Amsterdam is one of the best destinations for traveling solo for females in Europe. This post shares how I planned my solo trip to Amsterdam, including itinerary, accommodations, travel cards, and essential information you need to know before visiting!
Amsterdam Solo Travel: At a Glance
Amsterdam is in the 4th place of the world’s safest travel destinations, but you still need to be cautious while traveling and remember that safety is your top priority; I am sure you will be fine!
Suppose it’s your first time traveling solo. In that case, I recommend having Amsterdam as your first stop because many cheap flights connect from Amsterdam. It can boost your confidence as you can speak English anytime and anywhere in the city and even in other cities in the Netherlands. Besides, public transportation is highly accessible and safe!
Is Amsterdam great for females traveling solo?
Yes! People speak English here, and there is a lot of information in English in the city center. You don’t need to learn the local language to travel here. You can get around the city freely with public transportation.
Dutch people respect each other, it does not matter where you are from and what your gender is, and they are very open-minded.
Don’t believe me? Did you know that the Netherlands is the first country that recognizes gay marriage in the world? Openness and freedom of being yourself and speech are why I love this country and decided to permanently move to the Netherlands from non-European countries!
Solo Travel in Amsterdam: Frequently Asked Questions!
You still have a lot of doubts and questions until now; here are the most common-asked questions. If your question needs to be listed here, drop it in the comment, I’d love to answer!
Is Amsterdam solo travel safe?
Yes. I visited this city by myself when I was 22, and it was my first backpacking trip. My English could have been better, but I had a great trip. You will be fine if you are cautious and follow the safety rules I share later in this post.
It’s not that scary when traveling alone as a young woman in Amsterdam; you need to be cautious!
Is it safe for tourists to walk around in the Red Light District alone?
Yes, as long as you go there before 10 p.m.
The Red Light District is safe, but it gets more crowded, and more men in groups once it’s late evening.
If you are worried about your safety, you can visit there in the daytime or around 7 or 8 p.m.
Remember, the Red Light District is a tourist attraction; many tourists, including women, go there because it’s a world-famous tourist spot in Amsterdam. It’s strange if you don’t visit there when you are in Amsterdam. Besides, the Amsterdam city government also wants to keep this place safe for tourists, so they’ve put quite some effort into keeping this area safe for sex workers and visitors.
Is it safe to take public transportation at night in Amsterdam?
Yes, it’s safe, and remember, you and all the other people want to have fun late in Amsterdam, so that’s why they take the night bus. The top priority is finding accommodation in a safer area (see more in the later post).
Is it safe to go to the bars in Amsterdam?
Yes, bar culture is part of Dutch culture; it’s normal to socialize with others at bars. You can go there to enjoy the local bar vibe. Some people might want to talk with you but reject it if you don’t want to. Most of the time, they would leave.
If you are still worried about it, you can visit the bars at the hotels; it’s usually safer since it’s more expensive.
Is it affordable to travel solo in Amsterdam
It depends on your budget, travel style, and how much you are willing to sacrifice for your trip if you don’t have much budget, but traveling in Amsterdam is for every budget.
My budget was minimal when I first traveled to Amsterdam since I was still a student. The only goal of my trip was to see as much as possible, so I stayed at cheap hostels and grabbed food from the supermarket to visit more places.
If you have a higher budget, that’s easier for sure!
Must-read travel tips when traveling solo
Overall, Amsterdam is safe for tourists. However, avoid staying in areas like the Red Light District and Old Center District since people come from different backgrounds when it gets dark. It’s safe, but you might not feel comfortable.
If you are here as a tourist, try to stay where other tourists visit, and I would avoid places like Airbnb, where you need to share the flat with the owner.
What do coffee shops mean in Amsterdam?
The term “coffee shops” means something different in the Netherlands. It’s a shop where you can buy cannabis for personal consumption. It’s legal to buy it within a certain amount.
If you want a coffee, please use the term “cafe.”
Do you smell weed while walking in Amsterdam?
Before I visited Amsterdam, I had the impression that people here love consuming weed. You get higher chances of smelling it in the Red Light District or near the coffee shops. Sometimes, you might smell it while taking a picnic in the park.
Pro tip: Avoid the Red Light District and Old Center District when looking for accommodation since there are more coffee shops.
Are toilets free in Amsterdam?
A toilet is not free in the Netherlands and also in Europe. It’s common to pay for bathrooms, although finding toilets while traveling in Amsterdam city center is tricky. However, I have exclusive tips about finding (free) toilets in Amsterdam; you must read them beforehand.
How many days should I stay?
It’s a difficult question since Amsterdam has so many things to see.
If you enjoy your time at your own pace, with no rush, a 4-day itinerary is the best, especially if it’s your first time.
If you only have a little time, since there are so many things to see in the Netherlands, staying one day in Amsterdam is also possible. Here is our one-day itinerary for you as a reference.
Affordable single-room hotels when traveling with yourself
If you travel solo in Amsterdam and want to avoid staying at hostels, here are the affordable accommodations offering single rooms and having good access to public transport. They all have good ratings from past guests.
- Botel: want to have a different experience in Amsterdam? Stay at Botel. It’s a hotel but on a big boat! No worries, it’s clean and comfortable; the best part is that it comes reasonably priced and includes breakfast. The best choice for anyone on a budget!
- Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Zaandam: a design hotel located in Zandaam, but the price is very affordable. It’s the best choice for solo travelers.
- Hotel2Stay: • an apartment hotel that has easy access to Amsterdam city center by public transportation, and the price is excellent. Book early so that you can take advantage of it.
- MEININGER Hotel Amsterdam City West: good access to the city center, and there’s a supermarket close by. The price is fair, and the room is in good condition.
- Jaz in the City Amsterdam: a newly established hotel in Amsterdam Bijlmer Arena and only takes a five-minute walk to the train station. It’s very affordable during the peak season.
- Motel One Amsterdam: another new hotel with a modern design in a safe area in Amsterdam
- NH Amsterdam Noord: part of the Spanish chain hotel NH, has good quality and affordable prices.
If you would like to stay in hotels next canal, I highly recommend this hotel; I visited there and was very satisfied. It’s like a dream to wake up in the morning with a fantastic canal view!
How to get around in Amsterdam when traveling alone
It’s easy to find your way in Amsterdam; here are best travel tips!
Getting to the city from the airport
Schiphol Airport is the main airport that welcomes tourists from around the world.
Once you enter the arrival hall, finding your way to the train station is easy, and that is what I like about Schiphol Airport.
Take a 15-minute direct train from platform 1 or 2 to Amsterdam Central Station. The train leaves every 15 minutes, no worries if you miss it, take the next one.
You can buy the train ticket at the train station or on the website.
Getting around Amsterdam
Depending on where you live, three types of travel cards help you to get around Amsterdam.
GVB day pass
GVB is the company that runs the metro, bus, and tram in the center of Amsterdam. With their service, you can visit attractions around the city. The day pass is EUR 9; I recommend having one since a one-hour ticket is around EUR 3. With the day pass, you can take GVB service at a lower cost as often as you want.
Amsterdam Travel Ticket
This travel card is for people traveling by train from Schiphol, Amsterdam Sloterdijk, Amsterdam Zuid, and Amsterdam Bijlmer Area to Amsterdam Central Station.
It also includes unlimited GVB tram, bus, and metro access inside the Amsterdam city center.
Suppose you stay at accommodations near Amsterdam Sloterdijk station or hotels close to Schiphol Airport and would like to visit Amsterdam. In that case, Amsterdam Travel Ticket is your best travel card.
Amsterdam Region & Travel Ticket (ARTT)
If you travel further than the scope of Amsterdam Travel Ticket, Amsterdam Region & Travel Ticket might be what you need.
This card is suitable for traveling from Zandaam, Haarlem, etc., to Amsterdam.
Top best tourist card for solo travelers
There are mainly two tourist cards for you to explore Amsterdam. Which one is better? It depends on what you want to see.
Suppose you want to see top-rated attractions like Rijksmuseum, House of Bols, Moco Museum, Heineken Experience, A’DAM Lookout, etc. In that case, Go City Amsterdam All-Inclusive (day) Pass is your best option. The regular price per attraction in Amsterdam is around EUR 20, but with this pass, it costs only around EUR 12 per attraction; it’s an excellent deal!
However, you would like to visit attractions not listed in Go City Amsterdam Pass. In that case, I Amsterdam City Card might be ideal since it covers most top attractions in Amsterdam.
Want to visit Van Gogh Museum? I Amsterdam City Card and Go City Amsterdam Pass do not include admission to the Van Gogh Museum. You can get The Amsterdam Pass or buy a separate ticket.
Check out the detailed and most updated comparison between the I Amsterdam City Card and Go City Amsterdam Pass here.
Solo travel in Amsterdam itinerary
My most recent solo trip to Amsterdam was in March 2023.
Below is my one-day itinerary for your reference. I use Go City Amsterdam Pass to explore Amsterdam with this one-day travel itinerary.
|Time||Where to go?|
|9.00||Rent a bike at MacBike (Return before 18.00)|
|10.00||Visit Dam Square + Palace|
|11.00||Explore Kalverstraat, also Enjoy the best Dutch fries|
|12.00||Museums in Museumplein + Canal Cruise|
|17.00||Return the bike & Visit A’DAM Lookout (A’DAM Swing)|
|18.30||Dinner at Loetje|
|20.00||Visit Red-Light District/Canal Belt Area|
You can break it down into a two-day or three-day itinerary or adjust it by adding or removing some attractions based on your preference.
Best things to do alone in Amsterdam during the day
You can do many things alone in Amsterdam, and here is a list of what you can do alone!
Enjoy world-famous canal views
Amsterdam Canal Area is recognized as a world heritage. I love walking around the canal belt area.
You should join the boat tour if you only have a little time to explore the canal belt area.
Any recommended canal tour?
Canal tours price ranges from EUR 16 to EUR 40. It depends on how many people are on board, including or excluding food and drinks.
If you prefer a small group or take a local small boat, it’s more expensive, but it’s worth it.
|Captain Jack||takes 90 minutes and includes snacks and alcoholic beverages. Most importantly, smoking is not allowed on their boat!||Click Here|
|Flagship||100% electric engines boat (no lousy smoke from the motors). The price is more affordable, but it is only 60- minutes long, and no drinks.||Click Here|
|Stromma||75 minutes ride, semi-open big boat, included in Go City Amsterdam Pass||Click Here|
I recommend canal tours from Captain Jack since it’s an open boat with only a maximum of 20 people, and the guide is fun and friendly. The tour takes 90 minutes and includes snacks and alcoholic beverages. Most importantly, smoking is not allowed on their boat!
Another option is Flagship Amsterdam Open Boat Canal Cruise. You can enjoy a quiet and peaceful ride with their 100% electric engines (no lousy smoke from the motors). The price is more affordable, but it is only 60- minutes long, and no drinks.
If the price is crucial, a canal cruise from Lovers and Stromma is a good option. Unfortunately, all types of passes, like I Amsterdam City Card, Go City Amsterdam Pass, and The Amsterdam Pass, only offer canal trips on a big boat.
Stormma is better than Lovers since they have a semi-open boat and multiple places to get on the ship. I recommend you get on the boat at Rijksmuseum since it’s less busy, and you get 15 minutes more on the canal tour. Go City Amsterdam Pass works with Stromma Canal Tours, so I got on a semi-open boat; I was delighted!
Explore Amsterdam while cycling
Cycling is essential to every Dutch people’s daily life. Therefore, cycling while you travel in Amsterdam is the most authentic way for any visitor to see the city and experience life as an Amsterdammer.
Whenever I visit a foreign city, I try to “travel like a local” and imagine what it is like to live there. That’s why I cycled in Amsterdam.
What is the best cycling route in Amsterdam?
There are two routes:
The first one is Museumplein and Vondelpark; the road is significant and has many green areas, especially on a sunny day.
The other one is the canal belt area. However, many bridges are across the canal belt, and the street is relatively narrower. You must be cautious and watch out for incoming cars as you cycle.
Is it safe to cycle as a tourist in Amsterdam?
Yes, the cycling path is well organized! Always cycle on the cycling path, follow the traffic light, and you will be fine.
Remember not to cycle on the tram track since it’s dangerous, and you can easily fall off your bike when you lose your balance.
Visit Amstedam-Only Museums
Besides cycling, visiting museums is also highly recommended.
Amsterdam is a city full of history and world-famous paintings. Below are the museums you should visit!
Anne Frank House
If Anne Frank House is on your list, book the tickets in advance. The organization releases the tickets online six weeks before the visit date.
You should read this post: the essential information you read before visiting Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.
Van Gogh Museum
Another world-famous museum in Amsterdam, many tourists come here for this museum.
Book your tickets here, especially in Spring, Summer, and December.
Another must-visit museum for art lovers, there are many masterpieces from Dutch painters like Rembrandt and Vermeer.
If you are sure you will visit Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum, The Amsterdam Pass is the best tourist card for you.
If you want something more fun, more than just paintings, you must visit Heineken Experience, one of the world’s biggest beer brands. Heineken does not have the best beer in the world, but their innovative ideas and marketing strategies have made them world famous.
It’s still worth the visit, even if you are not a Heineken fan or don’t drink beer. Furthermore, beer and European/Dutch culture are inseparable, and it’s a pity if you don’t visit it.
What is the best time to visit Heineken Experience?
Heineken Experience opens til 19.30 on weekdays and 21.00 on Fridays and Saturdays. It’s best to visit in the evening, so you have more time to enjoy other museums during the day.
House of Bols
Do you love Gin Tonic? Did you know that a Dutch physician created Gin?
The best part of this place is that at the end of your visit, bartenders prepare gin cocktails for you. If you have a Go City Pass, you should visit here.
What is the best time to visit the House of Bols?
Heineken Experience opens til 18.30 on weekdays and 20.00 on Fridays and Saturdays. It’s best to visit later in the afternoon or evening to enjoy the city view of Amsterdam.
Opened in 2016, a private museum shares its private collection with the public.
Their famous artwork includes Banksy, Yayoi Kusama, etc.
What is the best time to visit the Moco museum?
Heineken Experience opens til 18.30 but til 2100 from Friday to Sunday. It’s best to visit the museum early in the morning or later in the afternoon or the evening because it is small.
Join the local walking tour to explore the local history
Joining a walking tour helps you to know more about Amsterdam.
I’ve joined many walking tours across Europe; the best part is that you get to know more about the city. I understood better when someone told me about the place than reading it online. You still catch the critical information on the walking tour, even if you do the research thoroughly beforehand.
Visit local brewery
Whether you are a beer lover or not, visiting the local brewery in Amsterdam is a good idea. Why? You can enjoy the relaxing vibe there.
Also, you can casually talk with the locals, making your trip more enjoyable.
The best part is to try the draft beer from the local brewery!
It will satisfy you since the beer is fresh, and the vibe at the bar is excellent, especially after a long traveling day in Amsterdam. The best Dutch way to enjoy the beer is by ordering bitterballen (Dutch meatball) or Dutch fries to go with your beer.
The best local brewery with a local vibe: Brouwerij ‘t IJ
Try Dutch-only food
Since you are in Amsterdam, you should try some local food!
The most typical Dutch food is bitterballen (dutch deep fried meatball), Harring (marinated fish), Appeltaart (not apple pie, but apple cake; the best one is at Winkel 43), Stamppot (Dutch sausage with smashed potatoes; try it out at HEMA restaurant), erwtensoep (Dutch pea soup, good to have when it’s in winter).
Last but not least, try the steak house at the local Dutch restaurant: Loetje; they have good steak at a reasonable price. Treat yourself to a good meal while traveling in Amsterdam!
Check out local markets
Open markets are part of Amsterdam, especially the Floating Flower markets on the Singel Canal. When it’s tulip season, it’s fascinating when all the shops sell tulips at their stands.
If you prefer open markets with a more local vibe, visit Albert Cuyp Market, Princegraght Market, and Ten Katemarkt. You will find vendors selling vegetables, cheese, and herring. I like Ten Katemarkt the most since it’s not that touristic and much less crowded!
Best things to do alone in Amsterdam at night
Besides things to do in the daytime, here are some inspirations for what you can do in the evening!
A’DAM Lookout is the most remarkable attraction in Amsterdam. You can enjoy the great view from the tower on the 22nd floor. Besides, you can swing at the top of the building if you want to.
Highly recommend buying Go City Pass for this attraction since it’s excellent in value!
Take an evening boat tour
Amsterdam is beautiful when it gets dark, especially when you see the reflection on the water during the canal cruise. If you visit Amsterdam in winter, you should take the canal cruise at night since you can also enjoy the artwork during Amsterdam Light Festival!
Enjoy the nightlife in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands and has so many things to do.
You can enter a bar, enjoy the local bar vibe, or listen to a live performance at Paradiso near Leidseplein. Remember to enjoy every moment while staying in Amsterdam.
Visit the Red Light District
Whether you like the Red Light District or not, there’s no denying that its part of Amsterdam culture.
Suppose you don’t like Red Light District or are curious about it. In that case, it’s best to join a local tour to dive deeper into the story behind the curtain, how it all started, and learn about the place and the people here. You will get much more by taking part in the guided tour.
Below are the guided tours with good reviews; check them out if you want to know more:
|1.5-Hour Walking Tour||Show you the historical secret areas, and the back alleys of De Wallen and meet local workers.||Click Here|
|2-Hour Night Walking Tour||– Discover how and why Amsterdam Red Light District developed and its liberal attitudes towards sex and drugs|
– See the oldest building in Amsterdam, the canals, and beautiful old houses.
Cycle around Amsterdam Canal Belt Area
Cycling is always a good option, also at night.
As a student, I loved cycling in the Amsterdam canal belt area, especially around 21.00; since fewer people are on the streets, you can enjoy a peaceful and quiet moment.