Cool restaurants, concept stores, specialty coffee and design museums. A local creative reveals 15 cool things to do in Amsterdam
Planning a trip and you have no idea of cool things to do in Amsterdam? You’re in the right place.
We convinced Raquel Cayuela, a creative based in Amsterdam with thousands of followers on Instagram, to share with us all her Amsterdam hidden gems.
Raquel shared with us more than 147 Amsterdam hidden gems and in this article we reveal 15 of the 147 cool things to do in Madrid she recommended. Get ready to know where locals go when they want to …
However, if you’re eager for more you must take a look to our Amsterdam Guide App, featuring all her 147 Amsterdam hidden gems. We promise it will not disappoint you!
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What are the cool things to do in Amsterdam during during the day?
Eager to know cool things to do in Amsterdam? Those out-of-the-ordinary experiences that locals love and won’t share with tourist? That’s what we’ll share will you right now. Left the expensive tourist traps for someone else and discover with us the authentic Amsterdam, for a cheaper price.
1. Find that perfect souvenir at Shuka, one of the most beautiful concept stores you’ll ever see
Sukha means ‘joy for life,’ and this boutique conveys it perfectly. In the centre of Amsterdam, this concept store is one of the most peaceful and beautiful you’ll ever see; its oft-changing interior is all soft hues, white accents, and poetry, with each transformation more beautiful than the last.
Both an eco-label and a shop, Sukha sells gifts, fashion and interior items of wood, paper, and handcrafted materials, donating part of its profit to help Nepalese children.
2. Plan a memorable dinner at De Kas, a Michelin-star restaurant inside a greenhouse
Ever enjoyed a Michelin-star dinner in a greenhouse? Built in 1926, De Kas is a celebrated restaurant-cum-nursery in Frankendael Park. Headed by world-renowned chef Gert Jan Hageman, the locale serves vegetables and edible flowers, harvested that very day on its own grounds. The result is beautifully-plated Mediterranean cuisine, including locally-sourced meat, cheese, and fish, as well as vegan options. For a relaxing evening, make a reservation, come early, and enjoy a walk around the scenic park.
3. Sip specialty coffee from Lot Sixty One, who arguably serves one of the best espressos in Amsterdam
Lot Sixty One is for true coffee lovers. This Australian-owned hotspot is known throughout Amsterdam as one of the best purveyors of beans or drinks, and you can even watch coffee being roasted on site. Situated in the buzzing culture of Amsterdam West, Lot Sixty One’s comfy space is well-used, and feels both modern and vintage. Come here for their chocolate chip cookies, cold brew, flat white, and of course, for their renowned beans.
4. Find hidden gems at “Blom&Blom”, the vintage lighting paradise!
Lighting is the key to a beautiful atmosphere, and no-one understands this better than Blom & Blom, in Amsterdam-Noord. Housed in a refurbished warehouse, this hotspot finds forgotten items and restores them, specialising in industrial lighting and furniture. With a team of craftsmen, designers, and engineers, Blom & Blom invites you to be immersed in history and surrounded by beautiful objects, each with its own rich backstory and unlimited future potential.
5. Indulge yourself in the best Amsterdam shopping at Cotton Cake, and take there your best Instagram shot
Calming, white, minimal, and jaw-droppingly beautiful, Cotton Cake opens its arms to hungry travellers, discerning shoppers, and Instagram bloggers alike. This concept store and café sells food – the buckwheat waffles are especially delicious – also offering gluten-free options. Needless to say, their coffee is expertly pulled, and you can sip a cappuccino while eyeing their curated collection, including books, accessories, and clothing featuring names like Samsøe & Samsøe, Mimi et Toi, One Teaspoon and Monocrafft.
6. Walk around EYE museum, an endless source of inspiration for film and architecture lovers
EYE is one of the most important – and most interesting – film museums in the world. The building itself is an architectural feat, designed to appear in motion over the pier. Inside, a simple white finish, excellent lighting and intelligent use of space brings an element of calm and focus, inviting visitors into its permanent history collection, constant projection of films, multimedia art installations, and special exhibits featuring names like Kubric, Fellini, and Scorsese. For the perfect finale, end the day watching the sunset, dining at EYE’s delicious waterfront restaurant.
7. Listen to the heartbeat of the undercurrents, trends, and ideas running through Amsterdam at Stedelijk
For lovers of modern art, contemporary art, design and architecture, The Stedelijk is an international must-see. Known for its bathtub-like appearance, it sits in the Museumplein, featuring worldwide art referents from names like Picasso, Chagall, Cézanne, Kandinsky, Matisse, Koons, Pollock, and Warhol. Featuring a well-curated plethora of mediums for anything from Bauhaus to pop art to abstract expressionism, this is the fulcrum of modern art in the city and one of the most impactful museums in the world.
8. Take a break at Monks Coffee Roasters, a corner of Australia in Amsterdam
Monks Coffee Roasters is a corner of Australia in Amsterdam. Situated in the up-and-coming Oud West neighbourhood, it’s defined by stunning design: cozy yet industrial, lit-up copper piping spelling out the café’s name on a slate-grey wall, a garden out back, even a full-size kitchen for brunch. Just wait till you try the coffee: perfectly prepared by a knowledgeable staff, it will leave you looking forward to your next chance to have some Monks coffee.
9. Taste “Jansz” dishes mixed with the best ingredients the Netherlands hast to offer
Restaurant Jansz is the simple luxury you didn’t know you could have. Inside the Pulitzer Hotel, this restaurant exudes a uniquely sober yet laid-back Amsterdam feel; its beautiful interior, accented by muted hues and beautiful paintings, displays bell jars and glass bottles as an homage to its past as an apothecary. Overlooking the Keizersgracht, its staff notoriously attentive and professional, Restaurant Jansz creates beautifully crafted modern classics.
10. Find unique clothing, beautiful art, and interior design objects at Things I like, things I love
Things I Like, Things I Love is synonymous with quality and style. The name started as two friends’ selling their favourite items, and the selection became so popular that it’s now a concept store with two locations, pop-up shops, and even their own clothing brand. Every single item – both vintage and new – has been lovingly selected: find unique clothing, stylish homeware, beautiful art, and interior design objects. If you’re in love with their style, then check out the charming Hotel Dwars, where they designed the perfect hideaway.
11. Admire all of the exotic and beautiful plants in Amsterdam at Hortus Botanicus
As beautiful as ever, Hortus Botanicus is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world. Opened in 1638 as a medicinal herb garden, it’s now a restful oasis where guests can observe over 6,000 different indigenous and non-native trees and plants, along with three different tropical environments, a butterfly pavilion, a stunning café hotspot, even hidden treasures like a 154-year-old water lily and an agave cactus from Roman times. If you love how green Amsterdam is, Hortus Botanicus is next on your list.
12. Sink your teeth into an amazing brunch, while you help minorities re-integrate into society
“Eat well do good” is the heartwarming mission of Dignita, the brunch café in Oud Zuid. At the intersection of hip and sophisticated, this seven-day-a-week hotspot serves beautifully-plated food and fresh-pressed juices in a sunny, white, minimal space that just begs to be photographed. Holding true to its objective, almost everything on the menu is made from scratch; what’s more, Dignita is part of an international effort to help targeted minorities re-integrate into society and the workforce.
13. Walk around Vondelpark, 47 hectares of lush green, and a trendy mix of everything that you love in one place
Being in nature always makes you feel better, and Amsterdam’s most popular attractions serves as proof. The picturesque Vondelpark has everything you need for a sunny day at the park with friends: 47 hectares of lush green, including lakes, gazebos, pavilions, restaurants, cafés, an open-air theatre, and even a rose garden with more than 70 types of this romantic flower. Let yourself enjoy this national heritage site, guaranteed to provide some beautiful pictures and put a smile on your face.
What are the cool things to do in Amsterdam at night?
There is no better way to finish your days in Amsterdam than discovering some of its amazing nightlife. Let’s us show you now what are the things to do in Amsterdam at night.
14. Listen the best DJs in town at Melkweg, one of Amsterdam’s most famous venues
Melkweg is one of Amsterdam’s most famous and most unforgettable venues. A music and cultural centre in Oud-West, the building was first a sugar refinery in the 19th century, then served as the fulcrum of 60s counterculture, and is now known for its concerts, parties, cinema, restaurant, and exhibition space. With six halls that once hosted names like Prince and Nirvana, Melkweg now brings you the best of the international music currents, on one of the best sound systems you’ve ever heard.
15. Discover the best Jazz and blues at Bimhuis
One of Europe’s most renowned music halls, Bimhuis is where you go to hear jazz, blues, and shows with a whole lot of soul. A referent for Dutch and worldwide jazz, it hosts about 150 performances per year; this, along with the near perfect acoustics, beautiful design, welcoming atmosphere, high-quality restaurant and, of course, its stunning waterfront location guarantees one of the best shows one could ask for.