Unique things to do on a visit to Amsterdam Netherlands 

My Top 10 in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the cool place to go, think hip restaurants and lounges, and Amsterdam embodies it.  There’s more art and good food there than you can imagine. From the flower markets, and architecture, to the picturesque canals, this is one city you’ll want your camera for!   

Here are the 10 best things to do while in Amsterdam:

De 9 Straatjes (The 9 Streets)

Eat weird street food 

Just do it, it’s good, I like the crepe/pancake things called Pannenkoeken, but the seafood street food is really good too. Outside Asia and renaissance festivals, this is a street food paradise. The fashion and shopping here are incredible too. Enjoy!

The hidden café in a church- De Koffieschenkerij

Well, the café isn’t hidden, but a small room to relax and listen to vinyl records there is hidden. No matter what the weather is there’s an awesome spot to enjoy your tasty beverage and pastry. There’s a lovely patio, the indoor space where Rembrandt married his wife or the chill attic room. Visit the Oude Kirche where this lovely spot is located inside.

Oude Kirche– They’ll probably have a cool art installation

Not only do they have cool art installations in this amazing cathedral, but it’s also the oldest building in Amsterdam, with construction remnants that date back to the 13th century. It is a museum and a place of worship, and there’s a café. A veritable one-stop shop for art, religion, history, and pastries! If you are only in Amsterdam for a day, this should be on your list for one of your stops. 

The Our Lord in the Attic Catholic church- Ons Lieve Heer op Solder

The church of freedom, found in an attic in an ancient canal home, this church is a symbol of freedom of belief and conscience. It shows how religion was dealt with in the 17th century, a place where you can hear the stories of workers and priests, and their lives after the Protestants took over in 1578. It takes about an hour to do a tour here, maybe a little longer if you read everything. We did the audio tour and were there for about 90min.

Mama Kelly – Make a reservation early and ask to sit in the main room.

Pink isn’t just a color, it’s an attitude, as Mama Kelly wants you to remember. Located next to the Olympic Stadium, this all-pink restaurant and bar is a monochromatic interior design dream. Go for tea, brunch, or dinner, this Amsterdam gem is a pure delight. 

Do a night canal tour on the Unesco world heritage canal ring of Amsterdam

With very cool lights that light up the thousands of years old architecture, with lit-up art installations, this is a great evening option to leave your daytime free for other things. Tours run for about an hour starting around 5 pm to 9 pm depending on the time of year.

Take a Ferry Ride, see some urban art, and chill at an organic restaurant and bar

Take a ferry from Pontsteiger station across the water to Distelweg and go to the Straat Museum, a museum of art and graffiti, it’s so well done, it’ll blow your socks off, and then head to Pllek, the largest and greenest restaurant in Amsterdam, and the perfect pairing to relax and discuss your Straat museum visit. Make reservations in advance. I recommend at least part of your journey is after sunset, it’s an awesome sight to see the city lights reflected on the harbor. 

Ferry Information

Ferry Tickets

See a drag show in the red light district, then dance the night away

Amstel 54 is a personal fave, but there are plenty of drag bars to choose from and they’re all a good time. Take a stroll afterward and find a dance club to dance the night away. I had a blast at ClubNI, but there are so many things to do in this night district from sports bars, to strip clubs, and karaoke.

Take a day trip to Rotterdam and do a self-guided Architectural tour

Rotterdam is a mere 40-minute train ride away from Amsterdam and is famous for its modern architecture, such as the cube houses- a personal favorite, the market hall, the Erasmus bridge, and many more. A walking tour takes between 2-4 hours depending on how many sites you’d like to visit, I recommend walking and stopping for meals and beverages between locations and making a day of it. Grab a street coffee and end with dinner, then head back to Amsterdam.

If I only had one day to see Amsterdam, here’s my recommendation:

A 1-day itinerary of Amsterdam Netherlands

9 am De Koffieschenkerij for a coffee and pastry

10 am Oude Kerk Museum

11 am Our Lord in the Attic Museum- Ons Lieve Heer op Solder

12:30 De 9 Straatjes for street food lunch and light shopping

2 pm choose an art museum of your choice (or 2 if they’re small)

7 pm

Option 1: Canal cruise and then a late dinner at 9 pm at Mama Kelly’s,(stop here for a family-friendly evening, keep going for a wild adventure!) a drag show, and dancing the night away in the red light district.

7 pm

Option 2: Ferry over to Distelweg for dinner at Pllek and then bar hop around the area for a more chill evening with great views of the harbor.