Amsterdam, the city of freedom, the city of love, art, culture, tradition and fun, the city where you will have the best waffles and pancakes, the best cheese and the best beer, the city where you will have the time of your life at ones of the most popular film and music festivals, dance clubs, cafes and coffeeshops, the city where you will get your art dosage at ones of the best museums in the world and the city where you can relax at ones of the most beautiful parks and gardens on this planet…
This city has so much to offer and tourists from every corner of the world come to see how amazing Amsterdam is. There are countless of lists put together to help tourists explore Amsterdam, listing every important monument, attraction and site there is. But if you feel like you have already seen everything which is listed as the most popular and if you feel like exploring a bit deeper, here is a list of some of the most amazing hidden gems of Amsterdam:
1. An original sculpture by Picasso in the Vondelpark
Even if you have seen it before, you probably didn’t know that the sculpture located in the southern end of the Vondelpark is an original sculpture by Picasso created in 1965 as part of an outdoor sculpture exhibition to mark the 100th anniversary of the Vondelpark. After the exhibition, Picasso donated the ‘Figure découpéel’Oiseau’ (‘The Bird’) to Amsterdam as a way to demonstrate his friendship with former Stedelijk Museum director Willem Sandberg.
2. An original 18th century herbalists’ shop
The original 18th century herbalists’ shop near Nieuwmarkt was opened in 1743 (when tobacco and opium were used as remedies) by a 21-year-old sailor’s son named Jacob Hooy and has perceived its original décor, including barrels, wooden drawers and a magnificent set of scales embellished with two entwined serpents.
3. The Buddhist temple
The Buddhist temple FoGuang Shan located in the center of the old town, surrounded by traditional Dutch buildings and houses, looks like a portal to Shanghai, with all its magnificence and beauty. The interior is impressive as well and is open to the public on Saturdays when guided tours are available, some including a meditation session.
4. The ancient prison under The Torensluis
The Torensluis (tower lock) is the city’s widest (40 meters) and one of its oldest bridges, completed in the mid 17th century. It carries the name of a tower which originally stood on the site until its demolition in the mid 19th century. Today, the foundations of the dungeon below are still visible, and not only that, but this ancient prison is open to the public and used to host events and exhibitions.
5. Seven houses for seven countries
This row of seven houses was commissioned in the 1890s by the wealthy banker and politician Samuel van Eeghen who was inspired by the various building styles of European countries. The architect TjeerdCuipers designed the houses to match his expectations, and the results were fascinating. Now, this short street includes Spanish, English, French, Russian, Italian, German, and A Dutch house.