24 of the most underrated things to do in Amsterdam

Tristan Fewings / StringerAmsterdam has plenty to offer.
  • To get the most out of your trip to Amsterdam, consider visiting Museum Vrolik and the Tropenmuseum.
  • When it comes to food, you won’t regret a trip to G’s, Benji’s, or Eddy Spaghetti.
  • Café de Ceuvel and Waterkant allow diners to enjoy food and drinks while sitting right on the water.

There’s nothing wrong with branching out from tours and guides while travelling, especially in cities like Amsterdam, where tourist attractions like the Rijksmuseum alone receive over 2 million visitors a year.

As much as people love the Van Gogh Museum and will dearly miss the iAmsterdam sign, it’s likely that the Dutch hang out as much in these spots as New Yorkers hang out in Times Square. Although Amsterdam natives are no stranger to crowds, there are still many places where they prefer to relax and take a break from tourists.

Next time you find yourself in the Venice of the North, skip the crowds and consider visiting one of these 24 underrated spots.

Get an anatomy lesson at Museum Vrolik.

Wikimedia CommonsThe museum focuses on the oddities of human anatomy.

Museum Vrolik is ideal for those into science, anatomy, or just a little bit of horror. Home to a unique collection of human and animal skulls, bones, embryos, and more, it is one of the few museums of its kind in the world.

Get to know the animals at ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo.

Wikimedia CommonsThe zoo even boasts crocodiles.

The ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo is fun for the whole family. They house traditional zoo animals like lions and elephants, along with an aquarium, a planetarium, and a microbes exhibit that come together for a unique experience.

Take a stroll through DapperMarkt.

TripAdvisorDapperMarkt is one of the most popular markets in Amsterdam, and for good reason.

Six days a week, city-goers can visit DapperMarkt, an enormous street market spanning the length of Dapperstraat in Amsterdam-Oost. Hundreds of vendors gather in the neighbourhood, offering a wide variety of wares that change from day to day.

Enjoy the culinary arts at Thuis ann de Amstel.

TripAdvisorDiners can sit outside on a nice day.

Culinary enthusiasts will feel right at home at Thuis ann de Amstel. The restaurant invents a new menu every day, complete with specially-paired coffee, beer, and wine.

Get in touch with nature at Amsterdamse bos.

Wikimedia CommonsVisitors can even camp in the giant park.

The Amsterdamse bos, or Amsterdam Forest, is three times the size of New York’s Central Park and home to hundreds of plant and animal species. Visitors can camp, kayak, hike, and even visit a goat farm on the land.

Snack all-natural at Vegan Junkfood Bar.

TripAdvisorThe vegan joint sells fries and burgers.

Vegan Junkfood Bar is exactly what it sounds like it is. The chain has several locations throughout the city and serve everything from plant-based burgers and loaded fries to vegan shawarma.

Eat Italian food at Eddy Spaghetti.

eddyspaghetti.nlEddy Spaghetti is in the eastern part of the city.

Eddy Spaghetti is a cosy and quiet but beloved restaurant in Amsterdam Noord. They specialize in Italian food, serving up delicious pasta dishes that customers fall in love with from the first bite.

Crack open a cold one at Café Gollem.

TripAdvisorCafé Gollem offers a wide variety of unique bars.

Café Gollem serves up unique brews at several locations throughout Amsterdam. A prime hangout for beer enthusiasts, they keep more than 22 specialty beers on tap and over 150 bottled varieties.

Embrace the veggie lifestyle at Pllek.

TripAdvisorVisitors can do yoga and then eat vegan at Pllek.

Pllek is a vegetarian and vegan wonderland in Amsterdam Noord. The venue features live music, varying film series, art exhibitions, workshops, a restaurant, and even group yoga sessions.

Get a bird’s eye view at A’dam Toren.

TripAdvisorThe views at A’dam Toren are unbeatable.

Visitors to the A’dam Toren can get a variety of experiences: restaurants, a music school, shopping, a hotel, and most impressively, a 360-degree view of Amsterdam from above complete with a giant swing.

Dine and skate at Skate Café.

Skate CafeDiners can enjoy an upscale meal while people skate around them.

Skate Café does as the name implies, combining a restaurant and a skatepark. Every week from Wednesday and Saturday, diners can enjoy a meal as skaters enjoy the indoor mini ramp just feet away.

Boozy brunch at G’s.

TripAdvisorG’s also offers a boozy boat brunch.

With the welcoming slogan “a really nice place,” G’s is a prime brunch spot. There are two on land locations in Pijp and Jordaan, as well as one location called the “Brunch Boat” which sails along on Amsterdam’s iconic canals.

Escape the hustle and bustle at Benji’s.

TripAdvisorBenji’s offers both art and food.

Benji’s offers an oasis from urban life in the middle of Amsterdam-Oord. Surrounded by the hustle and bustle of the city, diners will discover a café filled with flora and local art offering a variety of brunch dishes from around the world.

Embrace your inner foodie at Foodhallen.

TripAdvisorFoodhallen has a variety of cuisines from around the world.

Dozens of vendors serve tasty dishes at Foodhallen, a popular indoor food market in Amsterdam Oud-West. Big with Amsterdam’s foodie community, visitors can try anything from dim sum to classic Dutch bitterballen all in one space.

Relax by the water at Waterkant.

TripAdvisorVisitors can dip their feet in the water while enjoying a cold drink at Waterkant.

Perfect for days filled with good friends and warm weather, Waterkant‘s sunny waterfront terrace offers locals a place to relax with a drink, dine all day, and participate in pub quizzes and live music in downtown Amsterdam.

Dine and party at Kopstootbar.

Kopstootbar/FacebookThere’s almost always something happening at Kopstootbar.

Kopstootbar is a great place to eat and to party. The venue partners with a different restaurant every month to create rotating pop-up kitchens and hosts parties and events for nights to remember.

Get cosy with the plants at de Tulp.

TripAdvisorBe sure to take a swing on the tire swing.

De Tulp is a colourful bar and restaurant in Amsterdam’s de Pijp neighbourhood. Inside, diners will find an urban jungle setting, complete with dozens of lush-green plants, cosy couches, and a welcoming, laid-back atmosphere.

Find great deals at IJ-Hallen Flea Market.

TripAdvisorOne man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

The IJ-Hallen Flea Market in Amsterdam Noord is the biggest flea market in all of Europe. Over 750 vendors gather in the two warehouses that make up the market, selling goods from second-hand clothes and antiques to food and furniture.

Shop and dine at Haarlemmerdijk.

TripAdvisorThe neighbourhood offers unique restaurants and boutiques.

Located in the Jordaan district, visitors to Haarlemmerdijk will find over 200 unique shops and vendors in one small area of the city. It is home to a number of independent boutiques, salons, trendy bars and restaurants, and the oldest cinema in Amsterdam.

Experience the world in one city at Tropenmuseum.

Wikimedia CommonsThe Tropenmuseum was founded in 1864.

Amsterdam is home to over 70 museums, but the world comes together in Tropenmuseum. Also known as the “museum of world cultures,” it houses cultural art and exhibitions from around the globe.

Try the famous stroopwafels at Van Wonderen.

TripAdvisorTry dipping a stroopwafel in coffee for the full experience.

No trip to Amsterdam is complete without eating stroopwafels, two thin waffle cookies with caramel baked in the middle. If you’re already familiar with the treat, chances are you’ve heard of Van Wonderen; the pastry shop is beloved by tourists and locals alike.

Pick up baked goods at Van Stapele Koekmakerij.

TripAdvisorThe bakery specialises in soft, gooey, chocolate cookies.

The family at Van Stapele Koekmakerij have mastered the art of baking cookies. With five-star ratings and rave reviews, anyone with a sweet tooth will find that waiting in the bakery’s seemingly permanent line is worth their time.

Wander down the alley at de Oudemanhuispoort.

Wikimedia CommonsThe alley is part of the Oudemannenhuis Universiteit van Amsterdam.

Part of the University of Amsterdam campus, the centuries-old passage at de Oudemanhuispoort is now home to a number of stalls selling books and artwork.

Get creative at Café de Ceuvel.

TripAdvisorCafé de Ceuvel is located on the veranda.

Café de Ceuvel is a space for creatives to gather, collaborate, and get work done. Created in 2012 by a group of architects as an urban-sustainability project, the café includes a restaurant, workspaces for rent, and a floating hotel.

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