6 Places in Amsterdam Without the Tourists

 
Image: Amsterdam: Beyond the Tourist Sites - Monk Coffee Roasters
 

By now, you probably know that there's more to Amsterdam than the Red Light District and the coffee shops. Great design, art, friendly people, and a lot of great places to roam. The center, of course, has some great things to see that are easily on everyone's list - Anne Frank House, Rijksmuseum, etc - and they're all worth seeing. But you're missing out on some of the best experiences if you don't go beyond the streets by the canals. 

Here are some of our tips on doing Amsterdam, beyond the typical tourist sites:

Be a Tree Lover at Hortus Botanicus

Hortus Botanicus is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world. Get away from the crowds and "browse" all the beautiful, and some endangered, plants that have been collected and cultivated over the years since the garden's beginning as an herb garden for doctors and apothecaries. When you're done head to the cafe for a drink where there's a giant tree inside that impressed us probably more than it should have. 

 
The cafe at Hortus Botanicus

The cafe at Hortus Botanicus

 

Visit Foodhallen Amsterdam

This is worth the trek. It's really not that far out of the central tourist area, so don't let that initial Google Maps search deter you. The renovated tram depot was converted into a multi-use food hall with some great food stalls and a G&T bar with an amazing selection of gin, tonic, and garnish combinations. Also, if you’re into coffee, take a slight detour to Monks Coffee Roasters on the way. They serve up some of the most delicious coffee we’ve ever had.

 
Beer Bar at Foodhallen

Beer Bar at Foodhallen

 

Cross the River to NDSM Wharf

There's easily enough to fill your itinerary just walking the downtown core of Amsterdam. But if you find you have some extra time, NDSM Wharf is a great spot to visit. The wharf is full of shipping-containers and street art, and is home to many art exhibitions, festivals and events. We loved the water-side bar at Pllek, which has comfy bean-bag chairs and a fantastic view of the river IJ.

Not far off Cafe de Ceuvel is the best on a lazy day. Relax by the water at the relaxed outdoor bar with some drinks, food and sometimes live music. 

 
Inside at Pllek

Inside at Pllek

 
 
A view of the Ij from NDSM Werf

A view of the Ij from NDSM Werf

 

Walk around De Pijp

While it's best known for being home to the Amsterdam Experience, De Pijp has so much more to offer. You'll find many young locals in this neighborhood. Stroll around the outdoor the Albert Cuyp Market or just browse the area's scenic buildings, shops and restaurants. Check out All the Luck in the World, De Wasserette, SNCKBR, and De Bajes

 
Street art around NDSM Werf

Street art around NDSM Werf

 

Browse Amsterdam Oost

A little outside the city centre is Amsterdam Oost, which has some lovely shops and restaurants. We had some great cocktails at the Vietnamese-inspired Bar Basquiat.

 
Image: Amsterdam: Beyond the Tourist Sites - Bar Basquiat
 

Eat some Gelato at IJscuypje

After eating gelato daily during our visit to Italy, we were in withdrawl. IJscuypje gave us that delicious gelato-kick we needed. They have a few locations around the city. 

Have you been to Amsterdam? What did you love about the city?