canals in Amsterdam: a romantic picture

A Local’s Guide To Hidden Gems in Amsterdam

Hidden gems in Amsterdam are like the city’s best-kept secrets, waiting to be discovered by those with a curious spirit.

Amsterdam has become extremely popular throughout the years. A lot of amazing spots are filled with tourists and it can be hard to find a more serene place to visit.

That’s why I’ve written this list of the still remaining hidden gems in Amsterdam. These spots aren’t yet discovered by mass tourism and are definitely worth visiting.

They give you a different and more pleasant experience of the capital city. Read on to find out where to wander in Amsterdam!

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below may contain affiliate links. At no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase.

Hoftuin gardens
Dignita Hoftuin

Hidden Gems in Amsterdam

After studying in Amsterdam for six years and living in the surroundings of Amsterdam for more than 20 years, I’ve gotten to know lots of unique spots here.

Spots that aren’t yet discovered by millions of tourists. Below you’ll find some of these hidden gems of Amsterdam:

Waterlooplein Market

Instead of the Albert Cuyp Market, head over to the Waterlooplein Market. This is a vintage market in Amsterdam. Here they sell lots of vintage clothing and other stuff like records and home made souvenirs.

You’ll also find some sellers with new items. It’s definitely a great place to visit in the capital city.

Amsterdam waterlooplein market
vintage things at Waterlooplein Markt
records at waterlooplein
Records at Waterlooplein Market

Cafe Langereis

Cafe Langereis is a lovely brown cafe with a comfortable sofa and a good atmosphere with lit candles on the tables. It’s a very cosy place to visit, especially during a rainy day in the capital city.

Even though it has a great location, not far from Hortus Botanicus, it’s not yet filled with tourists.

Cafe Langereis with a lit candle inside
Cafe Langereis

Dignita Hoftuin

Without a doubt, Dignita Hoftuin is one of the best cafes to visit in Amsterdam. Especially because of the beautiful gardens surrounding the cafe. Even if you don’t want to go for a coffee or a lunch, I highly recommend going to these gardens.

Gardens at Hoftuin
The gardens at Hoftuin

It’s just really nice and green and feels very elegant. It’s located quite close to the Hermitage Museum, which is also a great place to visit.

Tip: It’s good to know that you should reserve in advance if you want to visit the cafe itself.

Hoftuin gardens: hidden gems of Amsterdam
Surroundings of Hoftuin

Hortus Botanicus

Not yet overrun with tourists is the Hortus Botanicus, which is a lovely botanical garden in Amsterdam. It’s a living museum of botanical wonders, where you can wander through lush greenhouses and beautifully landscaped gardens.

Hortus Botanicus from a distance

Entrance is 12.50 euros per person. It’s filled with greenery and there’s a nice souvenir shop as well. Afterwards, relax at the nice cafe called de Oranjerie.

Tip: Buy an Amsterdam City Card if you’re planning on visiting multiple sights in Amsterdam, as this will save you money in the end.

Hortus Botanicus outside

Oudemanhuispoort

The Oudemanhuispoort in Amsterdam is one of those hidden gems that you stumble upon and instantly fall in love with. Sometimes there’s a book market here, which is very small, but cool to visit.

posters for sale at Oudemanhuispoort
books at Oudemanhuispoort
Books for sale at Oudemanhuispoort

It’s as if you’ve entered a secret passage, and suddenly, you find yourself in a charming courtyard. Here you’ll find stunning 17th-century buildings that now house the University of Amsterdam.

Oudemanhuispoort alley

Personally, I think it’s one of the most beautiful places in Amsterdam. Perhaps I’m biased because I studied law here! The historic building is very charming and the coffee is cheap compared to other places in Amsterdam.

Don’t forget to walk around the area, along the canals, but also through the door to the right, where you’ll access a small green place filled with old houses and a small playground.

Near to Oudemanhuispoort
area near Oudemanhuispoort
Area nearby Oudemanhuispoort

De Koffieschenkerij

This cafe is definitely a hidden gem in Amsterdam. Even though De Koffieschenkerij located in a busy area in de Wallen. It’s such a charming hidden place. You can choose to sit outside or inside.

There’s also a small attic inside where you can sit if there’s still space. It’s getting more and more popular, however luckily it’s not yet discovered by everyone.

de Koffieschenkerij inside

It’s definitely one of the most beautiful places in Amsterdam and I highly recommend a visit. An oatmeal coffee here costs around 4 euros.

girl standing at De Koffieschenkerij in de Wallen

Hortusbrug Bridge House

The Hortusbrug is located in front of Hortus Botanicus, on the canals. It’s a very unique place to stay in Amsterdam. These kind of houses are called bridge houses, in Dutch ”brugwachtershuisjes”.

It’s a very cute and special place to stay for the night. Click here to find the latest prices and availability of this cosy bridge house.

Hortusbrug
Hortusbrug: brugwachtershuisje

Bossche hofje

Bossche Hofje in Amsterdam is a hidden gem tucked away in the heart of the city. It’s a quaint, peaceful courtyard that looks like it came straight out of a storybook. If you’re looking for a little escape from the urban chaos, this is the place to be.

Step through the unassuming entrance and you’re greeted by a charming garden, with well-manicured hedges. It’s the kind of place where you’d want to plop down on a bench, soak up the sunshine and just watch the world go by.

door to Bossche Hofje
Find the red door and you’ll find the secret courtyard!

At this hofje you’ll find historic houses. They look like something out of a Dutch postcard, complete with old-style gables and cozy windows that seem to whisper secrets of centuries past.

This place is a slice of Amsterdam’s history, and you can almost feel the stories of the people who lived here back in the day. It’s one of the most beautiful hofjes in Amsterdam.

Bossche Hofje in Amsterdam
Bossche Hofje

Cafe De Nieuwe Lelie

Sometimes it’s difficult to find a cafe in Amsterdam which is not filled with (drunk) tourists. Well, if you’re looking for an undiscovered cafe in de Jordaan neighborhood, then head to Cafe De Nieuwe Lelie.

This is a small and cosy cafe worth visiting, away from the tourist crowds. This cafe is especially worth visiting because of its lovely location.

Cafe de Nieuwe Lelie views
Sitting at Cafe De Nieuwe Lelie in de Jordaan

Hermitage Museum / H’Art Museum

The Hermitage Amsterdam, often referred to as the “H’art Museum” for short, is a true cultural gem in the heart of the city. It’s a place that seamlessly combines history and art, inviting you to embark on a journey through time and creativity.

It’s an impressive architectural building that’s hard to miss, standing tall on the banks of the Amstel River. The museum itself is a maze of galleries that house an impressive collection of art.

From classical masterpieces to contemporary works, the Hermitage showcases an incredible range of artistic expression. Don’t forget to walk around the lovely gardens at the museum.

gardens at H'art Museum
Gardens at Hermitage

Westerstraat Market

The Westerstraat Market is an outdoor market located in the Westerstraat, a charming street in de Jordaan. It was originally a textiles market, but nowadays it also sells other things such as fruits and vegetables.

If you want to visit a different market than the Albert Cuyp Market, then have a look at this local market.

Westermarket
Westerstraat Market

Sint Andrieshofje

Sint Andrieshofje in Amsterdam is another one of those charming, low-key spots that makes you feel like you’ve discovered a little piece of history tucked away in the city. It’s like a quaint, time-worn page in the story of Amsterdam.

Sint Andrieshofje

This picturesque hofje is a hidden courtyard oasis, complete with a lush, green garden that feels like a breath of fresh air in the urban landscape. It’s really hidden, as my father, born and raised in Amsterdam, had never even been there before!

doors at Sint Andrieshofje

It’s the kind of place where you can escape the city’s crowds for a moment and just soak up the tranquility. What makes Sint Andrieshofje unique are the historic houses surrounding the courtyard.

One of the great things about Sint Andrieshofje is that it’s not overly crowded with tourists. You get a real sense of the place’s authenticity.

historic houses and trees at Sint Andrieshofje
Sint Andrieshofje

Concertgebouw on a Wednesday afternoon

I’m a bit hesitant to write this down here, as this is something a lot of people don’t yet know about and it truly is a hidden gem in Amsterdam.

On Wednesday’s you can attend a concert for free at the Concertgebouw, from 12.30 to 13.00 PM. You only have to pay a small transaction fee of 2.50 euros.

Do make sure to reserve your spot in advance, just in case. This is a great way to visit a magnificent concert in a historic building without having to pay.

In conclusion

Amsterdam’s hidden gems may not be as well-known as its famous landmarks, but they hold a special charm of their own. They invite you to explore and uncover the city’s hidden stories.

Whether you’re a local looking for solitude or a traveler in search of authenticity, these places are definitely worth exploring. They’re like the city’s best-kept secrets, shared by those lucky enough to stumble upon them.

So, when you visit Amsterdam, be sure to wander off the beaten path and discover these hidden treasures that make the city even more interesting.

Away with Danae

someone playing piano in the streets of amsterdam

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