This solo traveling foodie and sightseer strikes again and is breaking down a solo trip Amsterdam! Though I visited Amsterdam a few years ago for a short-period of time, I did more touristy things and not as much food-hopping as I’d hoped.
Well this time around I made it a priority to research places to eat and drink on a solo trip to Amsterdam. Over the four-day visit I ate and saw everything in sight. Here is a list of what to do and where to eat in Amsterdam as a solo female traveler.
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Where to stay in Amsterdam as a solo traveler
Stayokay Hostel Amsterdam
Stayokay is a central hostel for solo travelers in Amsterdam. I could travel within walking distance of tons of places to eat in Amsterdam as well as things to do alone in Amsterdam. Just be aware that during festivals, such as Pride, hostel prices also increase like hotel prices.
Stayokay was also near public transportation! I think it had a welcoming vibe with large storage lockers to use upon arrival. There was also a kitchen if you wanted to cook and lots of lounge spaces.
MENINGER Hotel Amsterdam City West
For those solo travelers looking to stay a bit further out, consider choosing MENINGER for your visit. In full transparency I did not stay here as a solo traveler in Amsterdam – I went with friends the first time I visited. However, it is an option for those who do not want to be as central as Stayokay.
How to travel around Amsterdam alone
Even with canals, solo traveling in Amsterdam is not difficult once you are in the city. There are multiple trains to enter Amsterdam. However, the metro is easy to navigate when you get a metro card.
And they do check to make sure you have one! Tourists often get fined for not having them. A one day pass is just under 20 euros. Biking is also available for those you like to get exercise and fresh air hopping from attraction to attraction.
Yet, similar to cities such as Berlin, beware of bikers! Coming from the U.S, it is not as common to see a strong bike culture. Some even say it can be a bit of culture shock since U.S culture prioritizes cars.
Check out the most popular guided tours in Amsterdam to explore the city more deeply in a more convenient way:
The most popular tours in Amsterdam:
- 🚢 Cruise down the famous canals of Amsterdam during this boat tour, which includes a cheese platter and unlimited beer, wine and soft drink
- 🖼️ Bypass the lines at the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam with this Skip-the-Line ticket and admire van Gogh’s works with your very own private guide
- 🚶 Discover Amsterdam’s WWII history and follow in the footsteps of Anne Frank on this walking tour of the Jewish Quarter
- 🍲 Go on a foodie adventure through the city’s most delicious and authentic local bites and drinks
- 🏞️ Discover the Dutch countryside on this full-day tour to Zaanse Schans, Edam, Volendam, and Marken, with round-trip transfer from Amsterdam
Places to eat in Amsterdam
Staring at Jacob
Going to Staring at Jacob was my first foodie stop and one of my favorite meals during my trip. As a pancake lover I knew I wanted to eat as many as possible. These had all the flavor and fluffiness I was looking for upon arrival.
I ordered the veggie pancake plate. The meal came with hash browns, eggs, mushrooms, and halloumi (cheese). Of course there are meat options too for those who desire it.
For pricing, it’s not a cheap find since the plate cost 13.50 euros. But it was extremely satisfying and just what I needed after an overnight bus adventure from Berlin to Amsterdam. I would 100% recommend it and if I had more time I would have come back for another meal.
Though I tried, I couldn’t eat just pancakes. Located further outside the city, African Kitchen is a small bar and restaurant in the predominately Black area of Amsterdam. It took me a tram and metro to get here, but it was not in vain.
I ordered jollof rice, plantains, and fish for about 15 euros. Again it wasn’t the most budget-friendly meal, but well worth the euros. If you want a taste of African cuisine come here! I can see why it was recommended as a place to eat in Amsterdam. It’s also Black-owned, which is always a plus.
Fun story: after joining the Amsterdam Black Women Facebook group, I started researching past posts to find recommendations from the women who live there. I found that African Kitchen was a place many mentioned as having some of the best food in Amsterdam. Joining Facebook groups and searching them for information on your destination can help you find some of the best restaurants!
Bouncing off recommendations of the Amsterdam Black Women Facebook group, Bootoe is a Caribbean place to eat in Amsterdam. The lemon ginger lemonade was 4.50 euros of absolute deliciousness and my favorite drink I consumed during my trip.
I also ordered sweet potato fries. Their menu had other options too such as jerk chicken and pork served on little plates. Bootoe is also another Black-owned business to support on your solo trip to Amsterdam.
Albert Cuyp Market
When thinking about where to eat in Amsterdam, I knew I had to go to markets like I did in Berlin. Per the recommendation of my hostel, I headed to Albert Cuyp Market and stopped dead in my tracks when I saw the cutest mini-pancakes of my life. They were only 4 euros and you could get toppings on them such as chocolate, strawberries, oreos, M&Ms, bananas, you name it!
Aside from the mini-pancakes, vendors sold waffles, juices, fresh fruit, and there was even a meat market if you wanted to take something back to cook at your Airbnb. If you’re looking for another market to walk through post-eating at Albert Cuyp Market, Waterloopein Market has more material things and vintage goods at their market. Catch the metro or tram there and walk through to shop a little after eating.
Los Pilones Cantina Mexico
If I’m being honest, Los Pilones was not initially on my radar for solo dining in Amsterdam, It came per the recommendation of the tour guide from my Alternative Tour as one of the best Mexican places to eat in Amsterdam. Post-tour, myself and two other solo travelers ate here and chatted a bit.
I ordered 4 small quesadillas for about 10 euros (and they were listed as an appetizer). There are bigger plates if you’re hungrier for upwards of 15 to 19 euros a plate as well. I saw 4 tacos and a side of rice or beans for 18.50 euros on the menu.
Restaurants in the city center, such as Los Pilones, can be a bit pricey because they’re in the touristy area near the canals in Jordaan. However this doesn’t mean they’re not worth the money – the food was tasty! Just keep that in mind when looking where to eat in Amsterdam and any other major European city.
Indoor markets are just as big as outdoor markets! Foodhallen is one of them and another great place find the best food in Amsterdam. Here I opted for a crispy shrimp poke bowl that cost 10.50 euros.
If Asian cuisine isn’t your jam, there are other options to choose from such as pizza, sushi, and burgers. There is indoor and outdoor seating, WiFi, and shops surrounding the hall itself. You can go here and find something different to eat every day! If you have the time, by all means go for it (I’ll be over here crying with serious FOMO). I think it is an excellent choice for solo dining in Amsterdam.
The Breakfast Club
My final pancake adventure led me to The Breakfast Club. With multiple locations around the city it seems to be ideal for solo dining in Amsterdam. I went to the one closest to Foodhallen and ordered the New York.
The pancakes were humongous and filling, topped with powdered sugar, strawberries, blueberries and bananas. For 13.50 euros they will keep you full all day if you let them. They have indoor and outdoor seating as well, plus some cool couches and benches with pillows inside you can sit on as you eat. Don’t get too comfortable though, you may fall asleep after eating their pancakes!
Things to do alone in Amsterdam
Museums are a highlight of visiting Amsterdam. The Rijksmuseum is one popular museum to visit. It is huge so give yourself some time to see as much as you can. Art lovers will love the Rijksmusem.
For more history, check out the Anne Frank House. If you get emotional or cry easily, pack some tissues. To balance out your museum visits go to the Sexmuseum. It has been known to make some people squeamish. However is the first and oldest sex museum!
Ride a bike or take a canal cruise
If there is any city to travel through via bike it is Amsterdam. The city was made to travel through via bike and you can find them everywhere. A bike tour is a dual-purpose activity to sightsee and get some physical activity all at once.
For solo female travelers in Amsterdam who do not want to ride a bike, check out a canal cruise instead. There are more luxurious canal cruises, many during the day time, and even night time canal cruises.
Check out the A’DAM Tower
The A’DAM Lookout is one of the coolest things to do on a solo trip to Amsterdam. The view provides a 360 look of Amsterdam on a swing and is a beautiful activity to do around sunset. The observation deck gives you a panoramic view of the city, but also houses a hotel, nightclub, bar, and other things to do solo.
Go to the markets (food, clothes & more)
Outdoor markets are the place to be during the warmer months in Amsterdam. You can find food, jewelry, vintage clothing, fruits and veggies, and almost anything at markets in Amsterdam. The Albert Cuyp Market, Waterlooplein Market, and Noordermarkt are a few to add on your solo trip to Amsterdam. Going to markets is one of my favorite activities to do as a solo traveler!
Take an alternative tour of Amsterdam
For budget travelers heading onto an Amsterdam solo trip, a free alternative tour in Amsterdam is for you. The tour provides a local perspective as its led my a local Amsterdam guide. I learned a lot on this tour, including how the entire city center is a UNESCO Heritage Site.
Visit the coffeeshops
First rule on your solo trip to Amsterdam is knowing that coffeeshops don’t really offer “coffee.” These are cannabis stores for (primarily tourists) to buy and enjoy marijuana. You can find edibles, pre-rolled joints, and more.
The ironic part? According to my Alternative Tour guide in Amsterdam cannabis is illegal in the European Union (which the Netherlands is a part of). But since coffeeshops are such a driver for tourism the government allows them to exist.
Indulge in the international cuisine
If you could not tell, I’m big on the food! Solo traveling in Amsterdam requires as many food stops as possible. With market food and restaurants to choose from, you can find all types of cuisine based on your personal preference. I ate delicious Mexican food, Nigerian jollof, pancakes, and other tasty dishes.
Relax in Vondelpark
Vondelpark is the most famous park in Amsterdam. Parks are a relaxing solo traveler activity where you can bike, walk, or even plan a picnic. It is free to enter and the largest park in Amsterdam as well.
Solo traveler photoshoot
I love a good solo photoshoot! I think this an ideal way to capture photos without worrying about a tripod. Viator and Airbnb Experiences both provide these types of photoshoots too. And chances are you may meet another solo traveler too – which is what happened to me in Amsterdam.
Safety tips as a Black solo female traveler in Amsterdam
Primarily thanks to the Amsterdam Black Women Facebook group, I had an amazing time as a Black woman traveler! I knew there was a large Black community there prior to my solo trip to Amsterdam. But they truly did make my experience memorable.
With that said, I did have a few unfortunate experiences of being pressured to talk to a few men on public transportation. They explicitly made comments about my appearance. To be honest this is not uncommon, not even in the U.S. But it is still annoying when people don’t understand no means no.
I would say that for any Black female traveler heading to Amsterdam should tap into that Facebook group. Even though I have solo traveled often, I do love meeting other Black people in the cities I visit. It truly shows how vast the African diaspora is for us to find each other.
Additional tips for Amsterdam solo female travel
Amsterdam is one of the more expensive cities in Europe. Therefore, it is an expensive city to visit as a solo traveler. I would suggest increasing your regular travel budget just a little because the museums, food, and transportation can add up.
Another helpful solo traveler in Amsterdam tip is that most places take card. Though at the markets cash is more acceptable for smaller purchases under 5 or even 10 euros. Also, customer service is not the same in the U.S. so don’t take it personal if your server completely ignores you. Continue to eat your heart out and again be mindful of the bikers!
Solo travel in Amsterdam = a full itinerary!
Overall, I think I made the most of this solo trip! There are streets and streets of places to eat in Amsterdam – I got so full and satisfied. And of course you can always find things to do in alone in Amsterdam. This was my second visit and I still had more ideas of things to do. So take this list and find places I even missed!
Thanks for reading! For more solo female travel and foodie guides, PIN this post!
(This post was originally published on September 3, 2019 and updated on June 26, 2022)