How to enjoy a trip to Amsterdam while social distancing

Our social distancing travel guide to Amsterdam...

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  • 09 June 2020
  • • 6 min read

Planning a trip to Amsterdam after lockdown? We’ve created the ultimate travel guide for backpackers all about how to enjoy the Dutch capital safely amidst Covid-19. The city has started to emerge from lockdown with restaurants and bars finally opening their doors again and people heading out and about enjoying the sunshine. However, social distancing rules are still in place so if you plan to visit Amsterdam in the coming months, it will be quite different to your previous visits to the city. We recommend avoiding crowded places, booking ahead at restaurants and staying as safe and as sensible as you can. The current guidelines in Amsterdam recommends that you keep 1.5 metres apart from others (which is two arm lengths) so with that in mind, here’s how you can enjoy the city while social distancing…

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*As we’re sure you're aware, the situation in Amsterdam is fluid with things changing and improving every day, however we must make it clear that our content is correct at the time of posting and has been built on the latest government advice and information we do have. We are doing our best to provide the most up-to-date information and clearest recommendations for you that may conflict with updated guidelines and we will therefore monitor and adjust when necessary. Our goal is to create a safe and useful guide for our guests, so that you can really enjoy your stay with us creating incredible moments and memories during your trip.

1. Embrace the city’s parks

Make the most of the city’s stunning green spaces if you are travelling to Amsterdam during this unprecedented time. Picnics, cycling, long walks, barbecues and spending time outdoors have become the “new normal” and safe way to explore cities - and you can enjoy all of these activities in Amsterdam’s parks, the lungs of the capital. Vondelpark, Amsterdam Bos, Frankendael Park, Oosterpark and many other of the city’s parks are open to the public where you can enjoy exercise, drink wine and chill out by the lakes. Amsterdam Bos sits on the city’s outskirts but is a great place for a day trip where you can go hiking, swimming, canoeing and more.

2. Culture and museums

On June 1st 2020, Amsterdam’s museums opened up again which is great news for backpackers who want to check out the main sights and attractions of the city. The Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam Museum, Stedelijk Museum, Anne Frank House, NEMO Science Museum, the Heineken Experience and many more are open. Just be sure to be mindful of social distancing when you’re there. It’s a good thing museums are spacious and airy, which should make it that little bit easier.

3. Beer gardens and pubs

Missed having a pint or cocktail at your local pub? The awesome thing about Amsterdam is that it’s always been a city that embraces an outdoor drinking culture. Enjoy a Dutch beer outside in one of the beer gardens, bars or pubs that have opened up in recent weeks. Some of the city’s favourites, Belushi’s, Bierfabriek, Butchers Tears, Hannekes Boom and many more beer pubs are now open. Just make sure to book ahead as the new rules mean only 30 people are allowed inside.

Check out the best beer gardens in Amsterdam

Check out the best breweries and beer tastings in Amsterdam 

4. Covid-safe restaurants 

Many of Amsterdam’s restaurants and bars have started to open up again and they have taken strict precautions in order to operate safely amidst the pandemic. Making use of outdoor space, limiting the number of customers allowed into the venue and using cashless payment are just some of the ways tourists will feel safer eating and drinking out in Amsterdam. The main thing that will change is the need to book a table beforehand to ensure you get a slot. We recommend taking your own hand sanitizer too. Pllek in Amsterdam Noord is a great place to eat because it’s a massive, airy space with outdoor seating and an urban beach!

Looking for somewhere special to eat? Mediamatic Eten is an experimental vegan restaurant in Amsterdam that has built five social distancing greenhouses that overlook the water. The perfect place to dine with your friends in an enclosed environment without having to worry. The waiters here also wear futuristic-looking face shields.

5. Cycling around the city

One thing that hasn’t changed in Amsterdam is the love of getting around by bike! Using public transport is currently advised against, so hire a bike from Black Bikes instead and travel the city safely in the fresh air using the hop on, hop off cycle system. To hire a bike from Black Bikes, it costs from €9 a day with 18 location points across the city. There are some awesome Dutch villages outside of the city that are worth riding to if you’re a keen cyclist! Pack some disinfectant wipes to clean the handlebars when you hire a bike and you’re ready to go.

If you do decide to travel on trams or on the metro, follow the city’s guidelines and make sure you wear a mask. The government says you should only use the trains if absolutely necessary.

Check out the

6. Explore trendy neighbourhoods

One of the best ways to get to know Amsterdam is walking around and discovering more than just the city centre. The city is full of trendy neighbourhoods, each with something different to offer. Check out a few of our guides...

Amsterdam Noord Guide

7. Check out the coffee culture

The Dutch capital has a brilliant coffee culture with some of the best roasters in Europe. Coffee shops around the city are open for takeaway and eat-in, so explore some of our favourite cafes and find your new go-to caffeine spot in Amsterdam. 

Check out

8. See a theatre show

Theatres, cinemas and concert halls were allowed to open in Amsterdam on 1st June, allowing a capacity of up to 30 people inside. Feel free to book a show and enjoy some entertainment while keeping at a distance from others. In July, the city aims to open these establishments to 100 people.

Things that remain closed for now:

*accurate on date of publish - 9th June

  • Gyms, saunas and spas

  • Casinos

  • Sex establishments 

  • Coffeeshops for smoking 

  • Sporting events and festivals have been either cancelled or postponed

Where to stay?

Looking for budget accommodation in Amsterdam with social distancing measures in place? St Christopher’s Inns in the heart of the city will be opening soon with strict hygiene protocols being adopted and keeping in-line with the local government guidelines. The hostel will be making many changes to ensure the wellness of its guests and teams which we will communicate with you in the coming weeks. Offering private rooms as well as shared dorm spaces (which will be sold to groups for now), the hostel is taking social distancing seriously but still providing the fun, sociable element it’s known for.

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