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AMSTERDAM HIDDEN GEMS: BEST THINGS TO DO OUTSIDE THE CITY CENTRE

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Amsterdam hidden gems: best non-touristy things to do in Amsterdam
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Interested in visiting some Amsterdam hidden gems?

Amsterdam is one of the cities you can visit so many times! It never gets boring. In case you have seen most of the highlights and all the top touristic spots, as well as thoroughly explored the city centre, I’ve put together this guide to Amsterdam hidden gems – the best non-touristy and lesser-known things to do outside Amsterdam city centre. Also, sometimes, the city centre gets so crowded that it’s great to take a break and explore some amazing areas outside Amsterdam city centre.

I just got back from my 4th visit to Amsterdam, and I loved the city even more (so much that I would probably even move there, but who knows what will happen in the future). This time, unlike other times, I was on a mission to explore some of the best districts to visit in Amsterdam outside the city centre, and I was especially focusing on Amsterdam Oud-West. We were collaborating with I Amsterdam, who kindly sponsored some of our meals and provided us with Amsterdam City Passes and, of course, a lot of useful information about Amsterdam, so big thanks to I Amsterdam and especially Pema.

Here is what you can expect to find in this article:

So without further ado, let’s get started!

Amsterdam hidden gems: non-touristy things outside the city centre

De Hallen (Foodhallen, Maker’s Market and more)

My number one recommendation and my favourite hidden gem in Amsterdam is De Hallen. It’s a relatively new street food market plus art space plus shopping arcade located in a beautiful historical building. Looking at it now, it’s hard to believe, that some time ago it was in ruins and occupied by squatters. Right now, it’s a thriving spot where you can buy some designer things, artisan art, clothes, food and even souvenirs.

If you want to buy something unique and useful from Amsterdam for yourself or your loved ones, head to the Maker’s Market inside De Hallen, where you can buy things made in Amsterdam. The prices aren’t low, but you won’t be able to find these unique things anywhere else. However, some of these things would be amazing souvenirs!

If you’re hungry, head to Food Hallen – a massive food market inside De Hallen. You can find anything there, from fusion hot dogs to Vietnamese food and Mexican tacos. The place is seriously crowded on the weekends, but that’s because locals know that it’s the best place to eat in Amsterdam with friends. It’s huge, has a variety of street food from all around the world and is relatively affordable.

Non-touristy Amsterdam: Best things to do in Amsterdam Oud-West

Explore some of Amsterdam’s most Instagrammable brunches (MaMa Kelly & the others)

Many of the amazing brunch spots in Amsterdam are located outside the city center, which is great (not the same in London, where you always need to travel to Soho or South Kensington for the best brunch spots – btw if you’re interested, you can read my post about the 10 best brunch places in London).

In Amsterdam, you can head to the Scandinavian embassy for granola and great coffee in De Pijp neighbourhood, eat eggs and sandwiches in the Corner Bakery in Oud-Zuid or enjoy a dish of your choice in gorgeous Rootin in Dapperbuurt. We also had a brunch/lunch in Kanaries Club located inside De Hallen (which I described above), and it was great (though a bit pricey). However, my favourite place so far was MaMa Kelly – a pink paradise with really good food located right next to the Olympic stadium!

Read my post about the most Instagrammable spots in Amsterdam here >>>

Explore Amsterdam Oud-West – one of the hippest neighbourhoods in the city

Even outside the city centre, Amsterdam is very beautiful. There are plenty of great neighbourhoods with an amazing history, where you can spend a couple of hours just wandering around and exploring what they have to offer. My favourites were De Pijp, De Plantage, Oud-Zuid and Jordaan – they are still very central and not hard to get to walking or taking a tram or metro.

I also have a separate guide to the best things to do in Amsterdam Oud-West, so that could also be one of the neighbourhoods of Amsterdam for you to explore.

The guide to the best things to do in Amsterdam Oud-West >>>

Watch a movie in LAB 111

If you’re into cinema and unusual movies, head to the LAB 111 located in Amsterdam Oud-West. LAB 111 is a former school lab transformed into an indie cinema that shows local and international movies. You can find a lot of movies in English or with English subtitles as well. However, it makes sense to check the schedule in advance and see if there’s anything that interests you in English live in the cinema that day. You can find the schedule here.

Visit some unusual/quirky museums

There are plenty of nice museums and attractions located outside the Amsterdam city centre. For example, you can head to the Molen Van Sloten & Kuiperij Museum to see the only functioning polder mill or visit the Geelvinck Pianola Museum. You can also head to the Dutch Resistance Museum or visit The National Maritime Museum. There are so many interesting museums to explore in Amsterdam outside the city centre, you will definitely find what to do and visit.

Amazing places to visit outside Amsterdam City Center: De Hallen & more

Cross the IJ river and head to the A’DAM lookout

Did you know that you can take a ferry completely free of charge and head to Amsterdam Noord from the ferry stop next to the Central Station? Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the different side of Amsterdam – a very modern one. Amsterdam Noord is developing very fast with new buildings and districts being constructed every year. However, there are also a couple of things you can do in Amsterdam Noord – head to the A’DAM lookout observation deck for the views of Amsterdam or visit the Film Museum, it’s up to you.

Find your new favourite coffee spot in Amsterdam

Amsterdam has so many amazing coffee spots and luckily, most of them are located outside the city centre. Amsterdam Oud-West has an incredible amount of great coffee places as well as De Pijp. Here are only a tiny fraction of great coffee shops that you can visit in Amsterdam outside the city centre:

  • Loft Sixty One
  • Coffee Roastery Oud-West
  • Anne & Max Oud-West
  • Koffie Academie
  • Berry Amsterdam
  • Coffee Room
  • Scandinavian Embassy
  • STROOM in De PIjp
  • Caffenation

Summary of the best hidden gems in Amsterdam

Alright, I hope that you have found some inspiration from this post and added a few spots to your to-do list in Amsterdam. There are so many things to do in Amsterdam, not just in the heart of the city, but slightly outside as well. There are plenty of new places opening all the time (the city is expanding quite a bit, especially to the North), so this post will be updated with new Amsterdam hidden gems in the future!

I hope you enjoyed this post about the best places to visit outside of Amsterdam City Centre (& Amsterdam hidden gems). Should you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below or DM me at @lizatripsget.

Some of our other posts you might like:

The most Instagrammable places in Amsterdam

15+ most beautiful castles in Europe

Europe’s most underrated cities

The best destinations for a white Christmas in Europe

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