From gore-filled films, ghost bus rides, haunted house tours and fancy dress parties – there’s something spectacularly spooky for all in Amsterdam this Halloween. Have a scroll and get involved…
Does Amsterdam Celebrate Halloween?
To put it simply, yes. Like any big city, a worldwide event is another great excuse to host a load of fun events and cater to their huge audience of tourists. On a typical day Amsterdam isn’t your average city anyway. However, particularly during October-November, it’s full of spooky surprises. Though they have slightly different traditions to a typical American-UK Halloween, there’s plenty to do and see.
1. Visit a Halloween shop in Amsterdam: Chimera Fantasy Shop
Why go? A great place to go and grab a last-minute Halloween costume or just to see some quirky collectables
Where? Damstraat 7, 1012 JL Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam is known for the weird and wonderful and Halloween is only more of a reason to challenge the ordinary. If you’re visiting during this spooktacular period, Chimera Fantasy Giftshop makes for a great place to grab a few souvenirs to shock your friends and family back home.
Your eyes will be sure to get lost in the many mesmerising items on display. Whether you enjoy the quaint and super realistic, fairy statues or the bigger mythical beasts, there’s something to surprise you. Just wander through and you’ll be sure to come out feeling scarily in the spirit for a Halloween celebration.
2. Go to a cat cafe
Where? Either the cat cafe or cat boat, both in the heart of the city
Why go? To pay homage to a witch’s best friend
Cats are, of course, a witch’s best friend. They’re the ultimate sidekick. Throwback to many years ago, they were believed to be the spirits that helped witches in practicing their craft. So, with Halloween quickly approaching, what better time to spend an hour or two grabbing a coffee and petting these feline friends?
Amsterdam is a cat lover’s dream with various venues paying homage to these furry favourites. Go and hang out at the Cat Cafe, known as “Kattencafe Kopjes” or hop aboard the Cat Boat “De Poezenboot” where you can have a kitty cuddle on this floating animal sanctuary. Alternatively, if you’re looking for something a little more educational, visit the cat museum.
3. Create a potion at The Jacob Hooy apothecary
Where? 1906 ZH Limmen, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Why go? To become a potion master and experience the history of herbs in the capital
Channel your inner wizardist and learn how to create fantastic – and drinkable – potions at The Jacob Hooy apothecary. It was established in 1743 and used to stock products such as tobacco and opium, which were used as medicine back in the day.
In modern day, Jacob Hooy is a herbalists’ shop where you can find essential oils, herbs, candy and all sorts of tea. For added effect, the shop has retained some of its original decor. It’s pretty captivating for all potions masters.
4. Visit a Halloween museum: Ripley’s Believe It Or Not
Why go? To see something slightly creepy in spirit of spending Halloween in Amsterdam
Where? Dam 21, 1012 JS Amsterdam, Netherlands
Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Amsterdam is the home of the bizarre and unbelievable. There’s over 500 crazy, yet true items to see that will make all other spooky stories and events seem possible – you’ve been warned!
If you’ve had enough of the strangeness, take a break at the Ripley’s Lounge. It’s not surprising but it makes for a particularly fitting setting to share a drink with friends on Halloween.
5. Visit the Amsterdam Dungeon
Why go? To discover the scary past that Amsterdam withholds
Where? The Amsterdam Dungeon Rokin 78 Amsterdam 1012 KW
The Amsterdam Dungeon is the perfect place to visit to learn about the scary history of Amsterdam through theatrical actors, special effects, stages and walkthrough scenes. The hidden tales of the Dutch past is brought to life, so spending an evening in this city on Halloween, becomes particularly freaky.
You can get in touch with the spirit world with the Seance and witness the smell of rotting meat, rats everywhere and hanging corpses in The Gallow Fields. Do something out of the ordinary and shock yourselves silly for a fun, yet spooky hour or two.
6. Take a moonlit walk down Prinsengracht
Why go? To see the city’s beauty (and scary side) at night time
Where? Prince’s Canal, Amsterdam
The Prinsengracht, also known as Prince’s Canal, is a perfect spot to stroll down and soak up the magical yet slightly mysterious settings. Lit with street lights and during Halloween, dressed with ghostly decor, it’ll give you the chills you’ve been looking for.
Plus, with it being one of the most famous streets in Amsterdam, there’s plenty of great cafes, museums, bars and churches to experience. Get yourself a drink and get involved with the Halloween celebrations or grab some takeaway food and spend your evening in your hotel or at ClinkNOORD.
7. Go ghost hunting around the city
Why go? To learn about the 800 years of dark, dark history
Where? The meeting point is in front of the Irish Pub, The Tara at Rokin 85-89
Join a ghost walker and discover the 800 years of history that the city has to offer. Known as a place full of ghosts, witches and demons many years ago, there’s plenty of death, disease, murder and mayhem to get involved with.
All of the stories on the tour are authentic, historical and original, so if you’re looking for a surprise, you’ll get one. You can have up to 20 people on the tour, so if you’re travelling with friends, great – the more the merrier (or should we say scarier?).
Heading into the town before a night out in Amsterdam? Check out our guide to some of the best bars in Amsterdam.
There’s plenty of great Halloween antics to get involved with. Whether you want the full fear factor or not, there’s something for everyone so get out and enjoy the city or cosy up on the sofa with a scary box-set.