by Justin Gibson

Amsterdam’s Lesser Known Wonders

Due north of colorful tulip fields and windmills lies the cultural heart of the Netherlands — Amsterdam. Threaded with dreamy canals, lined with quaint houses and containing what feels like more culture per capita than anywhere else in the world, Amsterdam is a fairytale actualized. But beyond the scores of priceless works of art, the history-worn cobblestone streets of De Wallen and the abundance of delicious Dutch delicacies lies a treasure trove of less-noticed wonders. For a truly unique trip through Amsterdam, consider checking out a few of the curiosities below.

Electric Lady art gallery
The dreamscapes of Electric Ladyland are likely to mesmerize.

Electric Ladyland

Aptly named after the Hendrix album and located in the basement of the Electric Lady art gallery, Electric Ladyland is the world’s first and only museum dedicated to the ethereal wonder of fluorescent light. Comprised of a large room filled with sculptures and bathed in shades of florescent paint, the museum is largely “participatory art” — meaning your exploration of the room’s many nooks and crannies is actively encouraged. If you leave Electric Ladyland and you’re still craving neon landscapes, you’ll likely want to play a few games at GlowGolf Amsterdam.

When it comes to learning how the little things can be a big deal, Micropia is a zoo without equal.


Housed at the end of the Artis Amsterdam Royal Zoo, Micropia is a massive collection of the tiniest creatures to ever roam the Earth. Dedicated entirely to the microscopic world, this interactive zoo and museum sheds light on how microbes affect everything from digesting food to spreading plagues and showcases billions of the tiny denizens in airtight cases under microscopes. Seeing what microbes live on your eyelashes is certainly an eye-opening experience.

Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam
Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam plays host to some leafy specimens that are stranger than fiction.

Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam

While a handful of outdoor parks and gardens exist scattered throughout the city, for a stroll through the extraordinary side of fauna, a visit to the Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam is a must. Originally established in 1638 to grow the herbs needed to combat the Black Plague, this botanic garden has continued to collect a host of curious inhabitants. Among them: a 2,000-year-old agave cactus dating to the Roman era, the Victoria amazonica water lily (only 150 years young) and a cycad collection housing offsets from the legendary Wood’s Cycad — the only palm-like plant that survived the dinosaurs and five subsequent ice ages.

Amsterdam is a city filled with wonder, just waiting to be discovered.

Ready to Make Your Vacation Days Mean Something?

Eager to thread your way through Amsterdam’s canals on an adventure? Our travel experts can help you elevate your vacation days — especially with the help of our partnerships with leading names in travel. One of our go-to favorites is Viking: with their combination of luxury river ships, meticulously tailored onboard experience and guided onshore excursions, their bespoke offerings translate to truly enriching travel. And, considering how many of their cruises begin or end with the wonderous city of Amsterdam, embarking on a life-changing adventure filled with curiosities like the ones above has never been easier.


Contact our travel agency to book your enriching European adventure with Viking today.


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