Before we get into the 6 unusual places to visit in Amsterdam… let me give some back story on the chaotic start to our trip. When will I stop starting blog posts like this? The year 3000, maybe. I entrusted Sarah with finding the correct check-in queue while I popped to the toilet, and that is precisely where everything started going wrong.
You know I need to set the scene first. Once our boarding passes were checked, it was painfully obvious that our carry-on bags were oversized. Mostly because I looked like I was in pain whilst carrying mine. Anyway, squeezy-jet shunted us to a desk to pay the additional fee. Which is when I realised we were about to board a flight to Edinburgh. Easy Jet had confidently checked our boarding passes which clearly said “Amsterdam”, and still nearly put us on a flight to Edinburgh. Stunning.
Travel tip: These bags are the correct carry-on size for a flight. Whilst they’re not giving high fashion, they fit loads in as long as you don’t stuff them like a Christmas turkey (like I did).
Is it me, am I the drama?
For once, no. Once we got on the flight, we’d gotten over the stress of Edinburgh-Gate, but then I realised my pal and I weren’t sitting next to each other. Sarah sat next to a couple who decided bare feet in February was an acceptable choice, and I was seated next to the anti-Christ.
Flight time: 45 mins. Real feel: 4 days and 5 nights. I was unsure whether the woman beside me was travelling with her partner or a hostage, and if it was the former, I dreaded to think what he did in a past life to deserve this coupling. After ending up with her coffee down my sleeve and almost having to split up a domestic, I’ve never been so glad to get off a flight in my entire life.
Getting from the airport to your accommodation
I recommend getting the train from the airport to your hotel if you’re staying in Amsterdam Centraal. It’ll cost you roughly 5 euros one way; also book a return ticket as it’s cheaper – I wasn’t this organised. In contrast, a taxi will cost you anything between €30- 50 euros, which will make a dent in your Heineken budget. Make good decisions, besties.
Travel tip: The airport and train station is linked, so you can buy your train ticket as you leave the airport.
6 unusual places to visit in Amsterdam
Let’s get to my recommendations for a weekend in Amsterdam, shall we? We’d both been before, so we were on the hunt for some lesser-known places to visit.
1. Oudemanhuispoort – you simply must Gogh
It’s not like I don’t like public transport, but… I don’t like public transport. Plus, I feel like you see much more of the city when you’re strolling around, and there’s the added bonus of closing your rings (iykyk). So I was dragging Sarah on a wandering mission to the first place on my list (10 min walk from Amsterdam Centraal station), a secret passage once frequented by Van Gogh. Sandwiched between beautiful canal-side houses, this covered walkway offers you the chance to pick up a pre-loved book or two, some prints or a classic poster.
Travel tip: Oudemanhuispoort is cash only, so make sure you pop to a cash point beforehand if you’re looking to shop for new reads.
2. The ultimate photo spot
Any excuse to combine shopping with sightseeing? I think I spied this view on TikTok, and it really does offer a beautiful perspective over the city. Located in H&M Amsterdam Centraal (floor 3) with views over the royal palace, this spot allows for a welcome respite from the bustling city, a comfy seat and if you did slip and fall into a new outfit on the way out, who could blame you?
Travel tip: Head to the third floor of H&M for the perfect view
Address: Dam 4, 1012 NP Amsterdam, Netherlands
3. Let’s eat: Venus & Adonis
A blog post without a foodie recommendation? What a sad little life, Jane. All the exploring made us hungry, and we found this place by perfect accident, and oh my, am I glad we did. I’d like to highlight that you enter through a curtain for added dramatic effect… a great start. The bar gives understated glamour, the barmen can make a mean cocktail, and the food is absolutely banging. As Julia Fox would say, an “uncut gem”.
Travel tip: Order the ribs to share; they’re insanely tasty but absolutely huge I was totally defeated halfway through. Also, grab a seat in the window if you’re dining in a duo for the ultimate people-watching possibilities. Book here: https://www.venusenadonis.nl/en/home-english/
4. An aesthetic, artistic adventure
My absolute favourite. Moco Museum is an independent museum dedicated to modern and contemporary art, from Jeff Koons to Damien Hirst, Yayoi Kusama to Banksy and an entire floor dedicated to immersive art; there’s something to suit every taste. Did I spend most of the time immersed in the light installations of the lower ground floor? Ofc.
Travel tip: tickets are between 15-20. You can buy on the door but I would recommend booking online as it gets busy, especially at weekends.
5. Zevenlandenhuizen – House, House, Baby
A one-of-a-kind architectural extravaganza located in Vondelpark. I’ll be honest we headed here towards the end of our first day in Amsterdam, tracking 30k steps, roughly 5 hours of sleep, an excited Han and a Sarah who would have happily thrown excited Han in a nearby canal. But it was worth it, in my opinion. How often do you see a row of seven houses showing the architectural differences between 7 different European countries? Did my inner geek just slip out, potentially?
But ya. Beautiful architecture situated in a less touristy part of Amsterdam. Also spied a few cute bars and restaurants en route specifically: George Loves Martini. If anyone’s visited, let me know what you think.
Travel tip: The names of the countries are listed above each door, so you can easily spot the different countries.
6. Don’t forget to look up: Beurspassage
An Instagrammers dream and the most incredible painted archway. If you’re planning to shop in Amsterdam, cast an eye upward between the bustling shopping corridors of Damrak and Nieuwendijk. An underwater world inspired by the city’s canals created by a trio of dutch artists featuring anchors, fish, clogs and a bicycle (obvs). Plus, the chandeliers are a whole mood.
Travel tip: Beurspassage is located beside Primark, so if you run out of hair ties, you can combine some culture with some everyday essentials. You’re welcome.
Some other unusual places to visit in Amsterdam that are on my to-do list for next time:
- Botanical gardens
- Oldest historical library in Amsterdam
- Volkshotel – free hottubs on Sunday
- Photo booths
I hope these 6 unusual places to visit in Amsterdam have been useful. Also, remember the dream couple I was seated next to on the flight on the way to Amsterdam? Are we all still here for an update? I feel like we are.
Luckily I escaped a return flight seated next to the duo that cannot be named, but we heard rather than saw them leaving the airport once we’d landed at Stansted on our return journey. Having a blazing row, bags were thrown. It really was the pièce de résistance of an excellent trip. If I’ve missed any of your fave places in Amsterdam, feel free to pop them in the comments xo
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