There’s something so magical about the city of Amsterdam: the tree-lined canals, intricate Dutch canal houses and an endless supply of cyclists buzzing by on their daily commute. As a walkable city, Amsterdam is great to explore solo as it is effortless to make your way around the streets. There are many small art galleries to enjoy and there is an endless supply of cute cafes to pass the time people watching. If you plan on visiting Amsterdam solo, check out this complete guide to enjoy solo travel in Amsterdam!
The Canals of Amsterdam
The prettiest (and most photographed) canals of Amsterdam exist in Centrum, the heart and centre of Amsterdam. This also happens to be the most expensive part of town to lodge, so if you’re a solo traveller on a budget it can pay to stay in the suburbs and either bike your way to the city to explore, catch public transport, or if you aren’t visiting in winter, make a walk out of it.
The three main canals (Herengracht, Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht) were dug in the 17th century during the Dutch Golden Age and commenced the Dutch capitals’ system of waterways. Now popularly known as the “Venice of the North”, Amsterdam is considered one of the prettiest European capitals and is thus a pleasure to walk around solo, especially if you don’t mind putting away your maps and getting lost in the exploration.
Grab a Coffee in Jordaan
Now a UNESCO World Heritage listed site, the neighbourhood of Jordaan is so quintessentially Dutch that the history and aesthetic of the neighbourhood has been protected and believe me when I say it is as pretty as a postcard to wander around! Of course “coffee shops” (cannabis stores) have their own place in Amsterdam, however if you’re after actual coffee and perhaps a slice o’ cake, these are some great spots to stop by:
Moods Coffee Corner – The perfect afternoon pick-me-up, try the apple cake for a show stopper.
Winkel 43 – Great lattes and one of the best avocado toasts in the neighbourhood if not the city!
Cafe De Blaffende Vis – For a more traditionally Dutch coffee spot, this is your best shot.
Visit the Flower Market
The Netherlands are renowned the world over for their beautiful tulips and if you just so happen to time your visit at the right season, you can see many of the flowers in full bloom at the cities’ flower market. Bloemenmarkt in fact floats over water and is the only one to do so in the world, located on Singel Canal between Muntplein and Koningsplein.
Take a Boat Tour on Amsterdam’s Canals
Visit the Museums of Amsterdam
Last but not least, there are at least two if not three days of museums to see and explore in Amsterdam! For my time in the city I purchased a City Pass to gain access to all of the museums as well as an additional pass to the Anne Frank House as this is not included in any of the discount passes. There are endless museums and art galleries on offer in the city (as well as Amsterdam being a living museum itself), however here are the highlights not to be missed:
Anne Franke House – Inside the secret house where Anne Frank spent her journalling years during the Nazi Germany takeover of much of Europe and indeed, Amsterdam. This is not to be missed and if you choose just one museum, let it be this one.
Rijksmuseum – The National Dutch museum dedicated to the art and history of the country.
Van Gogh museum – A museum dedicated to the works of Vincent Van Gogh and his contemporaries.
Over to you! What are some of your favourite memories from travelling solo in Amsterdam?