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Written by Rosina Majid   

Amsterdam ArenA


Amsterdam ArenA lies 8km (5 miles) southeast of Amsterdam Central Station in the city’s Zuidoost  borough. The area itself is lovingly named after the ArenA, the largest stadium in the Netherlands that is one of the major attractions in the neighborhood. The stadium was built in 1996 and was officially opened by Queen Beatrix during an opening ceremony that was followed by a live performance given by Tina Turner.


The stadium’s huge space is used primarily for football games, and regularly hosts games of the association football club AFC Ajax (pronounced eye-ax), Amsterdam’s very own successful football team. With its retractable roof, the stadium is also a venue for concerts, parties and international events. Over the years many international artists have graced the stage at the ArenA, while twice every year the popular dance event Sensation (previously known as Sensation White) and BLACK (previously known as Sensation Black) are held here. The two indoor electronic dance events draw in thousands of party-goers wearing only black to the event BLACK where the music is darker and hardcore, and wearing only white to Sensation where house music is played.


Even though Amsterdam ArenA is not a major tourist attraction, this area is certainly not lacking in the ‘things to do’ department. Besides watching a football game, one might like to venture to the ArenA for a movie at the biggest cinema in the Netherlands. Pathe Arena is a multiplex cinema with a whopping 14 screens! This is the number one place to watch movies in IMAX and 3D when in Amsterdam. Hop next door and you will find the Heineken Music Hall, or HMH as it is often abbreviated. This popular concert venue opened in 2001 and offers weekly pop concerts. It might be worth checking who is playing when planning your trip, as many international artists headline at this joint. That is of course if they are not performing at the recently opened Ziggo Dome just down the road!


If you happen to stop by this neck-of-the-woods during the day then you will be happy to know there is a shopping centre along the ArenA Boulevard. Here you will find stores such as Media Markt for all your household and electrical appliances, Decathlon and Perry Sports as well as an indoor shopping mall for furniture at Villa ArenA Woonmall. And who doesn’t need a beverage or two when they are shopping? Besides the snackbar chain FeBo between HMH and Media Markt, there are plenty of places to stop for a drink or bite. The most prominent eatery of them all can be found in the centre of the ArenA square. JinSo is an Asian fusion restaurant and bar, spread over two floors. Here you can enjoy a delectable meal from their a-la-carte menu or opt for the buffet and get to try everything on the menu, that is if your belly allows it! For a spot of lunch or a casual drink then stop by Grand Cafe 3&20 for their traditional menu.


The possibilities at ArenA are vast, from watching a game, movie or concert to spending a day shopping and having a nice meal. Even though it’s far from the city centre and not the number-one choice of areas for tourists to stay, it can however be a nice alternative. Please check here for a list of accommodation in the area to find something to suit your needs.


Amsterdam ArenA may be a few kilometres away from the city centre but it is easy to reach by public transport. Among other things, ArenA is home to its very own Train and Metro (subway) station named Bijlmer ArenA. Unlike the Metro stops in the centre which are underground, this particular station is above ground. Station Bijlmer ArenA is 10 stops from Amsterdam Central Station, but you can also catch a line from Nieuwmarkt and Waterlooplein.


 

 

 

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