If you love European city breaks then you may want to consider a trip to Amsterdam. We recently travelled there for a three-night city break and had a great time exploring the beautiful Dutch city. I was pleasantly surprised at how wheelchair accessible Amsterdam is and the amazing tram system. Here is what we got up to during 3 days in Amsterdam in my ultimate wheelchair users travel guide to Amsterdam, including where to stay, how to get around in a wheelchair and wheelchair accessible things to do in Amsterdam.
A Wheelchair Users Travel Guide to Amsterdam
Wheelchair Accessible Hotel in Amsterdam
It’s always a little daunting when looking for a wheelchair accessible hotel, especially when visiting a city for the first time. There are so many factors to consider from the hotel’s location, the accessibility of public transport and distance from the hotel as well as the hotel’s accessibility and more. While researching hotels in Amsterdam I came across a travel agency, Accessible Travel Netherlands and after speaking with them decided to book the Corendon Vitality Hotel with their help.
It’s a stylish, modern and comfortable hotel with the best beds EVER. There was a train station close by as well as a tram stop with fantastic wheelchair access. Our accessible ‘vitality’ room had a roll-in shower and I requested the use of the shower chair. The room also had an automatic door system, automatic curtains and a smart TV with lots of cool features such as ordering food and drink to the room. The hotel has a fitness centre and spa, which is ideal if you’re looking to unwind after exploring Amsterdams sights.
You can read the full review and see more photos here: https://www.simplyemma.co.uk/corendon-vitality-hotel-amsterdam-wheelchair-accessible-hotel/
Address: Aletta Jacobslaan 7, 1066 BP Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amenities/facilities: Free Wi-Fi, fitness centre, spa, restaurant, bar, 24/7 shop, room service, car parking.
Wheelchair Accessible Things to do in Amsterdam
Day 1 in Amsterdam
Breakfast at the hotel
After a late start to the day, we headed down to the hotel’s restaurant for some breakfast and fuelled up on lots of goodness before heading out for our first day in Amsterdam.
Take the tram to Spui Square
We made our way to the tram stop and after getting a little confused with what line we should be getting, a lovely woman helped us out. We took tram line 2 to Spui Square, which took around 25 minutes.
Browse Spui Square Market
As we stepped off the tram into Spui Square we realised there was a book market happening. We have since found out that this book market takes place every Friday. It a small and compact market with lots of books and prints for sale. There are also a few bookstores and cafes which make this a nice area to browse and stop for some lunch. Caffe Esprit was a lovely cafe with an outdoor seating area overlooking the square. If we weren’t full from breakfast then we would have stopped here for some lunch and vegan cake.
Simply Emma Tip: This area is cobblestoned so prepare for a bit of a bumpy ride. Thankfully the area isn’t too big, so shouldn’t be too bad.
The Bloemenmarkt is a floating flower market along the southern canal belt. It’s the only floating flower market in the world and has existed since 1862, so it’s pretty cool to visit. If you’re looking for any type of flower (wooden and real), bulbs or souvenirs then this is the place for you. Not going to lie I was slightly tempted to buy orange wooden clogs for my nephew. The flower market is full of colour and will brighten even the dullest of days. Despite how old the flower market is, I was happy to see there were ramps for easy access down to the different levels.
Walk along the Canals and quaint streets
Following the bloemenmarkt, take a stroll along the canals and quaint streets. We enjoyed this as it allowed us to admire the beauty of the buildings and gave us a real feel of Amsterdam. There was more of a local feel as opposed to touristy.
Dam Square and The Royal Palace
Dam Square is right in the heart of Amsterdam and is bustling with lots of people. Its central location makes it a great area to explore and visit many sights and attractions such as Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Madame Tussauds, Nationaal Monument and of course The Royal Palace. With plenty of shops, cafes, restaurants, food stalls and street performers you won’t be short of things to do. You can’t miss the sea of bikes here. I honestly don’t think I’ve seen so many bikes in my life as I did in those three days in Amsterdam.
Simply Emma Tips: This is a cobblestoned area so if you need a break from the bumps why not head inside The Royal Palace for a free audio tour. Carers will receive free admission.
Dinner at one of the many restaurants
There are plenty of restaurants in and around Dam Square to choose from. However, we opted to dine a little out with the Dam Square area in a quieter spot. We stopped off at an Italian restaurant (forgotten its name) for some pasta. Since it was a nice night we decided to sit outdoors, but thankfully it had parasols and outdoor heaters as the temp dropped and became quite cold. While enjoying our pasta we discussed what we wanted to do next by studying the map. Allan literally got inside the map to figure out where we were and where to go next.
Body Worlds Museum
Body Worlds Museum was a short walk from the restaurant so it was a perfect attraction to visit after a filling dinner. We arrived around 6:45pm so had to keep track of the time as it was closing at 8pm. Body Worlds was created by Gunther von Hagens’ and there are a few other exhibitions across Europe, Canada and North America. The theme of Amsterdams Body Worlds exhibition is “The Happiness Project”.
Throughout the five floors of the exhibition, you discover the secrets of happiness and how it affects our bodies. You learn about how exercise, food, sex, prenatal development and more impacts our happiness and health. This is shown through fascinating interactive displays and over 200 real human bodies. Yes, real bodies! The bodies are skinned and put through a process of plastination before being put on display. You get to see how our organs, brains, arteries, muscles and more work.
Address: Damrak 66, 1012 LM Amsterdam, Netherlands
Facilities: Accessible toilet, lift and gift shop
Day 2 in Amsterdam
Breakfast at the hotel or grab something on the way
Take Tram to Cornelius
Hop on the tram and stop off at Cornelius. From here you can take a lovely stroll through some residential homes on the way to Vondelpark. These homes were beautiful and grand.
Wander around Vondelpark
It’s always good to escape the bustling city streets by taking some time out to enjoy the tranquillity of a park. We always make sure we do this when visiting a city. Despite being Amsterdam’s most famous park, Vondelpark wasn’t as busy as I had imagined. It is a beautiful and peaceful park with so much space (120 acres to be exact). There are several restaurants and cafes, an open-air theatre, rose garden, playgrounds, pond and much more in this stunning park to fill many hours of the day. After a wander around the park we stopped off for something to eat at Groot Melkhuis within the grounds of Vondelpark and it was lovely.
Simply Emma Top Tip: Take a picnic or grab some lunch at one of the restaurants/cafes. It’s a beautiful park. Enjoy your time there!
Visit Museumplein and the iconic iAmsterdam Sign
Some would say that you never visited Amsterdam if you didn’t take a photo in front of the iAmsterdam sign. Well, you will find the iconic sign in the Museumplein, which is a public space in the Amsterdam-Zuid borough. If one iAmsterdam isn’t enough for you, then head for Amsterdam Airport Schiphol to find the second sign, but there is also a third sign which changes locations. A smaller version of the sign is located in the courtyard of the Amsterdam Museum.
Museumplein is a lovely area surrounded by various museums waiting to be explored. You can choose from the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art and the Van Gogh Museum. If you are short of time I would suggest just one or possibly two museums as they are pretty huge with a vast artwork collection.
Simply Emma Top Tip: The iAmsterdam is always going to be busy so it’s impossible to get a selfie without people photobombing, but grab a free spot and go for it anyway.
We really wanted to visit The Moco museum which is a beautiful 1904 townhouse displaying works by graffiti artist Banksy. Unfortunately, there is no wheelchair access, so we decided to visit the Stedelijk instead. Stedelijk offers wheelchair accessibility throughout with lifts and accessible toilets. The museum is full of modern and contemporary art. Our favourite was the light exhibitions as they were absolutely mesmerising to watch.
Simply Emma Top Tip: I struggled to find public accessible toilets while wandering the streets, so I always made use of the accessible toilet in any museum or attraction I visited. All museums have an admission price so you can’t just enter the museum to use the toilet without paying the admission prices which are quite pricey.
Address: Museumplein 10, 1071 DJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
Dinner at Vegan Junk Food Bar
While planning our trip to Amsterdam we researched the best vegan restaurants and the Vegan Junk Food Bar kept coming up in almost every search. We knew it was ‘a must’ for us. We had been looking forward to eating here for such a long time and it didn’t disappoint. It was fairly busy when we arrived so we agreed to wait the 15 minutes until a table became free. There was a water fountain just outside the restaurant so we sat by there for the short wait.
Once seated inside we began looking at the delicious options on the menu. Not going to lie, it was rather difficult to choose as there were so many amazing options. Allan opted for the Daddy McChik’n while I opted for the Original VJFB. I wanted to go for something like what Allan ordered but there was no way I would be able to hold the massive burger in my hands. We also ordered a side of nuggets and sweet potato fries. It was amazing!
Simply Emma Top Tip: There is not a wheelchair accessible toilet in this restaurant. If you are able to walk once out of your wheelchair then you may manage to leave your wheelchair outside the toilet door, otherwise, it won’t be possible to use the toilet here.
Address: Marie Heinekenplein 9, 1072 MH Amsterdam, Netherlands
Selfie with the ‘Wake me up when famous’ bench in De Pijp
Just a 5-minute walk from Vegan Junk Food Bar is the ‘Wake me up when famous’ bench in De Pijp. This is a really cool, bohemian part of Amsterdam. It had a much more relaxed vibe with shops, restaurants and cool little places to eat and drink at. De Pijp is also where you will find the famous bench so it would be rude not to get a selfie, right?
Address: Frans Halsstraat 64, 1072 BT Amsterdam
Day 3 in Amsterdam
Picnic in Rembrandtpark
You are flying home today but you still want to squeeze in a few more things before you have to head to the airport. I suggest visiting a local supermarket like Albert Heijn Sierplein, which was about a 15-minute walk from Corendon Vitality Hotel. We bought food, drinks and snacks for our picnic and headed to Rembrandtpark for the afternoon. Rembrandtpark is located in the “New West” district and was the perfect spot for our picnic is the sun.
We picked a quiet secluded spot to enjoy our food beside a pond and even had some ducks for company. Oh and a few wild parrots too. After our picnic, we wandered around the park and stumbled upon De Uylenburg, which is the oldest petting zoo in Amsterdam. As we were walking by one of the sheep came up to the fence and fell in love with Allan.
Simply Emma Top Tip: Stop off at a supermarket along the way for some snacks and enjoy them in the park. Relax with the parrots and watch people come and go.
How to get around Amsterdam in a wheelchair
Due to arriving late at night we opted to prebook a wheelchair accessible taxi with Salders. The taxi driver was lovely and took us to our hotel, Corendon Vitality where we stayed for three nights. It was a large ford van with plenty of space inside for my wheelchair. I would imagine it could possibly take two wheelchairs as there was space behind me. Our taxi driver ensured I was secured with belts across my body and wheelchair tie-downs.
Before my trip to Amsterdam, I imagined there would be cobblestones everywhere. However, I was pleased to discover that wasn’t the case. Don’t get me wrong there were cobbles in some areas, but on the whole, it was relatively flat allowing for a smooth drive in my powered wheelchair. Crossing the roads was easy and I always managed to find lowered curb drops.
Getting on the tram was really easy as the tram conductors immediately put the ramp in place for me to enter and exit. I also found the conductors extremely friendly and helpful compared to other European cities I’ve visited. It makes such a big difference when the staff are helpful and smile. There is a dedicated wheelchair space directly next to the door so it’s easy for getting on and off. Just let the conductor know what stop you are getting off at so they can get the ramp prepared for you. I honestly found the tram super easy and convenient to use.
- Accessible toilets: I found it difficult to find public accessible toilets while out and about. I recommend using toilets when visiting attractions/museums etc.
- GVB travel cards: You can buy a GVB card for 24, 48 or 72 hours for unlimited travel on the bus, tram and metro.
3 Days In Amsterdam: A Wheelchair Users Travel Guide to Amsterdam
There you have it, 3 days in Amsterdam packed with wheelchair accessible things to do, where to stay and how to get around Amsterdam in a wheelchair. Stayed tuned for an upcoming video from our Amsterdam trip.
If you have any more suggestions for things to see and do in Amsterdam or places to eat and drink, please do share them in the comments below.
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Bloemenmarkt photo by olgacov via depositphotos