21 Unique & Weird Things to do in Amsterdam (Find Them All!)
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These are the coolest weird things to do in Amsterdam that you’ll definitely be telling everyone at home about!
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Amsterdam is one of the most visited cities in the Netherlands, Europe, and the world. Popular for its laid-back atmosphere, stunning water system, beautiful museums, and exciting nightlife, Amsterdam has everything!
If you’re looking for something unusual to do in Amsterdam, then you won’t have any problems finding them. Besides the popular attractions, there is some weird stuff to do in Amsterdam that you should definitely check out too.
If you are planning to see lots of museums and sights around Amsterdam, we suggest buying an I Amsterdam City Card, which also gives you a ticket for free transport around the city. It’s definitely worth the money.
Map of Weird Things in Amsterdam
This map shows you where all the weird attractions in Amsterdam are located.
To download this map, simply hit the frame icon [ ] in the top right-hand corner from your phone and it should open automatically with the Google Maps app.
Weird & Unique Things to do in Amsterdam
Ready? Now check out our list of unusual things to see in Amsterdam!
Play in Immersive Magical Art at WONDR
WONDR Experience blends visual magic with boundless creativity. It’s a confetti-sprinkled, creative world of colour and sensation that invites you to explore, regardless of your age. WONDR was designed in collaboration with Amsterdam’s most creative minds to create a place that tickles your senses and invokes inspiration, fantasy and pure joy.
Get lost in a jungle, dive into a sea of pink marshmallows, dance under a glittering falling sky, or jump in the largest ball pit you’ve ever seen. Let your imagination run wild in this one-of-a-kind place. Perfect for those looking for fun things to do in Amsterdam, or to brighten up your Instagram feed.
Go Fishing for Plastic
Did you know you can go plastic fishing in the city? Indeed, this must be one of the most unusual things to do in Amsterdam. Plastic Whale runs a 2-hour boat trip where you’ll be given your own fishing net to catch plastic with. You can do this while you see the beautiful sights of the city and learn more about it.
It’s one of the best tours in Amsterdam because aside from being able to explore the canals, you also get to help save the environment. It’s a win-win!
Ride on a Swing On Top of a Building
Looking for something a bit unusual, at the same time, will get your blood pumping? Head on over to A’DAM Lookout, located on the top of a 22-floor tower.
Grab the I Amsterdam City Card for free entry into A’DAM Lookout and loads of other activities on this list.
Aside from the panoramic views, you have the chance to ride the highest swing in Europe. Don’t worry; you’ll be wearing a safety harness as you swing 100 meters above Amsterdam.
Search for Amsterdams Blossoming Bikes
These artistic bikes, decorated in flowers, clocks and butterflies are the work of an artist by the name of Warren Gregory or The Flower Bike Man. He originally decorated his wife’s bike with flowers because she had trouble finding where she parked it in the chaos. He then moved on to decorating abandoned bikes and scattered them throughout the city of Amsterdam to bring happiness and smiles to passers-by.
Today, you will surely spot one or two of these pretty bikes along the canals and streets of Amsterdam. If you’re after cheap things to do in Amsterdam, why not make a hunt out of it and go search for the Flower Bike Man’s Blossoming Bikes?
Find the Kooky Tiny Hidden Houses
If you think you’ve seen it all in Amsterdam, think again. Likely, you haven’t seen the seven mini rowhouses here. The Jordaan area is one of the most popular neighbourhoods in the city, and it’s not only because it’s beautiful but it’s also because it contains hidden gems that will delight you.
Visitors to a certain street in Jordaan might come across some houses missing when counting down the house numbers. In fact, they’re still there but you need to get a closer look.
To see the tiny hidden houses, head to Westerstraat 54, 1015 ML Amsterdam. Look into the tiny crack between the row houses number 54 and 70. You’ll see seven miniature houses stacked on top of each other in a four-inch space between the buildings. Check out our unique things to do in Amsterdam map to find the exact location of the Tiny Hidden Houses.
This unusual attraction came about because there used to be a small courtyard through which the seven houses were accessible. However, the courtyard was closed down and some of the houses were merged, which is why the seven numbers disappeared.
It was the idea of a local advertising agency to answer the common question, “Why do the house numbers skip?” Brilliant, I must say.
Munch on Pizza While Boating
You’re bound to get hungry while you’re exploring all the unusual places in Amsterdam. So, take a break, and grab a slice of pizza… but with a twist. In Amsterdam, you can eat pizza in the most unique way possible – while in a boat on the canal.
Buy the I Amsterdam City Card for a free canal tour, transport, and loads of other activities on this list.
Grab your slice from Pizzeria San Marco, along the Amstelkanaal. San Marco isn’t hard to miss—the pizzeria is located within a former watchtower on the canal bridge. It’s best to call ahead and make sure you knock on the pizza window on the water to alert them of your arrival.
Search for a Unique Urinal
Okay, this may sound gross, but you need to see this particular urinal. The urinal in the city hall is actually a national monument. It’s a beautiful structure that that doesn’t look too much like a urinal from the outside. You don’t have to go in if you don’t want to! Just see it.
Check out our offbeat things to do in Amsterdam map to find the exact location of the urinal.
Visit the Memorial of Persecuted Gays & Lesbians
The Homomonument is located on the Keizersgracht canal. There is a pink triangle here that serves as a memorial to homosexuals that have been murdered throughout history. People who come here like to place floral wreaths on the triangle by the water.
Discover the Spooky House with Blood Stains
There is a building overlooking the Amstel River marked with reddish-brown symbols. You might think it’s common vandalism, but take a closer look and you’ll notice that it’s real blood. The locals believe that they are the bloody work of a mad ambassador who used to occupy the house.
The six-time mayor of Amsterdam, Van Beuningen, later moved into Amstel 216 and was rumoured to have bipolar disorder. It is said that during the height of his illness, people would see Kabbalistic signs painted on the facade of the building; and the tales say that he did this using his own blood.
Check out our weird things to do in Amsterdam map to find the exact location of the blood-stained house.
Take a Sweet Ride with a Twist
If you love sweets, specifically chocolates, I suggest you go on a chocolate tour in a vintage Fiat 500. The tour will take you through the sweet spots in the city where you can try out different chocolates.
It’s such a dream ride—seated on a vintage car, munching on various chocolates. What could be more relaxing than that?
Search for the Secret Tiny Woodcutter
Among the many things that are hiding in plain sight in the city, one of them is a tiny statue of a woodcutter. You can find it in a busy square, between the branches of a large tree just across the Leidsekade from the American Hotel. Come closer and you will see a bronze statue leaning over intently, trying to saw the branch.
The Little Woodcutter is only 50-centimetres tall and it appeared on the branch in 1989 before Queen Beatrix’s birthday. Some locals believe that the piece was commissioned or created by the queen herself.
Aside from the woodcutter, other sculptures like this are scattered all over the city, such as the musician in the Town Hall and some miniature men climbing a wall in the Anjelierstraat. Why not see if you can find them all?
Check out our hidden things to do in Amsterdam map to find the exact location of the Tiny Woodcutter.
Uncover the Mysteries of the Red Light District
The Red Light District, De Wallen, is one of the most unique places in Amsterdam and is under threat of gentrification. A neon-lit maze of medieval alleyways, coffee shops (ie. cannabis cafes), raunchy museums, gay bars, art galleries, sex shops, fast food, red-lit brothel windows, and seedy pubs.
Since 2020 tourists to Amsterdam can no longer take a tour of De Wallen in a measure designed to combat over-tourism. However, you may still do a self-guided audio tour of the area to discover stories, histories and facts. Just keep your wits about you, do not photograph sex workers, and watch out for pickpockets (bring an anti-theft backpack to help you in this area).
There are lots of unique Amsterdam experiences to be had in De Wallen, so we have listed a few of the best below.
Honour Sex Workers (at a Church!)
Amsterdam doesn’t shy away from sex, the red light district itself is proof of that. Oude Kerk is one of the oldest churches in the city, but that’s not what’s unusual here. Standing in front of the church doors is a bronze statue named Belle. Belle is a monument to the sex workers of the world.
Grab the I Amsterdam City Card for free entry into Oude Kerk Church and loads of other activities on this list.
Also in the square, you will see a hand caressing a woman’s breast, which only shows that the city is active in the world’s oldest profession.
Stop by a Weed Museum
Since you’re in for unusual activities in Amsterdam, there is a weed museum in the city. Yes, it’s unusual because you can’t find any other museum in the world that contains, erm, weed. The Hash, Marijuana and Hemp Museum has everything you need to know about the history and the future of cannabis.
You can download an audio tour that will guide you along Amsterdam’s 17th-century canals to Anne Frank House, the Hemp Museum, the Stock Exchange centre, plus the city’s notorious Red Light District.
The Hemp Museum contains old tools used for producing hemp, plus various ancient smoking devices. Here, you can get a deep understanding of the cannabis plant in the indoor cannabis garden inside the museum.
The museum’s aim is to educate visitors about how useful hemp, marijuana, and hash were in the past, and how they can be useful today. If you’re looking for cool things to do in Amsterdam for adults, this is it!
Visit a Secret Church… in an Attic
There is a canal house in Oudezijds Voorburgwal that looks like any other ordinary Dutch home. Originally, it was a residential house, and when you go inside, it just looks like a normal, old home. But up the narrow, steep staircase, up in the attic, you will find a miniature Catholic church. This is Our Lord in the Attic Museum.
The church is known as Schuilkerk (secret church) and was hidden away in the attic during the 17th century at the time when the persecution of Catholicism in the country was a thing. The Catholics were unable to hold mass in public, so Jan Hartmann converted the attic of his house to a church.
Grab the I Amsterdam City Card for free entry into Our Lord in the Attic museum and loads of other activities on this list.
The entrance to the church was through a fake door hidden in the living room. You’ll need to climb a tiny spiral staircase to reach the attic. The church can seat 150 people and is beautifully decorated.
The secret church is still in use today. Regular services and mass are held in the attic, so feel free to join in!
Have a Drink Where You Can Pay in Monkeys
Of course, that’s not something you can do anymore. Drinking is a common thing to do in Amsterdam; what’s unusual is where you’re going to have that drink. Café In’t Aepjen, located on the corner of the old Zeedijk, and near the red light district, is an unusual place to have a beer at.
In’t Aepjen means “In the Monkeys”, and it refers to the golden age of the Dutch Empire when sailors returned from distant colonies, short of money, and would pay using their acquired pets as payment for their ale. Eventually, the inn was overrun with monkeys that customers complained of fleas.
Today, the bar is decorated with monkeys everywhere you look. And just by being here will make you feel like you’ve been transported back in time—specifically when monkeys were still an acceptable form of currency.
You can download an audio tour of the Red Light District to listen to on your phone. Be immersed in the stories and history of Amsterdam’s most talked-about quarter, In’t Aepjen, Oude Kerk, the “secret” chapel, and lots more.
Squeeze into the Narrowest House in the City
The Kleine Trippenhuis, also known as Little Trip House, definitely stands out. It is actually across the canal from the city’s widest home Trippenhuis, which was built as the double-house residence of two Trip brothers and their families.
Then there is the Kleine Trippenhuis, which is only 8 feet wide. The bottom floor of the house is a shop, which means you can go inside and see how small it is. Prepare to squeeze yourself in.
Check out our amazing things to do in Amsterdam map to find the exact location of the Kleine Trippenhuis.
Weird Museums in Amsterdam
You’re spoiled for choice if you’re after a weird museum in Amsterdam. There are Sex Museums in De Walla, as well as two other unusual museums that we talked about above. Then, there are all the others! The Van Gogh Museum, please step to the side!
Consider getting your hands on an I Amsterdam City Card for free entry into many of the unusual museums on this list. It also includes a ticket for free transport around the city and entry into loads of other unique attractions too!
Plunge into the Electric Ladyland Light Museum
No, it’s not the album, but it’s still very interesting, and unusual. Amsterdam has a lot of museums, but the Museum of Fluorescent Light is so low-key that only us locals know about it. The museum showcases fluorescent minerals and once the visitor enters, they become a piece of the art in what’s called “Participatory Art.”
Check out our local things to do in Amsterdam map to find the exact location of the Electric Ladyland museum.
Marvel at Cuypers Library Architecture
Maybe you’ve heard of Rijksmuseum, but did you know it also contains the largest and oldest art historical library in the Netherlands? With floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, set in impressive 19th-century architecture including a spiral staircase, Cuypers Library is the perfect place to escape the crowds when visiting Rijksmuseum.
Alternatively, for those that like to solve puzzles and work as a team, the Rijkmuseum has an in-house escape room game that will allow visitors to immerse themselves in the museum. It is one of the most unique things to do in Amsterdam so don’t miss this opportunity!
Grab the I Amsterdam City Card for free entry into Rijksmuseum and loads of other activities on this list.
See Grotesque Medical Specimens at Vrolik
Here’s another museum where you can dive into total weirdness. This time, it’s in the medical field. Museum Vrolik in Amsterdam has a huge collection of gruesome medical exhibits. The museum holds over 10,000 medical and anatomical specimens that date back to the 1700s.
Since you’re down for trippy stuff, I suggest you don’t miss this one. It’s not every day you’ll find one-eyed creatures or preserved conjoined twins. Keep an eye out for the so-called mermaid fetuses as well. Oh, and the 16th-century bladder stone as big as a human fist is worth a look.
Explore the Curious Tiny Universe at Micropia
A science lover or unusual things just thrill you? The Tiny Universe at Micropia is one thing you can’t miss in unique Amsterdam. Here, you can take in stunning exhibits that focus on virtual reality and 3D equipment. What makes it even more interesting is you can watch scientists work in their labs.
Grab the I Amsterdam City Card for free entry into the Micropia museum and loads of other activities on this list.
You’re going to like it so much that you could spend one entire day here, and you wouldn’t even notice—that’s how fun it is!
Quirky Hotels in Amsterdam
Stay in the Floating Hotel: Botel
Botel must be one of the most unusual places to stay in Amsterdam! A quirky floating hotel where you can even stay in the letters that make up Botel on the roof!
The Botel is located on River IJ at the NDSM Wharf (a former shipyard) in Amsterdam. There is a free 10-minute ferry service to Amsterdam Central Station twice every hour. All rooms have spectacular land or river views as well as private bathrooms. There’s a bar and games room on the property plus they serve a decent breakfast. What’s not to like?!
An Unforgettable Local Experience at Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht
Andaz Amsterdam Prinsengracht, formerly Amsterdam’s Public Library, is now one of the most creative five-star luxury-lifestyle hotels in the city.
This unique hotel is situated a short stroll from the charming Nine Streets and bustling Museumplein. Enjoy the quirky Dutch-inspired interior design, enviable views over Amsterdam’s iconic Prinsengracht canal, the hotel’s secret garden, or picture-perfect dishes at the restaurant.
Be Delighted by Design at Hotel nhow
Said to be Amsterdams most Instagrammable hotel; inside and out is spectacular, quirky, and surprising! The iconic building, facing various wind directions, symbolises the melting-pot the city of Amsterdam has always been and continues to be.
Every single room at nhow Amsterdam RAI is intricately decorated with a desk for working, a private bathroom, and has amazing city views. The unique common areas are also a photographer’s paradise. To top it off it’s pet-friendly, close to the RAI convention centre and metro, and has a superb breakfast included.
Whether it’s your first time visiting Amsterdam or you’ve been here several times, visiting these curious attractions will give you a thrilling experience. So, if you have plans to visit the city, try to do some of these weird activities and be sure to stay in one of the funky hotels in Amsterdam!
These unusual places to visit in Amsterdam will give you a different view, and who knows? You might appreciate the city more, or even better, the world. Now, go, and have a unique experience in Amsterdam.
Where Next? Free Things to do in Brussels
Unique Places Amsterdam FAQs
YES! If you are looking for unique things to do in Amsterdam, you will find you’re in paradise on Nieuwe Spiegelstraat, a street lined with antique shops, each with a story of Amsterdam waiting to be discovered. The most famous of which is Thom & Lenny Nelis Antiques, a shop dedicated to antique medical instruments and the likes.
If you are looking for the craziest things to do in Amsterdam (that are also legal), then we recommend you to check out A’DAM Lookout and ride in the highest swing in Europe. Also, don’t miss the Weed Museum, the eccentric medical specimens at Vrolik, and the opportunity to stay at the Botel Floating Hotel. Read more about these places in our full guide.
The red light district in Amsterdam is the heart of entertainment in Amsterdam. Undoubtedly, many of the unique experiences Amsterdam has to offer are located inside the red light district. hence, safety in the red light district in Amsterdam is of the utmost importance. Luckily, because of how famous the district is, the government has invested a lot to keep it safe.
Certainly, petty crimes such as pickpockets are not unusual, but there are no serious crimes like mugging and the likes. Generally, the red light district in Amsterdam is very safe.
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