top of page
  • Wendy Byard

Solo Travel for Women - Amsterdam

I guess you're here because you're considering embarking on solo travel to Amsterdam... the enchanting capital of the Netherlands known for its charming canal houses and delectable Stroopwafels?

Whether you're a seasoned solo traveller, embarking on a new adventure, or circumstances have led you to explore independently, I hope the account of my 24 hours in Amsterdam will not only inform you but also ignite a sense of excitement and empowerment as a solo female traveller.

You might have a few concerns about enjoying Amsterdam solo. With its reputation for legalised marijuana and red-light districts, you might wonder if it's not better to go with a group of friends and enjoy a party atmosphere. However, after my 24 hours of exploring alone, I can assure you that Amsterdam is a safe and welcoming city, ready to embrace solo female travellers like you.

Ultimately, the city's iconic canals, world-class art scene, stunning architecture, and rich history captivated my heart. And let's not forget the abundance of delicious gouda, the local cheese speciality, which only added to my excitement.

In an effort to empower fellow solo travellers to experience the magic of Amsterdam, I'm sharing the essentials you need to know below. And of course, I'll also address the challenges I encountered along the way, because even the most incredible adventures don't always go as planned.

1. Is Amsterdam safe for solo travellers?

Absolutely! Amsterdam ranks among the safest solo travel destinations globally. The Safe Cities Index 2021 placed Amsterdam as the second safest city worldwide for personal security. I don't think you can get much safer than that...unless you live in Copenhagen, of course.

Personal safety for solo travel amsterdam

As with any major city, minor crimes like petty theft exist, making it important to safeguard your belongings. Basic precautions, such as concealing your valuables and staying vigilant are enough to ensure a safe experience.

Solo females who travel in Amsterdam are exceptionally safe, with low instances of violent crime and well-lit streets at night. It's all really common sense: stay connected and avoid unfamiliar areas after dark. Solo female travellers can explore Amsterdam with confidence.

The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
2. Why choose Amsterdam for solo travel?

Besides its safety record, Amsterdam is easy to navigate, and its multilingual environment is great for solo adventurers. No linguistic challenges here!

The city has a really welcoming attitude towards tourists, which, coupled with an array of solo-friendly activities, makes solo travel for women a breeze.

My absolute favourite thing to do when I'm solo travelling is museum hopping. It's so much easier visiting art galleries and museums alone, rather than having to wait for someone else, or feeling obliged to hurry up. And, of course, Amsterdam is full to the brim of wonderful museums. I'll recommend some at the end.

Tram at Central Station, Amsterdam
3. Getting Around - Navigating Amsterdam's public transport.

Trams, buses and trains, getting around the city was convenient and efficient.

During my stay, I bought a 7 euro OV-chip card, a versatile travel pass that proved invaluable and hassle-free.

Load the card with funds, I loaded €30, and then used it across all modes of transport, including trains, subways, trams, and buses. It was all fast, efficient and clean. Tap your card to enter the station or when you board the bus or tram, and again when you leave. The journey amount will be deducted from your balance automatically. You can also check the balance as you exit. You'll always need €10 on the card, but don't worry, when you come to leave the Netherlands, you can visit the ticket office and get a refund of the money left on your card.

Cycling in Amsterdam

There are, of course, other ways to get around: by foot or by bike. Now, after my bike incident in Lake Garda, where I nearly killed a whole family and their dog, I decided to give cycling a miss but don't let it stop you. There were lots of tourists on bikes, and many of the hotels rent out bikes to guests. Cycle routes are clearly marked and have their own lane; just be careful of people who are sightseeing wandering around and not concentrating.....Yes, I was guilty of that....sorry.

4. 24 Hours in Amsterdam - for the solo woman traveller

With just 24 hours, I had to prioritise my wish list: one museum, one 'experience', and one evening meal. Not ideal, but I always make the best of every opportunity.

I chose a hotel about a 5-minute walk from Central Station so that I could leave my bag quickly and start exploring. I did just that. I walked through the Red Light District and visited the Flower Market and Dam Square. It was then getting cold and dark, so it was time to eat.

One of the things I hear a lot about solo travel for women is that eating alone feels uncomfortable. I have to say, solo travel to Amsterdam was the totally opposite experience for me. I found an excellent restaurant with huge windows overlooking the Damrak, and I people-watched with a glass of wine. It was a wonderful experience, the food was delicious and the service was perfect. When I came out, I got to take my passeggiata past the beautiful canalside houses on my way back.

Wendy Byard. Going Solo in Amsterdam

The next morning, I took the metro up to the Museumplein. I could have chosen the Rijksmuseum or the Van Gough, but both of those had timed entry, and I'd already visited years ago. I opted for the Stedelijk (the one shaped like a bath), and I'm so glad I did. I really enjoyed the exhibitions there. If I had more time, I would have liked to visit the Moco as well. Maybe next time.

Then, it was time to explore Amsterdam's eclectic shopping scene. A tram ride to the Albert Cuyp Market and then the vintage boutiques of the Jordaan area of the city. Nine Streets, the prettiest part of the city, is where you can buy vintage clothes by weight, stop for a ginger tea and, of course, the obligatory Stroopwaffel for sustenance.

Thankfully, I only had an under-the-seat bag for my flight; otherwise, I would have bought way too much.

Remember at the beginning, I said I'd address the challenges I encountered along the way because even the most incredible adventures don't always go as planned? Well, yes, there was one or two. However, it was only linked to the flight, not Amsterdam itself...that was perfect.

When I arrived at the airport, I was greeted by this.

Solo travel for women - the drawbacks, a cancelled flight


Now I've never had a flight cancel on me at the airport. This is when I realised that travelling alone I had nobody to support me or discuss it with. I'd have to sort it myself. In fact, had I looked carefully, I would have noticed something....the flight underneath. It was only the fight number that had changed.

I have to admit that the incident did throw me, my usual calm self had left on the first flight out of there. I stopped concentrating. That meant that I left my bag by the seat in the 'relax' area and walked off with just my duty free bag. I didn't notice until I was just about to show my passport at the gate.

Lesson. Always wear running shoes on a flight. I have no idea how I ran that far or that fast. But there was my bag, being watched by a security guard with her arms folded. I was just in time. It was a mistake, a silly one, and one I've never done before in over 30 years of travel, but it does show that when travelling alone, you must not panic, and you must concentrate.

5. Accommodation in Amsterdam.

There are lots of places to stay in Amsterdam, but if you're a solo female traveller, I'd suggest the Jordaan area the Hoxton is an excellent choice, or the area which I chose down by the Central Station. It's very easy to connect with public transport from there, and you're surrounded by restaurants. The particular hotel I chose was the Hendrix...mostly for it's location, but also because you also get a complimentary Hendrix G&T!

G&T at the Hendrix hotel Amsterdam

If you're looking for accommodation in Amsterdam, please let me know, I have access to preferential rates and perks (like the G&T) at many of them.

6. My recommendations

Restaurant - Royal98 -

So, when it comes to solo travel for women in Amsterdam...... Don't hesitate! It's safe, easy to get around and you won't regret it.

As always, if you need any help booking attractions, hotels, or you need a little help with getting your holiday currency sorted out, that's what I do, and I'll make sure you have a trip to remember!


#travel companiesforsolofemaletravellers


bottom of page