Everyone knows the Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum, Heineken, Adam Tower and the Hop On Hop Off tours. During my last month in here, I wanted to experience something unusual, something that would make the experience in Amsterdam more immersive.
1. Kayaking in Amsterdamse Bos
Have you ever thought of Amsterdam as an outdoor destination? Well me neither before I found out the big green area in the south of the city. The huge forest is full of different kinds of activities for children and adults – running, zip-lines, stand-up paddling, swimming, kayaking and many more. The activity that caught my eye was kayaking!
The first time I tried kayaking was in Thailand, so I had some doubts how it would be in a city holiday destination, I mean kayaking is not the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of Amsterdam, but it was definitely worth it. There are 3 different kayak routes you can take around the forest. The route I chose was 1,5 hours and very relaxing – I didn’t have to exert myself at all, instead I could smoothly go forward and enjoy the quietness and green surroundings.
2. Plastic Fishing
How to combine helping the environment and getting the most out of the extra-ordinary canals of Amsterdam? Try the Plastic Fishing from Plastic Whale!
Plastic Fishing was my third canal cruising experience and for sure the best one! It starts from the Westerkerk with an introduction (I missed it though, because I was late, so I recommend being on time!). After you are provided with the nets and the plastic picking adventure begins!
It was surprising and shocking how much we actually pulled out of the water: dozens of full and empty beer cans, cups, glasses, a lot of condoms, packages of food and tons of plastic waste. From the plastic we collect, Plastic Whale creates furniture – which is pretty amazing.
While helping Amsterdam to stay clean, I had the chance to do sightseeing, learn about the surroundings and see the beautiful canal area!
“–The more people join, the more positive impact we create –”
3. Electric Ladyland
Amsterdam is a city of culture – a lot of museums. You can choose from the huge Van Gogh and Rijksmuseums or immerse yourself into history while visiting the Anne Frank House; or if these don’t interest you, you can do what I did and try something completely different.
Electric Ladyland is a small art gallery and museum located in the pretty Jordaan area of Amsterdam. It’s all about fluorescent art. In the right light, I was able to see minerals, rocks and other things I wouldn’t have known to be fluorescent, to turn into amazing bright colors.Also, it was my first experience with participatory art – you could really be part of the art piece in the museum: walk into it, touch it and see every tiny little detail – which is something different from all of the other museums.
In addition to the cool visual aspects of the museum and the fact that you could even be part of it, I loved the personal touch of the visit. You could talk with the people behind the whole experience, hear their story and really sense that your questions are answered with passion and real knowledge.
4. Mystery of A Secret Sender
“Exploration, puzzle solving and little-known stories from history to transform the way you explore the city.”
If you are interested in getting to know the city you’re traveling to a bit better in a fun way, this is definitely the activity to choose!
Puzzle by puzzle, the whole (true) story of the Mystery of a Secret Sender takes you around the city immersing you into the Golden Age of Amsterdam. It starts from the Dam Square where you are provided with a map, which(when used properly) will take you to some interesting sights and buildings around the city center. The story you are now a part of is easy to follow and really well put together. This activity can give you a really nice insight into Amsterdam by doing, learning, seeing and exploring! You’re not just walking aimlessly around but instead solving a true mystery happening in Amsterdam.
I liked how you can do it at your own pace and how the puzzles you’ll need to solve during the game are related to Amsterdam. However, if you want to speed it up – you can compete against the time limit!
5. Eat With A Local – Delicious Dutch Dinner Overlooking the Canals
I had heard previously about home restaurants and thought this would be a cool addition to the list – interesting thing to do in Amsterdam from a food-related perspective. After some research I found a really good one and tried my luck with it.
From the moment I booked the dinnerateatwith.com I felt really welcome: Martine and Olav, the hosts of the dinner, sent me a message with their suggestions of their personal highlights in the city – bars, cafes and restaurants.
When I was going to the location of the dinner, I really had no idea what to expect. Who were the people going to be, what will the place be like, and what kind of atmosphere would there be. But in the end, I was so happy with how the whole experience turned out. Martine and Olav were not just great with their cooking (all of their Dutch dishes from organic and local products, from appetizers to desserts were delicious!) but they were also great hosts. They explained the courses, answered all of the questions you could possibly ask about Amsterdam and also shared their stories about living in Amsterdam as a local. The atmosphere at the dinner was very homely and it was also fun to get to know to other guests in this kind of environment – sharing stories over dinner in somebody’s home. Last but not least, the view was incredible – from the window I overlooked the beautiful canals of Amsterdam.
I would definitely recommend this to everyone and specially the dinner with Martine and Olav!
How to book?
It is actually pretty easy to find all of these activities – most of them are in the center of the city. Kayaking is in the Amsterdamse Bos (Amsterdam Forest) and it is possible to go there without any bookings or reservations beforehand.
Plastic Fishing you can find here https://plasticwhale.com/. You can also read interesting info about their sustainable mission!
For the participatory art in Electric Ladyland, you canmakean appointment for yourself here ontheir website: https://www.electric-lady-land.com/.
Bookings for the Mystery of The Secret Sender can be found here: http://mystery.city/
And all of the immersive food experiences can be bookedfrom the https://www.eatwith.com/ website!
This post is also available in: Dutch