Dive deeper into Amsterdam’s rich history and culture by visiting some of the hidden gems in Amsterdam!
These secret spots in Amsterdam are tucked away behind popular landmarks, away from the crowds.
So, if you have seen the famous attractions, such as the Rijksmuseum, Anne Frank House, and the Dam Square, you can still make the most out of your trip to the city by visiting some of the lesser-known spots that will let you connect deeper to Amsterdam.
In fact, that’s one of our biggest travel tips for Amsterdam: getting off the beaten path in Amsterdam will improve your trip to the city tenfold!
With that said, even if you have been in the city several times, or if you’re new here and you want to see rare spots, these are the places to look out for!
22 Hidden Gems in Amsterdam: Secret Spots Away From the Crowds
A bit off the beaten path in Amsterdam, Hortus Botanicus is an underrated botanical garden you need to visit when you’re in the city.
It is situated along the river, which makes it a great walk. The garden is also one of the best spots in the city you can enjoy on rainy days, too!
So, if it’s raining in Amsterdam and you want to do something calm and relaxing, you should definitely visit this botanical garden!
Original Picasso In Vondelpark
Vondelpark isn’t really an Amsterdam hidden gem, but a concrete sculpture in the park is one!
Located at the southern end of the park is an original Picasso art that was created in 1965 as part of an outdoor exhibition to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Vondelpark.
The structure is known as “Figure découpée l’Oiseau,” or The Bird. The structure was donated to the city by the artist after the exhibition.
The house at Kloveniersburgwal 29 is known as the widest house in the city. It was built during a time when residents were taxed based on the width of their houses. Therefore, the wider the house, the wealthier the owner is!
Due to its width, it conceals the fact that is joined together by two adjoining symmetrical houses built by the Trip brothers. When the house was finished, the brothers’ coachman commented that he would be the happiest if he had a house even just as wide as the front door.
From there, the brothers complied and built a small house for him across the canal!
Do you want to listen to stories by random people? Mezrab is where you should go.
Storytelling nights are held every Wednesday and Friday, and they’re in English! So, you don’t have to worry about comprehension.
On some nights there are comedy and live music events that you shouldn’t miss as well!
You know what’s even better? The entrance here is free of charge, but there’s a donation jar (and you should definitely donate!) that helps the people behind the concept pay the rent.
Located along Prinsengracht and on the edge of Jordaan, this is a lovely spot to spend your early mornings in and you’re ready for some shopping.
The area is known for its flea market and farmers market. On Mondays, don’t miss the textile market on Westerstraat, too!
The Maker Store
If you love shopping, it’s essential to shop locally when you’re in a foreign city. That’s why you need to visit The Maker Store!
Independent creators make all the products here in the city and you also get a chance to get some of the items personalized or made on the spot. The store is an excellent example of the city’s vibrant independent scene!
Tiny Hidden Houses
Along Westerstraat, you will notice that the numbers of the houses jump from 54 to 70, which is very curious.
You might want to wake a closer peek because the seven missing houses can be found in the crack between the houses; but now, they are in the form of mini houses!
So, make sure to look very closely. You don’t want to miss them!
A Beautiful Mess
Have a meal in prison here at A Beautiful Mess: definitely a unique thing to do in Amsterdam!
The restaurant occupies what was formerly a prison called De Bijlmerbajes; today, it is home to several organizations, including the restaurant.
It is located in the prison’s old clothing repair section and you can really feel the prison-ish vibe here.
In fact, there are rows of old sewing stations you can see here still. It’s also a great place to go if you’re looking for fusion meals.
The lighthouse on the former island in the Markermeer doesn’t only guide ships during the night, but if you look closely, you will notice that the lighthouse is horse-shaped.
It’s been a national monument since 1970, but still, a lot of people don’t really come here when they visit the city.
However, for those who are looking for hidden gems in Amsterdam and secret spots, then this is definitely one of the best places you could visit!
One of the best things to do in the city is to sit out by the water when the weather is nice.
It is challenging to find a spacious terrace in Amsterdam where you can lounge around, but the Meneer Nieges is the best place to start.
Another great thing about this is that it is located on the Western Islands, which means it’s out of the tourist route. Don’t worry, though; it’s still accessible. In fact, it’s only a ten-minute walk from the central station.
The terrace has a spacious terrace with picnic tables, deckchairs, and lounge beds where you can relax.
NAP (Normaal Amsterdams Peil) Visitor Centre
There’s more to NAP than meets the eye!
Did you know you can see the city underwater through three glass tubes that show the sea level in various parts of the region?
It’s a real Amsterdam hidden gem that you shouldn’t miss when you’re here.
Beth Haim Cemetery
Located at Ouderkerk aan de Amstel, the cemetery is the oldest Jewish cemetery here.
Most of the graves here below to Portuguese and Spanish Jews who fled the country in the 17th century. Some public figures are here, too, including Rabbi Menasseh Ben Israel, who was a collaborator of Rembrandt.
Aside from these graves, the ornate gravestones that feature beautiful symbolism and inscriptions in various languages are something you should keep an eye on as you stroll around.
Although it may sound creepy for some, the cemetery may give you a deeper insight into the lives of Dutch Jews in the 17th century. You will definitely experience the country’s culture and rich history just by walking the paths of the cemetery.
Amsterdam has over 160 canals, and that means there are plenty of bridges here that connect places! The widest and oldest bridge is the Torensluis, which translates to Tower Lock.
The name was derived from the tower that stood on the site until it was demolished in the mid-19th century. You can still see its foundation today! But there’s more to it, though.
Look closely in the dungeon below and you can see barred windows and arched entrance to the prison cells that are located under the bridge. The area is now open to the public and is often used to host exhibitions and events.
This is one of the most beautiful streets in the city, and it’s a great cycling route as well.
Consider the “roadside garden” on the street some kind of a phenomenon because with only one-square meter of fertile ground in front of an apartment, residents were able to create gardens of flowers, bushes, and trees.
Because of this, it has made the street one of the most beautiful cycling routes . Moreover, it is also the oldest street in this part of the city!
Aside from the gardens, there are beautiful houses here that date back from the 18th century that are a sight to behold.
For a unique secret spot in Amsterdam, check out its cute vineyard—the Amsteltuin!
Although it’s not as exotic as a French vineyard, it is still a beautiful place. It’s perfect if you’re craving some vineyard feels while you’re in the city.
The owners are very welcoming and you get a fully-stocked picnic basket with delicious Dutch specialties and homemade wine. Explore the vineyard while you get just the right amount of buzz.
Zootje Sculpture Garden
Just near De Plantage, follow the signs that will lead you to the Zootje Petit Zoo. However, this isn’t an ordinary zoo!
It has a hidden little sculpture garden that will give you a quirky experience. Just make sure to stay alert for the zombie or the dinosaur.
There are plenty of interesting houses in the city, but one of the most underrated ones is the Zevenlandenhuizen, which means “seven countries houses” on the Roemer Visscherstraat.
Seven houses that are next to each other, in which each house represents a specific architectural style from different European countries. The houses were built in 1974 and were designed by architect Tjeerd Kuipers.
The Tea Rat
Located in a tiny alley off Spuistraat, you will find one of the smallest museums in the city, which is a teapot museum!
There are over a hundred teapots in a single room here and you can even dress up while you enjoy the collection. It’s perfect for tea and teacup lovers; this is heaven!
Even if you’re not a fan, it’s a curious place you should definitely check out while you’re here.
Corrie Ten Boomhuis
The Anne Frank House is a popular place because it served as the house of Jewish stowaways; but there’s another one in Haarlem that far fewer people know about, the Corrie Ten Boomhuis.
Although this isn’t in the city anymore, it’s only 10 minutes by train!
The Ten Boom family hid behind a false wall in the house along with other members of the resistance. They were arrested and sent to concentration camps eventually, and it was only Corrie Ten Boom who survived.
Today, the house is now a museum that teaches about the Second World War and the Jewish faith.
For a unique Amsterdam experience, have a meal inside a water restaurant inside a renovated offshore platform!
It was originally owned by a group of pirate radio broadcasters who eventually abandoned it because they were raided by the Dutch government in 1964.
After decades, it was towed to the city’s Houthaven harbor and converted into a classy restaurant.
Blijburg City Beach
Surprisingly, there are beaches in the city, and one of the classic beach experiences you can get is at Blijburg, a true Amsterdam hidden gem mostly enjoyed by locals.
The artificial peninsula has plenty of attractions and it also has a restaurant to accommodate beach-goers.
When you’re in the Netherlands, it’s important not to miss their Dutch pancakes!
You can have authentic Dutch pancakes in Amsterdam onboard the Pancake Boat, where you can have unlimited Dutch-style pancakes!
The trip starts in the city’s northern docklands then makes its way to the famous harbor of the city where you can marvel at the beautiful architecture while you eat your pancakes.
Are you ready to dive deep into the rich culture of Amsterdam? These hidden gems will give you an entirely different perspective about the city that you won’t see at the most popular attractions here!
There’s more to the city than meets the eye; and if you’re up for it, visit these hidden gems and experience the city like never before.
It is definitely going to be an eye-opening experience that you will cherish for the rest of your life. And even if it’s your first time in the city, make sure to allot some time to visit some of these hidden gems—you know you don’t want to miss them!
Ask The Dutch Guy your go-to guide when it comes to The Netherlands! The goal of Ask The Dutch Guy is to showcase the beauty of The Netherlands and to inspire others to explore the country. Read more about Ask The Dutch Guy at https://askthedutchguy.com. Follow him on Facebook and Instagram.
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Allison Green is a former educator turned travel blogger. She holds a Masters in Teaching and a B.A. in English and Creative Writing. Her blog posts merge her educational background and her experience traveling to 60+ countries to encourage thoughtful travel experiences that both educate and entertain. She has been a speaker at the World Travel Writers Conference and her writing, photography, and podcasting work has appeared in National Geographic, CNN Arabic, CBC Canada, and Forbes, amongst others. Now based in the San Francisco Bay Area where she grew up, she has also lived in Prague, Sofia, and New York City.