Hidden gems: Amsterdam edition

By Hannah Wheeler, Vrije Universitiet, Netherlands

Throughout my year in Amsterdam, I was always keen to try and find spots that were beyond the tourist’s gaze. When I met an Amsterdamer, I would often ask what places they recommended and what were their favourite parts of the city. Here are a few places I discovered and fell in love with… 

Joe’s garage is a squatted space in Amsterdam. From the outside it’s hard to spot as it is just a boarded up shop front. but when you walk inside you discover a cosy little space with a small bar, some tables and sofas and a tiny outdoor courtyard. Most nights of the week it has something different going on. Sundays are film nights where they show a movie that can be selected by anyone. They also have all vegan dinners with three-course meals of home-cooked food. Joe’s garage is such a cool space run by donations and volunteers. It has a welcoming vibe and a very chilled-out atmosphere. https://joesgarage.nl/

Mezrab was recommended to me by my salsa teacher. Again it is a volunteer and donation-run space. On Wednesday nights they have an open-mic storytelling night (in English). People from all over the world stand up and tell their short stories – some are facts and some are fiction. It’s a creative fun space where people connect with one another. Nights there are often filled with laughter as well. Plus if you want some of the best soup in Amsterdam, it’s served here. https://mezrab.nl/

Niuewe meer is my favourite swim spot in Amsterdam. It’s at the top of the Amsterdamse Bos (the forest) and has decking out into the water. If you go early in the morning you will come across a nice open water swimming community. Also going during a sunny afternoon and you encounter lots of people of all ages enjoying the sun and fresh water. 

Skate Cafe became my favourite night out. Usually, some of the cheaper nights out are here. During the day it’s a bar/restaurant and at night it turns into a techno club filled with interesting characters. Although it is in Noord and so can be a trek depending on where you live, it was always worth it in my eyes. 

There are many more hidden gems spread across the city, these are just a few of my favourites.

2 thoughts on “Hidden gems: Amsterdam edition

  1. Hannah these Amsterdam posts are amaaaazing, currently been here 2 weeks and have referred to your list of 50 things to do to explore the city – dunkjewel! Very excited for the year ahead, and the recommendation on your other blog about resits has put me at ease. Hope Manchester treats you just as well this yr. 🙂

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