Amsterdam has more identities than there are cardinal directions. In every corner of the city, as well as in its vibrant centre, you stumble upon different sights, different people and different accents. Join us on a dynamic trip through Amsterdam’s diverse biotopes.
TEXT: ARNE ADRIAENSSENS | PHOTO © NBTC
Few city centres are as iconic as Amsterdam’s. With picturesque canals and streams wherever you look, just strolling alongside the water is a feast for the eyes. Yet, there is way more to explore than just the facades of the iconic canal houses.
From the heart
In the heart of the city, where you would least expect it, is the immense Royal Palace of Amsterdam. Art lovers might rather head to the Van Gogh Museum, where you can gaze at the work of the Netherlands’ most celebrated artist up close. Don’t miss De Wallen, the city’s world-famous red-light district, either. Although most of the businesses you pass here are still up and running, the streets are a first-class tourist hotspot today. The city centre also counts a lot of hidden secrets — peak behind every corner and you could stumble upon something great and unexpected.
Mingle with locals
If you follow the water, you might end up in De Jordaan, Amsterdam’s most authentic and folkloristic neighbourhood. Although many a tourist knows the way to this district, it has never lost its authentic vibe. Go on a shopping spree with the locals in De Negen Straatjes (The Nine Streets) or the Noordermarkt (the Northern Market) or mingle with the locals at one of the many traditional pubs. In between De Jordaan and the city centre, you can also visit the city’s most impressive museum: the Anne Frank House.
Further west, you enter an Amsterdam full of culture, gastronomy and young blood. In and around the Westergas cultural centre, there is always something to explore. Many a festival strikes down here and so do food happenings and fairs of all sorts. However crowded the cultural centre and its surroundings might get sometimes, tranquillity is never far away in the green oasis of the nearby Westerpark.
Valeriusplein, South. Photo: Koen Smilde Photography
To experience Amsterdam in its purest form, the best places to go are the northern and eastern edge of the city. Here, tourists are a rare breed, making them the ideal neighbourhoods to live like a local. With its green villages, multicultural streets, experimental festivals and stunning waterside terraces, there is plenty to experience for those trying to avoid the obvious paths and tourist traps.
Westergas, West.Photo: Koen Smilde Photography
More southwards, you enter the lushest part of the city. Here, wide avenues and monumental mansions connect the Rijksmuseum, the Vondelpark and the Concertgebouw with each other.
So, which Amsterdam do you want to explore? Dive into this exciting special and discover our favourite spots in all the neighbourhoods of the fascinating Dutch capital.
Canal Houses, Centre.
Find out more here: www.discoverbenelux.com