Cool and Unusual Things to do in Amsterdam

Cool & Unusual Things To Do in Amsterdam

Cool and Unusual Things to do in Amsterdam

Our guest writer Samantha Karen from Sam Sees World has recently made Amsterdam her home.  We are excited to share with you Sam’s cool and unusual things to do in Amsterdam.  Amsterdam is one city that we are yet to explore in Europe and we can’t wait to visit all the places that Sam has mentioned especially the all you can eat Pancake cruise. There are so many fun things to do in Amsterdam where will you start?

How long do you plan to spend in Amsterdam, our recommendation would be to spend a weekend in Amsterdam or at least 48 hours to make the most of your stay.

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Related reading – What to do in Amsterdam:


Cool and Unusual Things To Do in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a city that is full of surprises. However, many people who visit this fantastic city flock to the main attractions and sights to see. As a result, these are always packed with people, which ruins the authenticity of the city. In an effort to showcase a more authentic Amsterdam and inform people on the hidden beauty and excitement within it, a guide on the unusual things to do is a must.


Amsterdam's Streets

Amsterdam’s streets


The unusual things to do in Amsterdam are scattered all around the city. Sometimes hidden in plain sight, and sometimes in plain sight but people are too consumed with other attractions to notice it. Tourists easily get overwhelmed by attractions such as Dam Square, mainstream museums, and the city centre. Therefore, many people miss out on the other unique and less known attractions that Amsterdam holds. This is not to say that the mainstream attractions are not exciting; these are fun to see too and can also be added to your Amsterdam adventures.

Ultimately Amsterdam is a city full of exciting and unusual things to do, see and experience. Whether you’re in Amsterdam for 2 days or a week, you are sure to be spellbound by this city.

Here are the coolest and most unusual things to do in Amsterdam.


Brunch on the water in Amsterdam

Brunch on the water

Brunch on the water

Amsterdam is very well known for its delicious and unique brunch options.  However, there are a few brunch options that are quite unusual. If you are looking for a very different brunch experience and that is the epitome of Amsterdam, then The Pancake Boat and G’s Really Nice Place are for you.

The Pancake Boat is a boat that sails along the IJ River for 75 minutes and offers all you can eat Dutch pancakes! The unlimited pancakes and toppings, along with the views of the city, resulting in a very cool Amsterdam experience. Moreover, G’s Really Nice Place is a brunch canal boat that serves brunch while sailing through the inside canals of the city.

Both of these are amazing Amsterdam experiences that not many people know about. 


Hidden in the very famous Vondelpark is the secret and mysterious Vondelbunker. Vondelbunker is an old bomb shelter from the Cold War that has been redone and made into an exciting and diverse hub. In here you can find various activities and events throughout the year such as concerts, cinema nights, dinners and even art exhibitions. Even better, there is a micro-brewery located in the bunker called Bunkerbier.

This attraction is a fascinating spot in Amsterdam that is easily missed amongst the other exciting parts of Vondelpark. If you are interested in history and want to feel transported back in time, this is the place for you.

Explore Amsterdam Oost

Explore Amsterdam Oost

Explore Amsterdam Oost


Whenever anyone arrives in Amsterdam, all they do is walk around and explore the city centre. However, some beautiful neighbourhoods in Amsterdam are a bit further from the city centre but offer a very cool Amsterdam experience. One of these neighbourhoods is Amsterdam Oost.

Amsterdam Oost is located a short tram or metro ride from downtown and is a charming area of the city. It is much less busy than the city centre, which is great for experiencing a more local and genuine side of Amsterdam. The streets are beautiful, there are unique and tasty restaurants, and there is even a park called Oosterpark.


Brouwerij t’ IJ

Brouwerji t’ IJ

Brouwerji t’ IJ

Brouwerij t’ IJ is a local beer brewery with a twist. It is located under a large Dutch windmill, offering a unique experience of drinking local beer in the ultimate Dutch setting. The giant wooden windmill towers over the brewery, and there is a large outdoor terrace to hang out on.

This bar is a local favourite and is always packed on a warm day.

You may be interested in reading our story on The Best Happy Hour Bars in The World


Theatre Tuschiniski

Theatre Tuschiniski Amsterdam

Theatre Tuschiniski


Going to the cinema while travelling may seem like an odd thing to do, but at Theatre Tuschinisk the movie experience is more than just watching a film. This movie theatre was built in 1921, and its interior is upscale and lush. You may find yourself looking around the theatre at its stunning architecture more than watching the movie!

This is an excellent option for something to do when the weather is not the best in Amsterdam – which unfortunately is quite often. More so, this theatre plays films in English.

Oudemanhuispoort Bookmarkt

In the heart of Amsterdam down a secret alleyway, you will find the lovely Oudemanhuisport – which in English means Man’s House Passage. This unusual spot is home to local artwork and tons of books! If you love art and literature, this will be like heaven to you!

This whole secret walkway is lined with locals selling second-hand books and exciting art pieces. The best part is that it is not exactly hidden, not very well know. More so, this leads to one part of the University of Amsterdam Campus, which has a lovely little courtyard and is in an old authentic building.

Oudemanhuispoort Bookmarkt is a great place to pick up a unique Amsterdam souvenir and a lovely spot to escape the rain on a rainy day!



Poezenboat Amsterdam



If you are a cat lover, Poezenboat is the place for you. This great site is a houseboat that is used as a cat shelter. This boat is open daily for visitors to climb on board and hang out with the various cats.


The Begijnhof is located right near Dam Square and is just one quick turn off one of the busiest streets in the city. This unusual site is an old courtyard that holds a rich and significant history in Amsterdam. It is an ancient courtyard that hundreds of years ago were home to women who vowed a life to chastity. Now, it is just a regular courtyard with people living in it, but it is quite a popular location to visit, for those who want to see the historic site.

More so, this courtyard is home to a church and the oldest house in Amsterdam! The whole area is a calm oasis to the busy streets just meters away.

Samantha’s Bio

Samantha Karen is the founder of the travel blog Sam Sees World. She is a millennial traveller on a mission to seek the new and unknown so she can document her experiences and inspire others to explore this wondrous world. Her objective is to provide valuable information on the best things to do, see, eat, and experience while travelling and getting some good Instagram photos along the way. Check out Samantha’s Pinterest and Instagram below:




Essential Information When You Visit Amsterdam

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Top Restaurants According To Travellers

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  • Such offbeat and unusual things to do in Amsterdam. I would love to do a brunch on the river and visit the Brouwerij t’ IJ, the local beer brewery.

    • Hi Anahita
      Thanks for your comments. Amsterdam looks so much fun we are trying to plan a visit next year thanks to Sam’s article.
      Cheers Jane and Duncan

  • Pooja says:

    This was an interesting read. I always thought Amsterdam was all about windmills, tulips and clogs. But there are so many more things to explore. The Vondelbunker sounds exciting. Would love to visit it.

  • Paul Healy says:

    I haven’t been to Amsterdam for so long and this is a great article to inspire my next visit. I love that you put together some of the lesser-known places to visit. The brunch boat sounds like a great idea, as does the cool cinema. Thanks, have pinned this for later.

    • Hi Paul
      Thanks for your comments. Amsterdam looks so much fun, we are so glad that Sam has highlighted some great things to do and see.
      Cheers Jane and Duncan

  • Sinjana Ghosh says:

    Amsterdam is the most beautiful and romantic city that I have been to. Despite the crowd in the peak tourist season I felt magical serenity while strolling on the bridges and along the canals of Amsterdam. I wish I had read this before because your post makes me want to visit Amsterdam again. I will surely check out the bunker at vondelpark next time. I had seen Oost and it’s absolutely calm and beautiful

    • Hi Sinjana
      Thanks for your comments. We are so glad that you enjoyed Amsterdam and now want to return to see some cool and unusual things.
      Cheers Jane and Duncan

  • I like the brunch on the boat. That was something I couldn’t do everytime I was there. The other thing I like to do is to eat in the restaurants with different cuisines.

  • Great post guys. We loved Amsterdam. A visit to the Anne Frank museum is a must.

    John and Susan

    • Hi John and Susan
      Thanks for your comments. We are not sure why we have not visited Amsterdam before but it is definitely on our list now.
      Cheers Jane and Duncan

  • Laura Pedlar says:

    I visited Amsterdam 10 years ago and really want to go back and explore more of the city. Those Dutch pancakes are so good so a trip on the Pancake Boat may be in order! I also like the cats on a boat idea. The micro brewery is also a great tip so thank you 🙂

  • I have been recommended Amsterdam so many times, that it seems like providence to read this list. I think now I will have to plan for 15 days here. I am certainly going to see a movie at Theatre Tuschinisk. Seeing a movie as a tourist has been a desire for long. And the cat boat has been on my list too. Another addition is the Pancake Boat.

  • amar singh says:

    I must admit there is so much to see and do in Amsterdam and this is one of the reasons it is one of my favorite cities to holiday in. Surprises as you suggest truly as every time I have returned I have seen something new. I have not visited the Vondelbunker though and would try and tick it on my next visit. I managed to visit a beach a short distance from the city on my last visit which was very nice I must admit. An old bomb shelter from the Cold War what an interesting place to visit. I do enjoy walking along the canals and admiring the architecture as well. Thanks for sharing

    • Hi Amar
      Thanks for your comments. Amsterdam looks so amazing and we are excited to visit and take up all of Sam’s recommendations.
      Jane and Duncan

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