It’s no secret that Amsterdam is a city full of fun and entertainment! The city centre is buzzing with life and laughter. Of course, you can check out the coffee shops and wander round the red light district, but there’s so much more to this amazing city. To help you discover it, we’ve rounded up 10 ridiculously fun things to do with your friends in Amsterdam! Enjoy!
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. Promise! 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. If you’re staying at ClinkNOORD, make sure to ask reception about our discounted tickets for the swing.
Check out the time we sent Laura and Anais up the tower to experience it first hand:
2. Cruise like kings with Pure Boats
If you’re tempted to take a canal cruise whilst you’re in the city, let us help you do it the right way! 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 a fun and knowledgable captain. If you want to make the trip extra special, make sure you 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 likeminded Amsterdam explorers.
3. Go street art hunting
Amsterdam is a hot bed of creativity and there’s 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 get exploring! 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, has become a hub for artists, musicians and creatives. Check out The Hostel Girl’s article all about Amsterdam Noord’s street art scene.
4. Get a bike and go explore!
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 we love to show guests around our favourite area of the city using our favourite mode of transport. Ask at reception 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 of festivals to choose from! And what better way to spend a few days with your friends than dancing along to some of your favourite live acts or DJs? In the summer, some of our favourites are Valtifest, Mysteryland and Voltt Loves Summer. 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 a vintage clothes, shoes, toys, tools, antiques, you can find pretty much anything you might be looking for. You’ll have to root through some junk, but there’s some real gems to be found! IJ Hallen is at NDSM Werf, just a 5 minute cycle ride from ClinkNOORD.
7. Head to the beach at Pllek
A beach? In Amsterdam?! Yes, you heard right! Of course, ‘The 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, grab your friends, a drink and pull up a deckchair on their man made beach. 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 river.
8. Hail the disco taxi!
The disco taxi, as the name suggests, is everything you’d hope for and more! 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, banging tunes 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.
9. Eat your way round the city
What could be more fun than being with your friends AND eating lots of delicious Dutch food? Not much as far as we’re concerned. 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 where a local guide will show you round some of their favourite eateries – and feed you of course! There’s lots of tours out there so just shop around until you find one that feels like a good fit.
10. Hang out in a cold war bunker
If you and your friends are looking for a super fun experience that’s well 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 the park. It’s an old WW2 bunker turned 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.