This post is all about the best things to do in Amsterdam on a rainy day, so you can make the most of your trip, despite the bad weather.
Welcome to this mini guide to the fun activities you can do during a rainy day in Amsterdam!
We’ll cover things like what to expect from the weather in Amsterdam, how often it rains here, and the top 9 rainy day activities in Holland’s beautiful capital.
Whether you are in Amsterdam for a day, a week, or a month, chances are IT WILL rain. A lot. Especially if you are visiting in autumn or winter (which I don’t recommend, but hey, whatever works for you).
There’s no point in fighting it. This is what I’ve learned during the 10 years of living in this gorgeous and rainy city. And as they say:
“There’s no such thing as bad weather, only wrong clothes.”
So with that in mind, let’s have a look at the best ways to spend a rainy day in Amsterdam.
Fun Rainy Day Activities in Amsterdam
These are my top 9 recommendations for the best things to do when it rains in Amsterdam:
1. Visit a museum
Ok, before you start rolling your eyes at me for promising fun activities and starting with a museum visit, just hear me out.
While visiting the Rijks Museum or the Van Gogh is truly an amazing experience and perfect for a rainy day in Amsterdam, if art is not your thing, there are plenty of other museums you can enjoy.
Or how about the Diamond museum or the ultra Instagram-famous MOCCO Museum?
PRO TIP: if you plan to visit several museums during your stay in Amsterdam, then definitely consider purchasing the MUSEUM PASS. For 65 EUR you will get access to over 450 museums for one year!.
2. Hang out in a cozy Amsterdam cafe
This is one of my favorite things to do in Amsterdam on a rainy day! What can be better than a steaming cup of coffee (or tea) in a cozy, beautifully decorated cafe, chatting with your best friends?
The Hoxton is generally my go-to place for coffee or brunch in the city. I love their cozy, living room decor and the food is pretty good. Plus, the location is amazing, 5 minutes from Dam Square, on the Herengracht (the Gentlemen’s canal).
Coffee & Coconuts is another great cafe & brunch place to try, located in the vibrant area of De Pijp (pronounced The Pype 😉 ). The food is amazing too. This place is generally packed (it is THAT popular), and the line sometimes goes up the stairs all the way down the street. Definitely worth it if you are visiting Amsterdam.
READ NEXT: 10 Amazing FREE Things To Do In Amsterdam
3. Eat at the Foodhallen – the perfect place to eat in rainy Amsterdam
Foodhallen is a great place to eat on a rainy day in Amsterdam. It is a beautiful place located in Amsterdam West, and offers a wide variety of cuisines from all over the world!
So whether you feel like pizza, ribs, burgers, sushi, or fries, you’ll find everything at their food stands. If you’re a meat fan, try The Butcher.
4. Take a Canal Cruise
Yes, I get it, this might be too much of a “touristy” activity. But the great part of these tourist cruise boats is that they are covered, meaning you can enjoy the beautiful views of the city and discover Amsterdam even when it rains.
The boat tour takes about 1-2 hours and shows you the most beautiful canals and sights Amsterdam has to offer. Plus you’ll learn a bit about the history of the city. The commentary is offered in several languages such as English, French, German and Spanish.
There are many companies offering boat tours in Amsterdam and most are located on Damrak, just a few meters from the Central Station. There’s no need to book tickets in advance, there will always be boats available and you can purchase them on the spot.
5. Visit the Heineken Experience
There’s no better time to visit the Heineken brewery, one of Amsterdam’s top things to do, than on a rainy day. You’ll be inside the entire time so it’s the perfect thing to do in bad weather.
Learn the history of the world-famous Heineken beer and discover how it was made in the first built Heineken brewery.
This is a super fun activity, even if you don’t like beer, trust me.
The ticket costs 21 EUR and you will have a guided tour of 1,5 hours and many surprises along the way.
6. Visit the Anna Frank house
I’m including this one in case you managed to get tickets upfront. I definitely do not recommend waiting in a long line in the rain.
Learn about the tragic story of Anna Frank and visit her hideout in the center of Amsterdam.
This is an incredibly popular tourist attraction, so if you’d like to visit, make sure to book your tickets ahead of time.
7. Go Shopping
Now, this sounds like a fun activity, right? (Compensating for starting with the museum piece haha).
There are many great places to shop in Amsterdam (I’ve dedicated a whole blog post about it), yet when it rains, the best place would be De Bijenkorf. This is Amsterdam’s most important department store and has a great location – right at Dam Square. You will find here everything from designer clothes, bags, fragrances, home appliances, outdoor gear, and a lot more.
It is definitely my favorite place to shop in Amsterdam and it’s the perfect escape on a rainy day.
8. Try The Famous Dutch Sweets at Van Stapele
Tasting the famous Dutch sweets is a must during your visit to Amsterdam (and of course, the perfect rainy day activity 😉 ).
The Van Stapele bakery is one of the most famous in the city and serves the most delicious cookies you will ever taste!
9. Have a cocktail with the best view of (rainy) Amsterdam
If the bad weather continues into the night, no problem, I’ve got you covered. Check out these 2 awesome cocktail bars in Amsterdam with a killer view:
- SkyLounge at the Hilton Hotel – the most incredible rooftop bar in Amsterdam with the best cocktails! It is even better in summer on a sunny day, as their terrace is gorgeous, but it’s a great option for when it rains too.
- The W Lounge – an incredible rooftop lounge, just behind Dam Square, which also has a pool. Yes, you read that right. The view is insane from this side as well, so definitely worth a visit.
Weather in Amsterdam – How often does it rain?
The fact that it rains a lot in Amsterdam is no surprise to anyone by now, I’m sure.
In a year, we have almost 200 days of rain (although it sometimes feels like more). During autumn and winter rain falls generally around half the days of the month.
So no matter what season you are traveling to Amsterdam, packing a waterproof jacket and an umbrella will always be a good decision.
Rainy Day Activities in Amsterdam
I hope you’ve enjoyed this mini-guide on the best things to do in Amsterdam when it rains.