From local craft beer and unconventional cafes to world-class museums, we can see that Amsterdam is a top travel destination in Europe! Its charming canals, bike culture, and eccentric museums won’t leave indifferent even the most demanding tourists. But unfortunately, the COVID pandemic changed the world we live in and now, we can’t travel to all countries. The borders of the Netherlands remain open but the government strongly advises not to travel unless it is necessary. On top of that, self-quarantine for 10 days on your arrival is recommended. Travellers also need to provide a negative COVID test.
The pandemic changed our world and our travel behaviours but we hope that very soon things will straighten out and we all will have a chance to travel. Amsterdam is a fantastic city and you need to spend at least 4 days here to see all its city attractions. It would be great if you also visit the Hague, Rotterdam, and Maastricht. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is in close proximity to the city centre. So if you have your Amsterdam airport taxi booking, you can quickly get to any destination in Amsterdam with comfort.
In this post, we’ll take a closer look at the top 5 secret spots in Amsterdam. So get comfortable, have a look, read more about beautiful places in Amsterdam, and, finally, start planning your trip.
Shop in NieuweSpiegelstraat
This street is located not far from the Rijksmuseum. Here, you can find a wide array of independent shops and boutiques where you can buy a variety of unique things. Some tourists say that it’s a heaven for antique lovers. For three centuries, it was home to all kinds of stores. Here, you can find unique tulip vases, cool vintage things, authentic Delft blue titles, etc.
For instance, Thom and Lenny Nelis Antiques offer for sale a fantastic collection of dissection kits, old medical instruments, apothecary jars, and terrible dental tools. StaetshuysAntiquairs sell telescopes, globes, planetariums, sextants, and a variety of other scientific instruments. If you are searching for old and unique things, you have to add this location to your route!
Visit a Historic Garden in Amsterdam
You probably know that flowers are an integral part of daily life in the Netherlands. Some tourists say that it’s the cut-flower capital of the world. If you are searching for a green respite from city life, you have to visit HortusBotanicus. The garden is located in the city centre. It was founded in 1638; today, it’s one of the oldest gardens in the world that cultivates a wide array of flowers and plants. Here, you can enjoy the greenery and exotic trees that are divided into small sections. On average, you need an hour or two to explore the garden. So you can combine it with breakfast or lunch in the area.
Visit De Waag – the Oldest Non-Religious Building in Amsterdam
Today, it’s a cosy restaurant located in the centre of the square that overlooks a picturesque channel. Many years ago, De Waag was a part of the historic city walls. Its history goes back to the 15th century. It was used as a museum, guildhall, anatomical theatre, and fire station.
This restaurant is popular among tourists. Besides, the locals also like it. Therefore, you have to book a table beforehand if you want to visit De Waag.
Drink Beer in In‘tAepjen
It’s an old Dutch bar where sailors traded monkeys in exchange for drinks. In’tAepjen is located on the fringes of the Red Light District, not far from Amsterdam Central Station. If you like old buildings that remind you of the past, you should definitely visit this bar as it is the oldest one in Amsterdam.
It was founded in 1519 and the first name was “In the Monkeys”. Gradually, this bar became popular and regular customers started complaining about the fleas. After that, the monkeys were given to Gerard Westerman, a regular customer of this bar. He cared about them and kept them in a huge garden in the east part of the city.
Today, it’s an old tavern, decorated with monkeys, vintage posters, carved statues, and old oil portraits. Of course, you can’t pay for your drinks with monkeys today, but this tavern is surely worth seeing! It reminds of the old times!
The House with the Graffiti
Located on the fringes of the Amstel Canal, this old building won’t leave you unfazed. A terrible story stands behind this building. At first glance, it’s an old house with a grey facade. When you look closer, you’ll see that it is marked with terrible reddish-brown symbols. They say that these symbols were painted by a mad ambassador who lived here.
Today, this house is a UNESCO World Heritage site, that was constructed in the 1670s for a businessman Gijsbert Dumber. Later this house belonged to Ambassador Van Beuningen. He was a prominent politician who suffered from bipolar disorder in his final years. At the height of his disease, the man started painting terrible Kabbalistic signs on the facade of his house. It was rumoured that he used his blood instead of colours.
We’ve just reviewed Amsterdam hidden gems and non-touristy things to do in this city. All these locations are for tourists who want to retreat from a traditional route and visit cheesy places. However, you need to plan your trip and create a route in advance. Book your air tickets, a hotel room, and an airport transfer beforehand. In this case, you can be sure that someone will meet you at Amsterdam Airport and you don’t have to use public transport or catch a local taxi driver yourself. You’ll get from point A to point B in a comfortable taxi instead.
Overall, Amsterdam is a fantastic city that will be best remembered for its old taverns, fantastic canals, and old historical buildings. Once visited, you’ll surely come back to Amsterdam again!