It is easy to find things to do in Amsterdam. Guidebooks will always include the tried-and-true spots like Anne Frank House, Van Gough Museum, tulip market, canal boat tours, coffee shops, and more. But, what if you want to skip the crowds and check out some of the more fun, funky, and off-beat spots in this gorgeous city?
It can most definitely be done.
While the main tourist attractions are worth a visit (I know the Anne Frank House brought tears to my eyes), there are plenty of other places worthy of checking out. Simply head out of your Amsterdam hotel and see what this city has to offer!
Take a Red Light District Tour
Regardless of whether you agree with the sex industry in Amsterdam, a tour through the Red Light District is fascinating. There are plenty of tour operators in the city who will take guests through this sex-themed part of town. Expect stops at the world’s first condom shop, sex stores, a peep show, historic landmarks, and more. Expert guides offer insight into the world of the workers and more.
See All the Cat Art
A museum dedicated entirely to cat art? Yes. It does exist. In Amsterdam. Cat lovers, art lovers, lovers of quirk, head to the Katten Kabinet (Cat Cabinet). Housed inside a building constructed in the late 1600s, this spot goes to the cats. Literally. Established by a wealthy Dutchman who wanted to honor the memory of his beloved cat, this is the place to head for your feline fix.
Rent a Bike
Amsterdam is an incredibly bike-friendly city. Don’t believe me? Here, bicycles trump cars. And pedestrians. Find a bike rental shop and weave your way around the spokes of the city and explore the canals. If you’re not a full-time bicyclist and aren’t comfortable in bike “rush hour” throughout the day, then stick to less cycled paths. To experience the sheer beauty and charm, cycle the Amsterdam Circular Route. This path runs from Central Station through the green belts and spans between 12 and 17 miles (depending how far you want to go), cruising you past plenty of famous Amsterdam spots along the way.
Rent a Water Bike
Want to try something different? Amsterdam offers water bike rentals, which allow people to actually “bike” on the canals. And by bike, I mean pedal boat, but still. It gives pedalers a different look at the city. Plus, the canals have Wi-Ffi which means you can Instagram your pics immediately.
Let’s face it: Amsterdam isn’t known for its drinking scene. But, In De Wildeman is known for its beer tastings. With nearly 300 beers, this is a perfect spot to sample some local brews. If you’re a fan of Dutch and Belgian beers, this former distillery is the place to go.
Hit the Museums
Amsterdam has many museums. Packed. Check out the Sex Museum, Houseboat Museum and even a purse museum. Sure, there are the normal museums, but these rule for off-beat spots to explore.
Eat Your Way Through the City
Food tours are sprouting up all over the world, and Amsterdam is no exception. Book an Eating Amsterdam tour to sample some of the city’s most famous culinary delights.
What else would you add to this off-beat list?
Editor’s Note: This post is part of the #HipmunkCityLove campaign.