What to do in Amsterdam when it rains

Let’s be honest – Amsterdam is at its absolute best when the sun is shining, but with the unpredictable climate of the Netherlands, it’s always good to have a back-up plan. But what are the best things to do in Amsterdam when it rains? Here we take you through our favourites… 

What to do in Amsterdam when it rains

Enjoy a Boat Trip on a Comfortable, Covered Boat 

A boat trip is the highlight of many people’s stay in Amsterdam and there’s no reason why bad weather should get in the way. Sitting on a boat in pouring rain and getting soaking wet for two hours isn’t much fun though, so it’s best to book a covered boat where you can enjoy the trip in warmth and comfort. Starboard Boats’ brand-new electric boat is covered and is fitted with heated seats so is perfect for when the weather turns bad. Check out their boat cruises here! And if you’re an art lover who’s visiting during the wet autumn and winter months, their Amsterdam Light Festival cruise is sure to get you out of the Van Gogh museum, even when the rain is pouring!

De Foodhallen 

The Foodhallen is a fantastic spot to spend a few hours in the fashionable Oud-West district of the city. There are loads of fantastic food and drink stalls, and rather than walking around in the rain looking for a bit to eat, you can enjoy some of the city’s best food all under one roof! This is one of the most popular local hangouts in the city and if you’re wanting to eat some great food without getting wet like you would in one of the city’s open air markets, this is the place for you!

Get warm and cosy in a Brown Café

When you’re stuffed and ready for a well-deserved drink in a cosy café, or need to warm up after getting caught in the rain, head to one of the city’s famous brown cafés. These places haven’t changed much for centuries and are the perfect places to sit in comfort and enjoy a couple of drinks whilst watching the rain bounce on the windows.

Visit an Amsterdam Brewery 

Want to know where the beer you’ve been enjoying comes from? Visit the brewery! Although the Heineken Experience is a popular tourist attraction, if you want to see something a bit more original, there are a lot of really good craft breweries in Amsterdam where you can learn more about your favourite new beer and enjoy a few samples! Brouwerij ‘t IJ is a brewery in the bathhouse adjacent to a windmill and is the perfect place to try some brilliant craft beers in a truly unique location. 

If you find yourself in the Red Light District and fancy a beer somewhere different to the hordes of tourist-trap bars that are spread across the area Brouwerij de Prael is definitely worth checking out. After finding out about the beer and its brewing process in the Brouwerij de Prael, the Proeflokaal (literally meaning tasting house) is just around the corner and the perfect spot to quench your thirst. 

Moco Museum


Although it’s a bit of a cliché to spend a rainy day visiting the city’s museums, there’s no need to see this as an unwanted plan B. Amsterdam has more museums per square kilometre than any other city in the world and is home to some of the world’s best. The Rijksmuseum (the Dutch national museum) houses some of the world’s finest art and is well worth visiting – the building itself is a piece of artwork and one of the most iconic architectural structures in the city. 

For modern art lovers, check out Moco (our favourite museum Amsterdam has to offer) or Stedelijk, or if you want to delve into the world of the country’s most famous artist, the Van Gogh Museum is always a firm favourite with visitors. 

For those looking to visit slightly more unusual museums, the Red Light District is home to two museums (and a sex show)   that are pretty unique to Amsterdam – the Cannabis Museum and the Museum of Prostitution.
For some more information about Amsterdams best museums, check out the blog our friends from Make My Day wrote.

Make the best out of Amsterdam, rain or shine!

If you’re heading to Amsterdam soon and the forecast isn’t looking so good, don’t panic! We hope that this has given you some weather-proof ideas and we’ll look forward to welcoming you to the city. If you’re looking for reasons to visit Amsterdam in the autumn months (despite the occasional drop of rain!), check out our blog on what to do in Amsterdam in autumn here.