Amsterdam's Quirkiest Attractions

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Amsterdam is a city that seems to glory in its uniqueness. Its liberal legislation is well known, of course, and could be said to contribute to the city’s eccentric appeal, but look beyond the coffee houses and the Dutch capital gets even trippier. For some reason Amsterdam is home to a lot of distinctly left of centre attractions.
 
There are loads of world class attraction in Amsterdam – the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gough Museum, Anne Frank’s house, to name but a few – but its abundance of quirky sights arguably offer a more on-brand way to experience this appealingly weird city.
 

The Electric Ladyland - Fluorescent Art Museum

The Electric Ladyland is very Amsterdam. Tucked beneath an art gallery, this is the world’s foremost (only?) museum of fluorescence. Pulsating with naturally fluorescent artefacts and an abundance of dazzling fluorescent art, this immersive psychedelic basement also endeavours to offer a participatory dimension, encouraging visitors to become part of the exhibition. Far out.
 
Tweede Leliedwarsstraat 5, 1015 TB Amsterdam
 
 

KattenKabinet and De Poezenboot

A feline double-bill that presumably ensures Amsterdam’s status as the world’s undisputed capital of cat culture.
 
Located in a charming 17th century canal house, KattenKabinet is stuffed to the whiskers with cat-related art, including paintings, drawings and sculptures of a feline persuasion by an array of surprisingly esteemed artists, including Picasso, Rembrandt and Toulouse-Lautrec. What started as a memorial to a ginger cat called J.P. Morgan, who died in 1983, has blossomed into a truly impressive artistic celebration of our feline friends. 
 
De Poezenboot (The Cat Boat) is essentially a floating cat sanctuary. Originally founded in the 60s to house sick, stray and abandoned cats, this feline fun house is usually home to somewhere in the region of 50 cats and functions as both a charity and a water bound cornucopia of cats that happily welcomes visitors.
 
KattenKabinet: Herengracht 497, 1017 BT Amsterdam
De Poezenboot: Singel 38G, 1015 AB Amsterdam
 
 

Micropia

Imagine a zoo populated with invisible organisms, many of which are associated with disease and illness. That’s the premise of Micropia, the world’s first ‘zoo for microbes’. Focusing on microscopic bacteria and microbes, Micropia takes visitors on a fascinating, if occasionally skin-crawling, tour of ‘micro-nature’.
 
Micropia’s mission is to highlight the positive function of microbes and visitors are treated to a microbial tour of their own bodies, which may leave you with an uncanny sense that your body isn’t exclusively your own. 
 
Plantage Kerklaan 38-40, 1018 CZ Amsterdam
 
 

Torture Museum

What better way to pass an afternoon than a leisurely stroll through a series of small rooms that promise to investigate mankind’s horrifying history of torture? The Torture Museum is a fittingly claustrophobic, dimly lit space exhibiting a variety of unpleasant torture instruments. Though undoubtedly morbid, the museum offers plenty of historic insight, alongside an array of exhibits that lay bare humanity’s disturbing talent for inventively psychopathic torture methods.
 
Singel 449, 1012 WP Amsterdam
 

Pianola Museum

Even by Amsterdam’s standards, the Pianola Museum, which is tucked away in the Jordaan district, once home to a pianola roll manufacturer, is a delightfully obscure treat. Pianolas were ‘player pianos’ loaded with rolls of punched paper that instructed them how to ‘play themselves’. This wonderfully atmospheric museum is home to a unique collection of automatic pianos and somewhere in the region of 20,000 punched rolls of music.  
 
Westerstraat 106, 1015 MN Amsterdam
 
 

Museum Vrolik

Museum Vrolik’s exhibits are mostly drawn from the collections of Gerardus Vrolik (1755-1859) and his son Willem (1801-1863) who both took a keen interest in teratology, the study of deformity. As such it is probably the largest collection of human deformities on the planet. The collection is fascinating but not for the faint of heart - expect to encounter a host of eerie anatomical specimens including Siamese twins and cyclopean babies preserved in formaldehyde. 
 
Meibergdreef 15, 1105 AZ Amsterdam
 
However you plan on spending your stay in Amsterdam with Generator, you’ll eventually be tempted by the city’s more unusual attractions. Give them a chance and we promise they won’t disappoint!