Hidden Attractions And Unusual Things To Do In Amsterdam

  • UPDATED May 29, 2018

Yes, yes we know you’ve heard and seen it all! Probably by now, you can stand and recite all there is to about Amsterdam’s scenic canals, promiscuous RLD, the Ganja and succulent beers like a small kid recites all his nursery rhymes! But enough of that old crap. Let’s leave the ‘been there, done that’ portions aside and go on an uber-exciting ride that will take us through some of the best-hidden things to do in Amsterdam that are sure to get you start wondering and wandering all over again!

1. Back To The ‘Books’!

Public Library in Amsterdam - ImageImage Source: Wikimedia Commons

Before pressing the X button on your browser, just ‘read’ me out once. The Public Library in Amsterdam is not your usual rugged, dusty chamber filled with people poring over yellowed pages, shushing even the slightest sound. Instead, what you’ll get here is a state-of-the-art facility bustling with young, energetic folks. A large café is located inside the library and even the furnishing done looks as if straight out of a sci-fi flick. This is definitely one of the hidden gems to visit in Amsterdam!

2. Diamonds Are Forever!

I really don’t think I need to sell this one much! Just imagine various shiny, glittering stones set into equally exquisite ornaments or even lying all alone in the display cases. Opened in 2007, there are various such cut diamonds that are on display, in the Diamond Museum. Apart from these exhibitions, visitors can also interact with the specialized workers who give shape and beauty to mere stones and transform them into invaluable masterpieces.

3. The Invisible Pianist?

Pianola Museum - ImageImage Source: Sinaya Wolfert/www.pf.nl

Not many know about this hidden Amsterdam tourist attraction, but the Pianola Museum is definitely worth checking out once on your trip here! It has an exhaustive collection of automatic pianos and other musical instruments with over 30,000 musical rolls. Almost all of these musical scrolls can be played on the instruments present in the museum. Imagine sitting in the audience, listening to masterpieces created by the likes of Prokofiev and Debussy on the piano, but being played by nobody! Creepy and beautiful at the same time indeed!

4. Museum Of Horrors!

Though chances are that you might have heard about this museum before, I’ll still go for it, as this definitely is one of the creepiest, strangest and most horrifying museums you will ever get to visit! The Torture Museum is one of those places which showcases the creative yet sadistic and horrendous powers of human imagination. All the exhibits were actually used on living people in the past, sometimes to extract information, spread terror among the masses, or even for the pleasure of a powerful noble! Though not exactly hidden, it does qualify as one unusual thing to do in Amsterdam. Just remember to carry some sickness bags, in case things get a little too revolting for you!

5. On The Docks!

Pllek Restaurant - ImageImage Source: Pllek.nl

The Dutch are big on sustainable energy and development, and this attribute is evident from their daily habits and lifestyle. People hardly own or use cars, preferring bicycles or public transport instead. One great example of their resourcefulness is the Pllek restaurant, which is uniquely located in a shipping yard. The walls are made up of shipping containers and all the furniture too is recycled. To take it up a level higher, even the food served here is completely organic! The restaurant provides breathtaking sights of the canal and is the perfect place to go on a special date.

6. Some Underwater Jazz?

Imagine sipping your favorite cocktail while listening to classy jazz music, and all of this deep below the freezing waters of the canal! The Torensluis is the widest bridge in Amsterdam and famous not only for its size, but also because of the prison that is located right under the bridge. This 17th-century prison underwent extensive renovations and has been remodelled to host events and exhibitions now. The Torensluis is easily one of the best-hidden places to visit in Amsterdam!

7. Netherlands’ Own Forbidden City!

Buddhist temple - ImageImage Source: Wikimedia Commons

This might surprise even the sternest critics who’ve been reading this article and tch-tching all along! As you are walking by traditional Dutch houses, suddenly an authentic Buddhist temple pops up in between and instantly transports you back to Shanghai! The He-Hua Temple was inaugurated by Her Majesty Beatrix, the Queen of Netherlands herself in the year 2000. Yet you will be surprised by how a very few numbers of people know about it. The interiors are as beautiful and serene as the exterior of the temple and bring a sense of calmness and spirituality to anyone who comes here. Visiting the temple has to be one of the best-hidden things to do in Amsterdam indeed!

So did any of these activities and attractions make you take a second look? Or better yet, are you planning a trip to Amsterdam already? We surely hope so! Do tell us if you know of some other unusual things to do in Amsterdam we might have missed out on by writing in the comments section below!