A Guide To Your Amsterdam Stag Weekend
Amsterdam is overflowing with epic stag activities. A superb Go Kart track is definitely worth a mention but for all out laughs and a bit of sight-seeing you simply can't beat the genius that is the Beer Bike.
Best Bars in Amsterdam
Vesper Bar - Seriously cool the Vesper Bar does the best cocktails in town, not in a girly-night-out way but in a 007, Ernest Hemmingway… er way. Superb vibe, impressive drinks. Gentlemen, prepare to party.
HPS - If you want something a bit different for your stag then HPS (Hiding in Plain Sight) is definitely it. Quirky, cool and a place that really knows how to have a good time.
Proust - A great place to start a big night out. You can get a bite to eat while making plans or just ask the friendly staff and locals where to go next.
June - Pinkpop Europe's oldest music festival which attracts names such as The Rolling Stones and Arctic Monkeys.
August - Dance Valley Europe’s largest dance music festival.
August - Lowlands Festival Fringe festival featuring the best comedy, bands, music and street theatre.
October - Amsterdam Music Festival A huge party with DJ’s from around the world.
October - Pint Amsterdam's biggest beer festival celebrates the country’s greatest export.
"Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth it is a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin." - John Green
Where to Head...
While Amsterdam is famed for its Red Light District based in The Old Centre there is so much more to this amazing city. Dam Square is well worth checking out some great bars and restaurants nearby. Amsterdam's Chinatown is also a handy spot for hungry stags. To once again quench a thirst Leidseplein is another area where you’ll find top bars and clubs.
Most stags will find two things sooner or later during a trip to Amsterdam, the Red Light District and beer. If you want to treat the groom to a little something special keeping it all above board then a Lap Dance Club is a great way to ensure he sees out his big weekend with a smile on his face. Or take a Red Light Tour.
For a real taste of Dutch courage we’d recommend a trip around the Heineken Museum to pay due respect to this golden giver of life… and bad dancing.
"My experience in Amsterdam is that cyclists ride where the hell they like and aim in a state of rage at all pedestrians while ringing their bell loudly, the concept of avoiding people being foreign to them." - Terry Pratchett
A Taste of Amsterdam
Eats - Found all over the city, Bitterballen are deep fried balls filled with a mixture of beef, flour, beef stock, herbs and spices and little taste bombs. Easily addictive.
Drinks - Forget all other Dutch beers, if you’re only going to drink one pint while in this fantastic city, make sure it comes from the Amsterdam Brewery. The Sweetwater Radler particularly hits the spot on a sunny afternoon.
There are around 1,000,000 bikes in Amsterdam and only 700,000 people.
Parts of Amsterdam are 6.7 metres below sea level. If climate change continues then Amsterdam might well become the new Atlantis.
Owing to the high water-level the whole city is built on stilts. Central Station has 6,000 alone.
86% of residents speak 3 languages.
Twice as much beer is exported from Holland than from the whole of the US. Cheers!
On Ya Bike! Getting Around Amsterdam
Amsterdam has plenty of great public transport links, finding them isn’t half as much trouble as avoiding them so keep an eye on any hungover stags when crossing roads for fear they get hit by a bike, tram, train, metro, taxi, bus, rikshaw or any other sneakily eco-friendly and silent vehicle.
Bikes are the best way of getting about the city and can be rented for as little as €8 per day. Alternatively an OV travel card (known locally as a chipcard) allows you to hop on and off trams, trains metro, and buses and can be bought online prior to arrival.
"Aub." - Please
"Dank je wel. - Thank you.
"Een biertje neem." - A beer please.
"Twee bier alstublieft." - Two beers please.
"Veel bieren aub." - Lots of beers please.
"De bruidegom zal betalen voor alles." - The groom will pay for everything.
"Mijn vriend heeft een nare uitslag." - My friend has a nasty rash.
"Leder kaasje heeft zijn gaatje." - Every cheese has its hole.
"Nu komt de aap uit de mouw." - Now the monkey comes out of the sleeve.
40 Reasons Why Amsterdam Rocks!
Canals - There are 165 canals in the Dutch capital - no, seriously. This is a town that's dominated by boats, and speaking of which, a boat trip actually makes for a spectacular way to see the sights on your Amsterdam stag do. Read more...
XXX - Amsterdam's coat of arms features three prominent X's - and no, that isn't in reference to the x-rated Red Light District. They allegedly represent the crosses of St. Andrew who was martyred on an x-shaped cross in the 1st century. Sorry for being a killjoy.
11,000,000 - That's how many wooden poles hold up Amsterdam's buildings. If that makes you feel a little nervous, then Frankie says relax, the poles are 20 meters long and are set 11 meters deep into the ground - so your hotel won't magically sink while you're asleep.
Sinking City - ...that being said, some of the buildings are lopsided for the very reason that the wooden poles holding them up are so old they've rotted away in the swamp below - these are now being replaced with concrete beams, thankfully.
Beer beautiful beer - Did you know that the Dutch import more beer than any other country in the world? In fact, they ship off twice as much as the United States with the total number of litres reaching a ridiculous 1.3 billion, and that figure is only going to rise!
Beer Tasting - Dutch beers are undeniably delicious, which is exactly why you and the boys owe it to yourselves to try some of the city's most gorgeous brews while you're enjoying your Amsterdam stag weekend. Find out more...
Bar-mania - Amsterdam has a mind-boggling total of 1,515 bars and cafes - we don't think anybody's ever visited them all, but that'd be one hell of a crawl...
Underwater Airport? - Amsterdam's airport actually sits 4 meters below sea level - at least the planes will float if the sea decides to suddenly rise?
Bicycle Race - Apparently there's 881,000 bikes in Amsterdam which sounds even more impressive when you realize that there's only 799,400 people living in the city. Halfords would make big business over here!
Amster-damn-that's-a-lot-of-tourists - 20,000,000 tourists flock to the city each year to soak up the atmosphere of this epic capital - meaning that the clubs and bars are always packed and the streets are consistently buzzing.
Ajax - European football aficionados will be well aware of this club's importance to the game. But for those not in the know, Ajax has been home to some of the best players in the world, including Luis Suarez, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Edwin van der Sar and Dennis Bergkamp.
Martin Garrix - In the summer of 2013, you couldn't go on a night out without hearing Martin Garrix's smash house-hit Animals. He's something of a favorite in his home town, so you can expect to hear the song a few more times as well as a few other tracks you're less familiar with.
Louis van Gaal - You either groaned or grinned upon reading the name, but 'King Louis' is a much-loved football icon in his home town of Amsterdam having managed Ajax and more recently the Netherland's national team. Famously controversial but always successful, van Gaal really is one of the beautiful games' best characters.
Bubble Football - Louis van Gaal's footballing 'philoshophiesh' are infamous, but we're not sure they'd work in this particular variant of the beautiful game. Fly into your mates like a 'roided up Jaap Stam and see if you've got what it takes to become an inflatable Messi - it'd be Ruud not to...
Pllek - This bar is built out of old sea containers and offers some of the best views in the city. They've gone so far with the seafaring aesthetic that they've actually established an artificial beach around the bar, making this the perfect place to catch some rays while enjoying an ice cold Heineken.
Anne Frank's House - It might not seem ideal for a stag-do, but for a groom looking for a bit of culture on his Amsterdam stag do, a visit to this historical landmark is a must. The dark reality of the famous diary really hits home here, and it's a sobering experience that you'll never forget. Find out more...
Café Hoppe - Possibly Amsterdam's greatest pub, Hoppe is Dutch drinking as you imagined it; hearty, rustic and full of big belly laughs. Enjoy perfect pints in Hoppe's woody, homely surroundings that make for a great place to throw back a cheeky midday brew.
Artis Royal Zoo - The wildlife in Amsterdam's city zoo is seriously badass - featuring Alligators, Sharks, Lions and beefy Gorillas. There's top banter to be had here, 'here Paul, this chimp looks just like you!'
The Lingo - While you could be tempted to pull a bit of a Steve McLaren and attempt to speak either Denglish (English with a Dutch accent) or god forbid, Dutch itself, the locals are actually bilingual, sometimes trilingual, speaking Dutch, English and often German.
The Tallest People in the World - Most of the Dutch girls look like supermodels, seriously, they're gorgeous - and they don't even have to wear heels. Statistics show that the average Dutch beauty towers at a whopping 6ft!
Can I smoke? - Ironically, smoking tobacco in cafes and restaurants was banned in 2008 while it's still legal in some coffee shops to roll up a little something featuring ahem, other substances.
Gin - Another drink we have to thank the Dutch for is Gin. Although in true Netherland's fashion, it's called 'jenever' over here and they actually invented it for medicinal purposes in the 16th century. So the next time you've got the flu, why don't you treat yourself to a glass; hey, if it worked for them...
Safety First - Amsterdam is one of the safest cities in the world, the crime rate is surprisingly low and the atmosphere in the streets always seems to be calm and welcoming to anybody and everybody. Nice one.
Where do bikes go when they pop their clogs? - In the canals apparently! Over 30,000 abandoned bicycles are found in the water every year - it's a genuine epidemic, and some even say that it's moved up a gear in recent years, it's actually really getting people's bells ringing. Okay, we'll put the brakes on these jokes now...
Beer Bicycle - Amsterdam loves bikes and it's got a serious passion for beer. What's the logical thing to do? Oh yeah, that's right, combine the two for the beeriest Amsterdam stag do bike tour around! Read more...
Blijburg aan Zee - While Amsterdam doesn't have any real beaches, you can don your mankini's for a swim at the city's artificial island. There's even a bar nearby where you can grab a cold one to enjoy while you chill out to the max. It's not exactly Barcelona, but on a hot day, you'll struggle to notice the difference.
NDSM-Werf - For 100 years, this art-filled area was one of the city's biggest shipyards. Ships both big and small were built and repaired here, so it's only appropriate that Amsterdam's artistic community has taken to the district to create a true spectacle of sculpture and street-art for everyone to enjoy.
IJhallen - On the first weekend of the month, you can head to the NDSM-Werf for the biggest flea-market in Europe. You're sure to find some cracking souvenirs here, and a walk around the varied market stalls could be exactly what you need to rid yourselves of those stern hangovers.
Sexy Hitch Hiker - Did the groom really come to Amsterdam and expect to get away without a close encounter of the sexy kind? Stitch up the nearly-wed with this hilarious, hot prank that might leave the stag red-faced, but it'll create epic memories that'll last way into the future. What's the gag? Read more...
Paradiso - A clubbing paradise for stags, Paradiso is truly awesome and has played host to some big names including Pink Floyd, Prince and Nirvana. This concert venue/nightclub is set inside an old church, so if you're ready to make a pilgrimage in the name of the party, this is the place to go. Discover Paradiso...
Air - The lads will love this club that's become wildly popular with Amsterdam's twenty-something's. It's been designed to be environmentally friendly by Dutch architect Marcel Wanders - although all you'll probably notice is the Tron level of neon lighting in this hugely memorable and futuristic venue. Find out more...
Multi-cultural - There's a total of 176 different nationalities in this city, so a bunch of British stags isn't likely to stand out - until you dress the condemned man groom up in a baby outfit that is...
Strange Delicacies - Ask any Dutchman what the strangest delicacy in the city is, and he'll probably point you to the fact that many of his folk like to eat raw herring with onions using only their bare hands. We hope they've got a packet of Extra in their pockets?!?
The oldest profession in the world... - Amsterdam has almost 500 windows showcasing, err, 'ladies of the night'. Every day, there are around 1000 prostitutes working in the city, with roughly 8000 different working girls visiting Amsterdam every year.
Red Light District Tour - It's famous for its more sensational establishments (i.e. Brothels) but there's so much more to this fantastic area that you could easily miss, so on our tour, you'll head off with an expert guide and explore the backstreets of this infamous district featuring shops, bustling bars and some epic clubs to boot. Read more...
Greetje - No Amsterdam stag weekend is complete without the delights of Dutch dining. The locals don't do food by half, a fact you'll discover when you try Greetje's traditional Dutch Ribeye with dried apricots and Frisian Sausage. Visit Greetje...
Escape - For two decades, Escape has been thrilling Amsterdam with its stupendously epic club nights. With several dance floors worth of space inside, hosted by the best DJs from Amsterdam and beyond, you're guaranteed an unforgettable night in this massively popular club. This is one venue where you'll need to get your finest threads out, so look sharp boys!
Arendsnest - This bar is proud to say that they only serve Dutch beer - and we agree, they should be proud of that because the stuff is bloody lovely. Although a glass of 'jenever' wouldn't go amiss either. See Arendsnest...
El Amsterdam Alley - Pizza and beer are often two key ingredients when it comes to fuelling the lads on a stag do, and luckily for you, that's exactly what this effortlessly cool bar provides in spades. The beers are delicious and the pizza is the stuff of dreams, see it for yourselves...
Radion - Whether you're watching live music, or throwing mad shapes to the sounds of up-and-coming as well as established DJs, Radion has something to thrill your squad of party-happy stags as well as one of the most youthful crowds in the city. Find out more...
Top Tweeters - Free Amsterdam isn't some kind of revolutionary movement that is unless you count the fact that everything they promote is totally free of charge or under the diminutive cost of 10 Euros. I am Amsterdam is the account to follow for all the latest goings on in the city, and trust us, with a city like this, there's so much going on that just keeping track of it all can be a chore sometimes, so let I am Amsterdam do the leg work for you!
Facebook - Humans of Amsterdam tells the stories of the city and its people - the good, the bad and the ugly, it's all here, and a quick look at this page gives you a unique insight into the mind of Amsterdam's friendly locals. Deep House Amsterdam will keep you up to date with the city's best DJs and when and where you can get down to their pulsing sounds.
Holland is the world's largest beer exporter (1.3billion litres!).
Why Amsterdam for your stag do?
From the infamous Red Light District and coffee houses to the Seventeenth-century buildings and smoking alien sculptures, from Dam Square to the Leidseplein the city has a great atmosphere - cheesy as it might sound ... it’s so engaging there's something for everyone and it's why Amsterdam stag dos are legend! Which is also why year in year out the Dutch capital is consistently one of the most visited places on the planet. It's easy and quick to get to, the city is liberal, generous, cultural, eclectic, clean, forward thinking and really friendly. There are plenty enough activities and the nightlife sets a standard you'll go a long way to beat it! Until you go you won't know but plan well and the stag do will be up there on as one of the best weekends ever, certainly one of the greatest boys trips!
What's going on
Rest assured there's plenty to do to keep the group both busy and impressed, and that's important because between the enormous nights, the crepes and the coffee shops, if the itinerary's a little too relaxed gears can grind. You might find your job as the organiser a little more challenging if you're chasing the boys all over the Dutch capital with a level 10 hangover. So a little Dutch stag do planning effort early on goes a long way, stay central and cultural with a canal pedalo session and the very impressive Heineken Brewery or mix a Red Light Tour with a trip to Ajax. Try target shooting, karting, paintball or golf. Last and by no means least you might just fancy a trip through the city on our beer-bike, cheers! There are plenty of decent group pleasing activities to choose from.
We're here to help you make the best choices and get more from your visit from the moment you arrive, however you want to spend your time.
Where to hang out
Amsterdam has the world's oldest red light district.
Like any other major city there are districts and neighbourhoods and depending on the group you'll enjoy some more than others. Some are also more expensive than others, especially when it comes down to the all important accommodation.
We'll quickly help you with all of that but in the meantime some areas you might like are Nieuwmarkt, Jordaan, Spui, De Pijp, Rembrandtplein and Leidseplein. (see the city in Google Maps here). The most celebrated red light district is known as De Wallen.
"... Amsterdam's got a reputation for a reason, it's a fantastic place to visit. Plan for more than the usual and you boys are in for a treat ..."
When to visit
There's plenty going on throughout the year and as a major European capital and cultural hotspot it's always busy and lots of fun, with plenty going on anytime of year. That said the climate roughly mirrors our own so spring, summer & autumn are great but you're unlikely to suntan in deep winter.
It's loaded with big events year round, you could well time your stag weekend in Amsterdam with the odd, often quirky happening like the Food Film Festival(March), Indiestad music festival (May), the colourful Kwakoe festival (July) and in August you'll find a few biggies including Harbour Festival, Dance Valley and Loveland.
Then there's the huge Amsterdam Fringe (September), Halloween is big here (October) - try the Amsterdam Spook Costume Party. November hosts the London Calling music festival and of course December brings huge festive and New Years celebrations! Party on!
Amazing Amsterdam's never going to be the cheapest destination in Europe, especially with the accommodation, but it will be an unforgettable experience and that's value on a different level. The single best thing you can do for now is send a brief in with a budget guide and ideas for all the bits you want pre-planned. A big part of the planning as far as you're concerned as the organiser is to deal with the finance up front so it doesn't get away with too many "extras" on location. It's then we come back to you with genuine expertise in order to get you the best (most professional) deals.
For a decent weekend, budget around £200-250 for on-the-ground stuff excluding the beers and add another £100 for flights (if you book early enough) via the cheaper airlines (our packages start from £119pp!). That'll get you started, and the end result will be a fantastic weekend.
Have a look at our ready made packages here.
Getting to Amsterdam
Amsterdam has over 1,000,000 bicycles but only 700,000 residents (!?!).
In a word, easy. Multiple daily flights from the UK, lots of times of day. You can also travel over by ferry and via train. For an international "send off", it really doesn't get much more flexible. Have a look at the flights page for more info, there's even a function to scan for fares. See our "getting to Amsterdam" page for flights!
Amsterdam stag weekend summary
Amsterdam can be as easy going or as loaded as you like; with its laid-back and cultured setting you may be surprised how much extra the Dutch capital has to offer. Our well-planned weekends in Amsterdam give you and the boys plenty of top options; relax and enjoy the city taking a laid back couple of days over a bit of culture, the canals and coffee shops or fire up your stay with a packed itinerary full of action and entertainment. With StagWeb, the stag is always a legendary event and if you get the chance to go to Amsterdam you should take it, but try to book early and remember there's a whole lot more to the city than the red light tour!
What to do next
So now you know a little more, get even more useful info from our other Amsterdam pages or go straight to the briefer and we'll be back with ideas before you've learnt the Dutch word for awesome!
Looking for information and stats about Amsterdam? See more info here.