Amsterdam is simply filled with historical monuments and famous museums. You can easily go sightseeing for weeks and your cultural needs will surely be met. However, when you fly into Amsterdam with Cathay Pacific, you might want something different. Just like most popular tourist destinations in Europe, there are countless hidden gems you can enjoy, with those highlighted below being highly recommended for your list of places to visit in the city.
Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder Museum
You can find the museum in De Wallen, on a beautiful side street. We are talking about a canal house museum that was built around 1660. Often, it is overlooked and visitors just pass by. But, if you decide to go in, you will get to see historic living areas inside a warren with a Roman Catholic church concealed inside the rafters.
You might be aware of the fact that the NEMO Science Museum is often listed as a very popular attraction for families in Amsterdam. What you might not know is that you can also visit the rooftop. This offers incredible views of the city. The outdoor space was created by Renzo Piano and was meant to be a public square at a sky-high location. It even includes a café and kinetic water sculptures for the children.
If you are visiting the Amsterdam harbour, check out REM Eiland so you can have your dinner above the water at a height of 22 meters in a pirate radio station. It is very cozy during the winter and simply fantastic during summers, with an incredible roof terrace. You can also simply enjoy the restaurant bar for some cocktails and you can obviously lavish yourself with tasty multi-course meals during the evenings.
The first thing that comes to mind when you look at LAB 111 is the unusual converted space it is found in. LAB 111 is actually a cultural space and a cinema housed in a former pathological anatomy lab. You can enjoy several special screenings, lectures, concerts, and even art exhibitions. If you want to grab something, you can easily enjoy the restaurant and the café.
This music venue is established as a not-for-profit business. Its development appeared because of the squatting movement we saw during the late eighties and nineties. You will enjoy colorful folk designs as soon as you look at the front doors. These are hinting at the former purpose of the building, a tram depot and a stable. On the agenda of OCCII you can basically find anything from obscure jazz, children’s theatre, and experimental hip-hop to queer punk nights. So, make sure to check the calendar so you can attend when you would enjoy yourself more.
The one word that easily describes the atmosphere of Mezrab is Cozy. You see it in the floor cushions and you want to visit because this is a place where professional storytellers say real-life stories and tall tales. As you can imagine, this is a completely unique cultural center. It is located in the Eastern Docklands and as time passed, the place established itself as a hot spot for comedy, improv, and the spoken word as a whole.
On the Oude Kerk’s cloister garden you can find an incredibly charming tearoom hidden right in plain sight. Enjoy the atmosphere as you eat a slice of apple cake with a great coffee or some chai latte. Since you are there, you can also go to Quartier Putain. The atmosphere is very relaxed and you can find some of the best craft beer in town.
Museum Perron Oost
You might think Museum Perron Oost is nothing special since it is just 6 square meters. Actually, the entire exhibition can be seen by looking through a window. Joep van Lieshout, artist, transformed a cattle market area in 1993, together with surrounding railway tracks to create a miniature park. Ever since 2013, the small art museum was established in the supervisor’s house. It now focuses on telling stories of former residents.
Amsterdam City Archives
Do you love Art Deco? If so, the De Bazel building should be on your list, just like the Amsterdam City Archives. Everyone interested in municipal history should visit this spot. You can easily take a short or long guided tour to see period rooms and there are fascinating free exhibitions available downstairs. In fact, these are located inside a vault for a former bank, which is unique in itself.
Mediamatic is an art center. It is intriguing, groundbreaking, and always bold. Ever since 1983, the art center held installations celebrating organic cuisine, biotechnology, and media. You can enjoy an atmospheric waterfront restaurant with locally sourced ingredients and a truly special atmosphere.
BRET is locally known as a music venue, restaurant, and beer bar. It is located in Sloterdijk, a grey corner of the city that definitely enjoys this splash of color brought in by BRET. It has a beautiful rooftop garden and houses a vineyard you are going to appreciate. The structure is made out of shipping containers. The hops that can be found only highlight the main purpose behind the location, innovation and sustainability.
Podium Mozaiek is located in Bos en Lommer, right where the Pniel Church used to be. It offers a meeting place and a stage for several cultural initiatives so do make sure you check the schedule. In the program, you can often see dance, theater, spoken word, exhibitions, and music. The sun-soaked terrace is a clear spectacular highlight, a great spot to enjoy some craft beers and Mediterranean-inspired food.
Orgelpark can be found in Parkkerk, which is close to Orgelpark’s Vondelpark. It is an international concert hall with an impressive church organ that only manages to change how contemporary music sounds. The program is highly varied and you will surely appreciate the Art Deco ambience. The concert hall is intimate, with clear and beautiful acoustics, an incredibly cozy foyer, and that organ that was already mentioned.