20 fun and unique things to do in Amsterdam

Looking for exciting things to do in Amsterdam? From beer to boats and even 5D flights, these experiences will keep you entertained.

Amsterdam is such an interesting and unique place, with something to see at every turn. But while the city’s incredible museums and historic landmarks are its biggest draws, they don’t exactly scream “fun.” Fear not. This list of fun things to do in Amsterdam provides 20 exciting alternatives from the art galleries and military history that to show you another side of what multi-faceted city has to offer.

From exploring the Red Light District to getting lost in the colorful tulip fields at Keukenhof Gardens in spring, there's no shortage of unique things to do in Amsterdam. Food lovers can indulge in local favorites like stroopwafels and bitterballen, and discover new flavors on the city’s diverse food scene. Curious and fun-loving explorers can make like the Amsterdammers and bike through quaint neighborhoods or find a canal boat cruise that offers stunning views with a side of booze. And there are plenty for couples and families to do too. Let’s explore Amsterdam’s fun side with these 20 experiences.

Fun things to do in Amsterdam as a couple

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1. Cruise through the canals of Amsterdam

There are many fun ways to explore Amsterdam’s iconic canals, from daytime party boats to private romantic cruises at night. You can take in the city's historical, cultural, and most famous landmarks in whatever way is fun for you.

Highlights:

Many cruises include drinks and complimentary snacks. It’s up to you whether you want to dance to thumping music or cozy up under a blanket and listen to tales of the city.

Address and opening hours:

Herengracht 124, 1015 BT Amsterdam, Netherlands. Variable start times.

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2. Try a typical Dutch lunch

Check off a few of the most popular spots from your must-see list in Amsterdam and get a taste of the local cuisine.

Highlights:

Visit historical landmarks like the Jewish Quarter, Flower Market, Red Light District, and more before finishing your walking tour with a classic Dutch lunch that includes cheese, pancakes, and other Dutch delicacies. Culture, food, and fun: what more could you want?

Address and opening hours:

Binnenstad, 1012 JS Amsterdam, Netherlands. Open Monday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-1:30 PM and 2:00 PM-5:30 PM.

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3. See the famous tulips on a full-day trip to Keukenhof

Keukenhof Tulip Garden and Giethoorn are two attractions in the Netherlands that best showcase the country's natural beauty. With the help of a local guide, you and someone special can tour the garden's pathways, admire the colors, and learn more about Holland's national flower.

Highlights:

On this guided boat and walking tour of the charming town of Giethoorn, you can pair your garden adventure with a visit to one of Holland's most beautiful destinations for a bit of romance.

Address and opening hours:

Stationsplein 49, 1012 AB Amsterdam, Netherlands. Open Monday-Sunday between March 20 and May 9, 8:30 AM-6:00 PM .

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4. Let your senses guide you during a unique dining experience

You haven't done it all in Amsterdam until you've dined in the dark. Enjoy a three-course meal and awaken your senses as you experience your food in a whole new way.

Highlights:

Your dinner in the dark is guided by visually impaired and blind servers who are specially trained to serve you and a guest at your private table.

Address and opening hours:

Amsteldijk 55, 1074 HX, Amsterdam. Variable start times.

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5. Take a wintry walk through Amsterdam

Visiting in winter? Bundle up and experience the magic of Amsterdam on a guided walking tour of historical and popular locales, including the Jordaan District, the Nine Streets, and the Historical City Center.

Highlights:

Warm up on a guided winter walk with a complimentary Christmas treat and a hot cup of mulled wine or hot chocolate. You'll even receive a winter hat to keep you cozy.

Address and opening hours:

Mozes en Aäronstraat, 1012 PC Amsterdam, Netherlands. Open Thursday-Sunday, 1:30 PM-3:30 PM.

Fun things to do in Amsterdam with kids

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6. See the world’s wildlife at the Royal Zoo

Get up close and personal with rare and exotic animals at the ARTIS Amsterdam Royal Zoo. The enriching educational facility emphasizes animal welfare conservation practices while offering immersive experiences that are fun for all ages.

Highlights:

An entry ticket to ARTIS Royal Zoo includes access to the Benelux region's top-rated zoo and the planetarium.

Address and opening hours:

Plantage, 1018 CZ Amsterdam, Netherlands. Open Monday-Sunday, 9:00 AM-6:00 PM.

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7. Get a bird's eye view of the Netherlands

Hop on the attraction that takes visitors on a thrilling journey through the Netherlands. The experience incorporates a combination of film, special effects, and movement to simulate a breathtaking flight over Dutch landscapes and historical landmarks.

Highlights:

The immersive nature of the This is Holland 5D Flight Experience and Canal Cruise means that you'll enjoy the stunning visuals and feel as though you are flying, then cruise on the water. The experience offers an educational aspect by showcasing different geographical locations.

Address and opening hours:

Overhoeksplein, Amsterdam, Netherlands. Open Monday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-6:00 PM.

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8. Tailor your visit to Amsterdam’s biggest museum

Before taking to the city streets, a visit to the Rijksmuseum gives you a great opportunity to learn about Dutch history from the Middle Ages to the present day in one of Europe's oldest and most prestigious museums.

Highlights:

Choose a private tour of the Rijksmuseum and you can ask your guide to show you the most interesting or unusual pieces, making your visit more fun and a break from the usual tour of historical favorites.

Address and opening hours:

Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam, Netherlands. Open Monday-Sunday, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM.

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9. Discover how your body and soul connect at the science center

BODY WORLDS Amsterdam is an extraordinary museum featuring real human bodies that have been preserved through a process known as plastination. The exhibit showcases the intricacies of the human body in ways never before seen.

Highlights:

With a ticket to BODY WORLDS: The Happiness Project, experience an interactive show suitable for both adults and children that explores the influence of happiness on the human body.

Address and opening hours:

Binnenstad, 1012 LM Amsterdam, Netherlands. Open Monday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-9:00 PM.

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10. Tour a museum of the bizarre and unbelievable

For something quirky that the kids will love, a visit to Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum in Amsterdam will keep you scratching your head. Marvel at oddities and curiosities from around the world, from shrunken heads to trinkets made from human bones.

Highlights:

Ripley's Believe It or Not! Museum also houses interactive exhibits that invite you to test your abilities. One of the key highlights is the Infinity Room, an immersive experience that creates an illusion of infinite space using mirrors and LED lights.

Address and opening hours:

Dam 7, 1012 JS Amsterdam, Netherlands. Open Monday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-10:00 PM.

Fun things to do in Amsterdam on your own

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11. Travel back in time to Heineken's inception

This interactive museum offers visitors a unique insight into the world of Heineken beer and its brewing process. Located in the former Heineken brewery, you can explore the history of this iconic beer brand through interactive exhibits, films, and self-guided tours.

Highlights:

The Heineken Experience ends with a complimentary tasting of arguably the world's best-known Pilsner beer.

Address and opening hours:

Amsterdam Oud-Zuid, 1072 AE Amsterdam, Netherlands. Open Sunday-Thursday, 10:30 AM-7:30 PM. Friday-Saturday, 10:30 AM-9:00 PM.

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12. Go see Van Gogh after closing time

At the Van Gogh Museum, you can learn about the artist's life and creative process through an impressive array of exhibits, ranging from early sketches and studies to iconic masterpieces, like “Sunflowers” and “Starry Night.” But one of Amsterdam’s most popular museums comes with huge crowds, which isn’t so fun, so how about visiting after they’re gone with a closing time entry ticket?

Highlights:

Uncover the intriguing stories behind each brushstroke as you explore over 200 paintings, 500 drawings, and more than 700 letters from the artist himself. You’ll even see his final work, completed just three weeks before he died. All without the thousands of daily visitors.

Address and opening hours:

Museumplein 6, 1071 DJ Amsterdam, Netherlands. Open Monday-Sunday, 9:00 AM-6:00 PM.

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13. Navigate the city like the locals

Join a bike tour and discover the exciting neighborhoods and hidden gems of Amsterdam and learn about the city's vibrant culture and rich history along the way. There are plenty of iconic landmarks to see.

Highlights:

No matter what the weather calls for, your fat bike tour guide is prepared for anything, with headsets, helmets, a poncho for the rain, and, of course, a fat tire bike that's safe on all terrain.

Address and opening hours:

Damrak 34, 1012 LK Amsterdam, Netherlands. Open Monday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-12:30 PM and 2:00 PM-4:30 PM.

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14. Ride a part of history to Amstelveen

The 30 Historic Tram in Amsterdam is a beloved and iconic part of the city's transportation system, and riding one is like stepping back in time. Experience a unique way to see the city while preserving its rich history and culture.

Highlights:

With a roundtrip ticket for a ride between Haarlemmermeerstation and Amstelveen, you're in for a blast from the past. To see spots like the Amsterdam forest and Lake Bosbaan, hop on and off as you please.

Address and opening hours:

Amstelveenseweg 264, 1075 XV Amsterdam, Netherlands. Open Sundays only, variable start times.

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15. Get off the beaten path to explore hidden gems with a local

If you want to see the city from a new perspective, let a local take you under their wing. Visit trendy districts and sample the food and drinks from Amsterdam's hip bars and restaurants.

Highlights:

On a walking tour of the city's hot spots, a local guide will show you hidden gems and secret spots not known to most tourists. If you’re tired of the usual recommendations, you’ll find plenty to love on this tour.

Address and opening hours:

Stationsplein 10, 1012 AB Amsterdam, Netherlands. Open Monday-Sunday, variable start times.

Fun things to do in Amsterdam if you love food

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16. Drift along the canals for relaxed sightseeing

Onboard a classic boat, you can cruise the Golden Age Canals of Amsterdam and experience the city's rich history and stunning architecture from a unique perspective. With the help of a local guide, you won't miss a thing.

Highlights:

Choose a standard boat cruise with optional unlimited cheese and wine for the ultimate indulgence on your sightseeing voyage.

Address and opening hours:

Prins Hendrikkade 33A, 1012 TM Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Prinsengracht 267, 1016 GV Amsterdam, Netherlands. Open Monday-Sunday, variable start times and locations.

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17. Master the art of mixology with Genever

Explore the rich history of Genever, a traditional Dutch liquor that was instrumental in the development of gin. You can also experience hands-on interactive exhibits and attend mixology workshops where you can learn to create your own cocktails using premium ingredients and expert techniques.

Highlights:

Once you learn the ropes at House of Bols’ Cocktail and Genever Experience, you'll get to mix two cocktails and sample them.

Address and opening hours:

Paulus Potterstraat 12, 1071 CZ Amsterdam, Netherlands. Open Monday-Sunday, variable start times.

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18. Sample the local flavors of Amsterdam

Combine the best foods with an informative journey through the heart of Amsterdam. Enjoy hand-picked local specialties and vibrant environments for an especially well-rounded experience.

Highlights:

On a private food tour guided by a local, you'll sample 10 different foods and drinks, like bitterballen and stroopwafel: significant treats of Amsterdam.

Address and opening hours:

Van Woustraat 15, 1074 AA Amsterdam, Netherlands. Open Monday-Saturday, variable start times.

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19. Taste your way around Amsterdam’s massive food market

At the Albert Cuyp Market, Amsterdam's most popular food market, you can peruse over 260 diverse stalls offering fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and much more. Because of this, the market attracts locals and tourists seeking an authentic Dutch culture and commerce experience.

Highlights:

With the help of a local foodie guide, experience the Albert Cuyp Market with an intimate group. Get tips and recommendations, and learn about Dutch cuisine and culture.

Address and opening hours:

Ferdinand Bolstraat 65, 1072 LN Amsterdam, Netherlands. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 1:00 PM-3:00 PM.

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20. Sample the best Dutch cheese just outside the city

Embark on an e-bike tour outside of Amsterdam's city limits, where you can leave the hustle and bustle behind. Find yourself at a traditional cheese farm, learn how it's made, and taste the finished product.

Highlights:

A guide will help you navigate the countryside on this e-bike tour and ancient villages before making at least two stops: a functional traditional windmill and the local historical farm that's still in operation making cheese to this day.

Address and opening hours:

Piet Heinkade 25. 1019 BR Amsterdam. Open Monday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-1:00 PM.

FAQs

What are some fun things to do in Amsterdam at night?

Some cool things to do in Amsterdam at night include enjoying a canal cruise while sipping cocktails, visiting the city's renowned Red Light District district, or taking a bike tour through the illuminated streets.

Are there any fun day trips from Amsterdam that I should consider?

One of the most popular day trips is to the charming countryside town of Giethoorn, where you can experience Dutch village life and scenic boat rides through its canals. Another option is to visit Rotterdam, the second largest city in the Netherlands, with modern architecture, lively culture, and excellent museums.

What are some popular festivals or events in Amsterdam?

The most popular annual events include the King's Day celebration, held on April 27th to mark the birthday of King Willem-Alexander, and the Amsterdam Dance Event. This five-day electronic dance music festival attracts thousands of visitors from around the world.

What are some family-friendly fun activities to do in Amsterdam?

Explore the city's famous museums, such as the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum, which have interactive exhibits that kids can enjoy. For outdoor family fun, visit Vondelpark, which features playgrounds, lakeside picnics spots, and bike rentals, or the zoo and botanical gardens at ARTIS.

What are some fun outdoor activities to do in Amsterdam?

You can opt for a pedal boat ride on the canals or enjoy kayaking through the city's spectacular waterways. Additionally, there are outdoor markets like Albert Cuypmarkt and Westergasfabriek where you can buy authentic Dutch souvenirs and locally made products.