When the weather’s less than ideal but your heart’s in an adventurous place, you may be left looking for things to do in Amsterdam on a rainy day. Since I have bad luck when it comes to my trips to Europe (sad yet true), it’s likely I’ll be enjoying a city in inclement weather.
Here are five things to enjoy no matter the weather in Amsterdam:
1) Public Library
The view of the city from Openbare Bibliotheek, or the Central Library, is incredible. What’s even better is it’s a free, public library. Want an additional bonus? The cute affordable cafe upstairs serves delicious pastries and hot beverages (for purchase). Grab a cup of tea and slice of cake, grab a seat and enjoy the warmth and view.
If you’re brave and want to go through the canals sans-roofing, try a canal boat tour without a roof to get obstruction-free views of your surroundings. (I did that when the rain was just a heavy drizzle and it was great – I ended up having a private tour.) But if it’s raining heavily I wouldn’t blame you for taking a tour under the comfort of an enclosed, clear roof option. Amsterdam is a city of canals and this is a great way to see it. Do not allow the weather to stand in your way!
Anne Frank is world renown for her diary, written during WWI while she was in Amsterdam, hiding from the Nazis. It’s quite interesting to see how she had to live for two years in a secret annex in the house. Though the period and her story is sad, history is the best teacher. Being able to see this home makes something seemingly intangible all these years later more real; it was a time in history many of today’s generations were not alive for, being born long after.
You should reserve tickets online in advance, so if rain is in the weather forecast any day of your trip (for instance if you’re 10 days out and look at the forecast and it’s calling for rain on day four) reserve ahead of time for that day or chance an afternoon tour after 3:30pm, when advance online bookings are not required. For current operating hours and tickets look here.
4) Shop at Magna Plaza
What better rainy day activity than shopping in such a beautiful building? Magna Plaza is right near Dam Square and its exterior and interior are both worth making this a destination on your “must see” list. Some of my best purchases – from blouses to backpacks – have been while shopping abroad in Europe. They simply have things you can’t find elsewhere, not even Amazon!
The building is easy to spot with it’s horizontally banded two-tone color brick facade and two tall spires. If the building seems historic you guessed it – it is! It’s part of the top 100 Dutch heritage sites and served as a main post office for the area in the late 19th century.
5) Visit Nieuwe Kerk
Just steps away from Magna Plaza is the “New Church” (kerk means church, in Dutch) from the 13th century. It’s beautiful, hand-carved wood pulpit was magnetizing and I enjoyed taking too many photos of it. It’s brass choir screen, constructed by a notable silversmith in the late 16th century, is truly impressive and it has attractive stained glass windows.
Enjoy these great options on your Amsterdam vacation and happy travels, despite any weather predictions!