Built in 1996, Johan Cruijff Arena has turned into a legendary battlefield hosting AFC Ajax. The stadium depicts the club’s glorious history and is home of 54,990 of its dedicated supporters.

Key facts

Address Arena Boulevard 1, 1101 AX Amsterdam, Netherlands
Postcode 1101 AX
Capacity 54,990 seats
Club AFC Ajax, Netherlands national football team (selected matches), Amsterdam Admirals (1997–2007) – American football
Build Date 14 August 1996
Architect Rob Schuurman
Average Attendance 49,670 (Season 2017-2018)
Record Attendance 54,874 (Ajax v. Real Madrid, 1-2, Champions League, 13 February 2019)
Stadium Cost €140 million
Roof Retractable roof
Who is the owner of Johan Cruijff Arena? Gemeente Amsterdam Stadion Amsterdam N.V.
Pitch Size 105 m × 68 m
Where is Johan Cruijff Arena located? 52°18′51″N 4°56′31″E
Nickname Former name: Amsterdam Arena
Surface PlayMaster Hybrid Grass by Tarkett Sports

Seating plan

Johan Cruijff Arena seating plan

The construction of the Amsterdam Arena which is today known as the Johan Cruijff Arena lasted from 1993 to 1996. The plan to erect a new multi-purpose ground in the capital of the Netherlands has been discussed for a full decade prior to that. However various obstacles caused a delay in the progress.

The arena is often regarded as a breakthrough in stadium design and functioning. For example, it has become the first European ground with an innovative retractable roof. This fact alone allowed using Johan Cruijff Arena as an enormous music hall all-year-round. Some of the most prominent performers of the last decades lured millions of tourists to Amsterdam. David Bowie, Madonna, Michael Jackson, AC/DC, The Rolling Stones, Rihanna, and Coldplay are only a few among the artists who appeared on the stage of the Johan Cruijff Arena.

The cosy bowl-shaped stadium in Amsterdam has four stands named by compass direction (the East and West stands are the main ones, while the South and North stands are located behind the nets). The categories of seats are as listed below:

  • Cat 1 seats are located at the lower tiers of the main stands;
  • Cat 2 seats are located at the upper tiers of the main stands;
  • Cat 3 seats are situated behind the nets and at the upper tiers of the arena’s corners.

The Johan Cruijff Arena is proud of the historical matches which took place there. Among them are the numerous Champions League matches including the 1998 Champions League Final. Also, five matches of Euro 2000 and the 2013 Europa League finals took place there.

Tickets

tickets

Amsterdam is one of the top tourist destinations in the world and the stadium of Ajax is among its valuable places of interest. Considering the 90.5% occupancy rate of the ground during the local matches, when truly important games are played, it’s extremely hard to buy tickets. StubHub is the instrument which can help. It allows buying tickets to all sorts of events taking place at the Johan Cruijff Arena, including the unique events such as the matches of Euro 2020. This timesaving solution is ideal for purchasing tickets from abroad. The prices are usually reasonable but if you are looking for the cheapest ways to get tickets, try the following means:

As usual, the prices are subject to change but you can get the ticket to the random Eredivisie match for as cheap as €28 or €31 and up to €130. The matches against Feyenoord, PSV, and the European games sell out much quicker and are priced higher.

Hotels

hotel

Amsterdam is a teeny-tiny city compared to Rome, Berlin, Moscow and most of the other major European capitals. Therefore, almost all accommodations in the city can be considered “central” or very close to that. It’s a great thing to know before you start searching for your hotel at Booking.com. I always use this hotel aggregator myself and advise my friends to do it as well. With its help, I was able to find some of the most amazing hotel deals in Amsterdam.

Cheapest offers

  1. easyHotel Amsterdam Arena Boulevard – costs €89 per night which is a good price in one of the most expensive European cities. This place will be loved by the minimalists but it can perfectly satisfy the needs of an average traveller. It features a self-check-in system and all necessary amenities. It’s literally a few steps away from the Johan Cruijff Arena.
  2. Joy Hotel – it will take you about 16 minutes to walk from this place to the ground of Ajax. Some people will love vending machines with snacks in the lobby, while others will enjoy the convenient family rooms which only cost €127 and feature an incredible city view.

Highest-rated

  1. Jaz Amsterdam – costs €233 per night. It features spacious rooms with modern décor, super comfy beds, and a number of smart and functional details. The distance from this hotel to the Johan Cruijff Arena is less than a hundred feet.
  2. Hampton by Hilton Amsterdam Arena Boulevard – also boasts with literally a 3-minute walk to the stadium of Ajax. The rooms for two and three persons are starting at €174. The number of convenient features provided in this hotel is truly incredible.
  3. Holiday Inn Amsterdam at Arena Towers – €180 per night is a good price for such a magnificent hotel in Amsterdam’s heart. It stands just a 7-minute walk away from the stadium. It’s really hard to find anything less than perfect about this venue.
  4. Courtyard by Marriott Amsterdam Arena Atlas – quiet rooms with homelike décor, exceptional cleanliness and unbelievably tasty food at the restaurant – is something you can enjoy for €274 per night. One of the best of Amsterdam’s hotels is located within cosy walking distance from the arena of Ajax.

How to get to

Johan Cruijff ArenA on the map

As I’ve mentioned above, Amsterdam’s centre is very compact which is making it a very convenient city for the football fan who wants to be close to the stadium and to as many places of interest as possible. Understanding that not every person likes to walk a lot, I’ve put together a few transportation tips. Those should be great for the first-time traveller in the capital of the Netherlands.

By Metro – Bijlmer Arena Station is around a 5-minute walk away from the Johan Cruijff Arena. Use Metro 50 or 54 to get from Amsterdam’s centre to the football ground.

By Bus – the following bus lines have their stops in proximity to the stadium: 44, 49, 126, 209, 300, 323, 328, 356, and so on.

By Car – Arena Boulevard 1, 1101 AX Amsterdam, Netherlands is the stadium’s address. Search for this in google on your smartphone or sat nav to receive the up-to-date directions.

By Plane – Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) is located about 11 miles west of the Johan Cruijff Arena. While the car ride takes about 30 minutes on an average non-matchday evening, the traffic can get pretty intensive a few hours before the kick-off. The Intercity train will deliver you from the airport to the main stadium of the Netherlands within 18 minutes.

Useful links:

Parking

It’s been calculated that parking space for about 9,000 cars is available within short walking distance from the home ground of Ajax but it’s still less than the number of people who want to park on a gameday. However, there is always a solution. The approximate matchday paid parking price near the sports venue in Amsterdam is €7-€14.

Eating out nearby

pub

Amsterdam proudly offers many vivid culinary experiences so don’t hesitate to experiment in this culturally rich cosmopolitan city. While many travellers would only go to famous restaurants and fancy pubs, Amsterdam can surprise you with a number of totally awesome family-owned businesses and little street food kiosks. You’ll be amazed to see how they make culinary masterpieces out of nothing in a unique and creative way. Among the must-try meals in the Dutch capital are bitterballen (deep fried crispy meatballs), hot, fresh kibbeling (deep fried morsels of cod), stamppot (mashed potatoes with plenty of other veggies), and certainly freshly-baked stroopwafels.

Pubs, bars & cafes

  • Oma Ietje – boasts with wonderful breakfasts. It is around a 15-minute walk away from the ground of Ajax. The atmosphere of this place is totally inimitable and you’ll probably enjoy their large windows and colourful décor.
  • KEK! Proef-Lokaal – is a nice craft brewery located 2 miles south-west of the Johan Cruijff Arena. The place is gorgeously surrounded by plenty of greenery which is excellent for children to play in the afternoon. The owners of the brewery are extremely hospitable.
  • De Proefzaak – is situated near Bullewijk metro station and the stadium can be reached within a 20-minute walk from this venue. They brew a variety of beers and have a decent menu with some fish, salads, spicy snacks and many other things which can satisfy each client.

Restaurants

  • Ichi-E – is a great Japanese restaurant located so close to the Johan Cruijff Arena that you can easily walk there with your eyes closed. It’s hard to imagine that Japanese food can get any tastier than that, so this place is definitely recommended.
  • Clubhouse Old Course – enjoy literally a 3-minute walk from the football stadium in Amsterdam and discover this hidden gem with some excellent sandwiches, soups, barbeque, coffee, and other tasty drinks.
  • Easy & Fresh Falafel – the sitting area in this place is quite tiny so it’s more suitable for takeaway meals. However, it features a nice menu with a choice of fresh salads, baked potatoes, and some exclusive Turkish treats.

Things to see at the stadium

Johan Cruijff Arena

Amsterdam’s main football ground is surrounded by lively streets with tons of enjoyable things to do and to see. Eating, chilling, shopping, and entertainment options are almost unlimited. The home of Ajax itself boasts of modern facilities and has a lot of amazing things to show off.

Tour

A thrilling 75-minute tour is a truly enjoyable experience which is highly recommended for every family member. It features the unique VR experience, players’ tunnel, press room, changing room, the Ajax Gallery of Fame, and many other things. The other available options are the Amsterdam Travelcard & Stadium Tour, VIP tour, Lovers Canal Cruise & Stadium Tour, Kidstour in the Dutch language, and the private Group Tour. For complete information please follow the link.

Useful links:

Fan store

The main Official Ajax Fanshop is situated at the West stand of the ground and is easy to spot. There is the second location known as Ajax Fanshop Kalverstraat. Its address is Kalverstraat 124, 1012 PK, Amsterdam. It is 7 miles south-east of the Johan Cruijff Arena. Of course, the club’s gear, personalized gifts, and other fan items can be purchased online.

Things to do in Amsterdam

Amsterdam

Beautiful and permissive, entertaining and romantic – Amsterdam constantly increases the number of experiences to attract more and more tourists. From the Keukenhof tulip gardens to the museum of liqueur and spirits, and from the Nemo Science Centre to the world’s most vibrant night clubs – Amsterdam has everything for everyone. Below you’ll find a few tips which will help you to get acquainted with some fun places in the Dutch capital.

Sightseeing tour

City tours are ultra-popular in the magical city of Amsterdam. You can select anything from lovely dinner cruises along the city’s canals to charming flower-fields tours. You can explore the marvellous Dutch countryside with famous windmills or go to freezing Icebar on a hot day and enjoy a combined hop-on-hop-off bus and boat tour afterwards. In Amsterdam, there are always many things to do in any weather and even off-season from October to March when the hotel rates fall big-time.

Useful links:

Top 3 places to visit

Vondelpark – is the city’s main oasis with plenty of greenery, lovable ponds, live music events, cabaret, and a superb rose garden where impressive 70 types of roses grow. Pablo Picasso’s “Fish” sculpture is another notable object to observe there.

Houseboat Museum – there are many amazing canal cruises available in Amsterdam. Some of them feature cheerful guides, tasty treats, and additional attractions. However, many tourists don’t even realize what it is like to live on a houseboat. The Houseboat Museum provides the one-of-a-kind opportunity to explore the real houseboat and to hear its incredible first-hand history.

Museumplein – is a legendary square where outdoor events and celebrations practically never end. Amsterdam’s most prominent museums and a stunning concert hall are also located there. The Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk Museum, and Van Gogh Museum are among the venues that shouldn’t be skipped.