The first thing everyone thinks of when they think of Amsterdam is escape rooms, right? Well, maybe not, but why not? As the popularity of escape rooms grows across the globe, I wanted to introduce the idea of escape rooms to my friend, Danielle Fear of CruiseMiss.
Like most people unfamiliar with the concept of escape rooms, Danielle didn’t seem interested at first. A room you have to escape from? Was it a haunted house? How quickly would boredom set in? I pushed and arranged a room at Escape World anyway and hoped she’d be on board with the idea.
What Are Escape Rooms?Think of escape rooms as puzzles come to life. If you like puzzles of any kind, then you'll love escape rooms. Click To Tweet
My friends who went to Lockdown described escape rooms likes this: “Think of escape rooms as puzzles come to life. If you like puzzles of any kind, then you’ll love escape rooms.” The amazing thing about escape rooms is that no two are alike. I’ve done some that are super high tech and others that aren’t. If you’re good at paying attention to details and solving riddles, then this is totally something you need to try.
Escape rooms can be found pretty much in every country. From Amsterdam to Utah in America, pretty much everyone has the opportunity to take part in an escape room challenge at least once in their lives. It is an experience for sure, and one that I would happily do again, no matter where I am in the world. A few escape room I’ve visited I’ve solved, but most I haven’t. Yet, I keep returning to try more as they are incredibly addictive and fun. Most escape rooms provide the success rate of those that have exited the room. Don’t feel discouraged by the low success rate as you might be the one to successfully solve the puzzle.
TSG Tip: I generally choose one with a higher success rate if it’s my first time there. This way I know I’m trying one of the easier ones. But an easier room doesn’t imply you’ll escape. If you’ve done an escape room before, you know what I mean.
Escape World’s Location
“The Cabin in the Woods,” is one of three escape rooms at Escape World Waterlooplein. We reserved this room for 1 pm, allowing us time for other activities afterwards. When we showed up, I wasn’t exactly sure where Escape World was. I took the above pic so you can see that there’s signage only on the front door.
Located near the Rembrandt House Museum, Escape World is centrally and conveniently located in Amsterdam. You’ll find plenty to do nearby including restaurants, shops, and the Waterlooplein flea market. The Soup Shop across the street even has vegan soups, which smelled delicious, but I wasn’t up for eating before we started our escape room.
Our Experience at Escape World
We entered the building and went down a steep flight of stairs before arriving into the main room of Escape World. Once inside, we were greeted and our guide, Caitlin, showed us where we could to put our stuff inside a locker, including our smartphones. Danielle held onto the key so we wouldn’t lose it.Danielle was terrified that something or someone was going to jump out and scare her, but that's not how escape rooms work. Click To Tweet
Before our escape room experience began, we were asked to have a seat in the lobby. Since I don’t want to ruin the experience for anyone, I’m not going to reveal the details of what transpired next or how “Cabin in the Woods” plays out. Danielle was terrified that something or someone was going to jump out and scare her, but that’s not how escape rooms work.
The “Cabin in the Woods” Story
Here’s the story behind “Cabin in the Woods” from the Escape World website:
You are lost in the woods together with your friends. Due to the bad weather you are looking for a suitable place to sleep. After a 4 hour tiring journey you suddenly see in the distance a log cabin, an ideal place to hide! Once inside, it seems not to be such a good idea … You are hearing eerie noises, you feel the presence of mysterious forces and inexplicable things happen. All families who have been here before, found dead after leaving. There is a curse on the cabin and it’s up to you to chase the ghosts before they catch you by surprise! Since we have 2 identical Cabin in the Woods rooms, it’s great for teams to compete!
Caitlin explained the premise of the story and before we knew it, it was time to begin. She then escorted us to the room to begin the game and put 60 minutes on the clock. If we needed help, there was a phone we could use to call and ask for assistance. Our goal was to uncover all the clues and get out before the 60 minutes on the clock elapsed.
Did We Escape the Cabin in the Woods?
“Cabin in the Woods” was intricate, challenging, and not like any other escape room I’ve ever done in the past. The story was carefully crafted and was integral to the overall premise of the escape room. I felt the urgency to escape and quickly so let’s just leave it at that.
Although we were about 70% finished, we didn’t escape the “Cabin in the Woods,” but that doesn’t mean we left disappointed. Danielle and I have travelled often together and as such, I think we work well together. We balanced our strengths and weaknesses and never got short with each other throughout the process. Danielle was really surprised how much she liked it and said she’d definitely do it again. While out and about in Amsterdam, we talked with a bartender who lives locally and regularly visits escape rooms so it’s definitely not just for tourists.
Escape rooms are a great team building exercise for large or small groups, including those with friends and/or family. Typically, escape rooms allow 10-12 people per room and if you don’t have that many in your group, they’ll match you with others. I wanted a private room and I was super excited that Escape World offers rates for 2 people (€70), 3 people (€84), 4 people (€96), and 5 people (€110) per group for a one hour game. Choose from “Cabin in the Woods,” “The Flying Dutchman,” or “The Chocolate Factory” at this location or one of several others at their other locations. Games typically change after a period of time so if you’ve visited in the past, it might be different the next time you go.
Where You Can Find Escape World
Escape World operates out of four different locations in the Netherlands including the Waterloopein location we visited:
Van Diemenstraat 242
1013 CR Amsterdam
1011 NK Amsterdam
2131 LX Hoofddorp
2718 KZ Zoetermeer
Overall, the experience was definitely one of a kind and I would absolutely return. While you might not immediately think of escape rooms and Amsterdam in the same sentence, you should. Whatever the reason you choose to visit Amsterdam, add some more fun into your trip with a visit to Escape World.
1011 NK Amsterdam
Have you tried an escape room? What did you think? Would you try one while traveling? Let me know in the comments below.
On my new SPONTANEOUS TRAVEL SCALE of 1-5, with 1 being super easy and spontaneous and 5 being you better plan far in advance, this is probably a 3. Expect fully booked rooms on the weekends and rainy days. But I think it might be fairly easy to get a same day reservation during the week and that’s a huge thumbs up as far as spontaneous travel goes.
While I was provided an escape room to try out from Escape World, as always all opinions and photographs, unless otherwise noted, are my own.