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What to do in Amsterdam when your flight has been cancelled

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6 min read

What to do in Amsterdam when your flight has been cancelled

Travel plans don’t always go as smoothly as we hope. One moment you’re excitedly preparing for your journey, and the next, you receive the unfortunate news that your flight to Amsterdam has been cancelled. While this might be a frustrating situation, there’s a silver lining – you now have the opportunity to explore the charming city of Amsterdam in ways you hadn’t anticipated. In this blog post, we’ll guide you through a list of activities to make the most out of your unexpected extended stay in the Netherlands’ capital.

1. Embrace the Canal Culture

Amsterdam, often referred to as the “Venice of the North” due to its renowned intricate canal network, is a city where you can embark on a canal cruise to witness its iconic architecture, historic bridges, and quaint houseboats from a unique vantage point. Upon your arrival at Schiphol Airport, numerous tour operators offer guided boat tours, allowing you to immerse yourself in the city’s rich history while enjoying picturesque views.

2. Explore Museum Gems

Amsterdam is a treasure trove of museums, each offering something different to satisfy every traveler’s interest. The Rijksmuseum boasts a remarkable collection of Dutch Golden Age masterpieces, including works by Rembrandt and Vermeer. The Van Gogh Museum houses the largest collection of the artist’s paintings and letters. For a unique experience, visit Anne Frank House, where you can gain insight into the life of Anne Frank during World War II.

3. Stroll Through Vondelpark

If the weather is favorable, take a leisurely stroll through Vondelpark, Amsterdam’s most famous park. Enjoy the serene ambiance, lush greenery, and serene ponds. The park offers an escape from the city’s hustle and bustle, making it an ideal spot for a relaxing afternoon picnic, people-watching, or even renting a bike to explore the park’s picturesque trails.

4. Delve into Culinary Adventures

Amsterdam’s culinary scene is diverse and exciting. Use this unexpected time to savor Dutch delicacies such as stroopwafels (thin waffle cookies with syrup filling), haring (raw herring fish), and bitterballen (savory meat-based snacks). Venture to local cafes and restaurants to sample international cuisines that have found a home in Amsterdam due to its multicultural population.

5. Roam the Quaint Neighborhoods

Amsterdam’s neighborhoods each have their own distinct character. Explore the charming streets of Jordaan, known for its boutique shops, art galleries, and cozy cafes. Wander through the historic Red Light District, where you’ll find a unique blend of cafes, bars, and yes, the famous red-lit windows. Exploring neighborhoods on foot will reveal hidden gems and provide a deeper understanding of Amsterdam’s vibrant culture.

6. Visit the Floating Flower Market

The Bloemenmarkt, or floating flower market, is a must-see for anyone visiting Amsterdam. Located on the Singel Canal, this market offers a colorful array of fresh flowers, plants, and bulbs. Even if you can’t bring fresh blooms home with you, simply strolling through this vibrant market is a delightful experience.

7. Cycle Like a Local

Amsterdam is a city built for cyclists, and there’s no better way to immerse yourself in its local culture than by renting a bike. Pedal through the city’s cobblestone streets, admire its historic architecture, and follow the designated cycling paths that take you through some of the city’s most charming areas.

8. Indulge in Retail Therapy

Amsterdam offers an eclectic shopping experience, ranging from high-end boutiques to quirky vintage stores. Explore the Nine Streets (De Negen Straatjes) for a variety of independent shops offering everything from fashion to home decor. Don’t forget to hunt for unique souvenirs to remember your extended stay in Amsterdam.


While a cancelled flight may initially seem like a setback, it can transform into an unexpected opportunity for exploration and discovery. Amsterdam’s rich history, vibrant culture, and picturesque scenery offer endless possibilities to make the most out of your unplanned stay. From canal cruises to museum visits, culinary adventures to neighborhood explorations, Amsterdam has something to delight every traveler, even when plans go awry. So, embrace the unexpected, step out of your comfort zone, and savor the moments that turn a travel hiccup into a memorable adventure.