Here is your Muslim-Friendly Guide to Amsterdam, a European city that has a large Muslim community, plenty of halal restaurants, and it makes for one the best European weekend break cities.
It’s a place where cultures collide and creativity abounds. The city is teeming with life, from the canals that crisscross its centre to the markets and museums that line its streets.
Amsterdam is also one of the most photogenic cities in the world. The city’s architecture is a mix of styles, from Gothic to Baroque to Dutch Moderne. And, of course, there are the canals, which reflect the city’s light in a thousand different ways.
If you’re wondering, ‘Is Amsterdam Muslim-friendly?’ we’ve got the scoop. With a number of mosques, halal restaurants and Muslim-friendly attractions in this city, Amsterdam is an excellent destination for Muslim visitors.
Why is Amsterdam a Great Destination For Muslim Travellers?
You might ask yourself if Amsterdam is a Muslim-friendly city? The question is yes; there are over 90,000 Muslims living in Amsterdam, and around 5% of the population of the Netherlands is Muslim. Most of them are of Moroccan and Turkish descent.
I found Amsterdam to be safe and great to visit as a hijabi since I was definitely not the only one on the street. There were plenty of halal food options, from halal dining restaurants to small takeaway places while exploring.
There are numerous halal restaurants dotted around the city, serving cuisines from all over the world.
You’ll find everything from Indonesian nasi goreng to Turkish kebabs and American burgers. And if you’re after something sweet, check out one of Amsterdam’s many halal bakeries – there’s nothing quite like fresh stroopwafels straight from the oven!
The largest and most well-known is the El Tawheed Mosque, which opened its doors in 2011. This mosque can accommodate up to 1,200 worshippers and is just a short walk from the city centre.
When it comes to food, Amsterdam has no shortage of Muslim-friendly options. There are also plenty of Muslim-friendly attractions in Amsterdam.
Brief History of Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a city steeped in history. Founded in the 12th century as a small fishing village, it quickly became an important trading centre.
In the 16th century, Amsterdam was known as the “Jewel of the North” for its wealth and prosperity. During this time, the city’s Muslim community thrived. Amsterdam’s Muslim community is one of the oldest and largest in Europe.
Today, Amsterdam is a thriving metropolis and an important cultural centre. While much has changed over the centuries, the city retains its historic charm. Visitors worldwide come to Amsterdam to experience its unique atmosphere and explore its rich history.
The Best Time to Visit Amsterdam
For those living in Europe, Amsterdam is one of the best short-trip away cities that you can do with plenty of low-cost airlines flying there. From the UK it is only 1 hour flight for under £100.
For me, one of the best times to visit Amsterdam is during the shoulder seasons of April-May and September-November. The weather is still pleasant during these months, but you’ll avoid the crowds that descend on the city during the summertime.
Things to Keep in Mind Before Visiting Amsterdam as a Muslim
Most people visiting Amsterdam for the first time are struck by the city’s relaxed and tolerant attitude. However, Amsterdam is much more than that – it’s also a vibrant and cosmopolitan metropolis with a rich history and culture.
Amsterdam has something to offer everyone, from world-class museums and galleries to scenic canals and green parks.
Despite its reputation as a party capital, Amsterdam is an increasingly popular destination for Muslim travellers due to its growing number of Muslims in the country.
So, whether you’re looking to explore the city’s rich Islamic heritage, be sure to do your research before you go – after all, there’s more to Amsterdam than meets the eye.
Muslim-Friendly Guide to Amsterdam Best Things to Do
No matter whether this is your first time visiting or you have been before, here are the best Muslim-friendly things you should visit in the city as a Muslim traveler.
#1 Explore the Van Gogh Museum
Immerse yourself in the world of Vincent Van Gogh with a visit to this renowned museum showcasing the largest collection of his works.
Whether you are an art lover or not, visiting the museum is a right of passage in Amsterdam; at least one piece will move you. Trust me, even I did, and I am definitely not an art person.
The museum website is here, and ticket prices start from 20euro
#2 Take a Canal Cruise
Discover Amsterdam’s picturesque canals by hopping on a cruise, offering unique perspectives of the city’s charming architecture and sights.
Cruising the canals of Amsterdam is a must for first-time visitors to the city, , you’ll get an up-close look at some of the most famous landmarks, and with a live guide, it is even more educational.
This Amsterdam canal cruise with a live guide has over 30,000 positive reviews and start from £17pp.
#3 Visit the Anne Frank House
The Anne Frank House Museum, located on the Prinsengracht Canal in Amsterdam, is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions.
The museum is housed in the building where Anne and her family hid for more than two years before they were betrayed and sent to concentration camps.
Visitors to the museum can see Anne’s bedroom, study Anne’s original diary, and learn about her life and her death.
The Anne Frank House Museum is a powerful reminder of the human capacity for both good and evil.
You can take a guided walking tour of Anne Frank through Viator (our affiliate) or you can explore on your own offial website here.
#4 Stroll around Jordaan
Wander through the historic Jordaan neighbourhood, known for its narrow canals, trendy shops, cosy cafes, and art galleries. The houses are from the 17th century and it is duped as the Greenwich village of Amsterdam.
#5 Experience the Flower Market
Delight in the vibrant colours and scents at the Bloemenmarkt, the world’s only floating flower market, where you can find an array of flowers, bulbs, and souvenirs.
#6 Visit the Rijksmuseum
Discover the Dutch Golden Age through masterpieces like Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch” at the Rijksmuseum Museum, one of the world’s most important art museums.
The Dutch Golden Age, spanning the 17th century, was a period of unprecedented prosperity and cultural boom in the Netherlands. The period saw the country’s economic, scientific, military, and artistic dominance, leading to the creation of some of the most important and universal artworks that continue to inspire and captivate audiences worldwide.
For opening times and details visit the Rijksmuseum Museum website here.
#7 Enjoy the Vondelpark
Vondelpark is one of the most popular parks in Amsterdam. It’s a great place to come for a run, cycle or picnic, and on sunny days, locals and tourists enjoy the green space.
There are also plenty of playgrounds and facilities, making it a great spot for families. In summer, the open-air theatre hosts a range of events and performances, from live music to dance shows.
Vondelpark is the perfect place to come to relax as a Muslim traveller, unwind and soak up the atmosphere of Amsterdam.
#8 Discover the Royal Palace
Take a guided tour of the Royal Palace on Dam Square, a stunning architectural masterpiece that serves as the official residence of the King for state visits and ceremonies.
#9 Take a Walking tour
One of the first things I do as a Muslim traveler in a new city is to take a walking tour and orient myself. I love walking tours because they are led by local tour guides where I can ask questions about of-beaten path Muslim-friendly activities or places I should avoid.
They give me an idea of the other places I want to visit, and if I am on a budget, this is usually a good way to learn history without having to have a guided tour of each place.
#10 Indulge in Dutch Cuisine:
I am a big believer in tasting local cuisine when travelling as a Muslim, and there are plenty of things that are halal to eat. With so many halal food options in Amsterdam, you can try bitterballen (deep-friend meatballs) at food markets and local halal places.
Also, don’t forget to try out stroopwafels, poffertjes (mini pancakes), because who can resist some desserts that are also halal.
Where to pray in Amsterdam – Famous mosques in Amsterdam
- Westermoskee (De Baarsjes): Also known as the Islamic Cultural Center, Westermoskee is a striking mosque located in the De Baarsjes neighbourhood. Its unique architecture and tall minaret make it a notable landmark in Amsterdam.
- Al-Kabir Mosque: Situated in the Rivierenbuurt area, the Al-Kabir Mosque is one of the largest and most prominent mosques in Amsterdam. It serves as a religious and cultural centre for the Moroccan community.
- Blue Mosque (Fatih Mosque): Located in the Sloterdijk neighbourhood, the Blue Mosque stands out with its blue domes and minarets. It is a prominent mosque in Amsterdam and is known for its beautiful interior design.
- Taibah Mosque: Situated in the Osdorp neighbourhood, Taibah Mosque is an important place of worship for the Turkish community in Amsterdam. The mosque’s architecture reflects traditional Ottoman design.
- Mosque Vredesplein: This mosque, also known as Peace Mosque, is located in the southeastern part of Amsterdam. It has a distinct and modern architectural design, attracting visitors with its serene atmosphere.
Halal Food Restaurants in Amsterdam to Try
There are so many options for finding tasty halal food that you will not even need to google it there is an abundance of halal food restaurants. Just walking down the street will be enough, however, here are some of the best-rated restaurants for Halal food in Amsterdam.
- Pind Punjabi Indian Restaurant Van Woustraat 240, 1073 NC Amsterdam The Netherlands Great Indian halal option.
- Sefa Grill Restaurant Westermarkt 25, 1016 DJ Amsterdam The Netherlands Turkish halal food restaurants in Amsterdam
- Palmyra Syrian Restaurant Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 53H, 1012 RD Amsterdam The Netherlands. Here you will find Lebanese, Syrian Middle Eastern halal dishes.
- Infinity Steakhouse – Quality Steaks Kinkerstraat 350, 1053 GG Amsterdam The Netherlands If you are looking for a halal steak in Amsterdam check out this restaurant.
How to Save Money When You Are in Amsterdam?
Exploring a new city doesn’t have to break the bank, and there are several ways you can save money when travelling to Amsterdam on a budget.
1. Use Public Transport: Amsterdam has an efficient public transportation system that includes trams, buses, and ferries. Buying a transit pass can save you money over single fares, especially if you plan to travel frequently within the city.
2. Hire a Bike: Biking is a popular mode of transportation in Amsterdam, and renting a bike can be an affordable alternative to public transit or taxis.
3. Opt for Free Attractions: There are many free and inexpensive attractions in Amsterdam, including its famous canals, the Flower Market, and several parks and public spaces.
4. Choose Budget Accommodation: Consider staying in a budget hotel, hostel, or even an Airbnb to save money on accommodation.
5. Choose a City Card: The I Amsterdam City Card gives you free access to many of the city’s top attractions, as well as free public transport. This could save you a lot of money if you plan to do a lot of sightseeing.
6. Visit Museums on Discount Days: Many museums in Amsterdam offer discounted or free entry on certain days or times.
How to Get Around in Amsterdam?
Amsterdam is a city of canals, and getting around by boat is one of the best ways to see the sights.
Several boat companies offer tours, and many of them allow you to get on and off at different stops along the way. This is a great way to explore the city at your own pace and get a unique perspective on the architecture and history of Amsterdam.
Of course, you can also get around Amsterdam on foot or by bike. Amsterdam is relatively small and compact, so it’s easy to get quickly from one place to another.
And, of course, buses, trams, and metro trains can take you where you need to go as public transport is well-developed in the city.
So whether you’re looking for a stroll or a quick way to get around, Amsterdam has you covered.
Safety Rules in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is a very Muslim-friendly place, and overall it is very safe for Muslim travellers who visit the country in thousands each year. As always, however, it is important to be aware of your surroundings and make sure you keep an eye on your possessions.
Pickpockets are known to operate in crowded places, so it’s essential to keep an eye on your belongings at all times. When using public transport, try to travel in well-lit, populated areas.
And if you’re planning on exploring the city by bike, lock your bike up securely and follow the bike rules of course.
Amsterdam has something to offer every traveller, even Muslims. Amsterdam is a Muslim-friendly city offering so much to tourists every year. With its abundance of mosques and halal restaurants, Amsterdam is a Muslim-friendly destination and great for Muslim travellers.
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