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And there is way more than just cycling around, visiting the red-light district and chartering a boat on the canals.
After introducing you to the hilarious fun part of Barcelona, and the 18 fun things to do in London, we had a look at Amsterdam. „C’mon„, we thought, „this city must have endless awesome and unique things to have fun.“
And oh boy, we were so right.
So, join us! Have a look on all the fun things to do we found for Amsterdam – including Darth Vader!
Accommodation in Amsterdam
Last update: 05.08.2017
Before we start, did you get your Van Gogh museum Ticket? You have to get it beforehand to skip the huuuuge line..
Let’s get the Amsterdam party started. But make sure you check again the smartest hostel packing list with 23 items you CANNOT miss.
* this article may contain affiliate links. All included tours, activities are handpicked and we recommend them 100% :)
1. Hunting Street Art
Amsterdam is a creative city! Go for some street art hunting at the street Spuistraat and area. I am not just talking about graffiti. There is much more to it. Have a look on the bikes decoration, tiny public libraries and other small items. Just keep your eyes open.
We could not find any tours offering anything around street art, sorry :(
You can find all tours and activities in Amsterdam here.
2. Become a local (5 Secrets)
Personally, we are bored by tourist guides. This is why we share our best-kept secrets for different destinations all around the world with you.
In our secret guide to Amsterdam we introduce you to 5 local spots
- Lovely hidden Café right at the canals
- a Restaurant for delicious breakfast, lunch & dinner
- local Park to hang out with locals
- Fashion, Design, Art: This concept store will be your lil heaven!
- Escape the heat and party with locals & expats – a must do!
You can download the guide for free or directly download it here:
Not sure? Have a detailed look what’s inside this email guide.
3. Foooooood Tour – with a local
We are serious foodies! So we had a look on what you can do here related to food.
There are numerous of Food Tours with Locals.
On the menu?
- 2.5-hour walking food tour in Amsterdam
- Includes five authentic food and drink tastings
- Try a sticky-sweet stroopwafel
4. Coffee Shop (here is a full list!)
Alright alright…so many people asked and yes, it is a cliché thing to do, but here you go. We’ve found this list of all coffee shops in Amsterdam.
There are also super interesting tours covering the background of the coffee shops.
Oh, and here is a tour combining our #3 and #4: Coffee Shops and local food.
5. Get drunk at a Pub Crawl
Yes, Amsterdam. That means party and nightlife as well. You can join many different Pub Crawls and even red light district tours – we come to this later. Find prices and schedules for Pub Crawls here.
One thing: I am not your mommy, but please drink responsibly. You are old enough, though, right?!
6. Have an easy laugh
How about improvised comedy? The comedy shows are in English, so don’t you worry about your dutch. The shows are hold every Friday (unless it’s summer break) at CREA Café.
The schedule for the shows? Here you go!
A photo posted by Easylaughs (@easylaughsamsterdam) on
7. SWING on Europe’s highest swing
You know what, this fun thing to do in Amsterdam doesn’t need a big explanation. It only needs a cool wow, so here you go.
Oh, and it needs the price. It was around 19€ when we visited. You can find current prices and schedules here.
8. Neighborhood Markets
Now, this one we especially enjoyed! There are so many different neighborhoods around Amsterdam, and each one is unique. You can find all the Amsterdam Markets with the official tourism board.
9. Get a drink at Hannekes Boom
When weather allows, this place is just awesome. It is a small house right at the canal. Order a drink, take a seat and mingle with the locals. Don’t forget the sun cream in summer!
Photo credit HannekesBoom
10. Have a Picnic in the Vondelpark
A picnic is always a good idea. When weather allows, pack a picnic set and head over to the Vondelpark. There will be many locals doing exactly the same. It is a beautiful ambient to join in.
11. Free music, Comedy and shows at Vondelpark
Talking about Vondelpark, there is way more you can do besides a lovely picnic. In summer there is an open-air theatre called „Openlichttheater“ (Open light theater). There are shows, workshops, cabaret, and other special events. The schedule varies.
Make sure you check out their website for the agenda of Openlichttheater.
A photo posted by Vondelpark Openluchttheater (@vondelpark_openluchttheater) on
12. Dining in the dark
This is quite self-explanatory, isn’t it? Dining in the dark has become quite trendy. And you can try it here in Amsterdam as well. The ctaste is such a place, and the most popular one in Amsterdam.
This photo made by us shows how we imagine a dinner in the dark looks like.
13. Explore Albert Cuypmarkt
The largest market in Amsterdam takes places every day from Monday to Saturday 9:00 – 17:00. In fact, it is Europe’s biggest daily street market. You can find here basically everything from food, 2nd hand, souvenirs, smoothies, art, fashion, and so on.
A beautiful market for spending some time.
Find more information about Albert Cuypmarkt Amsterdam.
A photo posted by Albert Cuypmarkt (@albertcuypmarkt) on
First of all: we love the pun! And 2nd, we are big fans of local markets! Once a month there is the Neighboorfood fest. A small hidden gem for the food-lover. Check out the official website of Neighboorfood here.
They also keep their facebook updated!
15. Ice Ice Baby!
The coolest venue in town, the ICE BAR. Walk in and get a jacket so you can stand the -45°…well okay, it’s „only“ -10°c, still cold!
Come here for a cocktail. The ambiance is so different from the usual bars, it is definitely worth it.
Important: There is no need to bring any warm jacket. The ICE Bar will provide everything.
Find prices and tickets with Viator.
16. Windmill Tour
We all love them: The windmills!
Join a day trip to the Windmills just outside the city. There is a tour that includes as well a cheese-tasting. YUMMY!! Find prices for Dutch Windmill and Cheese Tour here.
17. Festivals (and there are a lot)
Amsterdam is known for its party-party-party festivals! It wouldn’t make sense for us to list here now every single festival, so check out the official tourism website. They have all the schedules of every single festival in Amsterdam.
18. Escape Rooms
Ever heard of escape rooms? It is a room filled with puzzles and riddles. You have to find the key to escape the room within a certain time. An absolute fun experience for 2-5 players. You can find our article about an Escape Room in Prague here – we saved the Czech Republic…just saying!
There are lots of Escape Rooms in Amsterdam as well.
19. Cycle to Haarlem
You already heard this „super unique“ recommendation of renting a bike, right?! It’s like saying you have to see the Taj Mahal in India…
Anyway, we still think you should do it. And then head outside the city. The area of Amsterdam, and the Netherlands in general are a fabulous country for traveling by bike. We even did this by our own!
You can cycle to Haarlem, a picturesque village, west of Amsterdam. It is half way to the Atlantic coast and beach. We love it here, and so will you!
The photo below shows a beautiful beach bar next to Haarlem. We included it in the Geeky Guide for Haarlem.
20. …and spend a day in Haarlem
Now that we think about it…Actually, you can spend a day in Haarlem as well. It is the local version of Amsterdam, and gives you an idea of the authentic Netherlands. Because, trust us, when we say: Amsterdam is not the typical Netherlands. Same as Berlin is not the typical Germany and Barcelona not the typical Spanish city.
In Haarlem you can cycle to a beautiful beach and get lost in the Zuid-Kennemerland National Park.
21. Rent a bike and cruise around!
Also, did you know many Amsterdameses have several bikes? One for daily life, and one at night for going out. In case it gets stolen…well, that’s at least, what we’ve been told!
You can find bike rentals here.
22. Go to the local beach
Actually, you do not need to cycle to Haarlem for the beach.
You can take a free ferry from the main train station crossing the big canal. It is an amazing place with a cool interior design, and a nice beach in front. Even when it’s cold, it’s pretty awesome here. Bring some hunger and thirst, the Pllek offers a wide variety of good food and drinks.
23. Red Light District Tour
Sure, everybody is curious about the red light district, right?! We joined a tour by Ecomama and had a great time. The tour guide had interesting insider stories to tell, and it gives you access to a hidden world. Highly recommended!
If you’re not staying at Ecomama, the 5 Star Hostel, then you’ve two choices:
- Change your reservation and go to Ecomama
- or get your tour for red light district online
Find prices as well with Get Your Guide, our preferred way to book :)
24. Peep Show
During the red light district tour, the tour joins as well a peep show. Well, those are well-invested, curious 1€-2€!
25. A live-sex show
How about watching people having live-sex? Let this idea sink in a little bit, after all, you’re in Amsterdam!
The Casa Rosso is the most popular venue for this kind of event. Don’t feel forced to join just because you’re here. But we actually heard many interesting opinions about Casa Rosso and their venue. So, ready?
26. Ecosystems of Amsterdam
Okay, okay…this one may sound quite odd, but it’s actually really cool and you can learn a lot…well, we just made it sound boring again, right?!
The nature guide in Amsterdam is unique, and interesting for everyone looking for a different kind of experience. You can find all details about the tour directly with The Nature Walk Amsterdam.
Also, pretty handy, this detailed article about this alternative nature tour by AwesomeAmsterdam.com
27. The sky is the limit
The Sky Lounge is the Amsterdam answer of sky bars in Bangkok and other metropolitan cities around the world.
28. Visit the „I Amsterdam sign“ – in the early hour!
Everybody wants this cool photo, right?! However, it is always crowded, and taking a cool photo with only you, well, it is almost impossible!
Oh and by the way, this is how the sign looks like……..when you’re too late:
29. Live Jazz at Studio K
Studio K is a cinema, restaurants, and venue for so many events, run by students. Check out the Studio K to see what’s going on when you’re there.
30. Boat Tour (even Pizza Boat Tours!)
This one is quite obvious, yet we really liked it. So, we have to mention it for you.
There are many different boat tours and cruises. Just have a look at Get Your Guide to find different cruises in Amsterdam.
For a more fun experience, check out this pizza-and-booze-cruise. ENJOY!!!
31. Join quirky events in Amsterdam
Enjoy the city like the locals do. The Roest is the place to be! You can join pool parties here, dj sessions, live concerts, or simply hang out in the unofficial living room of Amsterdam.
Find the full agenda of Amsterdam Roest here.
Do you remember Geoaching?
It is a perfect tool to explore different spots around an area. We even wrote a full article about GeoCaching as the alternative travel guide.
There are endless GeoCaches, hidden all over the place. Just get the free app or the paid app for the advance nerd – and start. You will be surprised!
There is even a list of GeoCaches around Amsterdam you should check out.
33. Walk around as Darth Vader
Well, okay, we have no idea what this guy in the Darth Vader costume is doing here in Amsterdam…BUT: It looks like fun. Maybe it’s Darth Vader spending some free days in Amsterdam, not sure. Either way, fun!
34. Food trucks, buddy!
Quite new, and trendy right now all over Europe. There are now as well food trucks festivals in Amsterdam. You can find the dates of the „rollende keukens“ (rolling kitchens) here.
UPDATE: 35. Anne Frank Walking Tour
This may not be an entertaining activity, but certainly one we highly recommend. The NEW Anne Frank walking tour. If you are not visiting the usually crowded Anne Frank House, then this is the tour to go.
The tour is only $27 and you can find schedule and tickets here.
Find reviews of the Anne Frank Walking tour at Tripadvisor.
Good to know: You can only book your ticket for Anne Frank House on the official website. Tickets are made available only exactly 2 months before.
80 Things to do in Amsterdam – a handy list
Obviously there are so many things to do in Amsterdam. We had a look around and collected some of the coolest collections. Over all you can find more than 80 things to in Amsterdam. Just browse to get some ideas.
Tip 20 Things to do in Amsterdam – A cool guide to show you 20 things to experience in Amsterdam. There are quite the basics included, but a great introduction to get an idea.
8 Free things to do in Amsterdam – Who doesn’t love free stuff? The Telegraph gives you an introduction on how to enjoy Amsterdam for free.
20 essential tips for Amsterdam – In case you are not familiar with this magazine, the TimeOut magazine is always an awesome resource for finding local and unique tips.
Are you a night owl? No problem, here are 7 recommendations for the nightlife in Amsterdam.
This website offers free pub crawls through Amsterdam: www.pubcrawlsamsterdam.com
Cassie from Ever In Transit also shares her 25 coolest things for Amsterdam. A comprehensive guide, recommended for the 1st-timer in Amsterdam.
City Guides to Amsterdam
The Amsterdam guide of Little Black Book is a fantastic resource you cannot miss. Many different restaurants, bars, cafés – and most of them have a design background.
Amsterdam Curated puts together the events and agenda of the city. You can find the coolest events in town. A smart way to join the local events tourist don’t even hear about. Check out Amsterdamcurated.com right here.
For every curious traveler, we also found 14 incredible secrets you did not know about Amsterdam. Confession time: There are some we also did not know at all!
Our favorite printed guides are:
Summary: Fun Things To Do in Amsterdam
Seriously?! You are still here? We just gave you the most amazing Hostel in Amsterdam and a huge list for having fun in Amsterdam.
- +28 fun things to do in Paris including boat parties , pizza picnic and crêpes
- 4 best outdoor cafés in Amsterdam by Ecomama
- our secret guide to Amsterdam – free to download
We hope this big summary of activities around the most popular dutch city is helpful.
Would you like to add anything? Do you have another cool idea for spending time in Amsterdam? Then leave a comment below. We are always keen to improve this article and add more and more!
And now, have fun!
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