Amsterdam is one of Europe’s most vibrant and polarizing cities. It welcomes people from all walks of life eager to see and experience some of the many things the city has to offer. From beautiful streets to amazing restaurants, to unique districts, and beyond the usual. There are plenty of unusual things to do in Amsterdam for those seeking a different experience too!
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13 unique and unusual things to do in Amsterdam
Visit WONDR Experience
A great spot to visit for anyone looking for a unique experience is WONDR, one of the most unusual and unique things to do in Amsterdam.
Here you can see for yourself the mesmeric colors and somewhat extravagant rooms that seem to be a portal to a completely different universe.
Located in Amsterdam Noord, it is one of the most unique museum experiences to be had in the city. If you only have a few days in Amsterdam this is a must for a few hours of child-like fun.
Once a shipyard, exploring NDSM is arguably one of the most worth-a-try things to do in the Dutch capital.
Situated in Amsterdam Noord, what one was once a place of little touristic interest has grown into one of the capital’s most hipe spots, pulling in throngs of youth, and travelers. It boasts a kinetic artist community, great eateries and bars, and an amazing art scene.
Head here to attend unique Amsterdam events like festivals, dancing sessions, and art displays, all set in an unforgettable industrial setting.
Go Plastic Fishing in the Canals
One of the best things to do in Amsterdam is going on a canal cruise. However, if you want to add a unique flair to this common experience then change yours into a plastic fishing adventure.
This environmentally friendly initiative is both fun and fulfilling. You will get a net to pick up plastic and bottles littered around the canals while at the same time exploring the dutch canals and seeing the city from a new perspective.
Try Cannabis Cookies
Coffee shops serving prime quality cannabis are one of the main tourist attractions of Amsterdam. Dotted all over the place they range from budget establishments to luxurious cannabis parlors.
On a visit to the Dutch capital, sampling its famed cannabis products is a unique experience in itself.
Since many unique and unusual things to do in Amsterdam are more to do with global gastronomical delights like food from the Dutch East Indies or other sensual pleasures, you really must try something authentically Dutch.
Holland has been known for its merchant fleet but it is also the land of fishermen. It is thanks to them that millions of Dutchmen can pamper their taste buds with mouthwatering Dutch herring. Head to the local Dutch restaurants or street stands to purchase this inherently Dutch staple.
The best among them include Stubbe’s Haring and Herring Stall Jonk.
Ride a bike
Amsterdammers have been not just great entrepreneurs and seafarers, they are also pioneers in all things green. The people of Amsterdam are very well known for their love for cycling. The city itself is a tribute to this mode of transport and is crisscrossed with cycling lanes that often line the scenic Dutch canals.
Skate on the Canal
If you are visiting Amsterdam in winter then you may be lucky enough to see the canals freeze over. When this happens almost everyone in the city gets out their skates or best winter shoes and hops on the canals to enjoy the event.
However, the freezing of the canals is very rare and happens only every few years for only 1 day! If you miss this you can also go skating at the Rijksmuseum on the open-air rink with a view to die for!
Amsterdam boasts one of Europe’s best clubbing scenes. Here you can take pleasure in the energetic techno hits or attend the exhilarating reggaeton soirées. Going to a club is one of the most unique and interesting things to do in Amsterdam that will show you new music and unmatched energy.
If you are not into clubbing there are a ton of other great things to do in Amsterdam at night to keep you busy.
Go to the museum of Fluorescent Art
If you are keen on blending together art and going to a reggae bar head to the museum of Fluorescent Art. This is one of Amsterdam’s most unique museums and truly a hidden gem in the city. It is ideal for an interesting and mesmerizing day in a museum like no other.
Go to the zoo
One of the best things to do in Amsterdam with kids is going to the ARTIS zoo, with its splendid population of animals from all over the globe including lions and elephants. Not only is it great for children, but it is also ideal for adults looking for something unique and different to do in Amsterdam.
Spending a day here strolling the zoo and learning about all the animals is wonderful.
Pay a visit to a Street Market
Now, going to a street market in Amsterdam isn’t that unusual but the things you can find and take home are! There are plenty of street markets in the city that sells all kinds of hidden gems from jewelry, to clothes to pottery and more. It is the ideal place to head to for cool travel souvenirs.
Go on a Camping Getaway
Going camping in Amsterdam may sound odd but it is the perfect thing to do to get out of the norm and try something different. Grab your camping gear, head to a nearby campground, and prepare to meet plenty of unique and diverse people enjoying the dutch nature.
The best campgrounds include Camping Zeeburg Amsterdam or the Spot Camping Amsterdam.
Pay a visit to a petting farm
Amsterdam is not considered a super family-friendly travel destination but it is. Here you can not just take your kids to a museum or a cruise along the canals.
You can also take them to a zoo, some of which house really cute animals.
Go to the petting farms like de Werf, De Buiktuin petting zoo, or Stadsboerderij Osdorp, a small farm with really cute tenderness-evoking creatures.
Keep in mind that to bring your kids closer to nature you can take them on a hike around scenic Amsterdam camping sites that are complete with all top-notch facilities.
Samantha Karen is the founder of the travel bog Sam Sees World. She is a twenty-something traveler on a mission to explore the world to seek the new and unknown so she can document her experiences and inspire others to explore this wondrous world. Her objective is to learn about the world while also searching for her place in it. Check out Sam Sees World for valuable information on the best things to do, see, eat, and experience while traveling and making memories along the way.
Other Travel Resources for your trip to the Netherlands
Where to find the best tulip fields close to Amsterdam and how to choose the best tulip tour
Visit Giethoorn – the most charming small town in the Netherlands
Go on a day trip to Zaanse Schans