Amsterdam is a city that has become saturated with tourism. In the summer months, tourism is out of control and the city center and all the tourist attractions are flooded with people. What many people forget is that there is much more to Amsterdam than the major tourist attractions, and in fact, the best parts of Amsterdam are the secret ones. When visiting Amsterdam it’s smart to break away from the touristy options and try something different.
I have been living in Amsterdam for one year now and have been putting off making this post. I am scared that the places I go to avoid tourists will now become ‘touristy’ spots. But, it’s mean not to share.
This list contains things to do that are not exactly hidden or secrets but in plain sight. Some tourists just get so caught up in seeing what everyone else sees that they may be blind to the even more amazing experiences they can be having.
If you are traveling on a budget check out these Free Things to do in Amsterdam.
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If you are planning to visit Amsterdam I highly suggest looking into the options on this list to make your visit unforgettable! And if you are traveling to Amsterdam with kids there are a ton of things to do in the city that are family-friendly.
A’DAM Lookout Swing
The A’DAM lookout is a large tower in Amsterdam North with an observation deck on the top that offers a panoramic view of Amsterdam. It is located across the water from Centraal station, and a quick free ferry ride with bring you there. The cost of entry to get up the tower during the day is €13.50.
As you can see from the photos, this tower offers more than a stunning view of Amsterdam. For an extra €5 you can go on the A’DAM Tower Swing!
This swing is the highest swing in Europe at 20 stories above ground and swings you over the edge of the tower. It is both thrilling and terrifying, but you will leave exhilarated and will have viewed Amsterdam from a new perspective.
Brouwerij ’t IJ
This is a local craft brewery that has specific craft beers and dutch appetizers. Here you can enjoy some beers with locals and check off seeing a windmill from your Amsterdam bucket list.
I am a sucker for a rooftop or birds eye view of any city. I find it so fascinating to see the tops of buildings instead of looking up. That’s why I love Blue & think its the perfect thing to do while visiting Amsterdam. At Blue you can get a delicious cocktail & food while enjoying a panoramic view right in the center of the city.
It also is a really cute and unique spot to get some Instagram photos!
Read More: Most Instagrammable Spots in Amsterdam
If there is a football match on while you are visiting Amsterdam buy some tickets and head to the Amsterdam Arena! Amsterdam is home to the Ajax Football Club, which is a professional football club that plays in the top level of Dutch football.
Tickets for a game are well priced (although it depends on what game it is) and super fun! Going to a game is a really fun way to feel apart of something really cool.
I have talked about the Tonys superstore before, but it is such a unique and special place here in Amsterdam that I have to talk about it again. Here you can get as many free samples of all Tony’s chocolate bars as you want!
The best part? It’s right in front of Centraal Station but so secret that it is almost always empty.
If you love chocolate this is somewhere you must visit!
Calling all foodies, this is the place for you! Foodhallen is essentially a food hall with various ‘food trucks’ parked there year-round. There are tons of different types of foods, drinks and desserts and its a super fun concept.
Its located in Oud-West, which is a super nice neighborhood just outside the city center.
Rent a boat
Renting your own boat is the cheapest and most fun way to cruise the canals. There are various companies that offer boat rentals (ex. Mokum boat) – and if you have a group 8+ it works out to be around 15 euros each for 2 hours!
When visiting Amsterdam cruising the canals is essential. When you rent your own boat you have the freedom to play your own music, drink alcohol and pack snacks. This is especially nice during the springtime in Amsterdam.
READ MORE: Best day trips from Amsterdam
The W Hotel is a high-class hotel chain that is globally recognized. While visiting Amsterdam, heading to the bar and patio of the W Hotel is something I highly recommend. The drinks are quite expensive but the view of central Amsterdam and the blue swimming pool can’t be beaten.
If you are a cat lover this is will be a hit for you! It’s the world only floating cat shelter.
It’s free to enter and you can play with cats for as long as the hour’s permit.
This is one of the best and most exclusive techno clubs in Amsterdam. In order to get in you can’t be too intoxicated, you must have tickets, you can’t be in big groups, and they might ask you questions about the artist you have to answer correctly.
Once you get in it is a super unique club, it is actually inside an old school so you party in classrooms!
Read More: Best Things to do in Amsterdam at Night
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