Amsterdam is a city that’s well-geared up for visitors. It would be easy to stick to the usual tourist trail but if you want to experience the best of the city we’d suggest visiting some of these hidden gems in Amsterdam!
1. A war-time bunker that hosts underground events
Where? Vondelpark 8A, 1071 AA
Why go? Because what could feel more hidden than an actual Cold War bunker?!
Vondelbunker is a real hidden gem in Amsterdam, nestled under a bridge in one of the city ’s most-loved green spaces – Vondelpark. The intriguing space plays host to a number of counterculture events and activities. Pay a visit here and you could find yourself at an exhibition, concert, movie screening – or even dinner! For fans of craft beer and brewing, you’ll be interested to hear about Vondelbunker’s very own microbrewery, aptly named Bunkerbier. History buffs will relish the fact that they’re hanging out in an actual Cold War bomb shelter. There’s more where that came from too, with many others scattered around the city to go searching for!
2. A secret island in IJmeer lake
Where? Ijmeer Lake
Why go? For a real adventure out of the city – without going far at all!
If Vondelbunker sounds good to you, then wait until you hear about Pampus Eiland! Another fascinating war-time structure, built as part of the Defense Line of Amsterdam in the late 19th century, this fortress island sits in the IJmeer, a large lake at the mouth of the River IJ. The island can be accessed by ferry from Amsterdam, making it a fun and different way to escape the city for a day! A visit to the island is interesting in of itself, but if you’re looking for a real experience then check out some of the events that they run there throughout the year such as Winterlicht, Zomerlicht and Halloween on Pampus, where creatures of the night rule!
Caught in the Dutch rain? We’ve got you covered? Here’s the best things to do in Amsterdam when the weather isn’t so great …
3. A lovely green space in Amsterdam Noord
Where? Schellingwouderdijk 109, 1023 NA
Why go? For some fresh air away from the crowds
If you’re staying with us at ClinkNOORD then we thoroughly recommend exploring our local neighbourhood – Amsterdam Noord (Noord means ‘North!) Just a short ferry ride from the back of Centraal Station, it’s an incredibly easy journey to the city centre, but the Noord area is still little explored by most tourists. One of our favourite spaces in this part of the city (and a real hidden gem in Amsterdam!) is a newly formed park called Schellingwouderpark. Less crowded than Vondelpark, it’s a great place to go for a stroll, take a picnic or go swimming in the summer.
4. A man-made beach right in the city
Where? Strand Blijburg
Why go? For a beachy day without leaving the city
Who knew that you could visit the beach in Amsterdam? Bliijburg Aan Zee is little known to visitors coming to the city, but well worth a trip if you’re looking for some fresh air or a beachy day out. Sitting on an artificial peninsula that juts out into IJmeer lake, there’s plenty going on here to keep you entertained. With clear water, white sand and a very nice restaurant which is open all day for drinks and food a trip to Bliijburg Aan Zee is truly a hidden gem in Amsterdam!
5. A public bar in one of the city’s most well-known Squats
Where? Spuistraat 216, 1012 VT
Why go?For cheap beer, great music and a look into life in one of Amsterdam’s squats
The Vrankrijk building dates from 1875 and the original squat from the 1980’s. If you’re looking for a real hidden gem in Amsterdam, this is one of them! Prior to its use as a squat, it had been used as a printing office, carpenter’s studio and a document-forging base for the Resistance! A visit to Vrankrijk is a real insight into the Queer-Alt scene in Amsterdam and a whole lot of fun. Drinks are amazingly cheap for central Amsterdam and there are frequent queer nights and plenty of live music.
6. A little known distillery and pump house in the middle of Flevopark
Where? Flevopark 13a, 1095 KE
Why go?For a relaxed and charming afternoon spent in nature
Tucked away in a leafy green corner of Flevopark in Amsterdam Oost is a real hidden gem of Amsterdam that’s an ideal spot to visit in the spring and summer. ‘t Nieuwe Diep is a distillery and bar housed in a charming old pump house that sits on the edge of a pond. Here, you can sample jenevers, enjoy a few beers and snacks and take in tranquil views of trees and water. A visit here and you might even forget you’re in Amsterdam at all!
7. A quaint city farm behind the Westerpark
Where? Spaarndammerdijk 319, 1014 AA
Why go? To experience a taste of the good life!
Buurtboerderij Ons Genoegen translates as “Neighborhood Farm Our Pleasure,” and it’s not hard to see why. This green oasis is a real escape from the hustle and bustle of the Amsterdam. Although you’re technically in the city, a visit here feels like a respite. The Farm managed to save the 19th century fields that the encroaching train tracks had threatened to destroy. From food festivals to live music and record-spinning sessions, there’s always plenty going on. You can even visit the weeggeefwinkel (giveaway store) where you can pick up bits and bobs for the low price of absolutely nothing. One man’s trash is another one’s treasure, as they say!