Two people riding bikes along side of road.
If you want an authentic experience, you’ll need to climb aboard a bike and go.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

7 Out-of-the-Ordinary Experiences to Have in Amsterdam

What Not to Miss in Amsterdam

To many foreign tourists, Amsterdam means three things: legal prostitution, legal weed and the Anne Frank House.

Although those three things are accurate (though the legality of marijuana is a bit more complicated than many think), if you limit your experience to the typical tourist spots you will find you’ve missed a whole world of amazing things to do and see in the capital of the Netherlands.

If you live in the UK, Amsterdam is easy to get to, making it a great August Bank Holiday weekend getaway. Whether you’re there for a long weekend or a whole week, don’t miss these Amsterdam points of interest.

1. Riding a Bike

This is the way to get around for most Dutch people, so if you want an authentic experience, you’ll need to climb aboard a bike and go. Amsterdam is a pretty small city in comparison to cities like New York, Paris or London, so biking to your destinations is always feasible.

Be aware that most Amsterdammers have been biking as a form of transportation since they could walk and bicycle rage is a real thing there. Try your hand at biking in the outskirts of the city before you cycle into city center.

Additionally, try to rent a bike from a place that doesn’t give out uniform bikes with the logo of the company in the front of it. Although your riding skills may be a testament to your tourist status, you don’t need an extra sign on your back for annoyed commuters to direct their annoyance at.

Don’t fear, though, riding a bike is fairly safe and believe it or not, very few cycling injuries or fatalities occur in Amsterdam. Plus what’s more romantic than cycling around the city with your honey? This trend is one of the many reasons why Amsterdam makes a great summer vacation destination for couples.

garden of vibrant flowers with windmill and hot air balloons in backgroundKeukenhof is one of the largest and most beautiful flower gardens in Europe.Photo Credit: Getty Images

2. Keukenhof

If you happen to visit in April, Keukenhof should be one of your must-see Amsterdam attractions. Open late-March through mid-May, Keukenhof is one of the largest and most beautiful flower gardens in Europe. It boasts breathtaking displays of tulips (the national flower of the Netherlands) in addition to many other types of flowers.

Visitors can also climb into an authentic windmill and make a day of it with several restaurant choices on the premises. Be warned, however, Keukenhof can be very crowded, so it is a good idea to arrive as early as possible.

To get to Keukenhof, take the train to Schipol Airport and from there you can take a bus that will drive you directly to the gardens, which are actually located a few miles outside of Amsterdam in a little city called Lisse.

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green front door of the RembrandthuisVisiting the Rembrandthuis is an absolute must for art enthusiasts.Photo Credit: iStockPhoto / Birute

3. Rembrandthuis

Are you a fan of art? If so, visiting the Rembrandthuis is an absolute must. Visitors can see the inside of the home where Rembrandt lived and worked, including his bedroom. You can also have a look at his workroom and learn about the techniques he employed when painting and teaching, in addition to looking at the types of canvases he worked with.

Be careful, however, if you have any mobility issues. As with many houses in Amsterdam, the stairs are quite steep and difficult to navigate.

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