Amsterdam's best kept secrets

Everyone knows about the Dutch passion for bikes and tulips, but what about the hidden gems you simply must see on your next vacation to Amsterdam? We list the very best.


Amsterdam traces its origins back to the 14th century and Stadsarchief (pictured) offers great insight into the city's history. Often known as Amsterdam City Archives, the place has a massive collection of documents and photographs associated with the birth of the city and its past. Do not miss the free basement exhibition.


An ethnographic museum, Tropenmuseum was founded in 1864 in Haarlem and was later moved to Amsterdam. Located in an old building in East Amsterdam, the museum houses eight permanent exhibitions and offers interesting art, photographs and films related to previous Dutch colonies.

Café Sound Garden

Located on the edge of the canals, Café Sound Garden draws locals, tourists and expats alike. The outdoor seating and the terrace offer fantastic views of the city, especially at night. Don't miss the discounted beer specials and live music performances that feature regularly at the place.


Spuistraat (pictured) is almost entirely covered in street art and graffiti, which make this area a great spot for snap-happy tourists. While you can wander around on your own, it’s best enjoyed with a group of friends or even in a guided tour that usually takes around three hours.

Hannekes Boom

This bar and cafe is conveniently located by the water for anyone traveling by the boat to make a quick stop for a beer and some great food. With good music, outdoor seating and a company of fun people, Hannekes Boom should definitely make in on your bucket list.

De Pijp

Located toward the south of the city center, De Pijp is the traditional working-class neighborhood of Amsterdam. Away from the hustle and bustle of the city center, it boasts diverse restaurants offering anything from Syrian, Moroccan to Surinamese cuisine. The area is known for its diverse population made up of immigrants and students.

Westerpark- Westergasfabriek

The 19th century park surrounds the Westergasfabriek buildings and is a great event venue, consisting of a theater, exhibition area, movie theater, bakeries and a stage. Part of the Bretten zone, which is an environmental area, the sound of flowing water through the ponds makes it a peaceful place to enjoy the venue's digital art and culture.

Pied à Terre

Europe’s largest travel bookshop, Pied à Terre has an impressive sky-lit interior, and houses travel books and guides in many languages, while it houses around 600,000 maps. Order a cup of coffee, browse through their impressive collection, and plan your next trip.


This unusual museum is a relatively recent addition to the city and is all about cats and their representations across various media, including movies, photographs, sculptures and paintings. Located in an old house with a tinge of historic charm in Herengracht, the museum also has five real cats. It was founded by a Dutchman named William Meijer to preserve the memory of his cat, in 1990.


A must-visit for all enthusiastic female travelers, Xantippe Unlimited Bookshop on Prinsengracht (pictured) is a women’s bookstore and a resource center. To attract visitors, they also have funny female-friendly postcards.

Haarlemmerstraat & Haarlemmerdijk

Haarlemmerstraat – and its extension, the Haarlemmerdijk, are some of the lesser-known gems of Amsterdam. From trendy but affordable restaurants and bars, independent boutiques and specialty stores to the oldest cinema, this place offers something for every kind of tourist.

Café Loetje

Visit Café Loetje to sample authentic Dutch food, particularly the biefstuk and friet (steak and chips). Known for its calm ambiance and humble service, some of the other must-haves here include prawn croquettes, liver with bacon, and onion soup.

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Travel Magazine: Amsterdam's best kept secrets
Amsterdam's best kept secrets
Travel Magazine
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