Football (soccer if you are American) is the most popular sport in Europe and this also holds true for the city of Amsterdam.
Amsterdam is home to one of Holland’s top football clubs, Ajax Football Club, one of the most successful teams in Dutch footballing history.
Ajax are particularly famous around Europe because of their development of younger players, and what is named the ‘Ajax Youth Training Program’.
Ajax is also known for its female football team, which is one of the best-run female football clubs in the world.
1. About the Stadium
The stadium used to be known as ‘Amsterdam Arena’.
It was rebranded and renamed in 2018 to honor one if not the most famous players ever to play for Ajax, Johan Cruyff.
The stadium serves as the iconic home stadium for the renowned football club, AFC Ajax.
But this stadium is more than just a venue; it’s a shrine where football dreams come to life.
2. Photos from Our Visit
I always get Valeria to sit in the press room area when we visit stadiums around the world and this is Valeria in the press room of Ajax Football Club.
Make sure to do the tour on non-matchdays, if you can, in order to have access to this room on the tour.
During the tour, you will be guided into the main pitch area and have a chance to sit in the main stadium seats and walk to the edge of the pitch.
You are also given 5 minutes or so to sit in the stadium and enjoy a fan’s view of the pitch and inner stadium area. It’s a good photo opportunity.
It was especially interesting to see and hear about the VIP seating area in the Johan Cruyff stadium.
Apart from extremely comfortable leather seats, as a VIP you can expect precision temperatures around your seat thanks to smart sensors.
The stadium is very much a ‘Smart’ stadium technologically speaking with:
- More than 4000 solar panels on the roof
- Smart sensors on and around the pitch to monitor the temperature
- Its own windmill nearby that generates power for the stadium
- Sustainable heating
Amsterdam Arena was the first stadium in Europe with a sliding roof, a design that quickly caught on and is now visible in many stadiums around the country.
You can read in more detail about the sustainability of the stadium here.
The Johan Cruyff Stadium is one of the smaller stadiums in Europe for Champions League teams and it has a capacity of just under 56,000.
What I really love about this stadium though, even more than the likes of the Nou Camp, Millenium Stadium, or Wembley Stadium, is that this stadium creates a sense of real unity and togetherness because of its compactness.
I have been in the stadium also for a match and the atmosphere can be electric with the noise so loud in the stadium!
This stadium in terms of atmosphere reminds me a lot of seeing RCD Espanyol play at home in Barcelona.
RCD Espanyol is a small club compared to FC Barcelona but I prefer the amazing atmosphere at the RCD at their Stage Front Stadium, an atmosphere that resembles that of Ajax.
Paul’s Thoughts on the Tour
I genuinely really enjoyed this tour and it is actually one of the best stadium tours I have been on, partly because I found the information about the technology and how they have developed the stadium, fascinating.
I wouldn’t travel to Amsterdam especially to see the stadium to be honest (like any stadium) but if you are going to be in Amsterdam anyway and are a sports fan, then 100% I would recommend it.
3. Booking a Tour of the Johan Cruyff Tour
Where to Stay in Amsterdam
There are so many accommodation options as a visitor to Amsterdam but I always use bookings.com to find accommodation.Booking.com
I have visited Amsterdam many times over the years and these are two hotels I have stayed in and enjoyed.
Ibis Amsterdam Stopera
For people who like staying in comfort, this hotel offers rooms with beginning prices of Euros 150. It’s in a great central location and is near to lots of good bars, restaurants, and the main attractions. The hotel can be found at Valkenburgerstraat 68.
Hotel Pulitzer Amsterdam
One of my go-to hotels, i.e. my favourite place to stay in Amsterdam as I love the location and I find it decent value.
It provides excellent accommodation although it is a little expensive, so you might want a more budget option if staying for several days in Amsterdam.
FAQs on the Stadium Tour
When Can I Do the Tours?
The Johan Cruyff Arena offers tours on both matchdays and non-matchdays, each providing a unique perspective.
Matchday tours allow you to witness the stadium’s transformation as it comes alive with the energy of thousands of passionate fans.
On non-matchdays, you can explore the stadium in a more serene setting, appreciating its architectural brilliance and history.
To see the stadium itself I would actually recommend making sure you do it on a non-match day so that you can see areas such as the press room and changing rooms.
Getting to the Stadium
To get from the center of Amsterdam to the Johan Cruijff Arena (formerly known as Amsterdam Arena), you have several transportation options:
The most convenient way to reach the Johan Cruijff Arena is by taking the metro. Follow these steps:
Start at Amsterdam Central Station, which is the main train station in the center of Amsterdam.
Head to the metro station located directly under Amsterdam Central Station.
Take Metro Line 54 (Gein) or Line 50 (Isolatorweg) towards Amsterdam Bijlmer Arena Station.
The Johan Cruijff Arena is adjacent to Amsterdam Bijlmer Arena Station.
You will see the stadium as you walk out of the station exit.
If you prefer to take a train, you can take a sprinter train from Amsterdam Central Station to Amsterdam Bijlmer Arena Station.
The journey is short, and the station is within walking distance of the Johan Cruijff Arena.
You can also take tram line 54 from Amsterdam Central Station to the Johan Cruijff Arena. It’s a slightly slower option compared to the metro but offers a scenic route.
Amsterdam is a bicycle-friendly city, and you can rent a bicycle to get to the Johan Cruijff Arena.
It’s a pleasant ride, and there are bike racks available near the stadium for parking.
5. Taxi or Ride-Sharing
The journey is relatively short so it will not be that expensive if you use Uber or a taxi.
If you enjoy walking, it is certainly possible to walk to the Johan Cruijff Arena from some parts of the city center.
However, it will take you approximately 45 minutes.
Location of the Johan Cruyff Stadium
Here’s a map for locating the stadium, which is located in Zuid-Oost, Amsterdam.
Amsterdam Travel Resources
Traveling around the world to watch & experience sports, I tend to always use the same resources for booking trips. These are the ones I use most frequently and that I find to have great customer support and competitive prices.
- Flights – are also now offered by booking.com and as I love the brand this is my first port of call now for flights.
- Booking.com – The best site I have found for hotel and accommodation bookings.
- Safety Wing Travel Insurance – I love Saftey Wing as they cover everything I need to be covered and they have a simple-to-use site, and again, I have found their customer service very good, when I needed to ask questions.
- Get Your Guide – is an excellent site as a one-stop shop for booking attractions, local tours, activities, and excursions. Great customer service and an easy-to-use site.
- Hostelworld – Book backpacker hostel rooms around the world with Hostel World.
- Sports Event Tickets – Tickets for all sporting events