If you’re staying in one of the many excellent hostels in Amsterdam, even the most independent traveller will, of course, want to visit the main touristic sites of the city. But if you’re looking for something a little different or “off-the-beaten track” to experience in this eclectic city, there is so much more to it than first meets the eye. Most of the hidden gems are within easy reach of the main hostels in Amsterdam, and if you don’t want to walk (although in most cases you can) you can use the very efficient public transport system.
Here are a few suggestions to get the flavour of some off-the-beaten path attractions. If you are unsure of the best way to get to any to of these sites, ask the very friendly team of staff found in the hostels in Amsterdam who will be more than happy to help – and perhaps even suggest others.
Naturally, Amsterdam and Van Gogh go hand in hand, so the museum dedicated to his work really is a must see; but if you are a true art enthusiast, make sure you dig a little deeper and explore the contemporary art scene that thrives in this city. Why not hire a bike and cycle from one little independent art gallery to the next, discovering what other art and design the city has to offer? The Radar is a gallery featuring art and architectural exhibitions inspired by an urban influence, while the Galerie Fons Welters is very much geared towards the forward thinking artist and boasts industrial installations to prove it. The KochxBos is great fun, and here in this living room space outside on the street you can marvel at the kitsch and surreal pieces it is renowned for.
The EYE Film Museum
This museum is one of a kind and, although you do need tickets if you want to see an event, the basement offers a free permanent exhibition. All around the room, projected onto the walls are movie clips and film scenes, which can be controlled and browsed using a specialised panel. There are separate viewing pods, which have been designed in a futuristic theme, complete with comfy sofa and big screen – perfect for kicking back and watching a film. The building itself is also worthy of consideration if you appreciate fine architecture. Its jagged edges and shiny white exterior make a real statement in this part of the city.
The Botanical Gardens
Fancy spending an afternoon amidst nature? Then head down to the Vrije University Botanical Gardens and you won’t be disappointed. This place is a sanctuary for rare and endangered plants and is also home to a fascinating collection made up of plants confiscated at the city’s main airport. There are often workshops and concerts held here, so ask hostel staff for up to date information.
Staying in one of the hostels in Amsterdam offers you the opportunity to meet like-minded travellers and perhaps share your experiences of this wonderful city. The above list for exploring a different side of its nature is by no means exhaustive, so talking to other travellers is bound to inspire you with more ideas.