Rainy days in Amsterdam are inevitable. With an average of 18 days of rain a month, it’s likely you’ll encounter a rainy day or two while visiting our favorite (and now home) city of Amsterdam. Not all is lost, though! Don’t let a rainy day or few ruin your time in this incredible city.
So, what’s there to do in Amsterdam when it rains? Plenty! Use your sunny days to take gorgeous strolls, bike rides and canal cruise and use the rain as an excuse to head indoors!
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Number one thing to do in Amsterdam when it rains: Visit a museum
Whether or not you decide to buy the I amsterdam card, you’ll probably want to visit some museums. You’ve probably heard about the Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, and maybe even the Stedelijk Museum, but also check out some of the lesser known museums. Find that hidden gem!
See a movie in the stunning Pathé Tuschinski
Visit the historic and beautiful movie theatre of Pathé Tuschinski. It’s right in the center of town next to Rembrandtplein. It also happens to be where we have the big movie premieres with the movie stars!
If you’re interested in watching a movie, don’t worry, non-children movies that were filmed in English will still be in English, and most of the children movies will have an option for English or “Original Version”. For the coolest experience, watch the movie in the Groot Hall or “Big room”.
If you want to watch a movie but don’t care about the cool building, the Pathe De Munt has 4DX theatres and Pathe Arena has 4DX and IMAX options. I’ve always thought those were cool features. Check out what’s playing on the Pathé website.
Find the perfect accommodation in Amsterdam for you!
Take a day trip
The weather may not be the same all over the country, so take the train and visit somewhere new. Check out our post on day trips to take from Amsterdam for some ideas. While I adore Amsterdam more than any other place, there are so many amazing and interesting Dutch towns and cities to explore. It would be a shame to not visit them while in the Netherlands! Besides, you’ll get much more authentic experiences. Amsterdam isn’t the only Dutch city with stunning canal houses on canals, picturesque bridges and charming streets. You’ll be so happy that you expand your visit!
Chow down in a food hall
Now-a-days, there are a few food halls in Amsterdam. De Foodhallen is super interesting because it’s in an old tram depot that also has a bunch of food options. You’ll find 21 food stalls inside and there is seriously something for everyone. I love it so much because it’s in our old neighborhood, in the Oud West. Learn more about all the things you can do in the west in our neighborhood guide.
New to the center of the city is The Food Department. Placed on the top floor of Magna Plaza, a shopping center directly behind the Royal Palace, it’s a buzzing spot that’s super popular after-work. But go whenever it’s open for a ton of variety in a very convenient spot.
For something outside the city center, visit Market 33. You’ll find it a short walk from the Zuid metro/train station and it has an awesome vibe. We highly recommend so many of the dishes, that I honestly feel that you can’t go wrong. Or get super local and taste the diversity of Amsterdam at World of Food in Zuid-Oost. They have the best fried chicken, ever!
A very popular spot to shop in Amsterdam is an outdoor spot called the nine streets. But to stay indoors, head to the department store, de Bijenkorf for a taste of luxury. This store is massive and you could spend tons of time just browsing in it!
The Magna Plaza that I mentioned above is quite a bit smaller, but still a great place to shop with quite a bit of variety. Then you can have a snack when you are done! The Kalvertoren is another indoor shopping center which happens to be right next to our favorite fries spot, Vlaams Friteshuis Vleminckx. But, you’d have to go outside to get them…worth it! If you want a unique view of the city, head to Blue, a cafe at the top of the Kalvertoren.
Have afternoon tea
Nope, we aren’t in England, but afternoon teas has made it to Amsterdam as a thing to do if you want to have a cool, chill, and delicious experience. While the fanciest one is probably at The Dutchess, you can find many more all around the city. A very popular one is in the Museum of Bags & Purses. Yes! You read that right. But, I’ll always recommend Greenwoods on Keizersgracht for everything. They have a cream tea or a high tea option. And I love their tea!
Take in a show
There are so many places you could catch a live show. There’s the Royal Theatre Carre, Dutch National Opera & Ballet, The Concert Hall, Melkweg, Ziggo Dome, the Arena, AFAS Live and so many more. With so many theatres, you’ll probably find a few that have something for your taste.
Amsterdam hosts every kind of performance you can imagine. From classical, opera, orchestra shows, Cirque du Soleil, traveling Broadway shows, popular singers and bands, and so much more.
Treat yourself to a spa day
Who doesn’t love a little pampering? There are a few spas to choose from in Amsterdam. Spa Zuiver is probably one of the most popular. But Sauna Deco is the most unique thanks to its Art Deco styling. For super luxury, head to The Guerlain Spa at the Waldorf. How amazing would that be?!
Facials, massages, saunas…there’s a lot to choose from in this city. We even have a Koan Float that you can combine with a massage. So…I’m gonna say it…find whatever floats your boat!
Enjoy a culinary experience
We are alllll about food experiences. We have an entire post on foodie experiences in Amsterdam and quite a few are indoors. So much culture can be found in food, so we highly recommend investing in some time exploring new places through their culinary side…whether glamorous or not!
In Amsterdam, there are plenty of things to do around food from the article I just mentioned, do a DIY sweet-tooth tour, take a guided Amsterdam food tour, or head to one of the Michelin-starred restaurants. It all depends on your style (and how much it’s raining!), but there will be something you’ll love!
Take a brewery or distillery tour
Two of the most popular drinks in the Netherlands are beer and Jenever. So, why not investigate these favorites a little more closely? The House of Bols tour and the Heineken Experience are two favorites. You can buy your tickets right here, how convenient 😉
For a tasting head to Wynand Fockink Proeflokaal and Spirits and try some Jenever in this 17th century building. You can even tour the distillery, but book ahead of time so you don’t end up disappointed. Maybe you’re a beer fan. Then head to Brouwerij t’IJ to try local beer (local and visitors love this place) and you can tour the brewery on certain days.
Drink a cocktail with a view
If you’re like me, you prefer cocktails. Yes, I live in the Netherlands and don’t like beer. It’s ok, though because there are some pretty epic cocktail bars in this city. Since I want you to get a little something extra from this drink, these spots come with some great views.
Head to Skylounge in the Doubletree by Hilton next to Amsterdam Centraal Station for creative cocktails with a view over the whole city. There is plenty of room inside, but if you happen to go on a sunny day (or the clouds move for a while), head out on their terrace for one of my favorite spots.
Bar TwentySeven is a smaller bar at the top of Hotel TwentySeven on Dam Square. It has a super cool vibe, great staff, and delicious cocktails. There’s no better spot for people watching over the center of the city.
Another great spot to stay inside but getting an unforgettable view with your cocktail is the W Lounge. The wrap-around views are epic. You’re right next to the Royal Palace on one side and the Magna Plaza on the other. Watch the trams come and go, the pedestrians cross the street in a pack, and the bikes do whatever they please. It’s basically a microcosm of Amsterdam!
Yes, rainy days tend to suck, but with these tips on rainy day things to do in Amsterdam, you’ll have plenty to keep you busy! Do you have any tips you think we should add? Leave them in the comments.
Enjoy your trip to Amsterdam! We wish you joy and travels!