Amsterdam’s Hidden Gems

The vibrant city of Amsterdam boasts a large number of world famous attractions such as art galleries, parks and museums. While the well-worn tourist trail through the city has a lot to offer visitors, people who are looking for something a bit different should take a look at some of Amsterdam’s hidden gems.

The Chapel of the Parrot

Kalverstraat is famous as being one of the best shopping streets in the whole of Europe, and people travel there from all over the world in search of a bargain or two. However, few shoppers realise that just around the corner is one of the city’s most unusual churches. In place of the usual saints and other religious icons, visitors who step inside the doors of the Chapel of the Parrot will find images of vibrantly coloured parrots and other quirky design features.

Lairesse Apotheek

This charming pharmacy was designed by Concrete and can be found on De Lairessestraat 40. While the ground floor of this unusual building is dedicated to presenting elements relating to the history of traditional medicine, the top floor is dedicated to passing on medical knowledge in an atmosphere of wellbeing and serenity.


People who have a sweet tooth will not want to pass up the chance to enjoy freshly made pancakes while they cruise along Amsterdam’s enchanting network of canals. Boat trips last for one or two-and-a-half hours, and during this time all passengers are treated to their choice of unlimited pancakes.

The Tree in a House

Those who have an eye for architecture and design are sure to appreciate this unusual house. The Tree in a House can be found on Scheepstimmermanstraat 120 and is a real tribute to modern Dutch architecture. The house was designed by Koen van Velsen during the period when Amsterdam’s residents were given free rein to design their own houses, and completely encloses an impressive 10-metre acacia tree.

The Movies

A trip to The Movies art house is a must for art lovers who are visiting Amsterdam. This attractive art deco building was created in 1912 and is Amsterdam’s oldest running cinema. Sandwiched between some of the trendiest restaurants and boutiques in Amsterdam at Haarlemmerdijk 161, The Movies offers cinema-goers a truly special cinema experience. Film fans who arrive early for a screening have the chance to enjoy dinner or a drink in the house restaurant, which is the perfect way to soak up the backdrop of old film posters, geometric wall lamps and traditional mahogany furniture. The Movies is situated at Haarlemmerdijk 161 and offers movie-goers a truly special cinema experience.

Amsterdam Riding School

This hidden gem can be found right next to Vondelpark in the heart of the city, and a trip here is the perfect way for families to keep the kids entertained while they are on holiday. While the children are riding on one of the school’s horses or ponies, their parents can unwind with a cup of tea in the onsite café. This is one of the oldest riding schools in the whole of Europe and the stunning 19th century building was designed by Dutch architect A.L van Gendt.

Sculptures under the Vondelpark Viaduct

While you are in the area, make sure that you take the time to appreciate these two impressive sculptures. The sculptures were created by Hildo Krop in 1947 and were carefully restored in 2000. Although thousands of people pass by these sculptures every day, few people really notice them, which make the sculptures among Amsterdam’s true hidden gems.

One of the great things about Amsterdam is that there are interesting and unusual things waiting to be discovered around virtually every corner. People who take the time to really get to know the city are sure to find plenty of hidden gems, so why not get some Amsterdam flights and explore it yourself.

Sam Burrows is a freelance travel writer.

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