Amsterdam is known for having quite a laissez faire attitude to, well, most things, and this openness towards the weird and wonderful extends to many of their tourist attractions. Of course, the city isn’t the only place in the world to have a Red-light district or other adult entertainment widely on offer, but there’s definitely a reason it’s seen as such a mecca for the freaky, interesting, and downright bizarre. If you’re keen for something a little different than cycling around parks and strolling down canals, then look no further: we’re here to show you some of the most unusual things to do in Amsterdam.
Operating for over two hundred years, this museum was originally a medical centre dedicated to teaching students from the University of Amsterdam about anatomy. From this, it grew into the quirky museum in Amsterdam that we know and love, with several collections of embryos and anatomical abnormalities being housed there. The collection has been added to over the years and has grown to include specimens from multiple other museums similar to it, meaning it now showcases the largest assortment of human deformities in the world. Definitely not one for the squeamish, this is a truly unique and weird thing to do in Amsterdam.
We all love having a good time, but safety should always be the number one priority, and the Condomerie in the Red-Light district embodies this message. The first condom specialty shop in the world, it has been running for over thirty years and has a cornucopia of prophylactics on the shelves to admire. Whilst adult entertainment in Amsterdam is usually portrayed as sex shows and sex workers, here you get to see the flip side of the coin, with tongue in cheek displays sat alongside genuinely educational content about the history of safe sex.
Possibly one of the most unusual things to do in Amsterdam, this museum claims to be the first and only museum of fluorescent art in the world. Located in a small basement, you can go in alone, but a tour is recommended, and the knowledge of the guides really turns it from something mildly interesting into a truly unforgettable experience. They work on the premise of “participatory art”, which means visitors take part in creating the art, so each visit is unique. The museum shows fluorescent minerals under different lights to show off the weird and wonderful colours of nature, as well as giving plenty of information about the history of UV art and fluorescence in general, making it one of the quirkiest museums in Amsterdam.
In’t Aepjen (Monkey Bar)
Located in one of the two oldest buildings in the city, this bar has been running for over half a millennium. The name translates to “In the Monkeys” and refers to a practice during the height of the Dutch Empire, when sailors returning from faraway lands would offer up their newly acquired pet monkeys as payment for bills. Although it is infamous, the pub doesn’t rely on its name to survive; they offer great service and a wide selection of beers, all among the multiple monkey motifs that adorn the walls and reference the storied past of the building.
Strolling or cycling through this famous park is a must do for any Amsterdam trip, but if you time your visit right you can end up having a much more unique experience, as silent discos are run every so often right in the heart of the park. Dancing in complete silence (to the outside world) is certainly one of the more unusual experiences you can have in Amsterdam, and the pace at which tickets get snapped up for this event show that. If you don’t want to miss out, make sure to plan ahead!
The premier sex show in the Dutch capital, Casa Rosso offers the very best of adult entertainment in Amsterdam. Entry includes a drink, and the show consists of a blend of comedy and live sex. The queues for this place tend to be quite large and they try to keep the crowd rotating, so if you can book ahead it’s best.
A more intimate affair than the touristy Casa Rosso, Sameplace bills itself as an erotic café. Open to all genders and orientations, they make it a point not to tolerate harassment or aggressive behaviour, which makes it one of the more comfortable and safer adult entertainment spots in Amsterdam. Split into a bar, café, and dungeon, each level has its own quirks and rules, but in general this can be defined as a swingers bar. Definitely one of the weirdest things to do in Amsterdam, try to get in on a theme night if you’re interested in visiting: they’re the most fun events by far.
This former squat has been transformed into a self-sustaining cultural centre and village. A shipyard in a previous life, the residents here call themselves a living experiment, and it’s an apt descriptor. A free haven for creative thought, they fundraise by putting on shows and events, and they are more than happy to educate visitors about how the community works. There is also an abundance of wildlife on the premises, so people who are interested in the environment and nature can find something of interest here. Great for a general wander round as well as specific shows, it’s definitely worth checking out.
Sexual means spiritual for this tantric massage specialist, which is one of the most reputable and well recommended ones in the city. A unique experience that can truly only be lived through, not described. Although some parlours are seedy and give the artform a bad name, La Tantra is very much the opposite. Focused on women, they do allow for men to learn and watch their partners. The techniques experienced here will open your mind like nothing else, so if you’re looking for tantric massages in Amsterdam, this is the spot.
Looking to experience the weird and wonderful Amsterdam for a stag do? Take a look at our guide to the ultimate stag weekend in this vivacious city.
Ready to delve into the unusual in the Dutch capital? Then download the Orbzii app to Dream, Plan, and Book your Amsterdam adventure today!