Ultimate List of 30 Popular and Unique Things to do in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is one of the most popular cities in Europe. Nearly 14 million tourists visit it annually! We recently traveled to Amsterdam and thought it would be a great idea if we can list down 30 Popular and Unique Things to do in Amsterdam for our readers. It is a well-thought-out list where we have tried to include all the famous and offbeat things to do and places to visit in this eclectic city. We have also mentioned the location of each place so that it’s easier for you to navigate when roaming around in the city. We loved our stay in Amsterdam and recommend staying for at least 4 full days in Amsterdam. The more, the better. 🙂
Table of Contents
- 0.1 Anne Frank House
- 0.2 Van Gogh Museum
- 0.3 Museum Market
- 0.4 Rijksmuseum
- 0.5 “I Amsterdam” Sign
- 0.6 Stedelijk Museum
- 0.7 Vondelpark
- 0.8 Heineken Brewery
- 0.9 Amsterdam Cheese Museum
- 0.10 Take a Canal Tour
- 0.11 Splurge out at one of the Markets
- 0.12 Red Light District
- 0.13 Visit the Quirky Museums
- 0.14 Fo Guang Shan He Hua Temple
- 0.15 Have some mouth-watering Poffertjes at Pancakes Amsterdam
- 0.16 Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) & Oude Kerk (Old Church)
- 0.17 Try some home-made popsicles at IJsmanschap
- 0.18 The Foodhallen
- 0.19 “Wake me up when I’m famous” Bench
- 0.20 The Avocado Show Restaurant
- 0.21 Amsterdamse Bos (Amsterdam Forest)
- 0.22 Artis Royal Zoo
- 0.23 Magere Brug (Skinny Bridge)
- 0.24 Shop for some Dutch souvenirs
- 0.25 Watch a movie at Pathé Tuschinski
- 0.26 Have some delicious fries at Vlaams Friteshuis Vleminckx
- 0.27 Attend a Concert at Concertgebouw
- 0.28 Gape in awe at the house with the narrowest facade in Amsterdam
- 0.29 NDSM Wharf
- 0.30 A’DAM Lookout
- 1 Sharing is Caring!
Anne Frank House
Visit Anne Frank House at 267 Prinsengracht in the Jordaan district. The story of the little girl Anne Frank is truly heart touching. She, her family and other Jewish refugees hid in these rooms during the World War II, before the Nazi forces expelled them to concentration camps. The story of their fear and hope can be read in the original copy of Anne’s diary. The tickets cost €10 for adults.
TIP: Book the tickets online in advance if traveling to Amsterdam during the peak season. Better to visit it late in the evening when there are fewer tourists to fully appreciate the story of Anne Frank during her hardship years.
Van Gogh Museum
Located at Museumplein, Van Gogh Museum houses the world’s largest collection of Van Gogh paintings, drawings & letters. The timings are 9 am to 7 pm daily. The ticket price is €18 for adults. There is free entry for children. If you have a Holland pass use it to visit this museum.
TIP: Book the tickets online in advance to avoid the crowd that often starts in the morning.
It takes place near Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk Museum, and Van Gogh Museum on every third Sunday of the month. It features stylish arts and craft products and some great food in outdoor cafes. A great place to shop and eat!
Located at Museumplein, Rijksmuseum is one of Amsterdam’s most popular and magnificent museums. There are stunning artworks of Rembrandt, Vermeer, Frans Hals and many others in this 200-year-old museum.
“I Amsterdam” Sign
Look for the iconic “I Amsterdam” sign in the popular square of Museumplein. You will never find this place empty for pictures.
TIP: An early morning visit is recommended if you want a picture of the “I Amsterdam” sign devoid of other tourists.
The Stedelijk Museum for modern and contemporary art and design is an innovative museum to visit in Amsterdam. It is located in Museumplein.
TIP: Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Stedelijk Museum are all located at Museumplein so you can visit them all at once!
Vondelpark is the largest city park in Amsterdam (47 acres) and the most popular park in the Netherlands. It attracts about 10 million visitors a year! It is a place to relax and you can easily spend hours here looking at the clean ponds, walking your dog, jogging, listening to music, roller skating, people watching or just lazing about in the grass.
Heineken Brewery located at Stadhouderskade 78, 1072 AE Amsterdam is a must visit if you are curious about the history of one of the most famous beers in the world. Admission ticket costs €18 which includes a self-guided tour, 2 chilled beers and a city map of Amsterdam.
Amsterdam Cheese Museum
Holland produces some delicious varieties of cheese, and cheese tasting is something which you must do at least once in your lifetime.
In Amsterdam Cheese Museum, located at Prinsengracht 112, 1015 EA Amsterdam, you will also learn the history of cheese making, experience the unique taste of the best cheese in the Netherlands and dress up like a traditional Dutch cheese farmer!
Some other great options for fresh cheese tasting are Fromagerie Abraham Kef (Location – Marnixstraat 192B, 1016 TJ Amsterdam) and Reypenaer Tasting Room (Location – Singel 182, 1015 AH Amsterdam).
Take a Canal Tour
There are 165 canals in Amsterdam! In 2010, Amsterdam’s canal ring was declared as a UNESCO world heritage site. Taking a canal tour is a romantic way to discover the city’s sights and attractions. The tours last for an hour and cover the UNESCO protected canal ring along with discovering interesting facts about the city.
Splurge out at one of the Markets
Amsterdam is full of colorful and lively street markets for both luxury and street shopping. Some of the famous markets to visit are:
1. Bloemenmarkt Floating Flower Market – It is the only floating flower market in the world and one of the most popular places to visit in Amsterdam. It is a colorful place and you can buy seeds, single flowers, bulbs or bouquets.
2. ‘The Nine Streets’ (De Negen Straatjes) – Vintage and designer boutiques and cozy cafes. Location – Wolvenstraat 9, 1016 EM Amsterdam.
3. IJ-Hallen – Biggest flea market in Europe. Location – Tt. Neveritaweg 15, 1033 WB Amsterdam.
4. Waterlooplein – Oldest and most interesting flea market in the Netherlands.
5. Westerstraat Market in Jordaan – Clothes, shoes, textiles, general goods.
6. Albert Cuyp Market – General goods, food produce, exotic herbs, and spices.
7. Artplein-Spui Market – Oil paintings, original prints.
8. Nieuwmarkt – Organic food, antiques, ornaments, clothes.
9. Farmer’s Market on Noordermarkt – Organic food, fruits, cheese, snacks.
Red Light District
In the evening around 10-10.30 pm, take a look at the famous Red Light District with red lights. You will find prostitutes behind glass windows along canals and alleys. You are not allowed to click pictures of the sex workers.
For the enthusiastic souls, we recommend attending a Sex Show in Amsterdam. Cassa Rosso is the most famous sex show in the city.
Spend an evening at La Vie en Proost, the best topless lap dance bar of Amsterdam. It is a very cozy place in the heart of Red Light District.
Visit the Quirky Museums
1. Museum of Bags and Purses (Tassen Museum) – Get a sneak-peak into ladies fashion, arts, and history. Location – Herengracht 573. Timings – 10 am – 5 pm.
2. The Houseboat Museum (Woonbootmuseum) – These typical Dutch floating houses arouse the curiosity of many tourists. The price ticket is only €4.5 for adults. Location – Prinsengracht 296 K. Timings – 10 am – 5 pm. Closed on Mondays.
3. Red Light Secrets – Museum of Prostitution – Located in the Red Light District, it is the world’s only museum of prostitution. Get a behind-the-scenes peek into the world that remains hidden for most. Timings – 10 am to 12 am.
4. Diamond Museum – It takes you on a journey that starts deep in the earth 3 billion years ago & ends in the shining ring on your finger! Location – Paulus Potterstraat 8, 1071 CZ Amsterdam. Timings – 9 am to 5 pm.
5. Cow Museum – Located at Leliegracht 4, 1015 AH Amsterdam, it is one of the most colorful and prettiest museums we’ve been to! There are various designs of beautiful cows on display. It’s a delightful place for all the cow lovers. Timings – 12 pm to 10 pm.
Fo Guang Shan He Hua Temple
Visit the largest Buddhist temple in Europe featuring classical Chinese-style roof carvings & a colorful, ornate interior. It is located on the edge of the Red Light District.
Also Read: Top 10 Things to Do in Paris
Have some mouth-watering Poffertjes at Pancakes Amsterdam
Puffy pancakes (known as poffertjes in the Netherlands) are one of our favorite Dutch food discoveries. These simple, fluffy treats are made with yeast and topped with butter, powdered sugar, and chocolate syrup. Try them at Pancakes, Amsterdam located at Prins Hendrikkade 48, 1012 AC Amsterdam. This crêperie accepts only card, no cash and there is an option of sitting inside or outside.
Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) & Oude Kerk (Old Church)
Nieuwe Kerk – Nieuwe Kerk is a 15th-century church in Amsterdam, located on Dam Square, next to the Royal Palace.
Oude Kerk – Amsterdam’s oldest building and oldest parish church dominating the Red Light District. The building is erected on a cemetery and inside you can read many slogans, some of them are really funny.
Try some home-made popsicles at IJsmanschap
IJsmanschap located at Van Spilbergenstraat 2H, 1057 RG Amsterdam is the first, handcrafted, all-natural Popsicle (ice-lolly) Bar in the Netherlands. Just what you need on a sunny day! They have different varieties of Popsicles and you can add toppings of your choice. We had salted caramel Popsicle with grated pistachio and nuts topping. It was heavenly!
It is a food hall created in the old tram depot in Amsterdam Oud-West. It is a heaven for the foodies and there are so many great things to try out! You can also watch a movie next door at De Filmhallen, nice!
“Wake me up when I’m famous” Bench
After having seen this amusing graffiti bench in many blogger photos, we had to hunt it down for taking some cool pics. It’s a non-touristy place located in Frans Halsstraat and generally there are bikes and cars blocking this bench, but still a great place for clicking an unusual pic.
The Avocado Show Restaurant
It is Europe’s first avocado restaurant serving visually stunning and incredibly delicious dishes made from Avocado. The timings are 9 am to 5 pm. Great place for breakfast, brunch, and lunch. It is a very popular place and there is always a waiting for 15-30 mins. Location – Daniël Stalpertstraat 61, 1072 XB Amsterdam.
Amsterdamse Bos (Amsterdam Forest)
Do visit Amsterdamse Bos if you are visiting this fab city in spring for some colorful cherry blossom trees! It is one of the largest city parks in Europe and almost 4.5 million people visit this park annually! There are various amenities in the park which makes it a great place to spend the day with family.
Artis Royal Zoo
Artis Royal Zoo is a large zoo in the center of Amsterdam. It is the oldest zoo in the Netherlands where there are over 700 animal species and 200 tree varieties. The tickets cost €21.50 for adults. Location – Plantage Kerklaan 38-40, 1018 CZ Amsterdam.
Magere Brug (Skinny Bridge)
It is probably the most famous bridge in Amsterdam. It is a traditional style balanced bridge made of wood over the river Amstel in Amsterdam Old Town. Legends say that it was built by two sisters who lived on opposite sides of the river and wanted to visit each other every day. The bridge looks lovely at night when illuminated with its 1200 light bulbs.
Shop for some Dutch souvenirs
We love collecting souvenirs and fridge magnets from all over the world. And, Amsterdam is a great place to buy some cool and funky souvenirs for yourself, family and friends. There is one particular souvenir which we recommend to buy, i.e. Dutch wooden shoes with colorful tulips inside them. We bought one from the Bloemenmarkt Floating Flower Market. There are many places in Amsterdam where you would get these cute pairs of shoes. They vary in sizes and prices are according to the size.
Watch a movie at Pathé Tuschinski
Due to its splendid design and ornate ceiling, Pathé Tusckinski is regularly cited as the most beautiful cinema in the world. The entire theatre is heavily infused with Art Deco and the movies played are a mix of styles.
Have some delicious fries at Vlaams Friteshuis Vleminckx
Located at Voetboogstraat 33, 1012 XK Amsterdam, it is the best fries shop in Holland. There is usually a long waiting to place your order, so we recommend going there early in the morning at 11 when the shop opens to avoid the crowd. Their homemade fries were undoubtedly the most delicious fries we had during our trip and would highly recommend it. They have a wide range of sauces and they are all vegan!
Attend a Concert at Concertgebouw
This place displays free lunchtime concerts lasting for 30 minutes on Wednesdays, and ranges from public rehearsals by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, to chamber music performances by young up-and-coming artists.
Gape in awe at the house with the narrowest facade in Amsterdam
The house at Singel 7 is unique in its structure, with a facade that is just over one meter wide. Standing between two much larger houses, this red house makes for a striking photograph, with arms outstretched in front of it.
NSDM Wharf is the cultural hotspot in Amsterdam Noord. A former shipyard, located on the banks of river IJ is all about food, drinks, and party. Enjoy various festivals, live music performances, exhibitions, dance parties and other cultural events in this cool place.
There is a swing on top of the A’DAM Tower where you can get awesome panoramic views of Amsterdam. A’dam Lookout – Highest Swing in Europe (100 meters above the ground) is becoming very popular with tourists since its launch in 2016. The ticket cost is €13.50 for adults and €7.50 for kids. Timings are 10 am to 10 pm daily.
We also recommend taking a Sandeman’s Free Walking Tour for a wonderful introduction to this awesome city. They are not exactly free tours. They run on tips given by the guests. You decide the amount depending on your liking of the tour. The tours last for 2.5-3 hours and can be booked online or on the spot.
Did you like our recommendations for Amsterdam? Did we miss out on something? Do let us know your thoughts/opinions/suggestions in the comments box below.
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