1. Go Outside of the City Centre
Needless to say, the Amsterdam center is the tourist focal point of the city. It is where all the most famous sights of the city are located and where the everlasting crowds will stay. Amsterdam, however, is a lot more than a city center and there is no better way to experience the local life than by exploring the different neighborhoods and experiencing small daily activities.
Assuming you already got your hands on a bike, exploring Amsterdam should be first on your list of activities. Even if you do not have one, the transport system is well developed and easy to use, despite being a bit pricey.
One of the first neighborhoods that you need to visit is Oud-West or Amsterdam West. It is a triangular area just outside of the center which holds a variety of market streets and is surrounded by parks. Why you should visit Oud-West will be revealed in the following section.
What to do in Oud-West
The feeling you get after you spend some time in Oud-West is a combination of a village and a cosmopolitan environment. The best way to experience it is to try a little bit of everything – ethnic food, street markets, or some of the cultural events.
Visit the De Hallen Cultural Complex
Since it was transformed into a cultural complex in 2015, De Hallen has become one of the coolest places in Amsterdam. It combines a little bit of everything – a variety of workshops and restaurants, the largest independent cinema complex in the Netherlands, a hotel, and many curious markets.
You can, of course, see tourists here as well but it is also a great place for expats in Amsterdam to get to know the local culture.
One of the first locations in De Hallen that are mandatory is FoodHallen. You already understand that this is a covered food market but we would rather call it a multicultural food paradise. It will quickly become your go-to location for trying out exotic food from around the world.
You will find dozens of incredible shops in De Hallen but you definitely need to visit the monthly Makers Market where you will find the most unique craft goods made by locals and actually meet the makers. What better way to find something made-in-Amsterdam for your home and meet new people.
Visit Ten Katemarkt Market
Ten Katemarkt is a quaint outdoor food market with over 100 stands selling absolutely all types of fresh food. It is also a great location to eat Dutch Street Food and experience some traditional meals. This is one of the tourist-empty locations in the city which best represents the lifestyle of the Dutch nation.
In addition, you will find that the prices here are significantly lower than in the majority of the large supermarkets and the best place to find fresh food at a discounted price.