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Cool and Unusual Things to do in Amsterdam [Updated 2024]

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?

If you love art make sure you allow some time in your itinerary to visit Amsterdam’s Art Museums – the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh. 

If you are visiting Amsterdam from Monday to Saturday and enjoy markets head to the Waterlooplein Market – Amsterdam’s Hippie Flea Market.

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.

Amsterdam has a range of accommodations to suit all travellers and budgets. If you are after luxury hotels in Amsterdam, you will not be disappointed, Amsterdam has a great range available.

We would recommend researching Amsterdam before your visit to make the most of your time there.

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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 of 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 in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is very well known for its delicious and unique brunch options.  However, there are a few brunch options that are pretty 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 city’s views, resulted 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. 

Vondelbunker in Amsterdam

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. 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 microbrewery 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 Amsterdam

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 Amsterdam

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 Amsterdam

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 known. 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

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.

Begijnhof Amsterdam

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 was 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:

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.ca/samseesworld/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/samseesworlddd/


Essential Information When You Visit Amsterdam

Getting In Amsterdam

For information on private transfers from Schipol Airport to Downtown Amsterdam that will save you time queuing for taxis on arrival  click here

Is Amsterdam An Accessible City for Disabled Travellers?

There are many accessible places to visit In Amsterdam for disabled travellers.

Cheap Flight Deals to Amsterdam

For the latest cheap flight deals to Amsterdam click here

Car Rental Amsterdam

For the latest deals on car rental from our partner Auto Europe click here.

Bus Travel Around Europe

For the latest bus schedules and ticket prices click here.

Amsterdam Hotels – Best Places to Stay in Amsterdam

For the latest deals on Amsterdam Hotels click below.



Amsterdam Tickets

Amsterdam Public Transport Tickets: Discover Amsterdam using a Public Transport ticket for 1 – 7 days on the metro, trams, buses and ferries. When you visit Amsterdam passes are a great way to get around.

Purchase Your Pass here


Top Amsterdam Restaurants According To Travellers

When you visit Amsterdam what sort of cuisine do you enjoy?  TripAdvisor lists reviews for places to eat in Amsterdam.  Find out more here

Do You Need a Visa For Amsterdam?



Travel Insurance

The ideal time to purchase travel insurance is when you pay for your airline tickets and pay for deposits on cruises, tours etc.



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Thanks for stopping by and welcome to To Travel Too – Australia’s top Baby Boomer lifestyle and travel blog, with an international worldwide audience in mind, run by the married couple, freelance writers and full-time travellers Jane and Duncan Dempster-Smith. Come with us as we explore the world. Our two mantras that we live by are 'chase time not money' and 'age is no barrier when it comes to travel'.

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