It’s no secret that Amsterdam is a city bursting with fun activities and entertainment. Aside from the buzzing coffeeshops and the famous Red Light District, there are plenty more things to do in Amsterdam with your friends.
From Amsterdam’s friendship cruises, playing glow-in-the-dark mini-golf or riding the highest swing in Europe; there are lots of great group activities to get stuck into during your city break. Whether you’re enjoying a lads weekend in Amsterdam, are on a hen do or are simply exploring the Dutch capital on your travels, we’ve rounded up the 10 top things to do in Amsterdam with your friends.
1. Take a ride on Europe’s Highest Swing
Scared of heights? Look away now! Our first suggestion sits atop A’DAM Tower in Amsterdam Noord (just a minutes’ walk from ClinkNOORD). Branded as ‘Europe’s Highest Swing,’ this activity is not for the faint-hearted – but it is a whole lot of fun.
Grab your best friend, get strapped in and swing away, soaring over the city. If you can bear to open your eyes, the views are pretty spectacular too. You can see Amsterdam from a completely different perspective, soaking up the city’s culture in a unique way.
Check out the time we sent Laura and Anais up the tower to experience it first hand:
If you’re staying at ClinkNOORD, make sure to ask reception about our discounted tickets for the swing.
2. Cruise like kings with Pure Boats
If you’re tempted to take a canal cruise whilst you’re in the city, you’ll want to gather a bunch of your mates and get in touch with Pure Boats. A tacky tourist boat this is not. You’ll be welcomed on board a boutique vessel by fun and knowledgable captain so you can sail the dutch streets in style.
Plus, if you want to make the trip extra special, you can sample some of the drinks and snacks from lovely local suppliers. A 90-minute trip is 250 EUR which works out at just over 20 EUR if you bring 11 friends. Alternatively, you can jump on a shared cruise with a group of like-minded explorers.
3. Go street art hunting
Amsterdam is a hotbed of creativity and there are lots of places in the city where you can check out some incredible street art. Hit the road with your friends, armed with your camera of course, and go sightseeing. Have a read of Awesome Amsterdam’s guide to the city’s street art Hot Spots to get an idea of where to head.
Our favourite place for street art is just a stone’s throw from ClinkNOORD at NDSM Werf. The area is a former industrial dockyard but in recent years it has become a hub for artists, musicians and creatives.
Extra reading? Check out The Hostel Girl’s article all about Amsterdam Noord’s street art scene.
If you’re a fan of all things creative then be sure to check out our ClinkCREATIVE program.
4. Tour the city by bike
Ok, this might seem like an obvious one but it has to be on the list because riding a bike around Amsterdam with friends is ridiculously fun. It may feel a little bit like you’re taking your life in your own hands, but once you’ve got used to the Dutch cyclists whizzing past you and the buzzy little mopeds, the sense of freedom and adventure is amazing.
We can’t get enough of Amsterdam Noord and through our very own bike tour, our guides love to show guests around the city. Ask the ClinnkNOORD reception team to see if the bike tour is running during your stay.
Still searching for the perfect activity? Read our guide to the most interesting things you can do at night in Amsterdam.
5. Hit a festival
Did you know that Amsterdam hosts over 300 festivals a year? That’s a hell of a lot to choose from. You’ll be sure to find something that suits your taste, may it be dancing, drinking, eating, artsy or business. Although, if you’re into music, what better way to spend a few days with your friends than dancing along to indie anthems and club bangers in the open air.
In the summer, we recommend making a visit to either Valtifest and Mysteryland. As autumn creeps in, check out the Amsterdam Dance Event which sees more than 2,000 artists play across 80 city locations. For something different during the winter months, check out Valhalla which sees electro music and classic circus culture come together to create the ultimate clubbing experience.
6. Go bargain hunting at IJ Hallen
IJ-Hallen is a huge warehouse in Amsterdam Noord that plays host to Europe’s biggest flea market. If you and your friends are bargain hunters – welcome to your mecca. With two huge halls packed to the brim with vintage clothes, shoes, toys, tools and antiques, you can find pretty much anything you might be looking for.
7. Head to the beach at Pllek
A beach? In Amsterdam?! Yes, you heard right. Of course, a beach is not necessarily the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Amsterdam but let us highly recommend “The Beach” at Pllek where you can sit on the banks of the River IJ and take in the views across the city.
Pllek is a music, arts and events venue that also serves up some pretty tasty food and drink. On a sunny day, it offers lots of great things to do with your friends. Grab an ice-cold drink, pull up a deckchair on their man-made beach and sit socialising in the Sun. When the weather isn’t so fine, bunker down inside and enjoy the view out of the huge windows that look out onto the ‘beach’ and across the river.
8. Hail the disco taxi
The disco taxi, as the name suggests, is everything you’d hope for and more. Often the way people get hyped up for a night out is dancing in your lift to the bars and clubs. If you and your friends are wandering the streets of Amsterdam and the disco taxi swings by, hail it immediately and strap in for the best ride of your life.
With disco lights, the hottest charts playing and a singing driver, it’s an experience like no other. If you’re not lucky enough to stumble upon this dream vehicle, take fate into your own hands and give them a call on 0654698187. This is a great activity if you’re on a stag in Amsterdam or hen party in Amsterdam.
9. Eat your way around the city
There’s not much that’s more fun than being with your friends and eating lots of delicious Dutch food. If you want to find out where the locals satiate their hunger then sign up for one of the many food tours like Hungry Birds. Here a local guide will show you around some of their favourite eateries and feed you of course!
There are lots of tours out there so just shop around until you find one that feels like a fit to your tastebuds. Popular Dutch cuisine that you should be on your checklist to try includes Bitterballen, Stroopwafels, Thick Dutch fries, Oliebollen, Poffertjes and Tompouce. Find out how to eat like a local in Amsterdam here.
10. Hang out in a cold war bunker
If you and your friends are looking for some entertainment that’s off the tourist trail, then head to the Vondelbunker. Find the bunker in the ‘blink-and-you’d-miss-it’ foundation of the bridge which crosses the top of Vondelpark. It’s an old WW2 bunker converted into a 60’s hippie hangout.
Now, you can head to underground gigs and art events run by the Schijnheilig creative collective. Check the website to see what’s on, or chance your luck and try the door as you’re passing by. Often you’ll find movie nights, live DJs, rap and hip hop concerts, art workshops and more.