In the latest in our new series of blogposts on the most accessible cities in Europe, we are visiting a place that has an obsession with all forms of wheeled transport: Amsterdam. It’s a city that loves bicycles, so as a consequence it is no surprise that it is also a fantastic destination for those of us who use a mobility scooter or wheelchair to get about. Add in an extensive and accessible public transport system and the fact that it is one of the flattest cities in Europe and you can see why it makes for the perfect accessible getaway.
So, with that in mind, here is our guide to great accessible things to do while you are in Amsterdam.
Visit the Van Gogh Museum
It is hard to think of any greater Dutch icon than Vincent Van Gogh (except Johann Cruyff perhaps). Of course this prodigiously talented painter has been hugely popular and incredibly influential in the years since his tragic death, but he went almost unrecognised in his lifetime. Unbelievably, this genius of the art world only sold one painting in his lifetime – and all this despite the fact that he painted well over 900 works of art. The Van Gogh Museum is doing its best to make up for lost time, and is a wonderful celebration of his life and work. It is also completely wheelchair accessible throughout. This modern building has been well designed with accessibility in mind, with ramps, lifts and accessible toilets too.
Catch a show at the Concertgebouw
There is always plenty on at Amsterdam’s leading concert hall. Even if you don’t go to an event it is well worth going along to enjoy the building itself. It was built in the late 1800s and is well renowned globally for the quality of the shows it puts on. You will find it easy to get into and around too. Although there are only a couple of areas for wheelchairs in the two main halls, it is fully accessible and you can still get a good sense of this wonderful venue. There are also seven accessible parking spaces right outside the entrance. If you would like to see a full programme of events coming up at the Concertgebouw, head here.
Lose yourself in the Rijksmuseum
The great news is that this jewel in Europe’s artistic crown has been recently redesigned, making it very accessible to those of us with different mobility needs. All of the many wonderful galleries at the Rijksmuseum are fully accessible and you will also find lifts to all floors and accessible toilets. It is impossible to list the many treasures that you will find within its walls, but highlights include masterpieces by Dutch giants such as Vermeer and Rembrandt, as well as countless examples of sculpture and crafts.
Enjoy a leisurely canal cruise
What do you think of when you think of Amsterdam? Bicycles, flowers, trams… and canals. Amsterdam’s waterways are world famous and taking a cruise on one of the city’s many canals is a great way to see the sights. So much of life here revolves around the water and we really recommend you take a boat tour to get a taste of the way people live here. There are a number of boat companies that offer accessible tours, with ramped access and some boats even equipped with a lift. The Blue Boat Company in particular has had some great reviews, and you can find out more about enjoying a tour with them by contacting them via their website.
Did you know?
Amsterdam actually has twice as many bridges as Venice!
Getting to Amsterdam
Flying in to Amsterdam from the UK is very straightforward. There are regular flights from the London airports as well as from Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol and Newcastle into the city’s main airport at Schiphol.
The team at Schiphol airport are incredibly helpful, but they do ask that you let them know beforehand if you’ll need assistance at the airport. You can get in touch with them here. You will find it easy to get from Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport into the centre too. If you’re hiring a car then you can have help to get to your car: just ask the airport team. Alternatively there are accessible buses into the city centre and you can check the service you need here. Finally there is also a fast and regular train service, which you can find out more about here. If you are traveling in by train it is a good idea to make sure you have booked a hotel near the station to make things easier once you’re in town.
As we’ve said already, once you’re in Amsterdam you will find it a relatively easy city to get around. There are cobbles and some of the older tram stops aren’t so accessible, but generally you will find fewer obstacles than in most European cities. For a great guide to getting in and around the city, also take a look at the Amsterdam tourist board’s official site, here.
Travelling with scooters
The great news for those of you travelling abroad is that Quingo Scooters are all approved for air travel by IATA so you won’t have any problems taking them on the plane. That said, it is always well worth getting in touch directly with any train, bus and airlines you want to use just to double check their rules on scooters before you go. For more handy tips on travelling with your scooter by air, take a look at our page here.
Share your accessible getaways abroad with us
Do you have any accessible getaways abroad recommendations? In Europe or perhaps further afield? If you do, we’d love to hear from you, so drop us a line and we’ll feature them.
About Quingo Scooters
The Quingo Scooter range features six models to suit your needs and budget. New models are now available from just £22/week on our new contract hire scheme which includes all servicing and maintenance, Insurance, Roadside Recovery, Call Outs and Consumables including Batteries and Tyres. For more information on this or the latest Quingo Scooter range, please visit our website. Alternatively, if you have any Service questions you can always contact us or call customer services on 01582 430 900.
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All Quingo Personal Mobility Vehicles are provided by Forever Active, the UK’s exclusive distributor. Forever Active is a trading name of Advantage Marketing Corporation Limited (AMC). AMC Limited is an appointed representative of First Senior Insurance Services Ltd which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. First Senior Insurance Services FSA Register number is 30847