Home CITY TOUR 20 insider tips in Amsterdam: hacks to bookmark

20 insider tips in Amsterdam: hacks to bookmark

After fighting through the crowds and queuing for hours, the magic of these attractions can sometimes be overshadowed by the fatigue of mass tourism. This is where the search for Amsterdam’s insider tips comes into play. By exploring the lesser-known corners of the city, you can escape the crowds and get to know the vibrant and electric flair of Amsterdam better.

πŸ“ Here is a map with all the insider tips in Amsterdam:

So pack your city map and your sense of adventure as we embark on an exciting journey to discover the insider tips of the Dutch capital.

ICE BAR in Amsterdam

ICE BAR in Amsterdam
Β© Amsterdam ICE BAR

Right in the centre of Amsterdam! From the moment you step through the icy portal, you are transported to a winter wonderland! The air is cold and the temperature is around -10Β°C (14Β°F). Even the seats and tables are carved out of blocks of ice, inviting you to sit down and immerse yourself in the frosty atmosphere. Each visitor is given an oversized jacket and gloves to keep warm – all included in the price.

πŸ”ž Unfortunately, children under the age of 18 are not admitted to the facilities.

πŸ•’ Please arrive 20 minutes before the booked time. Book your ticket online with a fixed time slot to ensure a visit to the ICE BAR.

Online ticket for the Ice Bar in Amsterdam

πŸ“· It is not only allowed but even recommended. The ICE BAR will be delighted if you take photos in the bar. Great memories with friends or family!

πŸ“ Amstel 194, 196, 1017 AG Amsterdam
πŸ•’ Open from 15:00 – 23:00

My article about the ICE BAR

Minigolf in the dark

Minigolf in the dark
Β© Tiqets

πŸ§’ An activity that is perfect for children!

The appeal of Aloha Glow Golf lies in the enchanting atmosphere created by vibrant colours, fluorescent artwork, and dazzling black light effects. It is a beautiful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and offers the opportunity to relax and create memories in a truly unique environment.

ℹ️ For information on activities to do with children, I invite you to read my article on Amsterdam with children.

πŸ“ De Ruijterkade 151, 1011 AC, Amsterdam
πŸ•’ From 12:00 – 22:00 / 01:00 at the weekend

Book Aloha Glow Golf in the Dark online

Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam

Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam
Zxempire, HortusBrugOost, CC BY-SA 3.0 NL

In the bustling heart of Amsterdam lies a tranquil sanctuary that offers a retreat from the chaos of city life. Away from the crowds, this botanical garden is a tranquil oasis that invites visitors to immerse themselves in the wonders of nature. While the city’s better-known attractions draw the crowds, a visit to the Hortus Botanicus off the beaten track promises a unique and enriching experience.

🌲 Here, amidst the carefully designed landscapes and tranquil ponds, you can escape the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse yourself in the rhythm of nature again.

πŸ“ Plantage Middenlaan 2a, 1018 DD Amsterdam
πŸ•’ Open daily from 10:00 to 17:00

Foam Photography Museum

Foam Photography Museum
Paul Kooiker – FASHION, 2022 Β© Foam. Photo: Christian van der Kooy.

πŸ“· While the city has a number of renowned cultural institutions, this unassuming museum stands out as a hidden gem that offers a refreshing change from the typical tourist attractions.

Amidst the dimly lit galleries and carefully curated exhibitions, visitors are invited to slow down, reflect and immerse themselves in the power of visual storytelling.

Online ticket for the FOAM Museum

πŸ“ Keizersgracht 609, 1017 DS Amsterdam
πŸ•’ Open daily – until 18:00 / 22:00 at weekends

Oudemanhuispoort Book Market

Oudemanhuispoort Book Market
Β© Pixabay

A captivating journey through the literary past and present. This hidden gem invites visitors to wander through its labyrinthine stalls and discover a treasure trove of books spanning countless genres, languages and eras.

An enchanting setting in a historic arcade adorned with charming arches and weathered facades. From lively discussions and impromptu readings to chance encounters with fellow bibliophiles, there’s a strong sense of belonging and community in the air, making every visit to the market an unforgettable experience.

πŸ“ Oudemanhuispoort, 1012 CN Amsterdam
πŸ•’ Open from 11:30 to 18:30 – Closed on Sunday

Dinner in the Dark

Dinner in the Dark

A very amusing and perhaps also dangerous experience ;)?

The concept has become increasingly popular over the years. Instead of a traditional set-up, you eat completely in the dark. No need to worry! Of course, the waiters are equipped with special equipment to be able to see in the dark. This means that the service is excellent! (Attentive staff specially trained to serve in the dark).

Is it possible to know what you are eating without seeing it? What kind of conversations can you have if you can’t even see each other?

The menu includes a 3-course dinner in the dark and 2 amuse bouches!

βœ… Pro-Tipp: The restaurant is located just outside the bustling city center and offers a romantic opportunity for a stroll along the picturesque Amstel before enjoying a unique dinner!

πŸ“ Amsteldijk 55, 1074 HX Amsterdam
πŸ•’ Open from 16:30 to 21:00

Book a dinner in the dark

De Poezenboot (The Cat Boat)

De Poezenboot (The Cat Boat)
De Poezenboot (The Cat Boat) – Judith E

Cat lovers? This boat is so cute and unique in Europe! De Poezenboot, affectionately known as The Cat Boat, is a unique floating sanctuary that stands out from the usual tourist attractions with its extraordinary experience.

This floating sanctuary is not just another tourist attraction, but a beacon of hope and compassion, embodying the spirit of community and kindness that characterises Amsterdam’s cultural landscape. Amidst the cosy nooks and sun-drenched seating areas, visitors are invited to interact with the resident cats and shower them with love and affection!

πŸ“ Singel 38G, 1015 AB Amsterdam
πŸ•’ Open from 16:30 to 21:00

De Negen Straatjes (The Nine Streets)

De Negen Straatjes (The Nine Streets)
Β© Pixabay

Shop like an artist! Feel like a superstar for a day! Nine Street is not an insider tip, but it deserves a place on this list.

Whoever said money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping.
– Gertrude Stein

The Nine Streets are known for their mix of independent shops and designer boutiques, each offering a carefully curated selection of fashion, jewellery, home accessories and vintage finds. Here you’ll find unique and one-of-a-kind items that are sure to make a statement.

A visit is therefore a must, and even if you are not looking for the perfect souvenir from Amsterdam, a stroll through the shopping street is worthwhile. The `9 streets` are part of the Joordan neighbourhood, which is well worth a visit.

πŸ“ Wolvenstraat 9, 1016 EM Amsterdam

Straat Museum – Graffiti Museum

Straat Museum - Graffiti Museum
Β© STRAAT Museum Amsterdam

If you cross the river, you will find this extraordinary museum!

The Straat Museum in Amsterdam is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered by those seeking a unique and enriching cultural experience. Unlike traditional museums housed in brick buildings, the Straat Museum utilises the city’s urban landscape as an exhibition space, transforming ordinary streets and alleyways into vibrant galleries of street art and graffiti.

Get your online tickets here

πŸ“ NDSM-Plein 1, 1033 WC Amsterdam
πŸ•’ Open from 10:00 – 17:00

CafΓ© de Ceuvel

CafΓ© de Ceuvel
Β© CafΓ© de Ceuvel

CafΓ© de Ceuvel is not a museum but a unique and innovative centre for sustainable community in Amsterdam. What makes CafΓ© de Ceuvel so interesting is its holistic approach to sustainability, creativity, and social engagement.

CafΓ© de Ceuvel is located on a former shipyard site and has developed into a lively eco-village that utilises the principles of the circular economy, renewable energy, and green technologies. The focus is on sustainable food and drink. Various cultural events, workshops, and exhibitions are organised here.

πŸ“ Korte Papaverweg 4, 1032 KB Amsterdam
πŸ•’ Open from 12:00 – 23:00 / 24:00 at weekends

Electric Ladyland

Electric Ladyland
Β© Pixabay

Something completely different! Whether it’s a fun activity with friends or a solo adventure into the unknown, Electric Ladyland promises an unforgettable experience that will leave you glowing with excitement.

Electric Ladyland in Amsterdam is a unique activity that offers visitors a one-of-a-kind experience in the world of fluorescent and phosphorescent art. It is a surreal dream world where glowing hues of neon green, electric blue and fiery orange dance and shimmer in the dark.

πŸ“ Tweede Leliedwarsstraat 5, 1015 TB Amsterdam
πŸ•’ Thursday, Friday, Saturday – 14:00 to 18:00

Willet-Holthuysen Museum

Willet-Holthuysen Museum
Txllxt TxllxT, Amsterdam – Herengracht – Museum Willet-Holthuysen – Bel Etage – Corridor at the Front Door, CC BY-SA 4.0

The Willet Holthuysen Museum in Amsterdam is a wonderful insider tip for anyone who wants to gain an insight into the elegant lifestyle of 19th century Amsterdam’s aristocracy. Tucked away on the picturesque Herengracht canal, this hidden gem offers visitors a rare opportunity to step back in time and explore a beautifully preserved historic mansion.

What really sets the Willet Holthuysen Museum apart is its intimate and immersive atmosphere. Unlike larger, more crowded museums, this hidden gem offers a unique and personal connection that allows visitors to explore the museum at their own pace and immerse themselves in the beauty and history of the mansion without feeling rushed or overwhelmed.

πŸ“ Herengracht 605, 1017 CE Amsterdam
πŸ•’ Open from 10:00 to 17:00

Buy admission ticket online

Torensluis Bridge

Torensluis Bridge
Milliped, Torensluis OKT 2023 04, CC BY-SA 4.0

The Torensluis Bridge is characterised above all by its remarkable size and scope. The widest bridge in Amsterdam. It blends perfectly into the city’s landscape and bears witness to the city’s engineering skills and maritime tradition. In the past, it connected the city’s thriving market squares and business districts.

Generations of Amsterdam residents and tourists have been fascinated by stories of daring escapes, secret encounters, ghostly apparitions and hidden treasures from the bridge.

βœ… Tip: The bridge looks beautiful when it is lit up at night. It’s cold in winter, but in summer it’s a great experience to walk across the bridge at night!

πŸ“Singel 165A 1012 VK Amsterdam

Openbare Bibliotheek: View over the city

Openbare Bibliotheek: View over the city
Ymnes, Bibliotheek Amsterdam vanaf het Oosterdok 2, CC BY-SA 4.0

The Openbare Bibliotheek at Amsterdam Central Station is the largest public library in Europe. The special thing about the library is the fantastic view! It is a gift from the city to its visitors. From the terrace on the 7th floor you have a direct view of the centre of Amsterdam!

Alternatively, you can of course also go to the A’DAM Lookout (paid attraction).

🍴 Eating and drinking in the Babel restaurant on the same floor is also possible. A dinner with a great view is always nice!

πŸ“ Oosterdokskade 143, 1011 DL Amsterdam
πŸ•’ Open from 08:00 to 22:00

Kriterion Cinema

Kriterion Cinema
Β© Pixabay

The Kriterion cinema is characterised by the fact that it is run entirely by students. The cinema was founded in 1945 by a group of students who wanted to create an alternative to the film industry and today stands for youth activism and cultural rebellion. The cinema’s programme offers a wealth of different voices, points of view and artistic styles. A unique opportunity to see films that are often overlooked by larger cinemas.

πŸŽ₯ The complete programme is available on the official website.

So it’s a perfect activity when it’s rainy and cold outside. If you’re visiting Amsterdam in winter, you should definitely read my article about my tips on what to do when it’s raining in the Dutch capital!

Discover Amsterdam in the rain – 10 tips

β˜• Tip: Visit the CafΓ© Kriterion! An evening at the cinema offers more than just a film: it’s also an opportunity to meet people, have a drink with a handful of peanuts and get to know other film enthusiasts.

πŸ“ Roetersstraat 170, 1018 WE Amsterdam
πŸ•’ Films are shown in the evening / at night


Β© Pixabay

Perfect for walks, picnics and moments of quiet contemplation.

What characterises Sarphatipark and makes it an insider’s tip is its tranquil atmosphere, lush greenery and rich history, which offer a welcome retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life. Located in the heart of the vibrant De Pijp neighbourhood, the park is a tranquil oasis where visitors can escape the chaos of the city and reconnect with nature.

But you can also find a great activity! Check your calendar for events, from festivals and concerts to art exhibitions and food markets; maybe there’s an event on the day you’re travelling!

πŸ“ Sarphatipark 37I, 1073 CP Amsterdam

De Vondeltuin

De Vondeltuin
Β© De Vondeltuin

βœ… Perfectly located directly in the Vondelpark!

A cosy cafΓ© and restaurant in the Vondelpark, perfect for a break during a walk. Nestled in the lush vegetation and meandering paths of the park, the garden offers a tranquil oasis. Its lively surroundings and friendly neighbourhood make it a popular meeting place for locals and tourists alike, fostering a sense of solidarity and brotherhood among the people who come here.

πŸ“ Vondelpark 7, 1075 VR Amsterdam
πŸ•’ Open from 10:00 to 20:00

Geitenboerderij Ridammerhoeve

Geitenboerderij Ridammerhoeve
Β© Geitenboerderij Ridammerhoeve

βœ… A great activity with children – petting zoo with small goats and cuddly billy goats.

One of the many unique qualities of Geitenboerderij Ridammerhoeve is its authentic agricultural environment. The farm offers a variety of interesting educational programmes and workshops on topics such as organic farming, animal care and environmental protection for guests of all ages.

Children are encouraged to actively participate as they learn more about the importance of sustainable agriculture and the origin of their food through these hands-on activities.

πŸ“ Nieuwe Meerlaan 4, 1182 DB Amstelveen
πŸ•’ Open from 10:00 to 17:00 (closed on Tuesday)

Activities with children in Amsterdam

Molen van Sloten

Molen van Sloten
Β© Molen van Sloten

βœ… Authentic Amsterdam – One of the last windmills!

The Molen van Sloten, also known as the Sloten Windmill, is a hidden gem in the neighborhood of Amsterdam and offers an insight into the city’s rich cultural heritage and history.

The windmill dates back to the 19th century. It is a proud representation of Dutch ingenuity and craftsmanship and a living reminder of our country’s long history of windmill development.

Windmill tour

πŸ“ Akersluis 10, 1066 EZ Amsterdam
πŸ•’ Open from 10:00 to 16:00

Nieuwe Spiegelstraat

Nieuwe Spiegelstraat
Β© Unsplash

No Starbucks or MacDonalds, but shops that have been around for many years! Only authentic shops! This street is part of the history of Amsterdam.

βœ… A street with antique shops and galleries, perfect for art and history lovers. It’s an authentic Amsterdam street, perfect for a summer stroll! Lined with numerous antique shops, art galleries and vintage boutiques, the boulevard is a veritable goldmine of unusual discoveries and undiscovered treasures.

πŸ“ Nieuwe Spiegelstraat, Amsterdam

Have fun discovering these hidden treasures in Amsterdam!



Image sources:

. Bild 1 ICE BAR Amsterdam: Β© Amsterdam ICE BAR

. Bild 2: Β© Tiqets

. Bild 3: Zxempire, HortusBrugOost, CC BY-SA 3.0 NL

. Bild 4: Paul Kooiker – FASHION, 2022 Β© Foam. Photo: Christian van der Kooy.

. Bild 5: Β© Pixabay

. Bild 6: Marc Kugge

. Bild 7: De Poezenboot (The Cat Boat) – Judith E

. Bild 8: Β© Pixabay

. Bild 9: Β© STRAAT Museum Amsterdam

. Bild 10: Β© CafΓ© de Ceuvel

. Bild 11: Β© Pixabay

. Bild 12: Txllxt TxllxT, Amsterdam – Herengracht – Museum Willet-Holthuysen – Bel Etage – Corridor at the Front Door, CC BY-SA 4.0

. Bild 13: Milliped, Torensluis OKT 2023 04, CC BY-SA 4.0

. Bild 14: Ymnes, Bibliotheek Amsterdam vanaf het Oosterdok 2, CC BY-SA 4.0

. Bild 15: Β© Pixabay

. Bild 16: Β© Pixabay

. Bild 17: Β© De Vondeltuin

. Bild 18: Β© Geitenboerderij Ridammerhoeve

. Bild 19: Β© Molen van Slot.

. Bild 20: Β© Unsplash


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