Hello Expat! Welcome to Amsterdam!
I am pretty sure you are quite stressed out in finding a roof above your head and you are dreaming of “ SCAMMERS-SCAMMERS-SCAMMERS” all nights! I can definitely tell that because I have experienced the same! It won’t be easy my friend but, good things take time and patience and I can ensure that it is absolutely worth it! So don’t give up and let me explain why your efforts will bring you a magnificent discover.
Let’s imagine you found your kennel, next step is to go and get a bike! Amsterdam is not that big and easy in getting around on two wheels. Traveling within Amsterdam is straightforward and convenient and the preferred way is by bicycle. You can cycle whenever and towards wherever you want, heading from West to Oost in 20 minutes. Hopping on a bike is the best way to reach hidden places you would only know if you randomly bumped into them. But I am here to reveal a couple of these secrets so you can immediately feel the intriguing and vibrant side of the city and go check them out!
What is more underground, secret and exciting than an actual bunker?!
The Vondelbunker is hidden under a bridge in Vondelpark and hosts a variety of interesting counterculture activities and events including concerts, cinema night, art exhibits and dinners. Nearly all of the events have free entrance and they ask for a donation of your choice. And yes, this is an actual bomb shelter from the Cold War.
Not far from our first spot, cycling along the Overtoom, you’ll find this interesting building squatted by a group of artists in 1999. They squatted the building to create a new platform where artists could live and work together and could work on a public programming that offers a stage to experimental, new, alternative art, music, film, dance, theater, workshops and other sorts of performance and shows they choose to put on. (my experience: I spent one of the most mystic night there! I had a tasty vegan dinner, danced reggae downstairs and techno upstairs in a cinema room with maximum 30 people. So stoked! Just a little tip: Bring cash with you, they don’t have pin!). More info here
The best cocktails ever are here!! A super cozy and informal spot where you can order literally the best drinks in town. Cocktails are considered to be unique and eccentric; the bartenders love to play with their mix of infusions and herbal syrups. They have a very creative menu, the cocktails are usually classic with a twist and served without gimmicky presentation. The bar is hidden, definitely overlooked and tends to be not especially busy. The small space and layout make it easy to chat with the regular locals and the small handful of tourists. Prepare your “Ik wil graag een drink, alstublief” and get tipsy!
Skate and chill people lover? Here is your spot! Hidden in a warehouse in the North of Amsterdam you can find the first skateboard cafe, bar, restaurant and live venue. With skateboarding lessons every Wednesday, a guest chef restaurant every Thursday evening and parties every week, this place is kicking off!
Did you wake up with a volunteer vein this morning and need good food after a party night? Take a look to this special small restaurant located in the middle of Albert Cuypstraat where you pay what you feel. Exactly. There are no prices for anything. You decide how much you pay what you’ve ordered. Great concept, lovely staff, tasty and real food. Once you find it, it will become your favorite Amsterdam location! Trust
What are you waiting for? Go get a couple of friends and go check these hidden gems out! More will come but let’s start with these ones and come back to us to share your experience and if my tips made you feel local! Amsterdam is much more than Red Light Districts or Coffeeshops, it is everything unseen which has to be discovered. No worries, I’ll help you out! 😉
“After realizing that I wanted to achieve more in my life, I moved to Amsterdam from a small sea village in Italy. I needed to find my way and to get affirmed about my identity and I will never regret my choice to come here! In Amsterdam I found a good job, a beautiful house, amazing people and most of all, myself. Amsterdam allows me to travel the world and to feel the need to come back to my outstanding free city!” Read more about Joana’s time in Amsterdam on her blog
– by Joana Nucci