Jenny´s Amsterdam walking tours
If you read my last post about Amsterdam and liked what you saw on the pictures, this is how to find those places. People often ask me for tip when they go to Amsterdam and that is how below three walking tours were born. I have also included some information about the former national holiday Queen´s Day, nowadays changed to King´s Day 😀
Focus: Jordaan & surroundings
With Central Station in the back walk to the right on street Niewendijk and follow it until it becomes Haarlemmerstraat. Continue to enjoy Haarlemmerstraat and it´s many cafés and fun shops until it is crossed by Binnen Brouwersgracht, then turn left onto that street. Now the real nice surprise starts. You have entered Jordaan with all the channels, small bridges, houseboats and leaning houses. You will have cozy eetcafe´s everywhere (an eetcafé is a café with a small menu and beer/wine/coffee. Until 18:00 they serve lighter food, after 18 dinner). Your guidance in this area will be the four big channels running parallel. The Prinsen, Keizer, Heren and Singel gracht (gracht meaning channel). On Saturdays there is a great atmosphere around the Noordermarkt by the Noorderkerk (a square with a church) on Prinsengracht. This area is ofcourse nice any day of the week NT! Joradaan must also be visited after dark! It is the most romantic walk you might ever do in your life! A really good eetcafé around Noordermarkt is “Café Winkel” Really great food at night and during the day they serve one of Amsterdam´s most famous apple cake 😛 Try to keep the same direction as the big channels to avoid getting lost. If you plan Anne Frank´s house, you will have that on the left side of Prinsengracht as you move along. Once the big channels are crossed by a big street (that when looking at the map can be called anything from Raadhuisstraat to Westermarkt) you enter an area that is a another “must”. You have the same 4 channels running parallel but the small streets/lanes that connects them is what is interesting here. They are called “De 9 straatjes” which means The nine streets. Those 9 small streets are filled with funny shops, cafés and restaurants. You will love it! Here you can sit down, rewind and just watch Amsterdam life going on next to you. Once those four channels are crossed by Leidsestraat I suggest you walk right onto this streets where trams are also running. Walk until you reach Leidseplein (the square). It is one of the most commercial areas but still fun. Lots of restaurants around but I don´t recommend to eat there, rather chose and eetcafé around the channels. Leidseplein is nice for people watching and to sit on the nice square and enjoy a beer.
If you want you can spend the rest of the day visiting the museums around Museum plein, not too far from Leidseplein. I am not a museum person thus no particular advice here. You also have the big park Vondelpark nearby. Fun for people watching but too much smell of dog poop if you ask me. (Look out! Dutch people don´t take the dog poop from the streets.) You could also continue doing route 3. Or get lost, or walk back through Jordaan again and see it after dark! 😀
Focus: The most central parts
With Central Station in the back follow Damrak street a bit. Soon you will have “Manneke Pis” on your right. For a real Dutch (or actually Belgian, but as normal in the Netherlands) experience have a “potat met”, fries with special mayo 😛 After Manneke Pis you can turn right on any tiny alley that will lead you to Niewendijk, a small carefree street with shops on both sides. If you have already walked as far as the Dam square you will instead connect on the evenly interesting alley called Kalverstraat. Damrak continues to be called Rokin. But it is the same big streets. And with the smaller alleys on the “inside”. Don´t mis it! Commercial but cozy! If you manage not to get lost you will end up at Muntplein. If you are hungry by now have a falafel at Maoz. Yum! And if you are up to taking a channel boat tour, do that from any of the places along Damrak or Rokin. After Muntplein it is time for some coziness again. Walk over the bridge Doelensluis onto the Doelenstraat. You pass Hotel de Europé on your right hand side. Walk until you see “Café Jaren”. If there are seats outside sit down and have something refreshing while you watch boats passing by. After this continue on the same street until you have Staalstraat on your right. From the first bridge you will have a magnificent view (very much photographed). Continue on the same street. You will soon have Puccini bon bon´s on your left. If you have not yet tried Belgian pralines, this is the time do it! (Not actually sure if this brand i Belgian but they are magnificent!) After you have crossed another channel walk left and spend some time at the Waterloo flee market (closed Sundays). A bit touristic but fun. When you are done head towards Niewmarkt. You can cross back on Sint Antoniesbreesstraat. Continue that street until you reach Niewmarkt which is a cozy square at the edge of redlight district. If you dare you can enter red light from here. It is actually a really cozy area! (As you might have understood a lot of things are cozy in Amsterdam. The word for cozy in dutch is “gezellig” and in fact a very commonly used word in Holland). Before walking back towards central station try to find Zeedjik. The Chinatown of Amsterdam with some really great restaurants! It will lead you back to the station. And one more amazing day will be gone.
Focus: The area Pijp! – (Not Sundays when the market is closed!)
Walk, bike or take a tram to the Heineken museum. (Tramstop Weteringcircuit/Weteringsch). Everyone knows this place so just ask your way there. I have never been myself and it is very touristic but if you feel the urge, pay a visit. Behind the Heineken museum you have the Marie Heineken plein. From there find the street called Albert Cuypstraat. Just ask anyone! That street is a market every day except Sundays. The area between Albert Cuypstraat and Maria Heineken plein hosts many really great cafés and restaurants, where you will never want to leave. There are shops and restaurants also along the market street. Once the markets ends, walks left and walk along Van Woustraat, pass Frederiks plein and then onto Utrechterstraat. Nice street with shops, cafés and restaurants. Follow it until Rembrandts plein. Another very commercial square, great for people watching. From there try to find Regulier Dwarsstraat and experience the most popular (and very cozy) gay street of Amsterdam. If you walk to the right on any small lane from that street you will be in the famous flowermarket. Walk back towards central station in any direction. However, if you still have not done Jordaan after dark, this is the time to do so!
If you are in Amsterdam last week of April
For many many years Queen´s Day (Koninginnedag in dutch), the most cheerful Dutch public holiday, has been celebrated on the 30st of April every year, however I read this will change to 27th of April which is the current King Willem-Alexander´s birthday. And with that the name will also change to “The King´s day”. Nevertheless I am sure the concept will stay the same. That is; people dressing up in Hollands national color orange, partying and trading on every street around the whole Netherlands. I have only cerebrated Queen´s Day in Amsterdam and it sure is something very memorable. The channels fills up with party boats, young and old selling things everywhere. Entertainment, food and drinks around every corner. Big clubs and cafés moves out on the streets with DJ´s spinning house music. The party goes on until midnight and the atmosphere is usually really fun and friendly. I think you might get a glimpse of this event from below pictures. It is a fun celebration and people are just happy in a good way. Last time I celebrated it was when Robert & I visited my old colleague Hanna from Finland, now living in California. I would recommend to plan a visit as this period of the year is also one of the most beautiful times. I hope you will enjoy my walking tours if you visit Amsterdam as a first timer 🙂
Posted on November 1, 2014, in Netherlands and tagged 9 straatjes, Amsterdam, Holland, Jordaan, Netherlands, Noordermarkt, Photography, Photos, Pictures, Queensday, Resor, Travel. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.