Canals, Heineken and Red Light District! The top three things that come to mind on the very mention of Amsterdam. Chances are, if you’ve visited the Dutch city, these three have been pretty much the centre of your visit. But there is so much more to Amsterdam than this triangle of attractions. No matter how many times you’ve visited, whether you’re travelling solo or visiting for a wild stag do in Amsterdam, get off the same old beaten track and discover the Dutch Capital like never before.
Here are some less touristy spots in Amsterdam that are often missed out by travellers.
1. Het Twiske Beach
Before you picture a sprawling and expansive sandy shore, Het Twiske is nothing like your imagination. Now, don’t get disappointed, because it is indeed a beautiful natural treasure worth visiting.
A mere 8 kms from the the main city, Het Twiske is a nature reserve and recreation centre. A large water body covers most of the park area. It is this water body that has a deposition of sand on its banks effectively making it appear as a beach.
With cycle friendly tracks running through its length, it makes for a perfect afternoon and early evening destination. Just ride your bike to Het Twiske and enjoy the beauty of this unique beach.
Tucked away comfortably inside Central Amsterdam, the once working bastion is now on of the city’s most up and coming neighborhoods. After years of gentrification, Jordaan is now dotted with several galleries, upscale patio restaurants with streets bustling with melodies of street musicians.
One of the most primary attractions of the neighbourhood is the house of Anne Frank where the victim of Jew genocide spent her time before getting caught and imprisoned. Purchasing tickets in advance is a safe bet.
You can spend your noon brunching in one of the many cafes. The brunch menu in the restaurants around the Westerstraat area is truly appetising. To enjoy the experience, prefer to seat yourself outside and enjoy the bustle of the city.
Add another truly unique experience to your Jordaan itinerary- a visit to Woonboot Museum, the only museum houseboat museum in the world, situated on a canal. This is a must visit solely fo how unique it is.
3. Cultural Reflections at the EYE
Located on the bank of the IJ River, EYE is a cinema house featuring mostly art house films and hosting exhibitions. Apart from offering a cultural richness and serving as a perfect haven for art enthusiasts, it is also a famous food and drink spot owing to the upscale sea facing restaurant offering stunning vistas of the vast expanse of blue, making the culinary experience memorable in every sense.
4. NDSM Island
As you disembark from the ferry and set foot on the island, a rusty sight, one that is artistic in its decay overwhelmingly greets you. But the rust isn’t forever. The NDSM Island is soon becoming the up and coming neighbourhood of the Dutch capital. Its rustic landscape contrasting with the modern developments makes for quite a unique atmosphere over the island.
The island is a classic example of ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’. Despite an underwhelming infrastructure, the island is rich in many fine dining restaurant and cafes serving the most delectable meals to the customers. Pop in for a quick meal and some booze. Chances are a live band will be performing setting a beautiful tone to the moment.
5. Artistic Expedition
Besides its liberal culture and ample availability of legal marijuana, Amsterdam is famous for its artistic history and wealth. This is evident in the many museums located in the city. Right from Van Gogh Museum to the quirky Tulip Museum and Spectacles Museums, there is no dearth of artistic expression in the city.
Channel the art aficionado within you and set forth for an art expedition visiting the many museums in the city to understand more about the Dutch history and culture.
While dancing the night away at nightclubs, strolling through the notorious De Wallen and the romantic canals are the most famous attractions, there is so much more to Amsterdam. Explore the hidden nooks and streets, ride a bike through the path less covered and you will discover the city and its beauty like never before. On your next visit to the city, do visit these destinations and share your experience. If you happen to discover another treasure hidden away in the city, do share with the world. That is the ultimate purpose of wanderlust.