Amsterdam ArenA is home of AFC Ajax football club and is the largest sporting stadium in the Netherlands. Located at the south-eastern part of the city the stadium is open to the public for various guided tours.
The Amsterdam ArenA hosts Ajax home games as well as occasional Netherlands football internationals and big concert events.
The Stadium: The ArenA was completed in 1996 and has a retractable roof which can be closed during bad weather. Total capacity (all-seater) is around 52,000 for football matches and up to 68,000 for concerts. The venue was used for the UEFA Champions League final in 1998 and the Euro 2000 semi-final. Music concerts from the likes of artists U2, The Rolling Stones, Madonna and Robbie Williams have been held.
The Club: AFC Ajax is the most famous and successful Dutch club having won the European Cup / UEFA Champions League 4 times and the Dutch Eredivisie 33 times. Their peak years came during the early 1970s led by the legendary Johan Cruyff.
In recent years Ajax's European form has waned somewhat - most of the best Dutch players have left to play in big money leagues abroad. However, the club remains at the top of the tree in Netherlands - having been crowned Dutch champions 2011-2014.
ArenA Stadium Tour: The walk-in World of Ajax Stadium tour (1 hour, no reservation needed, English spoken, from main entrance E) takes you around the stadium including the dug-out, the press room and control room. The dressing room is accessible when Ajax are not in training or playing.
Tours are daily at set times between 1100 and 1630 - admission (2015) for adults is €16 (walk-up) or €14.50 (pre-booked); for children 5-12 and €10 (walk-up) or €9.50 (pre-booked). Note, on event days tours are subject to change or cancellation.
A variety of other tours are available for group bookings. For more info phone +31(0)20 311 1336.
Watching Events: Try to see a game of the Netherlands Football team (Nederlands-elftal) if at all possible. The Dutch fans adorned in orange are one of the most colourful sights in world football. The Dutch national side has a rich footballing history including World Cup runners-up in 1974/1978/2010 and winning the 1988 European Championship with Ruud Gullit and Marco Van Basten.
Not all international home games are played in Amsterdam - there is a rotation policy between the Amsterdam ArenA, Rotterdam's De Kuip and the Philips Stadium in Eindhoven - all are easily accessible via public transport.
You can buy tickets online at the official Dutch FA (KNVB) seller TicketBox. Another way to buy football and concert tickets is in person at any "Primera" shops. The big games do sell out so buy your tickets well in advance. You should consider getting tickets for friendly matches - these are not so popular and are cheaper - priced from around €25.
Tourists can attend Ajax home games by buying a (more expensive) official tour package with the club which costs about €60. Non-residents are (officially) restricted from buying ticket-only due to a national football supporters ID scheme in place.
During the footbal season you can also watch Ajax in daily training for free. The training pitch (at on youth complex De Toekomst) is literally 50m north of the ArenA stadium and training sessions normally start at 1030, lasting 90 minutes. Call +31(0)20 311 1444 to get the schedule, as it is subject to change. Some sessions are closed to the public.
Location: Amsterdam ArenA is located in Amsterdam Zuidoost (south-east) and is very close to Amsterdam Bijlmer ArenA train and metro station. Take metro line 54 from Central / Amstel stations or line 50 from Amsterdam Zuid / RAI stations. The area around the ArenA also contains a multiscreen Pathé cinema complex, the Heineken Music Hall, Ziggo Dome and a number of large stores such as Decathlon / Perry Sport (sporting goods) and MediaMarkt (big electronic retailer).
There is an official Ajax Fan Shop selling club merchandise at the stadium (Arena Boulevard 1-3).
Amsterdam ArenA, Arena Boulevard
1, Amsterdam Zuidoost
T: +31(0)20 311 1333
Hotels near Amsterdam ArenA - the Hampton by Hilton ArenA Boulevard is a great budget option (good rooms, free breakfast and WiFi) just next to the train/metro station. The Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express Arena Towers not far from the stadium have both recently opened. For other hotels nearby click here