Unique Things to do in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a typical entertainment city full of endless things to do, restaurants to visit and museums to explore but the Dutch capital also has a myriad of fun things you can only do in Amsterdam.

And the best part is that not only are they extremely fun but some are also typical Dutch like taking a boat ride along the many canals of the city, buying food from a slot on the wall, explore around at the world’s most bike-friendly city and my favourite, spending an evening at a cool beach-bar located at an old port.

Here are reasons why you would love it too.

1. CANAL CRUISES

Cruises are a great way to explore the city from a different perspective while also exploring Dutch cuisine with authentic drinks and course meals. The cruises are available both during the day and night. Personally, I enjoy the night cruises much more because of the romantic atmosphere and if you are with a group of friends, its the perfect pre drinks activity before hitting the bars and clubs of the city.

If I were to name all of the cruises it would take longer than a cruise ride itself, which lasts minimum 2.5 hours, so instead here are all my favourites and most enjoyable.

– Eating cruises: How many Dutch pancakes (salty and sweet) can you eat in 75 minutes? The Pannenkoekenboot is an old Dutch themed ship will take you along the IJ river while you can try all the classic Dutch pancakes with sausages, cheeses, fruits and many other flavours.

Price: Adult €17.50 Child (3 to 11) €12.50 Duration: 75 minutes Departures: NDSM port, get there by taking the free ferry from the north exit of the central station.

Romantic cruises: Take date night to the next level with a four-course dinner cruise along the beautiful canals with delicious Dutch dishes, wine and dessert. If you prefer a lighter dinner, there is also the cheese and wine cruise under candlelight. During the day there are also romantic ways to explore the canals with a pedal boat for just 10 euros.

Price: Adult- €115 Under 17- €93 Child- €69 Duration: 4 hours Departures: Tues – Sat at 10.30AM

Cultural cruises: Eating Europe has a tremendous cultural tour along the Jordaan neighbourhood which includes a guided walk amongst historical sights, tastings along the way at authentic Dutch places and an hour-long private boat trip. The perfect cruise for history and food lovers.


Drinking cruises: All you can drink cruise along the Unesco canals or Old city for just 15 euros from Boat Amsterdam.

If you are looking to try local beers, check out the cruise by Taproom, a local beer bar that provides four deliciously local drafted beers during the cruise along with pizzas, burgers, bitterballen (Dutch fried meatballs) and other delicacies. As you cruise around the city, the staff not only gives you a guide of the city but also of the history of the beers.

Price: 12 per person Location: Nieuwe Vijzelstraat 1 Departures: Mon – Thurs 15.00 to 01.00

Fri – Sat 12:00 to 3.00 Sun 12.00 01.00

Hire your own boat: You can also plan your own canal cruise by hiring a boat with a driver or reserve a private tour such as Café Complex‘s breakfast cruise which includes unlimited coffee, tea and water during your ride along the canals. This is perfect for big groups and you get to pick the route of the cruise as well!

Price: €25.75 per person

2. EAT, EAT AND EAT SOME MORE!

Amsterdam is considered to be one of the ultimate foodie destinations in the world due to its large variety of international cuisines. There are restaurants, cafes, bars and food stands literally on every street.

The crazy thing about this city is that as soon as you get out of a restaurant after having a delicious meal, you’ll pass by so many bakeries and sweet shops full of desserts with Nutella, such as waffles, pancakes, cupcakes, muffins and anything else you could possibly dream of trying.

3. BIKE AROUND

With 16,500,000 cyclists in the country, the Netherlands couldn’t be a better place to bike. All cities including Amsterdam, are entirely bike-friendly with red biking lanes, parking spaces everywhere and easy-to-learn rules that make biking the best form of transportation.

There are many rental companies, but the one I’ve heard the best reviews from is YourCityBike, where you can rent city, geared, dirt and double bikes for a couple of hours and days.

4. SPEND A DAY AT NDSM

After five years of visiting Amsterdam, I have just recently discovered this impressive beachy warehouse port just behind the central station. As a tourist, I was not aware that you can take a FREE ferry ride from the north exit of Centraal Station to the former shipyard that is today an alternative area with great cafés where you can sit outside on the sand and enjoy the summer days. When I was there, I visited the Pllek cafe which had a great atmosphere with an incredible view of the city and even better drinks. Throughout the year, Pllek also hosts many events such as international film screenings, art exhibitions, mini-festivals and much more which I am super excited to check out when I revisit this beautiful city.

Where to eat in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a city with a large variety of cuisines and restaurants for every kind of mood. Here is a list of delicious and unique restaurants you must try when you are in the Dutch capital.

1. FOR THE MEAT LOVERSCANNIBALE ROYALE

I tried this place for the first time last week and I instantly fell in love with it. The burgers are big, rich in ingredients and accompanied by equally delicious fries. This rustic restaurant is located in one of the small streets of the city centre- in an area not commonly visited by tourists but very popular amongst the locals.
Their pint cocktails to share are also excellent, especially the long island ice tea.

Address: Handboogstraat 17 A 1012

Opening: Sunday – Thursday 12.00 – 3.00
Friday – Saturday 12.00 – 4.00

2. SUSHISumo
Sumo is one of my favourite places to have sushi outside of Japan.
Imagine a beautiful restaurant by a canal where you can have all the sushi and warm dishes you can possibly want. It’s truly heaven. As you wait for the food in between rounds, its impossible not to admire the decoration of red and sakura trees.
Above all, this is one of the few Japanese restaurants that I’ve been to with real Japanese green tea and just because of that, I absolutely love it.

Address: Kleine Gartmanplantsoen 17
Opening times: Monday – Saturday 12.00 – 22.30 Sunday 12.00 – 22.00 Reservations & prices

Mackerel, sea bass, salmon flambé and eel.

3. PICTURE PERFECTMaMa Kelly
MaMa Kelly is every girly girl’s dream. The restaurant is entirely decorated in pink and gold which matches perfectly with their specialities of chicken and lobster.
This fabulous restaurant is a bit far from the city centre, but it is also close to the museum quarter, making it the perfect lunch or dinner spot after a day of museum hopping.

Address: Olympic Stadium 35, 1076

Opening times: Every day from 11.30 to 00.00

CLASSIC DUTCH – In De Waag

If you are looking for the full Dutch experience on a romantic trip, this 1488 restaurant is a great place for a date night.
Located at one of the main squares of the city in Nieuwmarkt, this beautiful and eye-catching castle is solely lit by 300 candles creating an intimate atmosphere amongst the guests. While they experience Dutch cuisine accompanied by a great selection of wines and Heineken beer.

Location: Nieuwmarkt 4, 1012
Opening times: Every day 9.00 – 22.30

5. ARGENTINIAN STEAKHOUSECAFÉ DE KLOS

For some interesting reason, Amsterdam is full of Argentinian restaurants but these steakhouses are not your usual ones. Many of them are specialised in ribs, so much so that you can get unlimited amounts of it! These juicy dishes are served with steamed vegetables, potatoes and the classic Dutch sauce, mayonnaise. The first set of ribs come naturally to your table and as you digest it, waiters walk around with mountains of even more ribs.

Address: Kerkstraat 41-43, 1017

Opening hours: Monday – Sunday 16.00 to 23.30

BONUS: FEBO FOOD STAND
A trip to Amsterdam wouldn’t be complete without a snack stop by a FEBO stand. Where you can grab your own burger or frikandel at any time of the day or night by simply adding a couple of coins to a slot on the wall, and grabbing your food. These stands are all over the city, so if you find yourself needing a late-night snack after a long night of clubbing, this is your place.