Crazy things to do in Amsterdam
Welcome to a city that never ceases to amaze! Amsterdam, known for its historic charm, picturesque canals, and coffee shops has a crazy alter ego that often remains hidden to most travellers. In this article, I will introduce you to the unconventional, unexpected, and downright crazy things in Amsterdam. From secret spots and quirky activities to offbeat experiences, I’ll uncover the most unique and unconventional adventures that Amsterdam has to offer. So, let’s dive headfirst into the wonderful world of crazy things to do in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam crazy things to do
1. Comedy Walks – ditch that old-fashioned city guide and bring in a comedian!
Are you tired of the same old city tours that make you doze off halfway through? Well, get ready for a refreshing change! Introducing super fun walking tours with a local stand-up comedian as guide! Say goodbye to mundane historical facts and hello to captivating stories told with a comedic twist. With this tour, you’ll find yourself laughing at unexpected moments, while still gaining valuable insights into the city and its people. It is the perfect blend of laughter and exploration, where you’ll be entertained while discovering the hidden gems of Amsterdam.
Comedy Walks managed to turn the traditional city tour on its head. You’ll be laughing your way through the streets, but don’t be fooled – you’ll also be soaking up fascinating historical and cultural tidbits along the way. Comedy Walks comedians are experts at weaving knowledge into their hilarious anecdotes, ensuring that you not only have a great time but also leave with a deeper understanding of the city’s rich heritage. It’s a win-win situation: laughter and learning, all in one unforgettable experience!
2. Swing Amsterdam – combine breathtaking views with a shot of adrenaline
If you’re seeking an adventure that combines breathtaking views with a rush of adrenaline, this is an absolute must-visit attraction. The ‘Over the Edge Swing’ on the A’dam Tower offers a perspective like no other. Suspended high above the city, you’ll have a panoramic view of Amsterdam, its iconic canals, its historic landmarks and the river IJ (pronounced as Eye). This is the highest swing in the whole of Europe at a stunning100 metres above the ground. Be sure to add this to your Amsterdam crazy things to do list!
For the true adventure seekers, the Swing at Amsterdam Lookout is a unique opportunity to get your heart pumping while enjoying the beauty of Amsterdam. And if you’re not typically an adrenaline junkie, it’s a chance to challenge your limits and experience something truly extraordinary. And, if, like me, you have a slight fear of heights, don’t worry, there are a multitude of crazy things to do in Amsterdam at ground level.
Good to know: behind Amsterdam Central Station there is a free ferry that takes you across the River IJ.
3. Vondelbunker – explore the most unconventional and obscure site of Amsterdam
One of the most unconventional and intriguing places in Amsterdam is the Vondelbunker. Surprisingly, many locals remain in the dark about its existence, let alone its whereabouts.The Vondelbunker is a former atomic bomb shelter hidden in the famous Vondelpark. It was built in 1947 as part of the Vondelbridge that connects Amsterdam-South with Amsterdam-West. Later on, in the late 60s, the shelter was transformed into a small concert hall where notably Pink Floyd performed! Due to financial constraints the place closed down and since then the shelter has been intermittently vacant and used for various purposes. Only since 2011, this atomic bomb shelter has been known as the ‘Vondelbunker’ and is used for art-exhibitions, comedy nights, and other creative projects. And here is a note to chess enthusiasts who are looking for crazy things to do in Amsterdam; every Sunday afternoon the place is occupied by chess players!
At times, you may find the entrance door open, yet it remains a bit of a mystery as to when this exactly happens. Feel free to enter and peek around in this obscure and intriguing place. And remember, if an atomic bomb ever falls on Amsterdam on a Sunday afternoon, the city will be repopulated solely by avid chess players.
4. Ton Ton club – just two words: play hard
At Ton Ton Club you can spend a crazy night playing a wide variety of classic and contemporary arcade games, offering a nostalgic trip for those who grew up with these games and an exciting introduction for younger visitors. The Ton Ton Club is not just another tourist attraction; it’s a popular place with locals, expats and tourists who are looking for a fun night out. There is a bar and a good kitchen offering Japanese and Asian fusion dishes and snacks.
Whenever I host friends visiting from abroad, Ton Ton Club is my go-to choice, and it never fails to impress. The air hockey table is a personal favourite, and the intensity of the competition that usually unfolds around it always makes me laugh. The club’s location in the heart of Westerpark makes it easily accessible, allowing you to explore the neighbourhood and enjoy other local attractions before or after your visit.
5. Our Lord in the Attic Museum – discover a hidden church from the 17th century!
Tucked away in the heart of the city center is a stunning 17th-century canal house harboring a well-guarded secret—a concealed Roman-Catholic church! This extraordinary residence was acquired by the German merchant Jan Hartman in 1661, and what sets it apart is that he transformed its attic into a magnificent Roman-Catholic church, completely hidden from the prying eyes of the outside world.
But why this clandestine arrangement? It all traces back to the Protestant Reformation, which kicked off in 1517 with Martin Luther’s iconic 95 theses challenging the Catholic Church. During this transformative period, many Catholic churches in the Netherlands were repurposed as Protestant places of worship. While other religious groups like the Baptists, Remonstrants, and Jews were permitted to conduct their services, there was one condition: they had to remain discreet and out of sight. As a result, an array of hidden house churches emerged, each with its own unique history. Jan Hartman’s house church stands as the most intact and compelling example that survived, still concealing its secrets to this day. You better add this museum to your ‘crazy things in Amsterdam’ – list.
Good to know: on the same canal you can find one of my favourite coffee places: de Koffieschenkerij.
Other crazy things in Amsterdam
Electric Ladyland – Dive into a parallel fluorescent universe
Hello people looking in Amsterdam for crazy things to do, make sure to add Electric Ladyland to your list of offbeat experiences. It’s not just your typical museum; it’s the foremost destination for fluorescent art that’s tucked away in a basement! Yes, you read that right. The brainchild of artist and owner Nick Padalino began as a mere hobby collection, but it soon spiraled into something utterly extraordinary. Immerse yourself in a universe filled with expertly fashioned neon, otherworldly sculptures, and a wide variety of rocks and curiosities that come to life under UV-light
.Nick is the man in the know, and he’s eager to tell you about his boundless passion for this mesmerizing world of luminescence. So, if you’re up for an unforgettable journey into the fluorescent unknown, Electric Ladyland is where it’s at!
The Amsterdam catacombs – demonstrate your courage in the dark
Do you possess the courage to venture into the heart of the craziest and most intense horror escape room of Amsterdam or possibly Europe? The escape room ‘Amsterdam Catacombs’ is not for the faint-hearted. Catacombs are underground tombs used, at least in the past, as cemeteries. This escape room is located below an old Dutch Church, the Posthoornkerk. And there is a compelling reason behind the strict emphasis on mental stability and physical resilience for those who dare to enter the Amsterdam Catacombs. The experience unfolds in a realm of darkness, punctuated by flickering lights, eerie noises, and doors that slam shut. As you navigate through this spine-tingling labyrinth, a constant sense of unease creeps over you, leaving you perpetually on edge.
We successfully cracked the majority of the puzzles, achieving a 70% completion rate. However, it’s not that easy to maintain a clear head and strategic thinking amidst the constant disruptions of malevolent spirits, who persistently challenge your courage. Here you can read more about the Amsterdam Catacombs.
About the author: Laura Daniëlle is co-founder of Comedy Walks. Comedy Walks are the most fun alternative walking tours of Amsterdam with a stand-up comedian as guide. You can also book a Comedy Walk in Utrecht and Eindhoven.