Boat
/

The Coolest Neighbourhoods in Amsterdam

Holland’s capital is renowned for its beautiful greenery, rich history, and vibrant cultural scene. Amsterdam is a popular travel destination for many tourists – and with its tradition of cycling, delicious cuisine, and multiplicity of landmarks, it’s easy to understand why. In this article, we’ll be taking a closer look at Amsterdam’s top five coolest districts – alongside the unique events and experiences they have to offer.

Boat
Photo by Vlada Karpovich from Pexels

Canal Belt 

Known as the Grachtengordel in Dutch, the Canal Belt, built to manage the area’s increasing population during the Dutch Golden age, is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Check out an area called “the nine streets” (de negen straatjes), a shopping district filled with boutiques, bookstores, vintage shops, and galleries. Don’t miss out on the fascinating museums in the area, such as Museum Willet-Holthuysen, a classic 17th-century canal house decorated with rare paintings and fine china, which housed a rich couple in the late 19th century. If your stomach starts to growl in between the shopping and the sight-seeing, don’t hesitate to treat yourself to a delicious meal at the Rembrandtplein, which houses various cafes and restaurants.

Museumkwartier

Home to Amsterdam’s three main museums – the Riijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, and the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art – Museumkwartier is an ideal destination for culture and history buffs. Shoppers, too, will enjoy trips along the neighborhood’s famous streets – including Van Baerlestraat, Jacob Obrechstraat, and Cornelis Schuystraat – which house high-end brands, including Louis Vuitton, Chanel, and Gucci. After an exciting day of sightseeing – or vigorous shopping – unwind with a visit to Vondelpark, a lush garden with an open-air theatre and a skate rental shop, alongside its collection of enchanting greenery for you to enjoy.

West Park 

Once a small neighborhood park in 1891, West Park has grown to become a cultural hub. The original park remains in the area – bearing remarkable sculptures alongside its peaceful scenery – forming part of the Westergas cultural complex, the heart of a series of annual festivals and markets. Music-lovers will enjoy mass music festivals like Milkshake, while foodies might find the Rollende Keukens (Rolling Kitchens) far more appealing. The Sunday Market Westergas, taking place on the first Sunday of each month, is another unmissable experience. Prepare to witness a charming array of food trucks serving delectable treats, stalls selling handmade crafts, and live bands creating a gentle, relaxing ambiance.

De Pijp

South of the city center, you’ll find yourself in De Pijp – a lively, cosmopolitan neighborhood, comprising a unique blend of exotic restaurants, fashionable shops, and talented artists selling their crafts. The neighborhood is home to around 150 different nationalities – a fact that is reflected in its diverse range of restaurants, from Syrian to Spanish. It also houses the country’s biggest open-air market, the Albert Cuypmarkt, whose stalls boast cheese, fresh seafood, and beautiful floral arrangements. The market would be the perfect place to try some freshly baked Dutch stroopwafels – a mouthwatering waffle filled with gooey melted syrup. Of course, the neighborhood also boasts the famous Heineken Experience – a museum that was once a brewery for the legendary beer brand. There, you can expect to receive some brewing tips, have a Heineken tasting session, and learn about the history of the company, amidst a series of thrilling activities – a real holiday treat!

De Wallen

Also known as the Red Light District (Rosse Burt), due to the three hundred single-room cabins rented by prostitutes who have advertised their services in red-lit windows since the 1940s, De Wallen is the heart of Amsterdam’s nighttime entertainment. Because of this, you simply can’t miss out on a visit to the many museums that tell of the city’s sensual history – including the Erotic Museum and the Venustempel Sex Museum. If that doesn’t interest you, the area also offers some wondrous historical sights – including the Oude Kerk, which is among the city’s oldest churches, bearing stunning stained-glass windows and gothic spires.