Johan Cruijff ArenA (formerly Amsterdam ArenA) is the 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 Johan Cruijff ArenA hosts Ajax home games as well as occasional Netherlands football internationals and big concert/dance events.
The Stadium: The ArenA was completed in 1996 and has a retractable roof which can be closed during bad weather. The 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 Michael Jackson, U2, The Rolling Stones, Madonna, Ed Sheeran and Robbie Williams have been held.
In 2018, the stadium was renamed Johan Cruijff ArenA in honour of the legendary Ajax and Dutch footballer Johan Cruyff.
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.
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 near the top in the Netherlands – having last been crowned Dutch champions 2011-2014.
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 – the occasional game is also played at Rotterdam’s De Kuip and the Philips Stadium in Eindhoven – all are easily accessible via public transport.
Tickets are available online from the Dutch FA (KNVB) – the big games do sell out so buy your tickets well in advance. You could consider getting tickets for friendly matches – these are not so popular and are cheaper – priced from around €25.
Tourists can also attend Ajax home games by buying a package directly from Ajax, with prices from around €28. You must bring ID to games.
During the football 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. Some sessions are closed to the public.
The Ajax Youth teams also play at De Toekomst – A1 (Ajax Juniors) on Saturdays at 1430; Ajax 2 (young Ajax) on Mondays at 1830. Entrance is free. To double check hours call De Toekomst on 0900-232-2529.
The area around the ArenA also contains a multiscreen Pathé cinema complex, the Heineken Music Hall and Ziggo Dome (concert halls), the Woonmall Villa Arena (furniture mall) and a number of large stores such as Decathlon / Perry Sport (sporting goods), Prenatal (baby gear) and MediaMarkt (big electronic retailer).
There is an official Ajax Fan Shop selling club merchandise at the stadium (Arena Boulevard 1-3)
Johan Cruijff ArenA Stadium Tour Essential Info
The Johan Cruijff ArenA Stadium tour (75 minutes, English spoken) 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.
|Opening Times||Daily 1000-1630. Closed on game days and special events.|
|Admission Prices (2019)||€16.50 for adults, €11.00 for children 5-12. FREE entry to children 0-4.
You can book the ArenA tour online here which offers a €1.50 discount to the standard walk-up ticket.
|Getting There||Johan Cruijff 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 Amsterdam Central / Amstel stations or line 50 from Amsterdam Zuid / RAI stations. From Amsterdam Schiphol airport there are Intercity trains running 4x hourly to Amsterdam Bijlmer ArenA station.|
Johan Cruijff ArenA, ArenA Boulevard 1, Main Entrance E, 1101 AX Amsterdam
T: +31(0)20 311 1333, johancruijffarena.nl