractions, and save money on entrance fee’s, I’d really recommend looking to the Amsterdam City Pass and work out if it’s worth it for your trip!
If you want to book onto a tour in Amsterdam, I would recommend one of the below. I loved doing a boat tour on my first trip alone to Amsterdam and it passed a few hours well. And I really enjoyed visiting the Moco museum on my recent trip!
3. Get a Sim Card
Make sure you’re connected in Amsterdam and have internet data on your phone to search for the best restaurants to visit and place to see in Amsterdam!
Here are the Best Prepaid European Sim Cards which you can buy online and get delivered ready for your trip. I recommend the Orange Bestseller as it offers 20GB of data plus 120 minutes for $49.90!
If your phone is locked and you cannot put another sim card in it, you’ll need to get a portable wifi device for Amsterdam which you can get delivered to your home free of charge 2-3 days before you leave!
4. Research Cool Places to Eat in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is full of really cool restaurants and cafes. I know that some people worry about eating meals solo and being in a city like Amsterdam where there are a lot of groups visiting it may seem intimidating.
To help with this on your solo trip to Amsterdam, I suggest researching a place to eat in advance, whether that’s by looking on Instagram, looking at blogs or just asking Google and then going to your chosen place.
This will give your meals in Amsterdam a purpose and not only does this mean that you won’t waste a mealtime or waste money on a bad meal by choosing somewhere randomly and it perhaps not being good, but it means that you give your meals a purpose and extra enjoyment.
I also find that when I have somewhere in mind to visit I enjoy walking and getting there as I may not have visited that area had I not planned to eat there. For example, I went for dinner at Vegan Junk Food Bar in Amsterdam (which is great FYI), and I really enjoyed walking around the neighbourhood but I wouldn’t have visited that area had I not looked up the restaurant and planned to eat there.
If you want some idea’s on where to eat alone in Amsterdam, check out these posts from my blogger friends:
The Ultimate Foodies Guide to Amsterdam by Sam.
The Ultimate Amsterdam Food and Drink Guide by Sophie.
5. Get Out of the Centre of Amsterdam
The Centre of Amsterdam around Central Station and Dam Square, also known as Amsterdam Centrum, is busy, commercialised and a little intimidating at times I found especially whilst on a solo travel trip in Amsterdam, as this is where the Red Light District is, plus many Coffeeshops selling weed. Therefore it does attract the big groups of people who come to Amsterdam for this.
I would definitely recommend seeing this part of the city, and I’ve written up a really good way to explore the centre of Amsterdam here, however, know that there is much more to Amsterdam than this area I wouldn’t spend too much time here. A great local place to go is to Amsterdam Noord aka Amsterdam North.
6. Do not Stay in Accommodation in Central Amsterdam
Following on from the above point and linking in with point one of my Amsterdam solo travel tips. I recommend you do not stay in accommodation in Central Amsterdam and close to the Red Light District if you are in Amsterdam solo as it could feel a bit intimidating at night (although the area in itself is safe) and it’s also just not a not place to stay.
That’s why I loved Stayokay Vondelpark Hostel so much, because it was further out, in a less touristy area of the City and right by the huge green park that is Vondelpark. I felt really safe and happy in this location of the city as a solo female traveller in Amsterdam.
These are also great Airbnb’s in Amsterdam that are out of the centre and in local parts of the city:
7. Avoid Weekends in Amsterdam if Possible
The first time I visited Amsterdam was on a weekend in November, the second time was mid-week in August and I really noticed the difference in people who were visiting. August was of course very busy because it was the school holidays so there seemed to be a lot of families, but there weren’t as many stags and hen parties as when I went on the weekend and to be honest, these are the groups I wanted to avoid.
You can, by all means, visit Amsterdam as a solo traveller on a weekend and there are probably more things to do on weekends in Amsterdam, but if you have the choice to come during the week I would.
My friend who lives in Amsterdam also said she sees how much the city changes on the weekend vs the week and it’s a lot more pleasant during the week.
8. Know that Amsterdam is Safe
With all the drinking, smoking and the groups that visit, you may worry and ask’ is Amsterdam safe?’.
The area around the Red Light District is safe because it’s covered in CCTV and the Dutch themselves are very nice people, I felt completely safe in Amsterdam both times as a solo female traveller. I’m not sure on the exact figures of pickpocketing etc but it is by no means a city where people tell you to be careful, unlike places like Barcelona and even London, although you should of course always be sensible.
For female solo travel in Amsterdam, you should not be worried either, the Dutch are lovely people and it’s like going to any other city in Europe in terms of female safety in Amsterdam.
So if safety is something that is putting you off visiting Amsterdam solo, don’t let it.
9. Don’t Ride a Bike in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a city made for bikes but unless you know how to ride one properly and know how to navigate the roads in Europe on a bike safely I wouldn’t hire one, especially alone in Amsterdam!
Why you shouldn’t hire a bike In Amsterdam is because you always have to be alert for the bikes, trams and cars and trying to watch out for all of these things, plus the canals, plus the pedestrians and navigate yourself around the city on your own is tricky business and harder to do alone!
If you want to explore Amsterdam by bike I would suggest doing a bike tour like one below. Bike Tours are also a great way to meet fellow travellers.
10. Remember People Live in Amsterdam and it’s their Home
I feel kind of silly remembering that I wondered if I could visit Amsterdam alone back when I thought perhaps I couldn’t or shouldn’t, because I didn’t consider that it’s a normal city and so many people live there.
They deal with the weekend crowds, they know the coffee shops are there, they tolerate the tourists darting in front of their bikes. It’s a city like any other in Europe, however, it is a fantastic city and definitely one of the best and better cities in Europe and you definitely shouldn’t avoid visiting Amsterdam due to visiting Amsterdam alone.
I hope this helps convince and reassure you that you should go to Amsterdam as a solo traveller.
Here’s my solo travel in Amsterdam YouTube video to watch!
- More of my Amsterdam Posts:
- How I Spent One Day Exploring Amsterdam Solo!
- How To Visit Amsterdam on a Budget!
- Stayokay Vondelpark Hostel Review!
- Stayokay Zeeburg Hostel Review!
- Walking Guide from Amsterdam Central to Rijksmuseum.
This post is in collaboration with Stayokay Hostels but all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Saturday 15th of February 2020
I studied in the Netherlands for a time and think that Amsterdam is a wonderfully multifaceted city that is a joy to explore. I think that cycling in Dutch cities can be a great way of getting a feel for them. People do need to be careful, as is always the case on a bicycle, but I think it feels safer cycling in Amsterdam than on the streets of London.
Wednesday 20th of March 2019
These are some good tips, thanks for taking the time to write it up. I have a week to travel by myself in Europe after my friend leaves and I'm debating which is the best place to spend it in! Please note- "In fact, out of all the countries in Europe it’s probably the best to visit in terms of communication in English aside from the UK!" is a little ignorant considering English is the first language of Ireland and insinuates that we're worse at speaking our first language than the Dutch at speaking their second.
Tuesday 26th of March 2019
Valid point, thank you for pointing that out, I shall change it. I hope you have a good week travelling :)
Saturday 2nd of March 2019
Greetings from Hong Kong! I really enjoyed your post on your short trip to Amsterdam as well as all the tips you shared. I have a couple of questions. This will be my first time ever to travel solo, I’m 48 years old. You have recommended staying in hostels and the one you stayed in looks quiet lovely, but somehow I always associate hostels with very young people. Do you think I would be a complete misfit in this kind of setting? The hostel you stayed at, is away from the central area, but is it easy to walk to the touristy areas from the here? And can one travel with a mid sized suitcase or do people in hostels all have only the giant backpacks?
Saturday 2nd of March 2019
Hello Shama! Thank you so much for reading the post and how exciting about your trip. The stayokay hostels in Amsterdam (I’ve stayed at two) are aimed at a range of people, I saw families there as well as friends and solo travellers. On this trip I stayed at the vondelpark hostel which is central and walkable to everything or you can get the trams and buses right outside. As you say it’s not central in the sense of being near central station which in my opinion is too central and not a good location to stay in as it’s so busy. I took a suitcase on this trip to Amsterdam and I always take a cabin case on my Europe trips as I go from the U.K. so it’s definitely not all backpackers, plenty of people will be on city breaks like you and doing their own thing. I’d definitely say you’ll feel comfortable at stayokay vondelpark for your age and the way you’ll travel. If you want you can get a private room like I did, it was a really high quality room, or get a dorm room, I believe they do female dorms which is what I opt for over mixed dorms. Hope that helps, let me know if you have any other questions :)
Thursday 21st of February 2019
Greetings from Singapore Thanks for sharing Ellie! what month did you visited AMS? I am looking to visit late Apr/May on my own & hoping to catch tulips, heard its a must visit?! look forward to hearing from you.
Saturday 2nd of March 2019
I’m planning to visit in April/ May as well and primarily to see the tulips. And a solo traveller as well. I found this blog very useful
Thursday 21st of February 2019
Hello from Malaysia! You’re welcome, I went in August. I bet April and May are great seasons to visit! I’m not sure exactly when the tulips will be out but I believe it will be those months in spring, it’ll be beautiful!! Hope you have a great time, it’s such a brilliant city, and great to visit solo too :)