Top 10 Undiscovered Secrets of Amsterdam

By Sameer Kapoor on Aug 10, 2016
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There are very few cities in this world that have left such an indelible mark on the face of world tourism in the way Amsterdam has. Known for its highly notorious Red Light District, this city is however much more than just that. Amsterdam has a rich cultural as well as literary legacy that will put many other historic places to shame and will engage you with an effervescent nature. Here is a list of few activities and undiscovered places in Amsterdam that will offer you a different picture than just the entraps of a dazzling city that invites many.

1. Walk down the vintage Jordaan 

image source: Kevin Dooley/flickr 
Jordaan is definitely one of the hidden tourist attractions in Amsterdam whose visit will make you feel as if you have travelled back in time. Wander into the lanes of Jordaan  and you will come across literary quarters, replete with art galleries, antiques shops, courtyard gardens and atmospheric bars and restaurants.

2. Discover the charm of Amsterdam's open spaces

image source: commons.wikimedia 
While nightlife may come across as one of the most exciting things to do in Amsterdam, the city’s public parks and open spaces are equally alluring and ask for a relaxed holiday. Soak in the sunlight, have your meals and take a dip in the refreshing waters that characterize these parks of the city. Some of the most well-known parks in the city are: Vondelpark, Westerpark, Sarphatipark and Rembrandtpark.

3. Enter the lively markets of Amsterdam


image source: Mark Guim/flickr 
Most of Amsterdam’s secrets are available in the city’s bustling markets. From antiques to books, from food to clothes, these markets are suffused with Amsterdam’s charm and culture. Some of the most popular markets of Amsterdam are: Albert Cuypmarket in De Pijp (Mon - Sat), Westerstraat market in the Jordaan (held on Monday mornings), the floating flower market on the Singel (Mon - Sat) and the Waterlooplein flea market (Mon Sat) near the Rembrandt House.

4. Unravel one of Amsterdam’s hidden gems- Noord

image source: Johan Wieland/flickr
Noord might not be counted as the part of glittering Amsterdam city; it still possesses a charm that remains unrivalled.  The most famous part of Noord is NDSM-Werf, a former shipyard that has now given way to Amsterdam Skate Park, galleries, work spaces for artists, several cool restaurants and offices, student houses and spaces for big events such as festivals, concerts and flea markets. Walk through it and you will come to know why it is the best kept secrets of Netherlands. 

Time to visit undiscovered places!

Planning a trip to Amsterdam will be incomplete if you miss these places in your itinerary. Make a good plan and check out what is little known to people.

5. Walk through the secret courtyard in the midst of the bustling city

image source: commons.wikimedia 
The Begijnhof  is the lesser known attractions in Amsterdam that calls for attention and a visit. As you cross this area, it will prove to be a surprising quiet interlude to the hustle and bustle of the city that envelops it. It was earlier home to the Beguines a group of unmarried religious women who chose to live together in a close knit community. And today, you can still see this quaint medieval enclosed court that houses a group of historical buildings arranged around a central green, including the oldest wooden house in Amsterdam.

6. Discover the hidden tunnel under the bar Papeneiland

image source: commons.wikimedia 
There is a hidden tunnel under the famous cafe bar Papeneiland  that remains as one of the undiscovered things about Amsterdam. As for the café, it dates back to the time when Catholicism was illegal and the city's Catholics worshiped in hidden churches.The tunnel from the church under the canal into the bar's basement is still present and you can visit to explore the unexplored Amsterdam. 

7. Look at the house covered in 350-year-old blood graffiti

image source: commons.wikimedia
Amstel 216 is a historic house that remains to be one of the hidden attractions of Amsterdam. It was home to diplomat and six-time Amsterdam mayor Coenraad van Beuningen.Coenraad went crazy due to financial losses and cut his veins to scribble on his house's white exterior walls: his name, the name of his wife, a ship, Kabbalah verses and many other things. According to the locals, the scribbled blood cannot be washed off even till today. 

8. Stop to see an original 18th century herbalists’ shop

Take a time warp and have a look at an 18th century herbalists’ shop near Nieuwmarkt, opened in 1743 by a 21-year-old sailor’s son named Jacob Hooy. This shop belongs to a time when opium was used as a form of relaxant for various illnesses. A look at this shop will unravel original décor, including barrels, wooden drawers and a magnificent set of scales embellished with two entwined serpents sending you into a bygone era.

9. Take a stroll inside an ancient prison under the bridge

image source: commons.wikimedia 
Many of you would have taken a walk over the Torensluis (tower lock) which boasts of being Amsterdam’s widest bridge and also the oldest. However, very few would know that there is an arched entrance to the prison cells covered under the bridge, which is now open to the public and used to host events and exhibitions

10. Have a glance at the small houses set in to the Park Plaza Victoria hotel

If you have been thinking as to what to do in Amsterdam, just take a stroll near the famous Park Plaza Victorian hotel and you will get to see two little houses that date back to 1602 and refused to be a part of the development that took place here. The hotel was thus simply built around it. They may be dwarfed by the hotel but their presence still glares. 
Take a look at all these offbeat sights and unusual places in Amsterdam and rest assured that you will get to see this city in a new light.
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