Amsterdam is a beautiful and mysterious city and home to some of the most amazing hidden gems that are often overlooked. From hidden alleyways and rooftop terraces to secret gardens and backstreet breweries, Amsterdam has a plethora of best-kept secrets that are waiting to be discovered.
Home to an abundance of unique locations, Amsterdam provides endless opportunities for those looking to see something different from the usual tourist attractions.
Whether you're exploring on foot or taking a canal cruise, you will find there's something special around every corner. Spend some time in Amsterdam and unearth these incredible experiences for yourself - you'll come away feeling inspired and invigorated!
Go Shopping on Nieuwe Spiegelstraat
Amsterdam's Nieuwe Spiegelstraat is truly one of Amsterdam's hidden gems for shopping. With vintage and high-end stores, luxury boutiques, speciality gift stores, and international stores, it is a happening hub of activity from day to night. From the relaxed atmosphere of outdoor restaurants to the hustle and bustle of shoppers enjoying the local stands in its narrow alleys and canals, this Amsterdam street has something for everyone. Whether you're after that perfect new outfit or just a souvenir of your Amsterdam experience, you will find your perfect item on Nieuwe Spiegelstraat. Something is always new to discover in Amsterdam's most lively shopping street!
Visit De Waag, one of the oldest and most breathtaking building in Amsterdam
Amsterdam is truly a magical city that's full of hidden gems. One of the oldest and most breathtaking of these gems is the stunning De Waag (Weigh House). Located in Amsterdam’s old town, this grand 15th-century building is the oldest remaining non-religious building still standing in Amsterdam. It was originally used as Amsterdam’s central weighing house, although it also served as Amsterdam's first civic centre, where Amsterdammers gathered to swear an oath of loyalty after Polish soldiers liberated Amsterdam from Spanish rule in 1578. Today, De Waag stands a silent witness to Amsterdam's long and rich history, a beacon of its resilience against time. A visit to this ancient Amsterdam marvel will be sure to inspire even the most seasoned traveller.
Drink a beer in the historic building, In ‘t Aepjen
Amsterdam is a city full of hidden gems, like In ‘t Aepjen Amsterdam. Experiencing a beer in this hidden location is like taking a trip back in time. As soon as you step inside the historic building you’re transported to 16th-century Amsterdam, with stone flags and low ceilings and authentic wooden stables all around. Wooden furniture from wood salvaged from Amsterdam's harbour lines the walls, and taps dot the area, surrounded by beer kegs dating back to 1877. Amsterdam has so much to offer and drinking a beer in this Amsterdam classic just adds another layer of adventure to your visit!
Surprise yourself at the Waterlooplein Flea Market
If you're looking for an amazing shopping experience, then the Waterlooplein Flea Market is the place to go! With stalls of antiques, vintage items, and other curiosities, it's always a surprise what you'll find at Waterlooplein. The lively atmosphere makes for an unforgettable experience as you browse through the various products and see locals barter for sale.
A visit to Amsterdam isn't complete until you stop by the Waterlooplein Flea Market. This Amsterdam-based market is a feast for the senses. Boasting an eclectic mix of goods, from vintage clothing to furniture and art, you'll be sure to find something that strikes your fancy. Plus, the prices are famously low and you never know what treasure lies ahead in this endless market day. Dare to be daring and explore Amsterdam's unique treasures at Waterlooplein Flea Market – you won't regret it!
Cruise around Beurspassage
Amsterdam is full of hidden gems and the Beurspassage on Damrak is one of them. This stunning Amsterdam attraction, built in 1903–04, is a beautiful example of Amsterdam's Art Nouveau architecture. Just off Dam Square and right by Amsterdam Central Station, it has become a prime destination for shoppers to browse through an array of stylish boutiques, art galleries and tempting food stalls. During the day it's all hustle and bustle as people wander around the bright arcades lit up with the historical glass ceiling, discovering new clothes and delightful treats. Come evening time, music fills the air as talented street performers take to their guitars and drums while visitors enjoy a live soundtrack to their shopping experience. For Amsterdam visitors looking for something extra special away from the main tourist attractions, the Beurspassage must surely be top of your list!
Visit the secret Library in the Rijksmuseum (Cuypers Library)
Amsterdam is home to many hidden gems, but among its most precious secrets is the Cuypers Library in the Rijksmuseum. Known as Cuypers Library, it is home to over 500,000 books and manuscripts, making it one of Amsterdam's largest libraries.
Crafted from oak and marble with intricate details and remarkable craftsmanship, this library transports visitors back in time to the days of Amsterdam's Golden Age. With over 44,000 books dating back centuries, it offers access to volumes that possess a wealth of knowledge and wisdom.
The library offers breathtaking Renaissance scenes painted by P.J.H Cuypers himself and an inspiring environment that encourages visitors to explore art, history and language with ease.
Whether you're researching Amsterdam's history or simply enjoying its aesthetic beauty, the Cuypers Library is an Amsterdam must-see.
Hofje Van Brienen
Amsterdam is full of hidden gems that well-travelled locals have kept secret for years. One such place includes Amsterdam's Hofje Van Brienen, a 17th-century courtyard retreat with lush gardens.
Located in the Jordaan neighbourhood, this centuries-old Amsterdam institution offers visitors an insight into Amsterdam's history, architecture and culture.
This magical location is framed by canals and offers a peaceful reprieve from the bustling city streets. Its picturesque quality is unparalleled and its rich history adds to its charm.
Lovingly restored by Amsterdam’s architectural guardians for nearly 400 years, the former almshouses are now beautiful private residences that conjure up feelings of Amsterdam’s iconic 'Golden Age'. A definite must-see destination for any Amsterdam itinerary, Hofje Van Brienen is a wonderful reminder of Amsterdam's rich past.
Eat the best cookie in Amsterdam ( Van Stapele )
Visiting Amsterdam isn't complete without trying the best cookie in town - Van Stapele's Koekje.
If you are looking for this sweet treat, there is no better place than Van Stapele to visit. They offer the best cookies in the city and have done so since 1898.
Every cookie is skillfully crafted with the highest quality ingredients and is sure to offer a unique flavour experience like no other. Love cocoa-based treats? Their signature chocolate Aachen cookie will dazzle your taste buds with its cinnamony goodness and soft doughy texture.
There is nothing quite like biting into a fresh cookie with soft, chewy goodness that melts in your mouth. From the smell alone you'll know you're on to something special - before licking the heavenly chocolate off your fingers. It's an excursion every tourist to Amsterdam should consider taking and truly savour!
Deliciousness awaits at Van Stapele; visit them to savour all they have to offer!
Touring Amsterdam is an experience truly like no other - and the visit to the Portuguese Synagogue makes it even more special. The seventeenth-century architecture, sculpture, and detailed artwork make up Europe's oldest synagogue, still in use by the Jewish community today! Built-in 1675, it has been providing spiritual guidance and serving as a pillar of faith for centuries. Its grandeur speaks volumes of its importance to the Dutch city, with its high ceiling arches and stunning architecture.
Inside, one can find intricate chandeliers and menorahs that have stood since the original construction of this exquisite synagogue. A visit to the Portuguese Synagogue offers a unique opportunity to take in Netherlands' Jewish history at its most beautiful.
Visiting this historical landmark is an inspiring experience; getting to learn about a part of Amsterdam's history that falls outside of the conventional narrative.
A trip to Amsterdam is incomplete without witnessing this incredible sight firsthand - and when you do visit, make sure that the Portuguese Synagogue isn't missed!
A visit to Amsterdam wouldn't be complete without a visit to the Oudemanhuispoort Bookmarkt. There, you can get lost among the rows and rows of antique books, music scores, and ancient art pieces. Here, nearly every book imaginable can be found amongst the open-air market stalls, run by independent and local traders. This landmark has been trading literary gems since 1843 and is certainly one of the most unique markets in Europe.
Not only will you walk away with physical treasures, but you may also very well leave with an intangible treasure - a new perspective, as this quiet oasis offers time and space to browse, contemplate and be in awe of the brilliance within each page. This unique open-air bookshop is worth a visit if you ever decide to explore Amsterdam.
An afternoon at this gorgeous marketplace will leave you feeling richer than any purchase you make – heart, mind and soul!
Sample Bitterballen in Cafe de Sluyswacht
Experiencing the culture and local cuisine of Amsterdam is something every traveller should experience, and one of the most delicious dishes Café de Sluyswacht has to offer is the Bitterballen. With a history of over 150 years, this iconic restaurant captivates visitors to visit more than once - for its savoury Dutch bites and relaxing atmosphere. The Bitterballen are in a class of their own - an irresistible combination of crunchy breadcrumbs, creamy beef-and-vegetable filling, all dipped in mustard - you won't find that anywhere else!
This cosy little restaurant has been serving up delicious Dutch cuisine - including their famous Bitterballen - since 1869 and they do not disappoint.
You will love your visit to Amsterdam even more after trying this culinary speciality, so grab a bite while you can!
Eat unlimited pancakes on the Pannenkoekenboot!
If you visit Amsterdam, you have to check out the Pannenkoenkenboot – a special boat that allows you to enjoy unlimited pancakes! It's a truly unique experience for all ages and will become one of your fondest memories. Depending on the type of package you book, you're able to choose from over 20 different toppings and fillings such as fresh fruit, chocolate, cheese and much more. With great views of Canal Belt and its nearby attractions, it's impossible not to feel inspired while on board. Take this opportunity to visit the Pannenkoenboot next time you visit Amsterdam!
Kattenkabinet (Cat Museum)
Amsterdam is a city that is full of surprises, and one of those unique experiences can be found at the Kattenkabinet (Cat Museum). It comprises all that you could want from a visit to the Dutch capital: history, art, culture and more. Featuring an impressive digital collection of artworks that all centre around cats, here you’ll find yourself immersed in an array of centuries-old paintings, ancient artefacts, books and posters - all with a feline subject matter. Whether you visit with friends or your family, this curious museum is sure to keep you entertained and inspired during your visit to Amsterdam.
If you visit Amsterdam, be sure to visit the Mezrab bar in either the Nieuwmarkt or Oost locations. This is a mecca for storytelling and performance art, and not to be missed! The Mezrab bar has been a long-standing institution in Amsterdam, with locals coming to relish in an evening of storytelling and comedy sketches without fail. Once at the bar, the drinks are affordable and the atmosphere is invitingly open and cosmopolitan. And if you are really lucky, you will catch some of Amsterdam's finest theatrical performances during your visit. All in all, a visit to the Mezrab bar will add a little something extra special to your time spent in Amsterdam!
With its impressive list of hidden gems and best-kept secrets, Amsterdam has something to offer everyone.
Although the city may be small, there is a never-ending supply of activities and sights to explore. From boat rides along the canals to centuries-old buildings, visit Amsterdam for its rich history and amazing culture. With exciting attractions like a "Cat Wonder" house and a boat full of pancakes, it’s no wonder why this world-famous city is such a popular vacation destination.
From secret gardens tucked away on the canals to shooting galleries built centuries ago, Amsterdam is full of surprises that await to be discovered by those who visit the city.
If you are looking for something to do during your visit, you should visit at least some of the 14 spots mentioned here - they are totally worth it!
Take your time as you visit and uncover the many amazing places that remain unknown-- taking in all that this unique Dutch capital has to offer will leave you wanting more!