8 Romantic Things to do in Amsterdam when it rains!
Rains might dampen the spirits of some of the people visiting Amsterdam, but it never deters the couples on a romantic adventure. Rains are just another reason to cuddle closer, hold hands and find your rhythm in the pitter patter of the raindrops. Some of the most romantic things to do in Amsterdam are actually when it rains.
So what if you cannot lounge on the sunny terraces or walk through the quaint streets of Amsterdam? It doesn’t matter if the rain makes it difficult to go on that popular open boat ride through the canals. There are still so many more romantic things to do in Amsterdam.
I am an incurable romantic who has traveled across 25 countries discovering many expressions of love. First as a dancer and a choreographer and later on as a traveler I have seen the many ways that love presents itself in this world around us. Amsterdam has been one of the most special places I have been. In an attempt to share a little bit of romance of this city, I have shortlisted 8 of my favorite romantic things to do in Amsterdam when it rains.
The Must-See Museums
Discover Amsterdam together. Travel with each other through centuries of art history to turn a regular rainy day into something meaningful and special. A historic delight is the Rijksmuseum. Built originally in 1885 by the Dutch artist; Pierre Cuypers, this neo-gothic architectural delight was renovated as recently as April 2013 and is now a part of the famed UNESCO Heritage list.
The Rijksmuseum houses 800 years of art history in the form of paintings and objects, including famous creations like Vermeer’s The Milkmaid and Rembrandt’s The Night Watch. My personal favorite and something I recommend to all romantics like myself, is the library. It’s a cozy place tucked away in a corner of the museum that offers an insight into the evolution of art and a respite from the otherwise bustling museum.
Another artistic wonder is the Van Gogh Museum, built by the Dutch architect Gerrit Rietveld. It is a sprawling architecture that houses the largest collection of Van Gogh paintings. This museum is spread across 3 levels and also displays the 19thcentury contemporary creations like Gaugin and Monet.
The Van Gogh museum is a pretty popular thing to do in Amsterdam and tends to get sold out over the weekends. I recommend pre-booking your tickets on their website, so that you are not disappointed.
The Anne Frank House also makes it to my list of recommended spots in Amsterdam. It still carries the essence of the strife, the struggle and the optimism of the 8 Jews hiding in the secret annex at Prinsengracht 263. This doorway was hidden behind a moveable bookcase and Anne Frank and seven others were able to survive in their hideout for two years without being deported to the concentration camps. Exactly 25 months into hiding, they were betrayed by a phone call. Otto Frank; the father of Anne Frank, was the sole survivor of this tragedy. Through the contents of Anne Frank’s Diary, one can relive those days of World War II when Nazi oppression dominated. You might think: How can that be a Romantic thing to do in Amsterdam? Realize that even in the darkest hours love is found. Anne and Peter both had their first kiss on the Attic and fantasize about there future while gazing through the window. When you know that you now love is found everywhere.
Things to remember: The museums are very popular and get approximately 1.2 million visitors yearly. So book in advance on the website to avoid disappointments.
Pro Tip: In case you haven’t been able to book in advance because the rains took you by surprise; try booking between 8 am to 9 am. If you’re lucky enough you can get same day tickets. The tickets are released in phases; the morning, afternoon and evening. Check regularly for availability.
The Rainy Rooftop
What could be more a more romantic thing to do in Amsterdam than a date on top of the world? Located on the 11thfloor of Double Tree Hilton, Amsterdam; the award-winning SkyLounge offers the perfect vantage point to soak in a panoramic view of this beautiful city. The sunny summer mornings see locals and tourists flocking to this rooftop bar. But apart from the open terraces, SkyLounge also offers closed enclosures with ceiling to floor windows which feel like they were handcrafted for a rainy day. There is nothing more romantic than sipping on signature cocktails while drinking in the view of a rain-washed Amsterdam.
Things to remember: SkyLounge is a popular hangout spot in Amsterdam. The cocktails are a little expensive but if you want to make your romantic date all that more memorable, it is worth indulging in,
Pro Tip: If you walk in close to 9 pm you might catch a live band in action
Romantic Boat Tours
Seal your trip with a romantic kiss under the bridge of love. Even when it rains! Amsterdam offers all-weather boats with retractable roofs to glide along the canals. Snuggle closer to your partner and watch the raindrops slide down the glass ceilings, creating the perfect filter to a rainy snapshot of this city.
There is a choice of commercial boat tours that can take you on this trip. But when you are on a romantic exploration you might want to opt for a smaller, intimate boat tour with just a few people. I like to take my small group of couples out on the canals at the romantic sunset hour. Visit my website to see why more than 1000 guests joined me on this Intimate canal tour. The waterways are relatively quieter and you can hear the waves gently flirt with the hull of the boat. The setting sun casts beautiful, golden shadows that tempts you to weave dreams of happily ever after.
Things to remember: The closed boat tours are quite an attraction during the rainy days. But it is not impossible to book yourself on a smaller, more romantic tour.
Pro Tip: End your day of sightseeing with an intimate journey of discovery along the canals as the city winds down and reveals itself at its most alluring with my customized boat tours. I find my reward in appreciative reviews like, “I often find Amsterdam a little busy, but Rocco managed to find the right quiet romantic places!”
Gorgeous Canal Houses
Be it rain or sunshine, one of the most romantic things to in Amsterdam is a trip down to the beautiful canal houses lining the waterways. A testimony to the progress of Amsterdam owing to the worldwide voyages of the Dutch East Indies Trade Company and The Dutch West Indies Trade Company, these canal houses are a delight to explore.
The entire city of Amsterdam was literally built on piles or large wooden stakes driven deep into the ground. The Central Station alone is hoisted on approximately 6000 piles which need to be maintained regularly. The adorable canal houses are no exception.
The canal houses were built during the ‘Golden Age’ and were reflective of the societal status and wealth of the merchants in Amsterdam. To understand why and how these canal houses were built and know more about the Golden Age of Amsterdam, I recommend you visit one of the following three canal house museums.
Begin with the Canal Museum House. It was originally built in 1655 and has survived many years of change to stand skinny and proud on Herengracht. The ground floor of this grand house contains gorgeous paintings and artwork. As you travel through the 7 rooms of this canal house, multimedia presentations will guide you on the rich history of these gorgeous houses.
If Downton Abbey had to be remade in Dutch, Willey-Holthuysen Museum is where it would happen. This French-inspired canal house is a trip back in time to the period of Dukes and Duchesses. Complete with ballrooms and parlors, this canal house has a stunning garden which alone is worth a visit. Don’t be fooled by the skinny exterior of this canal house, which was intentionally constructed to look thinner to avoid taxes. Once inside the gates, the house is nothing short of a castle complete with stunning cutlery with the family name engraved on them.
My personal favorite however, is the Museum Van Loon. The Van Loom family brought this house in 1844 and it has been in the family ever since. The most romantic spot in this house is the coach house which is the only one in Amsterdam to be restored to its original glory. The garden of this coach house actually has real coaches and if you are lucky enough you can sometimes spot a horse or two.
Things to remember: The canal house museums are not as crowded as the main museums. You can get the tickets on the same day or also visit them on your Holland Sightseeing Pass.
Pro Tip: Visit the canal house museums in the morning hours to get some quiet time to yourselves.
Proost! It’s how we say ‘Cheers!’ in Dutch
Raise a toast to your relationship the Dutch way!
Go on out on a very Dutch date at Brouwerij t’IJ. Opened by former musician Kaspar Peterson, this small brewery is a favorite with the locals. On Fridays, you can hang out with them to get a taste of the Dutch ways. Order their sampler tray to make your choice!
For a musical treat, visit De Prael Brouwerij in the red light district. I know what you are thinking; why would I recommend anything in a red light district? While it is true that there are those red light windows there are also families living here. Have an open mind and don’t miss out on some of the most fantastic beer!
De Prael Brouwerij make a whole lot of tasty brews and have a habit of naming them after famous musicians. A must-try is the Johnny Pills named after Johnny Jordaan.
Things to remember: De Prael Brouwerij is closed on Mondays. If you happen to have beer craving on the first day of the week go to Brouwerij t’IJ.
Pro Tip: Book yourself on a tour to the Brouwerij t’IJ at Funenkade. Located next to the biggest windmill in Amsterdam, they have a scenic tour every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday and even offer exclusive tours of the brewery in English. Once the rains ease you can also sip your beer by the water!
Celebrate romance the traditional way; go to the gardens!
Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam is one of the oldest botanical gardens of the world. One of the most romantic things to do In Amsterdam!. What started out as a herb garden is today home to over six thousand varieties of plants. Take a walk through the lush greenhouses under clear glass ceilings washed down by the pouring rain.
Do not miss the butterfly garden! Thousands of small, delicate butterflies dance through this garden, creating a burst of colours. This beautiful sight will fill your heart will laughter and love.
Hortus Botanicus is also a favored wedding venue. Couples love making their weddings more enchanting in the company of dancing leaves and rustling breezes. Not a bad place to rehearse your vows if you are standing on the brink of a proposal!
Things to remember: The botanical gardens are closed for Christmas and the 1stof January.
Pro Tip: Visit the gardens during the early hours when there are fewer people around and the only sounds are of rain of roof and rustling leaves.
No romantic date was ever complete without chocolates! Did you know that Amsterdam is the biggest cacao harbor in the world? Overshadowed by the more glitzy Paris and Brussels the chocolate delights of Amsterdam often tend to get missed. But the truth is that even Belgium and Switzerland who are world famous for their chocolates, import their cocoa from Amsterdam. If you like chocolate this is one of the tastiest romantic things to do in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam is home to eighteen of the only twenty people in the world qualified to grade the cocoa beans basis its smell. One of the most tempting places is the Metropolitan, owned by Chocolatier Kees Raat. He is the only chocolatier in Amsterdam who makes his own bar-to-bean chocolates and ice-creams. Metropolitan carefully selects its own cocoa beans. These cocoa beans are first grilled, then crushed and rolled till they become the pure form of chocolate which is the base of all sinfully delicious Metropolitan recipes.
Things to remember: Metropolitan had a host of desserts apart from chocolates and ice-creams to indulge in.
Pro Tip: Ask the staff for their gluten-free options or talk to them about your allergies. They are more than happy to help you find your favourite treat!
Add a touch of drama!
One of the most romantic things to do in Amsterdam is going to the Cinema. Give your love story the fairy-tale twist with a visit to one of the enchanting theatres in Amsterdam.
I recommend Tuschinski to all couples because of the love seats! That’s true; one of the most beautiful cinemas in the world has special love seats with a complimentary drink which you can book in advance to make your vacation even more special. All movies screened here are in the original language. You can search for a Hollywood screening or treat yourself to a German or French film. Reserve a seat for two and cuddle with your favorite movie in this uber romantic movie hall.
Another favorite is Royal Theatre Carré. Built by Carré, a circus owner, in the 19thcentury, this theatre today is home to a variety of shoes from operas to cabarets and delightful museums.
Also recommended is the National Opera and Ballet housed in Stopera building which also has the city hall of Amsterdam. It has one of the biggest stages in the Netherlands and is a must visit for theatre aficionados. You can check out their plans by visiting their website.
Things to remember: You might need to book in advance to secure a seat for the show of your choice.
Pro Tip: Book online at the Royal Theatre Carré and plan your day around it.
There are so many Romantic things to do in Amsterdam, that it would be tragic to let a little rain stop you from planning your perfect, romantic outing. Every relationship is unique and needs its own space, so if you did not find anything tempting for you and your partner in the list above, worry not. You can always download ‘Amsterdam’s Romantic Guide For Couples’.
I wish you luck and love in exploring the romantic side of Amsterdam. I hope this article helps you plan your romantic getaway. If you want to take the intimate water tour on a perfectly rainy day; or simply want to experience the magic of the waterways at sunset; feel free to contact me through my website. You can also email me on [email protected]
For years, I have practically had wheels on my feet. I have traveled the world and while every experience has left me feeling richer and more wonderful, it is in Amsterdam that I have understood the true meaning of love. Having been a dancer and choreographer, I now use my artistic inclination to customize intimate tours for couples and those in search of a romantic escape. I know the nooks and crannies of Amsterdam and take delight in taking my guests to the lesser populated but more beautiful spots in Amsterdam. I don’t want people to just see Amsterdam, I want them to feel it. It is a city worth falling in love with. Wanna get more tips of Romantic things to do in Amsterdam? Download my guide: “My favorite Romantic things to do in Amsterdam”.
updated 21th of December 2018