Tired of running into so many other tourists? These are some nice places off the beaten path.
Buurtboerderij Ons Genoegen – local farm & cafe
This formerly squatted farm Buurtboerderij is a tranquil and unique place in Amsterdam. It’s a hippie sort of place with very cheap tea from a big tank and pancakes (not always), and all kinds of different chairs and tables in the gardens around it. Spaarndammerdijk 319, Amsterdam (west, walking distance from Westerpark).
This mansion in Park Frankendael used to be outside the city but is now very much a part of it. It’s set in a beautiful park. The mansion has a peaceful cafe terrace at the back that makes you feel like you’re in the British countryside.
Jaap Eden ice skating rink (October – April)
Go ice skating on Jaap Eden outdoor skating rink (400 meter circles), see how Dutch people enjoy themselves and be amazed by the nimble movements of kids on the slippery ice. You can rent skates there.And have typically Dutch hot drinks (with or without alcohol mixed in). Radioweg 64, Amsterdam (east).
De Nieuwe Ooster cemetery
While you’re in the neighborhood, visit the beautiful cemetery called De Nieuwe Ooster. Okay, it might be weird, but this cemetery is really pretty. It has trees from all over the world, is park-like, and lots of famous Dutch people are buried there. They even have a little museum Tot Zover, about death and rituals people from all over the world use. Kruislaan 126, Amsterdam (east).
‘t Nieuwe Diep distillery
The lovely old building of ‘t Nieuwe Diep in the middle of Flevopark and is now a distillery of jenevers (Dutch gin) and liquors in many flavors with a cafe. Indoors it’s small but cosy and bustling with adults and children in winter. Outdoors there is lovely seating by the lake. Very friendly owners are happy to explain you everything.
Amsterdam Roest is a cafe in an old industrial building and a city beach beside it. In daytime it’s a mellow place to hang out and for kids to play. Sometimes they have vintage markets, artisan markets or other temporary fun things. In the evenings they often have live deejays and parties. They also tend to show international soccer matches whenever a European or World Championship is on.
Cycle to some villages near Amsterdam
Don’t get stuck in the mainstream crowds. If the weather is good, rent a bike and go see some of the picturesque villages and countryside around Amsterdam. It only takes about 20-30 minutes to get out of the city and be amongst the swans and cows. More info on my page of cycling tips.
Some more places…
My other Amsterdam Tips pages also contain some off the beaten track places that attract a lot less foreign visitors than the famous ‘must-sees’. For example:
- Nice neighborhoods for a stroll: Prinseneiland, Plantage area, eastern islands.
- Recommended museums: Museum Het Schip, Museum of Bags and Purses, Huis Marseille (photo museum), Dutch Resistence Museum.
- Things to see and do: Boom Chicago comedy show.
- Places to have coffee/drinks: Cafe Eijlders, Cafe Marcella, Cafe Krom, Cafe Schiller, Cafe Brecht, De Ruyschkamer, Cafe Sarphaat, Troost Westerpark, and definitely Cafe L’Affiche.
- Recommended restaurants: Mata Hari, and definitely Dappertutto.
- Parks and city beaches: Erasmus park for sure. Blijburg probably doesn’t get hordes of tourists either. Amsterdamse Bos is so big that it never feels crowded.
- Flea markets and other markets: IJhallen once a month, Dappermarkt, Ten Katemarkt.
- Daytrips to other places: Monnickendam, Naarden. And in Rotterdam, Leiden, etcetera the crowds are also a lot more doable than in central Amsterdam.
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