1. Lounge at Pllek Amsterdam
Pllek Amsterdam is an ultra hip restaurant and bar. The venue is unique as it was constructed using old shipping cargo containers stacked on top of each other. Outside of the containers, Pllek features a man-made “beach” where guests can lie in the sun and watch the cargo ships pass by. It is quite easy accessing the venue; all you need to do is take a free 30-minute ferry ride from Central Station Amsterdam to NDSM Wharf.
2. Enjoy fresh food at Noorderlicht
Similar to Pllek Amsterdam, you need to take the same free ferry to access Noorderlicht, but it is a trip well worth it! Noorderlicht is a restaurant inside an old greenhouse serving delicious fresh food. The menu offers something for everyone including meat, vegetarian, and vegan options. There is always great energy in the ambiance and on weekends there is a live DJ. Although a bit hidden, overall it is a true gem of Amsterdam.
3. Relax in Artisplein
Amsterdam’s zoo, Artis Zoo, has built a park called Artisplein in the center of their attraction. The park is situated between historic zoo buildings and offers views of the flamingos and other animals. However, what makes Artisplein unique is that the guests do not need to buy admission and go through the zoo to access the park; the park is publicly accessible.
4. Stroll through VU Hortus
Although physically small, VU Hortus is a botanical garden with an expansive collection of plants. With over 6,000 species of plant, you are sure to come across some rare and endangered plants during your visit. Strolling through the greenhouse is very peaceful, but if you are looking for a more energetic experience you can come on one of the days when they are hosting a concert. Worth mentioning is that the admission to VU Hortus is free.
5. Glow in the museum Electric Ladyland
Are you fascinated by colorful bright lights? If you answered yes to that question the Electric Ladyland is for you! Electric Ladyland is a museum of fluorescent art and the only museum in the world of this kind. What also differentiates this museum from others is that rather than just viewing different pieces of art, visitors take part in “Participatory Art” where they actually create their own piece art. You may have trouble finding the museum at first as it is in the basement of an art gallery, but once you do you’ll be glad you came.
6. Tour Vondelbunker
Vondelbunker is an old bomb shelter but now used as an event space; hosting concerts, performances, exhibitions, and other types of events. The best part is that all events at Vondelbunker are absolutely free! The venue is run by a group of people who believe in a free cultural and activist space with no restrictions. This is another hidden attraction so once you find it you can expect to be just with the locals.
7. Visit Westergasfabriek
Westergasfabriek is a park nestled between historic factory buildings and expanses of greenery. The park is a great place to mingle and relax. During the summer you may come across people cooling off in the river flowing down the park. For those looking for a place to work, Westergasfabriek offers workplaces and facilities to host various functions.
8. Explore creativity at Gekaapt
Gekaapt is a concept store where entrepreneurs are able to feature their sustainable and natural innovations. Products range from travel accessories to plants and furniture. The translation of the dutch word Gekaapt means hijacked. The founders gave the store this name because their mission is to “hijack space and create huzz & buzz.” Whether or not you are looking to buy a product from the store, it is worth taking a look at the products they have. After your visit, you can visit their coffee shop to enjoy organic coffee and fresh pastries.
9. Take a break at Amsterdam Roest
Amsterdam Roest is an interesting attraction featuring multiple venues in one spot. The attraction has a beach, market, and bar so your time there can range from lounging in the sand, drinking with friends, to even enjoying a live concert or another one of their special events. The indoor facilities are housed in an old factory so it has a hip industrial ambiance. You can check Roest’s calendar of events before your visit, but no matter what, you are sure to find a good crowd when you go.
10. Step outside of Europe at the Buddhist temple Fo Guang Shan
Fo Guang Shan or He Hua Temple is a Buddhist temple situated in the heart of Amsterdam between traditional Dutch buildings. Both the temple’s exterior and the interior is magnificent. When you step inside this traditional oriental architectural landmark you totally forget that you are in Europe. The temple is open to the public with guided tours on Saturdays. You can also visit the temple for a medication session. Although there are man Buddhist temples in Europe, this is the largest.
Updated: August 1, 2016