So here you are in Amsterdam and you are bored. Maybe it’s because you are not aware of the things you can do in this city. Most of the guides share very popular spots and to find some cool hidden spots and great places you need some time. Today I would like to share with you some less popular things to do and my favorites. Let’s give it a try! I hope I will give you some inspiration and you will change your view of this city.
I get that some people love Amsterdam, some people may hate it, but definitely it isn’t a city where you get bored. Boring is probably the last word I would describe this city.
How Not to Get Bored in Amsterdam
The First and Most Important Rule!
Be open-minded for new experiences. Everyone speaks English and people are happy when you talk to them. Sharing a good time with others is one of the best experiences we have in our lives, so let’s meet some new friends.
What Are you Looking for in a Big City?
Maybe you are just a person that likes nature or something totally different like the medieval places. If you like nature you can visit some national parks. I recommend you a Kennemerland National Park. There are wild horses, bison, and dunes. You can occasionally spot a fox. That’s actually a pretty cool trekking spot. If you like medieval views you should go to Haarlem, a beautiful city only 20 minutes from Amsterdam.
Seasonal Things to Do
Surely there are some seasonal things that to do such as Ice Skating, which is so cool. That’s why I will share with you the most universal ones. Here you can find a complete list with things to do in Amsterdam.
Just walk around
Have you been to 9 streets of Jordaan in the evening? If not, then you didn’t do a good job researching things to do in Amsterdam. It’s my favorite area in the city and I love to go there. It’s also the most romantic thing possibly you can do in Amsterdam. If you are a couple visiting the Netherlands you must go there in the night time.
IjHallen is the biggest flea market in Europe. You can find here some cool stuff. There are surely some people who try to flip things and make some money and they are aware of prices. But there are also plenty of regular people. Anyone can rent a stand for 35 euros a day and sell whatever. Often after years of collecting different stuff people go to IjHallen and they try to sell everything at once, just because they don’t use it anymore. Here you can find some more info on Ij Hallen. The entrance costs 5 euros.
Friday Night Skate
That’s a cool skating event I used to attend every Friday night. Every Friday about 30 – 40 people meet and they skate around Amsterdam. Everyone is welcome and this event is free. After skating people often go for a beer. You can find a video I recorded during one of these events. They only cancel the event if the weather is bad or on some national holidays. On this website, they say if this week skating takes place or not.
Among all the parks in Amsterdam, I recommend Vondelpark, Sarphatipark, and Oosterpark. Rent some skates and go for a ride through parks in Amsterdam. Vondelpark is the biggest and the busiest park in the city. It’s the best place for running. If you want to go out for a walk with your dog then you should go to Sarphatipark. I almost forgot about Amstelpark, it’s my favorite park and there is a little zoo, so it’s a great place to visit with kids.
Opera, Irish music or Jazz. Daily there are multiple different live music events in Amsterdam. Here is my complete guide to the best places for live music. In Irish bar The Mulligans they have live music 4 times a week. There is also another music bar I can recommend – it’s called Waterhole.
Coffee in a Canal Ring
I run some online businesses so I often take my laptop to cafe and I work. One of the most relaxing things for me is to drink a coffee in one of Canal Belt cafes and stare at people ;p I especially like cafe Back to Black, but it’s not the only cool cafe in this area. Just walk around and find Your special spot!
Rent a Bike
Every tourist guide says that, and that’s basically what you should do. There is plenty to see from a bike perspective. You can get anywhere on your bike. I would tell you to cycle along the Amstel River. I cycle daily around 20 km and that’s not much because the Netherlands is flat and it’s easy to cycle. Only when it’s windy cycling can be a pain in the ass.
In this section, you can find our favorite bars in Amsterdam. Cheap bars, Irish bars or bars in the red-light district! When it comes to my favorite bar to chill it is an Irish bar The Mulligans. They serve a Guinness and that’s already a good reason to go there;) if I go out with friends we crawl from one bar/club to another. We start on Rembrandtplein or Leidseplein.
I mention Mezrab so many times they should pay me for marketing. No, just kidding. I mention Mezrab so often because it’s one of my favorite spots in the city. They organize storytelling, comedy, standup, music nights. Every night of the week there is something happening in Mezrab. I love the idea of this hippie place. It feels like home, people working on the bar don’t get paid and prices are kept low. You can always meet there some regulars but every time there is someone new. If you don’t know what to do, go to Mezrab! And bring some coins so you can donate if you enjoy your evening.
Hardstyle Festivals are my thing. A few days ago I was on Qlimax, one of the best Q-dance festivals in the Netherlands. Another amazing festival is Defqon1. The Netherlands is the best place in the world for festival junkies! They can be quite pricey but the experience is unforgettable! Here you can check upcoming festivals in the Netherlands. Below is a video of my friend and me on Defqon1.
It’s a cafe where you can enjoy a coffee in a company of 8 cats. They serve great cakes. Visit their site and plan your visit. It’s better to call and let them know you are coming. This case is quite small and only a certain number of people can come in at once.
Free Walking Tour
I like free walking tours. When I travel I always join these tours, because they are of the highest quality and also you can meet some cool people. These tours are the best because they are donation-based, so guides do their best to entertain you. At the end of the tour, you can donate or not, but I’ve never been on the tour that was bad enough so I didn’t donate. Here you can read some more about free walking tours!
Try International Bites
There are over 180 different nationalities in Amsterdam and you can try here many different cuisines. Dutch food isn’t anyone’s favorite but there are plenty of great international restaurants. Here Micaela shares with you some great affordable spots.
De Ceuvel Café
A truly hippie place, great for a date, it’s located along the canal. They have a vegetarian menu. They organize recycling workshops, festivals, fermentation workshops. In the evenings there are concerts, film screenings, and parties. Definitely worth visiting.
If you don’t like Amsterdam you may want to visit other Dutch cities. Haarlem is a beautiful medieval town, only 20 minutes from Amsterdam. I’ve been living there for 5 years. Here you can find some cool stuff to do in Haarlem.
Meetup is one of my favorite ways of spending time anywhere in the world. On this website/app you find local people organizing events in their cities. You can search for Friday bites and drinks, running together, yoga, Bootcamp. There is 1 meetup I can recommend to you. It’s called International Travellers Meetup in Bar Jones. It takes place on Saturday in Bar Jones. Here you can find it.
If you didn’t find anything interesting for you and you are still bored.. yeah.. you know, not everyone has the same excellent taste 😉