The Netherlands: right choice to travel alone for the first time
Nowadays travelling is so accessible, it can be difficult to decide where would be the best for that first solo trip. I often get such queries. With my travel experience, I could rate locations in terms of friendliness, safety, culture, and ambiance. Amsterdam makes it to the top of my list for the best place to travel alone for the first time. It is also in my top 3 all-time best cities for solo female travellers.
Will I Feel Safe in Amsterdam as a Solo Female?
When visiting any city solo my main concern is “will I feel safe”? I mean, who would want to visit a destination where they felt insecure, with their guard up all the time?
Amsterdam is somewhere that checks all the boxes. I felt extremely safe, and welcomed! Of course, any city could have an “iffy” area, though in Amsterdam I never came across such.
If you are solo female traveling and still undecided where to go, keep in mind Amsterdam is a smooth start for beginner solo travellers. Many bloggers will agree, Holland to be one of the best places to travel alone for the first time.
Transportation to City Center
Transportation in Amsterdam is very well-organized and convenient. It is one of the main factors I consider Amsterdam to be very well-suited for first-time solo travellers.
If you are arriving by plane and looking to get to the city center you have a couple of options:
- Taxi, which I do not really suggest unless you are coming with a million bags… Taking a taxi will cost you approx. 39 euro… takes approx. 15-20 mins.
- Train, my favorite mode of transportation! This option will cost you 5.40 euros and takes about 20 mins. DOWNLOAD the Transit App HERE. Being prepared with the app before you arrive is a great time saver.
Are You a Solo Travelling Female Foodie?
I am a big believer in having a list of places to eat researched and mapped out before you touch down. Nothing can sour the day for me, like having a bad overpriced meal while away.
- The Seafood Bar Spui located centrally in Amsterdam is a wonderful place to check out for the seafood lover. This place is large, so you may not need to book ahead, but in summer, you might want to.
- Pastini might be the best Italian food I’ve ever had!! Here is a quaint little restaurant serving up fresh and flavorful dishes. A place that would satisfy even a jaded palate.
- Cafe Modern Come here when visiting the Noord. Located just north of Amsterdam Central station, by taking the free 5 min ferry. Cafe Modern will be full of surprises, with a seasonally inspired menu.
- Vegan Junk Food Bar This place has several locations, and is worth seeking out! I had the “bitter balls” curry style. So good, I had a second order. Another must-try is the plant-based burger, which is soy-free, and made with Beyond Meat!
- Pacific From breakfast to dinner this place has you covered! Lots of Vegetarian and Vegan options can be found here! Located on the west side of the city!
- De Plantage What a wonderful place! Located in the lovely Plantage area, this restaurant has something for everyone! Serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner!
Top Accommodations in Amsterdam
Staying in the most central part of Amsterdam is going to cost you an arm and a leg. Here is where transport links come into play. It is perfectly fine to stay a little outside of the city center…
I really don’t think you can go wrong choosing an Amsterdam neighborhood, they are all wonderful! With so many choices in spots to stay, it makes Amsterdam one of the best places to travel alone for the first time.
Best Boutique Hotels in Amsterdam
- Pulitzer Amsterdam is a swanky hotel occupying two renovated 17th and 18th-century houses.
- Soho House Amsterdam How about a rooftop pool in the center of Amsterdam! This exclusive hotel is new and amazing! Soho House has exclusive restaurants and club rooms that are only available to members and guests! A great choice in central Amsterdam.
- The Highland House This uniquely themed hotel is located around the corner from Anne Frank’s House. It is rated the best value for the location, style, and amenities!
Best of What to Do in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is stuffed with so much cultural diversity that it is hard not to define it as a first-time solo traveller paradise. In Holland, a single woman traveling for the first time activities list:
- 1. Anne Frank’s House If you are thinking, I’ll just get tickets a couple of weeks in advance, think again. They sell out months and months in advance. You should know that 80% of Anne Frank tickets are released exactly 2 months in advance. The other 20% are released online on the day of the tour from 9 am. The 20% is released on the site in waves, not every ticket is issued at once, so you need to check constantly and keep refreshing your screen. Don’t give up!
- 2. Van Gogh Museum Getting tickets to Van Gogh is far more reasonable than tickets to Anne Frank’s House. Often you can go on the same day. The website has tickets available for purchase for 13 euros. You can really spend a day wandering between Van Gogh’s Museum and Rijksmuseum.
- 3. Rijksmuseum is the Dutch national museum that entails arts, history and has a fair number of Van Gogh’s paintings too. It is located in the museum square. You can buy tickets online without much of a hassle.
Best Canal Tours of Amsterdam
- A good choice in canal tours can be booked online HERE. It costs 16 euro and comes with City Map and a copy of the I Amsterdam magazine. A Single Woman Travelling Tip! This particular cruise is a hop-on, but NOT hop off and back on. This is good for 1 cruise around the canals.
- If you are looking for a HOP ON and HOP OFF cruise (which I recommend) it will cost a little more, but the ticket is valid for 24 hours. Tickets are 25 euro and can be purchased HERE.
- Booze onboard tours! One of the most highly recommended canal tours is Those Dam Boat Guys! They have a fun and entertaining tour around Amsterdam. Be sure to bring your own booze and snacks! Tickets can be purchased online for 25 euro! This is a great option if you are solo! Nothing compares to a bunch of happily boozing people on a boat, ready to break the ice and mingle!
- Amsterdam Dinner Cruise “ For something different, try a dinner cruise around the canals! Enjoy a glass of Prosecco and a four-course gourmet dinner, and bottomless drinks. The tour is approx. 2 ½ hours in length and cost 82 euros.
If you are thinking, that would be too sad, a dinner alone on a boat full of couples and groups?! You need to change your mindset. The reason you are traveling alone is to enjoy the world and treat yourself. I promise you will make far more friends when traveling alone than with anyone else.
Remember, to do what you want on your trip, don’t let the “what would someone else think” determine your good time.
Best Bike Tours of Amsterdam
In a city of 847,000 bikes, how could you not try a bike tour!? Well, unless you are someone who has never ridden a bike, then think again! I won’t lie to you, it can be a little stressful on spots of the tour. You are riding on the road with other local bikers and cars. Totally recommended.
My favorite bike tour in Amsterdam is run by Yellow Bike. The 3-hour city tour costs 29 euro and it is my preferred tour alternative. Check out their site for other tour options. They also rent bikes by the day!
Alternative Best Places to Travel Alone for the First Time
Maybe you have been to Amsterdam and are looking for another city to travel solo to. Another wonderful option is Copenhagen, and my city guide can be found Here.
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