When you think of Amsterdam you may think stoned backpackers, canal boat rides, red light district, and tilted houses. Many travel to the Netherlands for the cannabis, coffee shops, and exotic nightlife while the other travellers prefer visiting the popular Van Gogh Museum and Anne Frank House. While these activities should definitely make it to your travel itinerary, Amsterdam has a lot more to offer than what meets the eye. Here are some offbeat things to do in Amsterdam:

Step inside a Houseboat

Houseboats on an Amsterdam Canal

Located close to the Anne Frank House and bordering Jordaan, the Houseboat Museum is easy to get to and won’t take much time either. More a chance to see what it’s like to live inside a houseboat than a typical museum, you get the opportunity to read up about the history of the houseboats that you are bound to see all over the city and get an insight into how the former cargo ship was converted into a living space.

Photography is allowed and there is a small gift shop where you can pick up little souvenirs for your shelves back home. It is open from Tuesday to Sunday (except in July and August when it opens all days of the week) from 10:00-5:00 PM, a ticket will cost you € 4.5 and will not take you more than 30 minutes to see.

Visit some lesser known museums

Amsterdam’s Cheese Museum, Netherlands.

Once you finish the must-see Anne Frank House and Van Gogh Museum which are inevitably jam packed with tourists, there many lesser known museums will be a welcome relief to all those long queues and suffocating crowds. Purchase the I Amsterdam’ card for discounted entry into most of these museums as well as free public transport during the duration of your stay. Each museum showcases a different interest with a unique experience in each one. You’ll find a Cheese Museum, a Cat Museum, a Pipe Museum, and a Sex Museum. There’s also a Tulip Museum, a Handbag Museum, a Fluorescent Art Museum, and a Hash Museum. The list goes on and on and you’ll be guaranteed to find something for everyone.

Stop by at one of the many markets

Floating flower market in Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Floating Bloomenmarkt flower market in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Amsterdam is home to many farmers markets and pop up flea markets that give you a true taste of the city. Whether you’re looking to shop to your heart’s delight or simply have a look-see. A trip to one of these markets is a special experience that you should not miss. A few such markets are the Noodermarkt flea market (open on Monday mornings), the Waterlooplein (located in the centre of the city, it is Amsterdam’s largest daily flea market), The Bloomenmarkt (called the world’s only floating flower market) and the Boekenmarkt Spui (a haven for bookworms, open every Friday at the Spui Square) among many others.

Unique ways to get around

Pedal boats for rent in one of the canals of Amsterdam
Pedal boats for rent in one of the canals of Amsterdam

While most tourists take a canal boat ride and travel around the cities on rented bicycles, what better way to experience this laid-back city than to rent a pedal boat? And if there’s a party you need to get to, create the right vibe by hiring a “Disco Taxi” to get there. You’ll be sure to make head turns and have a blast doing so!

With these off the beaten path activities, your trip to Amsterdam will be both unique and memorable and your travel journal is will be filled with stories and experiences completely different from all your fellow travellers. It’s so unique that the city has become a millennial haven. So step out of that box and see the world differently with these offbeat things to do in Amsterdam, and you’ll be amazed and what you’ll find.

33 COMMENTS

  1. Great read! So glad I came across this article, it’s going to make planning my trip a breeze. Definitely checking out your other articles as well. Please keep up the good work and keep us readers inspired to travel.

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