If you come to Amsterdam regularly, it’s likely that you’ve seen quite a few of the tourist attractions and are looking for new things to do in and around Amsterdam. Here are 5 ideas that you can do if you visit Amsterdam more often, or if you have been before and want to do something a bit different.
Go on a tour of Amsterdam’s Hofs: These gardens are one of the best things about Amsterdam. A hof is an enclosed courtyard with houses. They were built as acts of charity by wealthy men originally for single widowed women who had become penniless as a result of their partner dying. Many are still in use today so when you visit, please respect the residents.
Visit the Defense line of Amsterdam: Originally built between 1880 and 1914, the Defense Line of Amsterdam was built to put off potential enemies from trying to enter the city by using water to slow them down. A UNESCO heritage site, it is 135 kilometres long and is made up of forts, locks, dikes, barracks and ammunition depots. You can hike or cycle along it. Several of the forts are open to the public (though check before you go) – the most accessible are Muiden and Pampus.
Explore North: North is one of my favourite parts of Amsterdam. The NDSM Werf always has something happening, from workshops, to markets and I like it because of its creative vibe. If you are on a bike, you can get the ferry across to the Eye and cycle to Twiske, which a 65-hectare nature park. Of those 65 hectares, one third is covered in water. There are bike lanes all over the place, and plenty to do (swimming anyone?). Or you could just cycle and enjoy the solitude.
Learn to cook something new: Amsterdam has such a wide variety of cuisines – Thai, Indonesian, Surinamese, French, Italian and of course Dutch, to name a few. There are plenty of cooking classes available all over Amsterdam, so if you get bored and want something different to do you could take a Dutch cooking class, learn how to cook a Rijstafel (a Dutch take on Indonesian food), or find out how to make a green curry then you can.
Visit the OBA: Amsterdam’s central library is often overlooked in favour of other attractions in Amsterdam. I really like it. There is a great cafe on the 7th floor, with a view over Amsterdam (when it isn’t raining). There are lots of areas to explore, and I always manage to find something new whenever I’m there.
What do you think are the best things to visit for a seasoned traveller to Amsterdam? Have you already been to any of these places? I would love to hear about them.