It’s currently pouring with rain in Amsterdam and the forecast for the coming days does not look too good! Apart from packing your umbrella and raincoat, here are a few things to do in Amsterdam if you get caught out by the wet weather.
1. Visit the Rijksmuseum – The new Rijksmuseum recently re-opened its doors after a 10 year renovation. While the place is likely to be quite busy during rainy weather, it offers 80 rooms that display a mind boggling 8,000 objects – surely large enough to keep you dry and occupied for a number of hours! In addition there is free WiFi available, a museum shop, 2 cafés and a restaurant. Open daily between 0900 and 1700.
2. Go to the cinema – Cinemas in Amsterdam tend to show films in their original language with added Dutch subtitles. There are some lovely cinemas in the city including the stunning art nouveau Pathé Tuschinski (Reguliersbreestraat 26-34, near Rembrandtplein). The nearby Pathé De Munt (round the corner on Vijzelstraat) is a 13 screen multiplex with all the latest releases. Or jump on a ferry and visit the Eye Film which has film-themed exhibitions and shows a regular program of retrospective films.
3. Check out modern art at the Stedelijk – The Stedelijk, Amsterdam’s modern and contemporary art museum is located on Museumplein next to the van Gogh museum. With its white bathtub shaped new wing, the museum houses works of art from the likes of Malevich, Picasso, Mondriaan, Lichtenstein and Warhol. There is a decent restaurant in the foyer and a café upstairs. Open daily 1000-1800, on Thursday nights the museum is open late until 2200.
4. Hang out in Amsterdam’s library – The OBA is Amsterdam’s central library located at Oosterdokskade, a few minutes walk east of central station. Spread over 10 levels there are plenty of things to do. Browse international newspapers and magazines at the mezzanine level. Grab a book and lounge on one of the easy chairs. Head up to the top floor La Place self-service restaurant and enjoy some good views of Amsterdam. There are exhibition areas and the bottom level is reserved for kids. Note internet access is no longer free. Open daily until 2200, there is also the Vapiano restaurant nextdoor.
5. Go shopping at Bijenkorf – Amsterdam does not have much in the way of large shopping malls. De Bijenkorf (or “Bee Hive”) is the largest department store in Amsterdam located on Dam Square. With 5 levels this store sells designer label clothes and accessories, household and electronic items, luggage, stationary, books, music and gifts. On the top floor can be found Bijenkorf Kitchen, a self-service restaurant.
6. Learn about WW2 at Verzetsmuseum – If the major museums are busy then head east over to the Plantage district where you will find the Dutch Resistance museum (Verzetsmuseum). This is a gem of a place. A fascinating yet poignant way to find out about life in Netherlands under German occupation. There is a café called Plancius nextdoor. Open 1000-1700 (Tue-Fri), 1100-1700 (Sat to Mon). On the other side of the street is Artis Royal Zoo which also has plenty of indoor activities including an aquarium, insectarium and planetarium.
7. See a Theatre Show – After 10am head over to the Last Minute Ticket Shop on Leidseplein which offers half-price tickets for theatre shows on-the-day. Note, some performances will be suitable for Dutch speakers only so select those marked “Language No Problem”. You can also buy these tickets at the tourist office and OBA central library. See our listing of Amsterdam theatres and concert venues.
8. Have a drink with a view – Chill out for an hour or two in a hotel rooftop bar lounge. Have a cocktail at the DoubleTree by Hilton Skylounge where you will find a happening ambiance and some fine views over Amsterdam. Or go to the Okura hotel in De Pijp district which has the hip Twenty Third Bar on the 23rd floor. A cheaper alternative is Café blue° which can be found at the top of the small Kalvatoren shopping centre near Muntplein.
9. Monitor Buienradar – You can keep your eye on the rainy weather by checking out buienradar. This popular Dutch site has rain shower radar maps giving expected projections for the coming 2 or 3 hours – click “2 uur vooruit” or “3 uur vooruit” under “Verwachting” on the left-hand menu.