14 Unusual Things to Do in Amsterdam
If you are planning to visit Amsterdam and you want to have a different vacation, filled with unusual activities and things to see, you can because, besides the multitude of regular things to do every traveler knows already, this fabulous city offers its visitors and an exceptional number of unique activities.
Everybody knows that in Amsterdam travelers can have a less usual experience in the already famous red light district, then get in touch with art at the fantastic museum dedicated to Van Gogh, and later on travel back in time and explore Anne Frank’s tumultuous childhood by visiting the house the Frank family used as a hiding place during the Second World War. These are fantastic things to do, unique activities if comparing Amsterdam with other cities. But, fortunately, there are plenty weirder places and ways of entertainment while you visit the famous Dutch city and here is a list that gathers the best of them.
Let’s have a look at the most unusual things to do in Amsterdam.
Coffee in a Café with Furniture from Garbage: Café de Ceuvel
People from all over the world know that Dutchies love 100% sustainable so, this is the main reason why they are so into spending time at the intriguing Café de Ceuvel. The second reason is the delicious coffee and the organic food and drinks.
Located in what used to a garbage dump for house-boats, not only does this intriguing coffee shop grow its own veggies, but it also cleans up the soil. Check out this charming café and let the fact that it really is self-sufficient amaze you while indulging in a delicious dose of caffeine.
Café de Ceuvel
Address: Korte Papaverweg 4, 1032 KB Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hours: 11AM–12AM ( except Monday: Closed)
Phone: +31 20 229 6210
Visit a Museum for Adults: The Sex Museum Venustemple
Amsterdam is famous for hosting more than 50 museums so, millions of museum lovers have this location on their must-visit list. It is indeed a great place for travelers interested in history and art, who are eager to explore important works signed by famous artists like Rembrandt or Van Gogh and to see the museums dedicated to them, as well as to dig deep into the dark past of the city during the Nazi occupation of Amsterdam.
But there are also travelers very interested in alternative museums like The Sex Museum. Located in one of the busiest area in Amsterdam, the is is the world’s first and oldest sex museum and it has its doors open for all people who are interested in exploring erotic art, in learning about the history of erotica and sexual aids.
The Sex MuseumVenustemple
Address: Damrak 18, 1012 LH Amsterdam, Netherlands
Phone: +31 20 622 8376
A Different Type of Shop: The Condomerie
After learning about the sensitive area of human sexuality at The Sex Museum, you can check out the Condomerie, one of the funniest shops in Amsterdam.
The business was launched back in the 80s by a group of activists inspired by the AIDS epidemic. They wanted to do something to promote safe sex so they open a shop selling condoms and giving protection, contraception, and STDs advice. This is very funny and interesting especially if you are traveling with a teenager.
Address: Warmoesstraat 141, 1012 JB Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hours: 11AM–9PM (except Sunday: 1–6PM)
Phone: +31 20 627 4174
Unusual Things to Do in Amsterdam: Visit a Museum for Cat Lovers
Whether you really love cats or you just like art in general, visiting Katten Kabinet offers you an interesting experience. What to expect from this intriguing place? Well, you will see cats in its every corner and after visiting it you will realize how many artists were inspired by this cute, fluffy animal.
In addition, you will meet a surprise guest represented by the beautiful, friendly cats that wander around the museum. And yes, you are allowed to pet them if you want.
Address: Herengracht 497, 1017 BT Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hours: Monday to Friday: 10AM–5PM; Saturday & Sunday: 12–5PM
Phone: +31 20 626 9040
Get Even Closer to Art Electric Ladyland
As mentioned above, Amsterdam is filled with amazing museums, giving you the chance to spend hours admiring art created by some of the best artists in the world. Furthermore, this beautiful city bustles with vibrant alternatives to the regular art museums and galleries.
One of the best, unusual art galleries is Electric Ladyland, a fascinating, interactive museum of fluorescent art, located in the city center. Prepare yourself for a psychedelic encounter with art you will remember for a long time. You can’t easily forget such an intriguing collection of fluorescent artworks!
Address: Tweede Leliedwarsstraat 5, 1015 TB Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hours: Tuesday to Saturday: 2PM–6PM; Sunday to Tuesday: Closed
Phone: +31 20 420 3776
Have an Unforgettable Adventure in the Highest Swing in Europe
Launched in 2016, A’dam Lookout is one of the most unusual attractions Amsterdam offers its locals and visitors. Unless you are afraid of heights you will love swinging at 100 meters altitude, while enjoying a beautiful view of the city.
Since it is such a popular thins to do, you might have to wait in line for a while, but it is totally worth the wait.
Address: Overhoeksplein, 5, 1031 KS Amsterdam, Netherlands
Phone: +31 20 242 0100
Learn about the History of Cannabis at the Hash, Marihuana & Hemp Museum
Even if you are a traveler and you have been in many European capitals, you have probably never seen a museum dedicated to cannabis. There aren’t too many places where smoking it is legal, are there?
At the Hash, Marihuana & Hemp Museum you will learn all about this plant and its influences on world culture. It is a very interesting place and you should add it to your must-see list especially if you don’t plan to have a closer experience with marijuana while in Amsterdam. This certainly belongs to the most unusual things to do in Amsterdam.
Hash, Marihuana & Hemp Museum
Address: Oudezijds Achterburgwal 148, 1012 DV Amsterdam, Netherlands
Phone: +31 20 624 8926
Explore Amsterdam’s Morbid Collection at the Museum Vrolik
Museum Vrolik is not a place everybody likes since it displays more than a thousand human anatomical specimens donated by medical professionals. The truth is that there aren’t too many people interested in staring at skeletons and organs, but it can be an interesting experience, especially if you are a doctor or a nurse.
Everything is held in big, transparent jars and can create a scary image so, if you are traveling with children you can definitely skip this weird attraction. Otherwise, be courageous and give it a try.
Museum Vrolik (https://www.atlasobscura.com/places/museum-vrolik)
Address: J0-130, Meibergdreef 15, 1105 AZ Amsterdam-Zuidoost, Netherlands
Hours: Monday to Friday: 10AM–5PM; Saturday and Sunday: Closed
Phone: +31 20 566 4927
An Awkward Expedition at a Lake that Used to Be a Kindergarden
Whether you plan to wander around and just catch a glimpse of the beautiful landscape, you want to swim or even dive, Vinkeveense Plassen lakes should definitely be on your must-visit list. The reason why this spot is on the list of unusual things is that certain parts of the Vinkeveense Plassen lakes are actually inundated areas.
This means that travelers who adventure themselves into diving can end up exploring children’s play areas, a bus or other creepy things. Not many dare to explore the darkness of the lakes, but those who do it, leave Amsterdam with greater stories to tell.
Vinkeveense Plassen Lakes
Address: 3645 Vinkeveen, The Netherlands
Phone: +31 297 212 285
Indulge in the Delicious Food at the Garlic Queen
That’s another one on the bucket list with the most unusual things to do in Amsterdam. If you are a garlic lover, you shouldn’t miss eating at the famous Garlic Queen, an intriguing place where everything is with, for and about garlic.
This actually means that everything from the aperitifs to the weird desert is made with big amounts of garlic. So, are you ready to taste garlic ice cream for the first time? If you are worried about the garlicky smell, don’t worry because you get a pin that apologizes for your garlic breath.
Address: Reguliersdwarsstraat 27, 1017 BJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hours: Wednesday to Sunday: 12:30–2:30PM, 5–11PM; Monday & Tuesday: Closed.
Phone: +31 20 422 6426
Have the Ultimate Dining Experience in the Dark
Even though dining in the dark is not something that exists only in Amsterdam, it is an experience you should not miss while you visit this charming city, especially if you are a foodie and you want to see how food feels when you cannot see it. Yes, using your knife and fork can be scary when you cannot see, but, until now, nobody got injured while having this experience.
There are a few restaurants in Amsterdam that offer you this experience but the CTASTE is the most popular one. This means that if you decide you want to eat without seeing anything, you must book your table.
Address: Amsteldijk 55, 1074 HX Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hours: Wednesday to Saturday: 4:30–11:30PM; Sunday: 11AM–11:30PM; Monday and Tuesday: Closed
Phone: +31 20 675 2831
Experience the Unique Panorama Rail Restaurant
Foodies who want to have a unique culinary experience while in Amsterdam but don’t like garlic and are afraid of the dark can opt for a fine-dining experience in the Panorama Rail Restaurant.
Firstly, you must make a reservation because it is a very popular attraction for travelers, as well as locals. Then, you have to go to the Amsterdam’s Centraal Station where you will find the train. You will be served a delicious dinner in the dining carts that date back to the 1960s while being taken on a tour of the Netherlands’ rail network system.
Panorama Rail Restaurant
Hours: Saturday:6:00PM – 9:00PM
Address: Amsterdam Centraal, Stationsplein, 1012 AB Amsterdam, Netherlands
Phone: +31 85 401 7173
Have a Cocktail in the Ice Bar
Whether you plan to visit Amsterdam in winter or during the summer months, having a cocktail at the Ice Bar is always a great idea. You don’t even need a jacket since the venue provides everything you need. All you have to do is make a reservation and have a tasty cocktail in a place where it’s always -10°c and everything is very…icy.
XtraCold Icebar Amsterdam
Address: Amstel 194-196, 1017 AG Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hours: Sunday to Friday: 12:30PM–1AM; Saturday: 12:30PM–2:30AM
Phone: +31 20 320 5700
Join a Wild Pub Crawl
If you like parties but you travel by yourself, you don’t have to worry because you can explore the nightlife of this fascinating city without feeling lonely. All you have to do is find a pub crawl, join it and have fun with other travelers as interested in partying as you are.
A pub crawl includes a guide that will take you to some of the best venues in town, some free entrances, shots or maybe special prices at cocktails, but these depend on the pub crawl you choose. Check out the pub crawls on www.getyourguide.com and see if there is something suitable for you listed there. If you find the ultimate tour for you, book your place and get ready to have some fun.
These are the most unusual things you can do when traveling to Amsterdam. However, depending on how many days you plan to stay, you can add more intriguing activities, not only in the city but also outside beautiful Amsterdam.