A Hen Weekend In Amsterdam | Things To Do & Places To Go
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Small in size yet packing a cultural punch far beyond its weight, Amsterdam is one of Europe’s most popular destinations for hen parties. However diverse your group’s interests you’re all likely to find something amazing to do in the Dutch capital.
For party animals, Amsterdam boasts one of the world’s most vibrant nightlife scenes. For those who prefer a chilled atmosphere (or just need to take the revelries down a gear), the city is awash with pleasant bars and restaurants as well as attractions both historical and modern. Check out Sightseer’s top hen weekend recommendations in the sections below:
1) Culinary Hen Weekend:
With everything from street food vendors to Michelin-starred restaurants, a foodie is never sold short in the city of Amsterdam. If your hen party has a passion for gastronomy, be sure to visit the districts of Jordaan and De Pjip:
This historic neighbourhood is notable for its speciality shops and amazing restaurants, as well as stunning canal fronts, historic buildings and other sightseeing pleasures. If you’re feeling adventurous, try herring the Dutch way at Urker Viswinkel. For a sweet treat, tuck into a delicious apple pie in the 400-year old Café Papeneiland.
Jordaan is also home to Café ‘t Smalle, a quaint canalside pub serving Belgian beers and food. Then there’s the Bond-themed Vesper Bar. Vesper Bar offers a vast range of cocktails and even does fun workshops for groups of 8 or more people. It’s an ideal hands-on hen weekend activity.
Vesper Bar Cocktail Workshop - View our full list of cocktail workshops here.
• De Pijp:
De Pijp, pronounced ‘De Pipe’, is the place to be if you’re seeking a cosy, multi-cultural atmosphere. Active yet intimate, De Pijp is deemed one of Amsterdam’s coolest neighbourhoods to live and work in. There’s also a wealth of must-visit restaurants and fabulous bars, from Indonesian delicacies at Sari Citra, to locally brewed beers and pub grub at Brouwerij Troost (hint: their burger is amazing!). Follow either of these two up by indulging your sweet tooth at My Little Patisserie. The girls in your group are sure to appreciate the diverse flavours De Pijp has to offer.
Brouwerij Troost Bruger.
• Money To Spare?
If you’re planning a high-end culinary experience, give Amsterdam’s Michelin starred restaurants a go. From the famous Ciel Bleu to Japanese haute cuisine at Yamazato, check out this guide to Amsterdam’s top 10 Michelin starred restaurants.
Michelin Star Dining At Yamazato, Amsterdam.
2) Hen Weekend Nightlife:
What’s a hen weekend without diving into Amsterdam’s renowned nightlife scene? Home to world-class DJs and dance music pioneers, Amsterdam is indeed one of the party capitals of the world. Some notable nightlife experiences your hen group may wish to check out are:
• AIR Amsterdam:
- Where? Amstelstraat 16, 1017 DA Amsterdam.
AIR is a state-of-the-art megaclub that’s home to some of the city’s best techno and house music line-ups. Its flash interior and quality sound system are complimented by its strategic location in the clubbing hub of Rembrandtplein- ideal if you plan on hopping between venues.
Air Nightclub Amsterdam.
• Amsterdam Dance Event 2017:
- Where? Various Venues.
Amsterdam’s annual dance festival is one of the biggest in the world! Usually held every October, planning your hen weekend around ADE will add a timeless edge to the group’s festivities. This year’s ADE is being held between October 18-22, and will involve over 2,200 big name DJs and artists. See the set lists and learn more here.
Amsterdam Dance Event.
• Escape Club:
- Where? Rembrandtplein 11, 1017 CT Amsterdam.
Also located on Rembrandtplein, Escape is one of the longest running clubs in Amsterdam. It regularly hosts big name DJs and jumping crowds both local and international. The queue can be long, so be sure to plan your visit or book a table in advance.
Escape Club Amsterdam.
• Amsterdam Xtracold Icebar:
- Where? Amstel 194-196.
Located at the edge of the Amstel river, Amsterdam’s iconic Icebar hovers at a steady -10°C for optimal enjoyment of its beer and cocktail selections. Equipped with warm mittens and a parka upon entry, you’re promptly guided towards the 4D Ice Experience. This audio-visual spectacle centres on the voyage of 16th century Dutch explorer Willem Barentsz, who became stranded on the frozen island of Nova Zembla with his crew in 1596.
All visits booked online include 3 free drinks (1 upon entry, 2 at the ice bar). At the end of the 4D Ice Experience finish off your 2 free ice bar drinks and admire the room’s stunning frozen sculptures. Professional photographers will be on-hand to take a snap of you and your hen party. Queues and waiting times can be long, so remember to book your tickets well in advance.
The Amsterdam Icebar - A Hen/Stag Party Staple.
While there’s no shortage of great clubs, bars, and burlesque shows in Amsterdam, deciding on a venue can be difficult when large groups are involved. If you prefer a varied roster and don’t have your heart set on a specific place, consider a guided party pub crawl.
3) On Your Bike:
The city of Amsterdam is famous for its swarms of bicycles, meaning there’s no shortage of bike rentals and cycle routes to explore. Guaranteed, you haven’t truly explored the city until you’ve done so with pedal power! As one of, if not the safest form of transport in Amsterdam, it’s also a good way to meet locals and new people - Learn More.
'Small City' Bike Tour Of Amsterdam.
4) Culinary Canal Cruises:
Where there’s a stretch of canal, a sightseeing boat is never far away. But these vessels can also act as floating restaurants, offering everything from 4-course dinners to simple cheese boards. Two culinary cruises popular with hen parties and other celebratory groups are the Beer & Burger and Pizza Cruises. Each one lasts 1 hour 30 minutes and is an ideal way to enjoy good food while getting in a bit sightseeing.
Try A Burger Cruise During Your Hen Party.
5) Book An Escape Room:
Gather up the girls, put your heads together, and see if you can outwit one of Amsterdam's exciting Escape Room experiences. See our list of recommended games here.
An Escape Room Experience In Amsterdam.
6) Make Time For Culture:
With a full weekend to burn it can't all be cocktails and nightclubs. Use the hours between dawn and dusk to visit a few of Amsterdam's top attractions.
• Van Gogh Museum:
This Museumplein highlight showcases more than 1,000 of Vincent Van Gogh’s paintings, letters, and sketches. If you are a big fan of art, and Van Gogh in particular, this is a great chance to learn intimately about his development, inspirations and personal life. No visit to Amsterdam is complete without paying homage to the Dutch legendary impressionist.
Van Gogh Museum.
• Anne Frank House:
If your hen weekend has to include a bit of history, visit the home of famed diarist Anne Frank. Possibly the most notable Jewish victim of Nazi persecution, the building where she and her family hid for 2 years offers poignant insights into one of the darkest chapters of World War 2. The front of the house is now a museum, but the back rooms have been preserved just as there were during the Franks’ seclusion. Given the building’s notoriety queues can be long and waiting times lengthy, so visit early in the morning or book in advance online.
Anne Frank House.
Every good hen weekend has to include a bit of retail therapy. From the busy stores of Kalverstraat and The Nine Streets, to over 200 retailers at De Negen Straatjes, you can find everything from vintage speciality shops to high-end independent boutiques in Amsterdam.
The city’s street markets also make for a unique shopping experience. Street markets in Amsterdam sell everything from vintage clothes to antiques and artisan delicacies. Try visiting the Westerstraat Market in the Jordaan district on Monday mornings, the Waterlooplein Flea Market near the Rembrandt House, and the floating flower market on the Singel.
Shopping On Kalverstraat.
8) Beer Tasting In A Windmill Brewery:
Amsterdam’s breweries offer guided beer tasting tours which are great activities for large groups such as hen parties. One you may want to visit is the Brouwerij ‘t IJ in the Oostelijke Eilanden, an award winning artisan microbrewery, complete with a beautiful outdoor drinking terrace and guided tasting tours. Another good craft beer bar/microbrewery in the city is the Craft & Draft near Vondelpark.
Brouwerij't IJ Beer Tasting Tour.