by Melanie Ciotti, Marketing Manager, Studio Network Solutions (SNS)
That happens. It’s really happening! After two long years of absence, IBC is officially back in Amsterdam in September. And that’s all anyone can talk about.
Veterans can’t wait to get their hands on bitter balls, while newbies like me ask too many questions about the red light district.
You read that right: IBC2022 will be my first time in Amsterdam. I asked my colleagues (and consulted my Rick Steves’ Amsterdam guide) what to expect, which led me to this incredible list of travel tips that are just too good to save for me.
So whether you’re an IBC newbie or a newbie, here’s your guide to amazing Amsterdam in September 2022.
Getting around in Amsterdam
When it’s time to visit Amsterdam for IBC2022, do as the Dutch do and hire a bike. It’s a great way to get to the conference and explore the city.
You can hire a bike, fitted with a sturdy lock, from one of the many local shops, including at RAI Amsterdam when you collect your IBC badge. Helmets are neither necessary nor popular, although you ride at your own risk.
As thousands of bikes on the road reduce the city’s carbon footprint, it adds a whole new dimension to getting around. Amsterdam has three levels of traffic – pedestrians, bicycles and vehicles – each with its own lane. It’s important to stay in yours or you might end up on the sidewalk before you can yell “Hey, I’m walking here!”
Off the bike paths, public transport is the best way to get around Amsterdam. The tram is super convenient and a scenic little experience to boot. Amsterdam Travel Ticket offers unlimited tram, metro, bus and ferry rides while you’re there, which is great because I love my travels like I love my shared storage servers: with everything I need included.
Best places to stay in Amsterdam for IBC
From cozy bed and breakfasts to lavish suites that are worth the cost, and just about everything in between, there are a host of accommodation options for your week-long or weekend stay in Amsterdam.
IBC2022 is negotiating discounted rates at many hotels around RAI Amsterdam and throughout the city, but don’t be afraid to check out options that aren’t on the official IBC hotel list.
For a truly authentic experience, try renting an apartment and blending in with the locals. Better yet, rent a houseboat and enjoy your evenings people watching from your terrace on the Amstel River. You will not regret it.
Credit: tonyv3112 – stock.adobe.com
Things to do in Amsterdam at IBC2022
I know I know. It’s a work trip. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun, does it? If you have time to fit a few tourist attractions into your itinerary, here are some top-rated activities in Amsterdam in September 2022.
For the record, we do not receive any bribes from these events and attractions. I’m just sharing some fan favorites from the SNS team based on years of experience in Amsterdam for IBC.
For food lovers: the Heineken experience
It’s above everybody listing. I’m not even a beer drinker (gasp!) and I’m dying to go. Discover the Heineken Experience to visit the very first Heineken brewery and learn the history of the world’s most famous beer. Protest!
I also heard good things about Luna restaurant, SkyLounge Amsterdam and CAU Steak restaurant. And fries, or French fries, put even the best American potatoes to shame. (Go native and dip your fries in mayonnaise for the full experience.) Also, if you see the opportunity to wrap something in a waffle, do it.
No matter where you’re staying, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have a few local pubs within walking distance of your hotel at IBC2022. Stop for a bite, a drink and some good company. The locals are very friendly and interested in knowing more about you.
For the adventurous: canal cruise
Venice of the North, the city of canals, Amsterdam is known for its network of waterways. A one-hour canal cruise can give you a whole new perspective on the city, and it’s a great way to decompress after a long day (or night) of networking.
There are many beautiful parks to explore and outdoor events in Amsterdam. For sports fans who don’t mind jumping on IBCs for a day, pack an orange shirt. Ajax take on Heerenveen at the Johan Cruijff ArenA on Saturday, September 10.
Credit: For creatives: Van Gogh Museum
Why go to Van Gogh? One of Amsterdam’s most popular museums, the Van Gogh Museum houses the world’s largest collection of Vincent van Gogh’s finest works. Well worth an hour or so if you have time to wander around the exhibits.
Other fantastic sites for art lovers and creatives include the Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum, Rembrandt’s House and the EYE Film Institute Netherlands. Or simply explore the city with your camera in hand, letting inspiration guide you.
For history buffs: Anne Frank House
This Jordaan neighborhood staple is another must-see for Amsterdam first-timers. A visit to the Anne Frank House will take you back to another time, a hard-to-complain story told through the uplifting diary of young and feisty Anne Frank.
Amsterdam is full of great museums, like the Amsterdam Museum, the Netherlands Maritime Museum and the Hermitage Amsterdam, to name a few. There are around 40 in the area, so pick a few to see this year and save the rest for IBC2023 and beyond.
Stay healthy at IBC2022
IBC is a 4-day industry networking marathon taking place in the heart of one of Europe’s most dynamic cities. It’s natural to want to soak up all the city has to offer in one trip, but staying healthy is more important. Sometimes that means slowing down and taking time for yourself.
Dilapidated bodies are more prone to disease, and that’s the last thing we need at IBC2022. Take breaks to relax and recover when you need it. Book a pre- or post-flight massage at the hotel, take a nap between happy hours, and relax for a few minutes in a comfortable booth (like Studio Network Solutions at 7.A26).