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- Posted:Thursday, September 29, 2016
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Offbeat Amsterdam: Six unusual things to do
Guest blogger Anita Dykstra is a travel writer from New Zealand. You can read her great blog on her website.
Amsterdam is a playground for the weird and wonderful. Sometimes nothing seems mundane in this buzzing city. There will always be a never-ending list of quirky and offbeat things to do here. Without further ado, here are six offbeat things to see and do on your next trip to Amsterdam!
Amsterdam is known for its beautiful canals so it’s no wonder that not a lot of tourists know about Blijburg beach.Located just outside of the city, it may not exactly be the Maldives but it definitely stands out as one of the Netherlands’ many beautiful sandy beaches. Catch tram 26 from Central Station and then walk for 15 minutes to visit one of the country’s newest reclaimed beaches. You can even go windsurfing! Hang loose Holland!
Another strange museum found in Amsterdam is the Museum Vrolik. If you’re squeamish then maybe give this one a miss! This museum holds what is possibly the world’s largest collection of human deformities. Gerardus Vrolik (1755-1859) and Willem Vrolik (1801-1863) were both professors of anatomy. These days their private collection is now on show for everyone to see. 150 specimens displaying deformations have been on display since 1994 and it’s definitely one of the most unique and offbeat museums in Amsterdam and possibly in Europe.
Want your beer extra cold? Look no further! Head to the Xtracold Icebar where there really is no other way to drink your beverage. It’s possibly one of the coolest bars in Amsterdam, literally. Everything is made of ice, from the walls to the furniture. If it all gets too much, don’t worry, they have a second bar next door where you can relax in warmer conditions. You need to reserve your ticket before you enter and the great thing is, it's not crazy expensive. For €20 you get entry, three free drinks and experience what it feels like to be stranded at the North Pole, just like the story of the famous Dutch explorers who survived the hardship when their boat was stranded on the island of Nova Zembla in 1595…albeit with beer.
You can’t miss a trip to the sex museum located on the busiest street in the city, Damrak. While walking from room to room, you will hear baffling noises of women; you’ll also witness how sex has evolved with time, which is displayed by a large amount of sculptures, paintings and photographs. You will definitely giggle, but you may also learn a little about the subject that is largely talked about in Amsterdam. Entry to this one-of-a-kind museum costs just €4 and is open from 9.30am until 11.30pm every day.
This historic bar was only one of two buildings to survive Amsterdam’s great fire in 1452. The word ‘In’t Aepjen’ literally translates to ‘In the Monkeys’ because back in the age of the Dutch Empire sailors coming from distant countries like Indonesia who were short on cash used to offer their new pet monkeys as payment. People apparently started to complain because the pub became overrun with fleas so the monkeys were given to a man who kept them in his garden and later on his garden became Amsterdam’s Artis Zoo. Fortunately, these days you cannot pay with your pets, but this bar is one of the oldest bars in the city so make sure you stop by for a drink!
Garlic Queen Restaurant
How much do you love garlic? Enough to wish it was in everything? This unusual and unique eatery serves every single one of their dishes with garlic, even desserts and the drinks! If you are a lover of garlic this may just be your paradise. Be sure to try their garlic ice-cream, garlic beer or garlic and lime liqueur. This unusual restaurant is now one of the most popular in Amsterdam and can be found on Reguliersdwarsstraat. It’s open Wednesdays to Sundays.
Tell us below where you would love to visit in Amsterdam or if you have been to any of these quirky and offbeat places!