Amsterdam is often called "the city of miracles" - picturesque bridges and channels span the city, beautiful architecture is practically around every corner, islands of tulips and a sea of colourful bicycles vivify the ancient streets, flower markets and modern museums are a stark contrast to grey buildings and asphalt streets of a busy metropolitan city.
The capital of the Netherlands is vastly diverse, it cannot be portrayed with a few simple words. Every person who comes here is seeking something particular, and inevitably finds it. Contrary to popular belief, the city holds much more than the famous Red Lights District and coffee shops. Famous masters of the brush, like Vincent Van Gogh, Rembrandt and other Flemish painters, lived and created their famous works here.
The city has everything for a brilliant vacation, it will captivate your imagination and awe you with its beautiful locations, causing you to be fully immersed in every moment.
For your convenience, we have created a short dog-friendly tour guide of Amsterdam, which will save you some time while including must-see locations and points of interest.
The Optimal Tour - Places to Visit in Amsterdam With Your Dog
You can begin your journey from the Dam Square - the central plaza of Amsterdam located on a 13th century water dam. English takes inspiration from the Dutch language, borrowing the Dutch word from the 1400s for a structure restricting the flow of water - dam (which is why it is also called Amsterdam). Nearly a third of the total land mass of the Netherlands is located below sea level. For this reason, the Dutch constructed numerous dams hundreds of years ago to restrict the flow of water, freeing up the land for agriculture, streets, housing and all of the other ways land could be utilized for. With time, the Dam Square transformed into the commercial hub of Amsterdam, and for a long time it was used as a center for stock trading. Visiting the square, you can feel the rhythm of the city, its atmosphere and the general mood of its citizens.
While enjoying the stroll of the square with your beloved dog, heed attention to the Royal Palace of Amsterdam - the official residence of the Dutch royal dynasty where various events take place, be it the ascension to the throne of a new king, a royal wedding or reception of foreign dignitaries. The palace was constructed in the 18th century as a building for the court of law and the city council, but was later given to the monarchy. The foundation of the structure itself is held up 13660 piles!
Not far from the Royal Palace a tall spire can be seen protruding above the city line, that is the Church of Nieuwe Kerk. More similarities between English and Dutch can be seen, and as the astute reader may already guess, “nieuwe” is the Dutch word for “new”. Despite the name being apt for the time around which it was built, it can hardly hold true nowadays, as the church was built in 1408. It is nearly impossible to miss the Nieuwe Kerk Church, as it stands significantly taller than all other small buildings of the city, a keen reminder of the might and traditions of the royal house. This is also the building where the royal coronation ceremony takes place.
After spending some time on Dam Square you might be interested in walking along the canals of Amsterdam, after all it is another famous landmark of the capital. The total length of the canal system within the city is nearly 80 kilometers and are commonly used for small cruise boats and dinghies. More than 1500 bridges of varying length connect different sides of the canals together. The first canal was dug up in the 15th century, to be used as a moat for the defense of the city. Today, it is named the Singel Canal and it is one of the main water channels of Amsterdam, flowing around the famous Gingerbread Houses. While walking in this area, be sure to have your camera at the ready, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to have a magnificent photo session with your pet!
The Singel Canal also hosts the world’s one and only floating flower market - The Bloemenmarkt, history of which can be traced all the way back to the 17th century, when traders would sell flowers to passers-by right from their boats. Nowadays the barges that house the flower market are safely docked and don’t move, yet the whole market is still on water - ergo floating market. Here a curious tourist can acquire beautiful, vivid bouquets, high quality seeds, souvenirs and the world famous Dutch tulips.
Not far from the Bloemenmarkt you may be able to see the Munttoren (Mint Tower) - a famous tower that stands on the busy Mint Square, located at the intersection of the Amstel River and the Singel Canal. The tower was used as a location for a coin mint during the 17th century, which is where it, and the square it stands on, gets its name.
Originally, the Munttoren was part of the Regulierspoort - one of the main gates in Amsterdam’s medieval city walls, but after a fire in 1618, only the guard house and part of the western tower remained standing. During its restoration in 1620, four clockwork faces were added and an octagonal spire was erected atop the tower, housing 38 bells, which can be heard only once a week on Saturdays. Hearing these bells is akin to visiting a musical concert!
If you do decide to visit the other side of the Amstel River, after a brisk walk with your dog, you will bump right into the Waterlooplein Flea Market. This small “bazaar” is an ideal location to procure rare and vintage items, clothes, jewelry, books, souvenirs and much more! It is not uncommon to see famous producers, costume artists or avid antiquity collectors strolling the stalls of the Waterlooplein. It is overwhelmingly probable that you will be able to find a souvenir you like here.
If the world of architecture is what you are after, we recommend you visit the Amsterdam Church of Westerkerk. Royally elaborate, yet elegant, the Western Church is widely considered to be the most beautiful of the numerous churches within the city. The church was built in the 17th century using renaissance style architecture, and from a distance it could almost seem as if the church faces are made from brittle porcelain. You can try to capture this with your camera, which you should still keep at the ready, as the church and its spire is nearly 85 meters tall, housing the famous Duyschot Organ, a 51 bell tower and a carillon, ring of which you can hear even from a significant distance.
After all the walking, you may be tired and seek a place to rest and relax. The Vondelpark is a perfect place for you, and your dog to take in the greenery or throw a quick picnic. During the summer, the park hosts a theater and a film museum. The Dutch themselves love this park for its tranquil atmosphere and an opportunity to take a breather from the busy Amsterdam city life.
Completing your quick tour, you may want to visit the outskirts of Amsterdam, namely the Zaanse Schans, where a museum-like exposition will greet you. The Dutch worked really hard to recreate the “typical” countryside landscape with windmills, farms, wooden houses and trait workshops that still use antique methods of production, bringing 30 types of authentic Dutch houses from the developing city center to Zaanse Schans for their preservation.
An exhausting day of touring and taking in Amsterdam requires quality rest, which is why we have compiled a list of some of the best hotels for you and your puppy to snooze at.
Ibis Amsterdam City West (✪✪✪)
The Ibis Amsterdam City West is a dog-friendly hotel located not too far from the Sloterdejk train and the Isolatorweg subway stations. Every suite comes with a shower, air conditioning, free Wi-Fi and the hotel has a bar that works 24/7. Breakfast is served at the restaurant buffet, where one can pick up fresh muesli, dried fruits, yogurts, jams, a wide assortment of different breads and cheeses, baked beans, potato cutlets, fresh juices, some traditional hot drinks and, of course, a variety of locally baked goods. The hotel has a terrace for enjoying some fresh air and a bike rental service, should you decide to tour the city.
If you do decide to stay at the Ibis Amsterdam City West with your four-legged friend, that will cost you an additional €15 per night.
As the name implies, this dog-friendly hotel is located right in the city center, not far from the main railroad station of Amsterdam. Grocery shops and famous landmarks are only a several minute walk from the Inntel. The hotel suites themselves are very comfy and modern, and the room decoration is done in pleasant and warm colors. As with most of the hotels, you have the usual air conditioning, shower, cups and a kettle. Room service is available for specialty drinks and food. A light breakfast is served on the first floor of the hotel (fruits and juices), and dinner is served at the nearby restaurant called Humphrey’s. If you want to try local authentic Dutch and European cuisine, you could drop by for breakfast or dinner without being a tenant.
If you do decide to stay at the Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Centre with a dog, the hotel will surcharge an additional €25 per night.
Postillion Hotel Amsterdam (✪✪✪✪)
This dog-friendly hotel is located in the city center, walking distance from many tourism points of interest. The Postillion Amsterdam is a ultramodern hotel with many suits having a wall mounted tablet for controlling every aspect of your room, and some suits even having a full voice-control integrated system. The regular-seeming bathroom has a mirror mounted TV and comes with your very own hygiene kit. Some rooms have a fully furnished living room, and guests have the option to enjoy the city view from their terraces. The hotel features a fitness center, a bike rental shop and a restaurant that serves international dishes, all cooked on a grill.
A night’s stay in the hotel with your four-legged friend will cost you an additional €35.
This five star dog-friendly hotel is located in the exact city center, across the street from the Royal Palace. Every suite is unique, spacious and comfortable. The beds are extremely comfortable, giving you the much needed rest after an exhausting day of sightseeing. Tea and coffee (with a coffee machine) will be available for you in your suite when you wake up. The hotel grounds feature a magnificent winter garden and an exquisite restaurant Krasnapolsky, which serves authentic classical dishes with a modern twist, as well as homemade desserts and a wide assortment of teas. Breakfast is available for the hotel customers, featuring fresh local baking goods, fruits, fresh juices and muesli, champagne and much more!
If your four-legged friend weighs less than 25 kilograms, you are eligible to try out this hotel, with a small markup of only €25 for your entire stay at the hotel with your dog.
Amsterdam is unique and mysterious. Your soul feels free to live and express itself in vivid colours. You can rent a bike and become superbly familiar with every nook and cranny of the city, you can take your time and slowly and methodically explore the exquisite and tranquil historical landmarks of Amsterdam, or you can rent a small boat and enjoy a romantic cruise through the canals with your significant other.
With many hotels and restaurants within the city adopting a dog-friendly policy, bringing your dog with you does not pose any significant handicap.
Check out Amsterdam! Bring your dog! Take in the antique architecture, admire the vivid tulip exhibitions and create memories that will last you a lifetime!