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1. The Amstel dip (summertime)

Amsterdam got it’s name from the river that runs through it; the Amstel. In summertime this “river” is a local favorite to cool off by jumping off the bank into the water. Join the crowd and refresh like a local!

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2. Beer + Windmill = Win-Win!

Like beer? Want so see a Dutch windmill? Do we have the perfect spot for you! Brouwerij ’t IJ is a modern craft brewery inside a windmill. They have a great variety of beers and snacks which makes it the perfect place to start your Amsterdam adventure.

Top-tip: until 5PM you can order a tasting. You will get to taste five different beers, plus some snacks.

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3. Oosterpark

Fully renovated, the Oosterpark is one of the best parks to visit year round. The multicultural area that surrounds it, which includes a great selection of bars and restaurants really makes this area worth your time. Eyecatcher in the park is the ‘Tropenmuseum’. This museum is all about world cultures, and the building is quite impressive from the inside as well as the outside.

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4. More graffiti, please.

From Via Amsterdam its an easy metro ride to the Wibautstraat. This spot is great for spotting huge graffiti murals. You will find the best ones on a street called ‘Platanenweg’. After strolling around go to the rooftop bar of Volkshotel for a well deserved break and view of the city.

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5. City break with a hidden gem

The Flevopark is a much loved place for locals. Amsterdammers go here for a walk, a run or to walk their dogs. Mainly they escape the buzzing city here for a while….or get a typical Dutch drink. Located in the middle of the park you will find a Jenever distillery. This bar is located on such an idyllic place that we where doubting if we wanted to share this hidden gem.

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6. The “magical” bridges

Oh how we love Amsterdam and its canals. The bridges, the waters…we love them all. But there is one point which is truly the best and locals call it “the point of the 7 bridges”. Because you are doing the Via Bucket List we are willing to let you in on this secret. Navigate to this point. When standing there you can see 7 bridges melt together like one as they are build in one straight line, something unique in Amsterdam.

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7. Boat boat boat

Combine meeting new people and seeing Amsterdam from the best angle, down from the canals! Gather a bunch of people from the hostel to rent a private boat with and make a tour around the canals. Make sure to wave at people sitting at the waterfront if you pass by! Btw, waterfront in Dutch is ‘Waterkant’ which is also a very cool bar. If you want to learn more about Amsterdam you can also book a guided bout tour through the city. For the tours you can get tickets at the reception to make it even easier.

Open boat:
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Roofed boat:
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8. Try the famous Dutch pancakes

The Dutch are proud of their pancakes, and the Pancake Bakery is a very authentic place to try them. This pancake house is on the beautiful Prinsengracht canal. On the menu they have a lot of sweet pancakes but also savory ones that will pleasantly surprise you. Yum!

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9. Be there or be square

Will you go to Rembrandt square or the Leidse square? Maybe even both? These areas are the entertainment areas of Amsterdam and they have a lot of bars and nightclubs. During nighttime you can find everything here, from live music (Bourbon street, The Waterhole), jazz music (Alto) to electronic and latin vibes. Big tips are the Chicago Social Club, Paradiso, Disco Dolly, Jimmy Woo, Melkweg and Club Air.

Rembrandt square:
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Leidse square:
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10. Skinny bridge?

The ‘Magere Brug’ is one of Amsterdam most photographed spot and with good reason. This bridge is beautiful! Translated the name of the bridge is ‘Skinny Bridge’, but it’s not so skinny anymore nowadays. Story goes that when it was build, the bridge was so skinny that only one person could pass at a time.

Tip: the bridge lights up after dark, so make sure to pass by during the dark hours (and it’s really close to the Rembrandt square).

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11. Vintage week(end)?

We (L) vintage here in Amsterdam. At the Waterlooplein there is a daily vintage market from Monday to Saturday. This is a good spot for stuff like old school leather jackets and general surprising bargains. Another amazing spot is the IJhallen, one of the biggest vintage markets in Europe; however, it’s only held one weekend a month (ask our reception!). Cool vintage shops are Zipper, We Are Vintage and Kiloshop.

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12. Fries before guys

The south of the Netherlands is famous for its fries, but luckily you can also find them here in Amsterdam. On the corner of one the busiest shopping streets (Kalverstraat) Vlaams friteshuis Vleminckx is the best of Amsterdam we think. Looking at the line that is there all day long, people seem to agree. They sell fries and only fries, so the line moves quick.

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13. Ring the bell (for world class cocktails)

Door74 might be the coolest and best cocktailbar in Amsterdam. The experience already starts before entering. Door74 is behind a hidden door that you will only see if you know where to look. Ring the bell and someone will come to the door to let you in, if you’re lucky and guide you to a wonderful world full of cocktails. Make a reservation to be sure to get in!

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The door:

14. The street with the unpronounceable name..

The Reguliersdwarsstraat is better known as ‘the gay street’. Filled with fun bars and equally fun people, this street is definitely worth a visit. Pick a bar, enjoy the vibes and experience the open-mindedness of Amsterdam. Club Nyx is awesome, or maybe go for a drag show at bar Lellebel.

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15. The tiniest of them all

The city centre is filled with cute tiny streets. However, the tiniest of them all is close to the red-light district and called the Trompettersteeg. It’s only 100 centimeters wide. That’s around 39 inches!!

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16. Weedflix and chill

Looking to chill and try some of the famous Dutch weed? There is a very cool coffeeshop called Abraxas in the centre of the city. The atmosphere is amazing and the interior like from a fairy tale. Share a spacecake with your friends and take it sloooow.

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17. The famous coffeeshop

Coffeeshop De Dampkring is a good spot to pass by for two reasons. The first reason you can of course think of yourself, but did you also know that this shop is where the movie Oceans 12 is shot? Fun fact for the movie fans.

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18. Go green

A good quality coffeeshop called Green House has a few locations in Amsterdam. If you go to the one in the centre, you will find pictures on the walls from celebrities who visited there. Will you one day make it to the wall of fame?

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19. Peep show, let’s go.

‘De Wallen’ is the medieval part of Amsterdam, more commonly know as the red-light district. Over here it’s alway busy, but in the evening the street has a whole other vibe as the windows light up and the alleys fill up with people.

If you dare, go to a peep show. For €2,- you get to watch for 2 minutes and if you like you can keep adding coins and keep watching. This is of course a “unique” experience, but it’s also something that makes Amsterdam, Amsterdam.

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20. Amsterdam Light Festival

Visiting in December or January? Then you are in luck!

The Amsterdam Light Festival lights up the city with amazing light artworks. You can see them by foot or by boat. Walking is free, for the boat make sure to reserve a spot. Along the route there are multiple stops for a hot choco, gluhwein or craft beer.

FYI: tickets for the boat can be arranged at reception.

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21. Shake the hand of Van Gogh

Didn’t have the time to visit the Van Gogh Museum? Go shake the man’s hand at the Prinsengracht! There is a piece of graffiti where it looks like Vincent himself is offering his hand for a shake. We think this is the perfect place to take a picture with our artsy Via tote bag! Don’t forget to tag @viaamsterdam. The artwork can be found on the outside of the coffeeshop called La Tertulia.

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22. We dare you…

To try herring! In the Netherlands we love to eat them raw with onions and pickles. This you don’t eat in a restaurant, but just at a fish stall that you can find throughout the whole city. The way to eat it is to grab the whole fish by its tail, dip it in the chopped onions, raise it above your head and take a bite. Try it, and see if you love it as much as us Dutchies.

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Option in the Albert Cuyp market:
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23. Stroll the famous 9 streets

The area called ‘the 9 streets’ is filled with the prettiest canals and nicest boutique shops. The area is square shaped consisting of nine streets (duh) inside the three famous canals: Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht and the Herengracht. Go here for some shopping.

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24. Any cookie monsters in the house?

The most traditional Dutch cookie is the stroopwafel. Fresh ones can be tried at local markets like the Albert Cuyp. If you would like to spice it up a little, go check out Van Wonderen Stroopwafels. They have a variety of stroopwafels and you can pick different toppings. Perfect for your Instagram.

Albert Cuyp market (more original):
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Van Wonderen (Instagrammable & alternative):
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25. Time travel tunnel!

Next to Central Station, when going towards the ferry that takes you to the North of Amsterdam, there is a tunnel. If you are around, pass through this tunnel and enjoy the huge traditional painting with the history of the royal Dutch sailboats conquering the seas.

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26. Beer o’clock!

If you are a beer drinker, De Bierfabriek is heaven for you. Here you can reserve a table with its own tap and draft your own beers while eating the best chicken in town. It’s better to go with a bigger group to share the cost of the table, so gather some people from the hostel and go with your newly found friends.

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27. A truly special movie theater.

Pathé Tuschinski is one of the most beautiful movie theaters that you will ever see. From the entrance all the way to the cinema salons. The best room is room number one, so try to catch a movie in that hall and marvel at this piece of theater art.

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28. Best chocolate cookie in your life, wanna bet?

For us there is only one chocolate cookie and that’s the one from Van Stapele Koekmakerij. This shop only sells this cookie and they dedicated their life to making the best cookie they can. The outside is made from dark chocolate and the filling is soft white chocolate. There is always a line of people waiting for this special treat, but it’s 100% worth the wait.

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29. Sunset and the city

Sunsets and the city. A match made in heaven. Talking about heaven, one of the best places to see the sunset in Amsterdam is at the Westertoren. The sky turns pink, and the most beautiful church tower of Amsterdam just lights up. Extra nice: when standing at the Westertoren you are already in one of the best areas to get beer and bitterballen 😉

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30. The Dutchie lunch

Hungry during a walk around the canals? Ask for a tasty sandwich at de Kaaskamer, which is one of Amsterdam’s best cheese shops. This is a great place for a chunk of cheese, but you can also get freshly made sandwiches filled with cheese. This is a typical lunch dish for the Dutchmen and women, so this way you are having lunch as a local.

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31. School of Party

‘De School’ is not the typical type of educational school you might assume. It used to be an actual school, but nowadays the building is being used as restaurant, cafe, art gallery and most importantly a basement for truly cool techno parties. De School is one of the few clubs in Amsterdam with a real underground vibe. The club is for people above 21 years and good to know: its not allowed to take photos! They will remove you if you do so. Let everyone party in privacy and enjoy being in the now.

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32. The hall for it all

For foodies and movie aficionados this is the place to be at the westside of Amsterdam. De Hallen is in an old tram depot which has been reverted into a centre of art and culture. Inside you will find De Foodhallen which has multiple stands with different cuisines and flavors.

Next to the Foodhallen you can find the Filmhallen. This place offers a Parisian cinema interior and shows everything from Hollywood blockbusters to documentary’s and arthouse films.

Tip: don’t forget to visit The Maker Store. A store filled with exclusively products from Amsterdam or Amsterdam makers.

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33. Pizza with a scissor?

Did you know that Amsterdam has a pizza place that is nr 6 best pizza place in the world!! It’s called Nnea and they make the best Neapolitan pizza. When visiting this place, don’t get confused when they offer you scissors to cut your pizza with. Weird, eh?! Well not so, because apparently cutlery ruins the structure of the dough, and therefore you should use scissors for the task.

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34. Amsterdam in bloom

Be sure to check out the Westerpark on a sunny day, especially during spring when all the flowers bloom. Around mid-March to early April the blossom kicks in and the park is at its best! Filled with people doing anything and everything. The park is located at the Westergasfabriek, which is one of the creative hubs of Amsterdam. Something is always going on here, and the restaurants and bars are truly cool.

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35. High score!

If you are fan of arcade games there is an amazing spot called the TonTon Club in the Westerpark. This is game paradise for adults with all the old school games from everyones youth. Even if you are not playing the arcade games, the fun vibe and people still make it a great hotspot. They offer Japanse inspired food and drinks. And of course…the loser pays for the drinks.

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36. No-Go from the past turned into a must visit…

The Haarlemmerstraat and Haarlemmerdijk form a long and lively street filled with cute houses, cafes and tiny unique shops. Attracting people like tourists, locals and artists this place is your go-to for urban life in Amsterdam. This area used to be a no-go zone due to its dangerous reputation but this is all in the past and the whole area is definitely worth a visit.

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37. The iconic Jordaan

The Jordan area is home of the Anne Frank museum, some of the best canals, unique shops, a lot of houseboats and great cafes and bars. During winter season take a cup of gluhwein to keep yourself warm at the always “gezellige” (as the Dutch would say it) Cafe Thijssen. During summertime make sure to visit Cafe P96. It’s a terrace located on a houseboat!

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Houseboat cafe:
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38. Meet me at the “NoMa”

In Amsterdam its hip to shorten a lot of words. If you get invited to meet someone at the NoMa, Amsterdammers know you mean the Noordermarkt (the Northern Market). The Noordermarkt is a colorful market on Saturdays from 9AM to 4PM and Mondays from 9AM to 1PM. Back in the 17th century people would buy pots and pans here, nowadays it offers books, antiques and the freshest food and ingredients.

Tip: on the corner of the Noordermarkt you will find the best apple pie at Winkel43. The place is open till late hours and alway serves its apple pie, so perfect for some late-night cravings.

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39. The ADAM tower

Let’s combine an amazing view with a thrill seeker experience. On top of the ADAM tower, you will find ‘The Edge’. The Edge is Europe’s highest swing and is 100m above the ground! Go up, soak in the whole of Amsterdam and go on the swing…if you dare!

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40. Shelter

Into techno music? Find one the coolest underground clubs located literally underground in the north of Amsterdam. Shelter opens up on Fridays and Saturdays from the parking lot next to A’Dam tower and offers amazing House and Techno DJ’s. The minimum age for this gem is 21 years.

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41. Warehouse of ART

Fan of street art? If you want to see more after checking out all the walls at Via, you should head to the STRAAT museum, located in one the warehouses of NDSM. The museum shows street art from the biggest talents around the world, and surprises with its colors, size and spaciousness. If it’s a sunny day and you are getting a little thirsty, there is a beach bar called Pllek only a five-minute walk from here! Another nice option nearby is the Noorderlicht Cafe, where you can find sustainable greenhouse styled café with occasional music events.

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42. Back to the future

For the fans of media art or videogames, the Nxt museum and AMAZE are must do museum experiences. With large-scale installations creating an interactive experience and pulling visitors into the world of psychedelic lights and sounds, giving an impressive, futuristic experience.

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43. Skate & chill

A very cool place for drinks, food or a party is Skatecafe. The location has an actual skate ramp inside, and a cool crowd of people, open from Thursday to Saturday.

Also, they offer skateboarding lessons on Saturdays for 10€ per lesson, inside next to the restaurant! The easiest way to get here is by taking the ferry from Azartplein to the north.

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44. Visit the wonder world

The whole WONDR experience is an adult playground that looks like sprinkles of cotton candy and confetti filled with visual magic and pastel colored ball pits. Make sure to go roller-skating here, the whole hall is pink and just wonderful! Did someone say perfect for Instagram??

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45. Ice skates on!

The Netherlands has a big ice-skating history, so nothing more local than to put on some skates and go on the ice. The best places to do this are the Jaap Edenbaan and the ice ring on the Museum square! The first is a real ice ring for some serious skating, the later is more a fun place to be on the ice.

Jaap Eden Ice ringMuseum square ring

46. The center-point of art

Go to the Museumsquare and stand in the middle. Just have a minute to take a 360 look! The Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh, Museum of Modern Art and the Concert Hall. Isn’t this just a magical place?

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47. Chrissy Teigen recommended!

Did you know that Chrissy Teigen (yes, the wife of John Legend!) had one of her best sandwiches EVER at the Museumsquare in Amsterdam? Best thing: you can have it too! Just go to the food stall named “foodcrib” and order their bratwurst. Don’t believe us? Check out the Instagram post of Chrissy here!

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48. Wine o’clock

Wine lovers ahoy! If you love tasting different wines, or maybe have a bit more selective taste, you have to try Rayleigh & Ramsay. They have a few locations, closest ones in the Van Woustraat and Oostpoort. In his wine bar you can choose from one hundred different wine dispensers, with the choice of a full glass or just a taste. You can also order food and other drinks here to match your glass of wine.

OostportVan Wou

49. Poffertjes, alstublieft!

Go to Albert Cuyp Markt and order ‘poffertjes’ in Dutch. These are a must try on a visit to the market. They are simple and sweet: local mini pancakes topped with powdered sugar. To order them in Dutch, you can say: “Mag ik poffertjes alstublieft”. To pronounce “mag”, you need the typical throat sound for Dutch language for the letter G. Just gggggive it a gggggo.

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50. If you know you know..

There is a cool hidden place called Bar Mokum in De Pijp, down the stair from Moak pancakes in the Ferdinand Bolstraat. You would not guess from the outside it exists; you just need to know it. The place offers high quality drinks in a chilled speakeasy environment. You can just walk downstairs and see if there’s space, but to be sure it is smart to book a table. Fun fact: Mokum is actually a nickname for Amsterdam and means “safe place” in Hebrew.

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51. Feel the Buzzz

De Pijp is an area with loads of great cafés and bars. On the Gerard Douplein you can find many bars filled with locals enjoying their afterwork drinks. Do some bar hopping here and see where the night takes you 😉

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52. They got the buns

Need a little snack? The best cinnamon buns in town are definitely at the Scandinavian embassy. The coffees here are also great, which you can guess from the lines here on weekend mornings. By the way, the place is just a cafe, not the embassy itself 😉

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53. Picknick in the wonderful park

Especially during the summer days, you should check out Vondelpark. Pack your bag with some snacks and drinks and ride a bike to go for a picknick. Look around…what a crowd of different people go there to do a bunch of different activities. If you are lucky, you can hear people playing the strangest instruments with the most beautiful sounds! During wintertime it is still a nice place to visit, especially around sunset it’s beautiful. Maybe change the picknick to a warm coffee or hot chocolate on the cold days. Near Vondelpark there is a very good café called Koffieakademie. It looks plain from the outside, but their coffees are gooood.

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54. The wall of the DUDE

Don’t you just love your Via Bucket List tote bag? Soooo Instagramable! One of the best spots to get a new photo for your Insta is at the “wake me up when I’m famous wall” in de Pijp area of Amsterdam. Go there and take a picture with your Via tote bag in front of the wall. Share it on your stories and tag us, that will get you famous!

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55. Cycle through the King’s old castle

The Rijksmuseum is the national museum of the Netherlands, but back in 1800’s the building was the King’s palace, and it is very impressive both inside and out. You can visit the inside for traditional art items, but you can also cycle “under” the building, and it is actually a very common route for many locals on their daily bike ride to work. Get your bike from Via for the day and ride through the palace! Take a picture in front with the bike and don’t forget to tag @viaamsterdam! Remember to not use your phone while biking, as you might get a fine…

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57. Learn to draft the perfect Heineken

Learn the story of the most famous beer from Amsterdam at the Heineken experience. Here you can learn how to pour a perfect draft beer. At the end of the tour, you’ll have a chance to get a bottle of the beer with your own name on it.

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56. Museum day?

There are multiple museums in Amsterdam, of which many known ones are in the Museumplein. Visit Van Gogh to read the full story of this crazy artist, or pass by the Moco museum for a shorter, very nice street art exhibition. If you are into modern and contemporary art, the Stedelijk museum is a perfect choice.

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58. Ready, set, GO

Let’s kickstart this bucket list! When at the reception of Via find our special Bucket List artwork just down the hall! Take a picture/selfie and upload it to your Instagram. Don’t forget to tag us. Have you done this? Cool! Go to the bar, show your post and get a free shot! Now you are truly ready to experience the Via Bucket List.

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59. One, two, three, Karaookeee!

We challenge you to sing a song at our karaoke night. There is no better way to meet people than at the DUDE bar! Alone or with a group of friends, choose a song you feel like singing today and let your inner Beyonce shine. After singing you will get a free shot from the bar, and maybe feel empowered to sing another one and encourage someone new to tag along.

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60. Van Gogh, is it you?

On a Sunday, paint your favorite part of Amsterdam at the Via art night, post it on your Instagram or Facebook, and tag @viaamsterdam so we can see it! Next, challenge someone you don’t already know to do the same, and let the creativity spread.

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61. White Russian

What’s the Dude’s favorite drink? If you have seen the movie you know for sure that it’s the White Russian. Order this at the bar and if you don’t drink milk you can always ask to have it made with a plant-based option. Once you’ve got the drink, take a picture with one of the Dude artworks we have around the bar. Post it on Instagram and tag @viaamsterdam so we can re-share it 😉

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62. Who’s ready for Beer Pong

Join the beer pong Olympics at Via! Create a team and challenge total strangers to compete with in this fun drinking game! Make sure to get a pitcher of beer at the bar for the game.

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