Going to ISE 2020? Here are Some Things to Do in Amsterdam if You Have the Time

Published: January 29, 2020

Look, ISE 2020 will be the final show in Amsterdam. So why not take the time to find some things to do near the RAI to make the most of your time there?

Most people take a couple of days off after the show to explore the historical city. But even if you only have an hour or two in the evenings after the show floor closes, here are some ways to take advantage of what’s around you.

Amsterdam attractions

  • See the city from the best angle on a canal tour – Just as beautiful at night (perhaps more, though colder) as they are during the day, a canal tour is a must during your stay, especially if you haven’t seen much of the city besides the RAI. Check out:, a small, interactive service highly recommended on the Amsterdam subreddit (additional tours and information available here).
  • Museums – The city is home to more museums than can be listed here. But these are a few my boss won’t mind me talking about: Micro Art AmsterdamVan Gogh MuseumYouseumMicropiaThe Amsterdam DungeonCacaomuseum
  • Need more ideas in a pinch? – Check out the Amsterdam subreddit, which lets users preview events for each week. Don’t forget to check this the week of to see what locals are talking about.

Gustatory delights: the best food near the RAI

Whether you’re bringing clients or team members out to dinner, or you’re a foodie who just wants to experience something new, Amsterdam has plenty of amazing food options for all palates (due in large part to it being one of the most diverse cities in the world!).

Here is some restaurants close to the RAI (and also a few can’t-miss options if you have time to venture further away):

  • Indonesian Food – There are a number of cuisines which are common in Amsterdam, but one of the most common is Indonesian. This is worth mentioning, especially if you’re traveling from the U.S. and Canada, where this cuisine is supremely uncommon outside of, say, NYC. Check outDjago (Scheldeplein 18, 1078 GR), just across the street from the RAI.
  • Automats – Speaking of things you can’t find back home, automats are a slightly-kitschy yet delicious way to pick up some fried food on the fly in Amsterdam. The concept? You walk in, there are windows which have a kitchen right behind them where the food is prepped. You insert money into the window of your choosing, open the window, and just like that, your dinner’s ready! These used to be very popular in the United States in the 1940s but eventually fell out of fashion, for some reason. Check outFEBO, the most common chain of automats in Amsterdam (closest one to the RAI is at Amsteldijk 132-133, 1078 RT).
  • Craft beer made in the city – If you like beer, and you’re in Europe, you need to have something freshly-made and freshly-tapped. Check out: Brouwerij De Prael (Oudezijds Armsteeg 26, 1012 JD).
  • French fries (“frites”) with as many dipping sauces as you can imagine – It’s late. You’ve been to your client dinners. You’ve walked all day and you can spare a few more calories. You’ve GOT to have the frites! They’re the fast food of choice in Amsterdam and the Dutch know how to fry ’em. Check outPar Hasard (Ceintuurbaan 113-115, 1072 EZ)

Keep an eye on the hashtag, #AVFoodies while you’re in Amsterdam to make sure you don’t miss what other ISE 2020 attendees are raving about.

More useful ISE 2020 guides & resources:


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