1. Take the Free Boat over the IJ river to the NDSM werf

As with any big city, there are parts that nobody would find without hearing it from a local. Amsterdam is no different. The IJ is a river located behind the Central Station and there is a ferry, which offers a free ride across.

On the other side is Amsterdam Noord (North Amsterdam) and it is a new culture that bloomed in a very old district. It is a desolated area that hosts an astonishing underground culture. The old NDSM Ship Wharf offers artists and craftspeople affordable studios and workspaces.

The area evens hosts their own parties, festivals and exhibitions. Take a look at NDSM.nl for further info.

2. The gardens of the Rijksmuseum

If you do not have the money to go in the Rijksmuseum, don’t despair. The gardens around the museum were also revamped, when they renovated the museum.

The garden now boasts a 14,500 m2 outdoor gallery in Renaissance and Baroque style. There are free guides available to give you information on the statues, fountains, ponds and the salvaged Dutch architectural pieces. There are even some Gotchi pillars and 17th-century city gates.

Just keep in mind that the Baroque Garden is only open on weekdays and it also offers an open air chess game. There are alway loads of willing participants to challenge each other.

Also you find the famous “I Amsterdam” letters here.

3. The free Lunchtime Concert at the Concert gebouw

For Lunchtime Concerts in the Recital Hall, you will require a ticket that is free of charge. These tickets are available from the Entrance Hall, from 11:30am onward. As these concerts are very popular, please ensure you arrive early to obtain your ticket. Doors to the concert hall open about 30 minutes before the Lunchtime Concert begins. For Lunchtime Concerts in the Main Hall, a ticket is not required. More info

4. The summer Vondelpark Festival

During the summer months, you must visit Vondelpark and their Vondelpark Festival. It is hosted every weekend and offers great entertainment for kids and adults alike. There are free music shows, dance, performances and even some stand up comedy. It is a great place to hang out, don’t let the language barrier prevent you from going, dance is in itself is a universal language.

5. The art gallery of the Amsterdam Museum

Amsterdam is one of the most historical European cities, with lots of secret and hidden gems for you to find. One of these gems is a small alley that exhibits 15 huge paintings from the 17th century. The alley is situated right in the centre of Amsterdam and the paintings portray the city guard from that time period.

The Schuttersgalerij is between Kalverstraat and Begijnhof, you can find the entrance at Kalverstraat 92

This free museum part is included in the classic tour

6. See the bulbs at the Amsterdam Flower Market

A visit to Amsterdam is not complete without a visit to the Amsterdam Flower market. The Flower market is located on the boats and dates back to a time when flowers and bulbs were delivered by boat.

They don’t deliver flowers by boat anymore, however the market remained and has vast amount of souvenirs. Just remember that you will hardly find any flowers here, it now mainly sells tourist souvenirs.

You can find the market between Muntplein and Leidsestraat.

7. Hang out at the street markets

When you visit Amsterdam, make sure that you visit the Albert Cuypstraat Markt. It is Amsterdam’s largest city market and offer a variety of items for sale. It dates back to 1904 and is located in the “De Pijp” area of the city.

At this market you will find household items, clothes and even some souvenirs.

Opening hours: Albert Cuypstraat Markt Mon – Sat: 9.30am – 5pm

8. Cannabis College in the Red light district

Only in Amsterdam will you find a college that educates people about Amsterdam’s favourite herb. The centre is a non-profit and teach visitors about coffee shop etiquette, there are various bong displays and hemp-made products. You can even try out a vaporiser.

9. EYE Film Institute

While the art-house movies and main-floor exhibitions cost money, the interactive Dutch film displays in the basement cost zilch. To reach the gleaming facility, take the free Buiksloterweg ferry from behind Centraal Station.

Dutch restaurants

Traditionally, Dutch cuisine is simple and straightforward, with many vegetables and little meat: breakfast and lunch are typically bread with toppings like cheese, while dinner is meat and potatoes, supplemented with seasonal vegetables. The diet contains many dairy products and was relatively high in carbohydrates and fat, reflecting the dietary needs of the laborers whose culture molded the country. Without many refinements, it is best described as rustic. Though many holidays are celebrated with special foods.

During the twentieth century, Dutch cuisine and diet changed. Influenced by the eating culture of its colonies (particularly the Dutch East Indies), it became more cosmopolitan and most international cuisines are represented in the major cities.

In Amsterdam you can find food from all over the world, but it is rare to find a Dutch restaurant here. Ask your guide where to go if you want to taste real Dutch food.

Check out your guides personal recomendations: guidedtoursamsterdam.com/your-guides/