“So, it must be nice living in centre of one of the most beautiful towns in the world”, people ask me. Well, actually, I must admit, it is, and I feel privileged.
The next question from tourists always is: “What’s best in Amsterdam”? I’m not a tour guide, so I definitely don’t know what’s best in Amsterdam. There’s only the Amsterdam I like, the bars and restaurants I like and the parks, terrasses, and clubs I like.
So I figured I write about that… Here’s a list of posts on Amsterdam I did in the past, followed by some general stuff on the city.
How I came to Amsterdam
I’ve been living in Amsterdam for about 7 years now, in two different periods. First I lived in Amsterdam between 2000 and 2005. Then I decided to move out to Utrecht. I then came back to Amsterdam in 2010. If you see my in person you can ask me why. Depending on who you are and depending on whether or not you’re living in Amsterdam as well, I’ll probably give you a different answer.
Anyway, I came back in 2010 and I’m currently living in centre, on one of the canals… The Kloveniersburgwal to be precise. I’m incredibly lucky I’m living here; it’s a blaze!
The city centre
The centre of the city is roughly divided in two parts: the old city centre and the canal belt. I live in the old city centre, right next to the Wallen, or Amsterdam largest red-light district as Wikipedia says. “The largest?”, I hear you asking. Yes, it’s the largest, but we have plenty more of them in case this one ever starts boring you.
The old city centre originates somewhere around 1275 and the oldest building still in existence is the Oude Kerk. There’s a lot to tell about the old city centre and I might dedicate some posts to it occasionally. On the map below you can find the old city centre under the name Binnenstad. It’s everything inside the four U-shape canals.
The canal belt was built at a much later stage and roughly consists of the four canals (outward-in) Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht, Herengracht and Singel (and the little streets in between). On the little map below, you can find at as a the four canals surrounding the word Amsterdam.
Other areas I like
There are some other areas I would recommend to any tourist. Note that this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore the other parts or that the other parts are any interesting, because if I said so, it would probably give me a lot of weird stares from good friends ;-).
- The Pijp (Sout-East of the canal belt) is a up-scale district with lots of nice bars and restaurants. It’s the more settled down variant of the Jordaan in my opinion but still very nice. Lots of art galleries as well
- The Jordaan, just as the Pijp, traditionally also a working class neighborhood but now transformed to up-scale district with lots of nice restaurants and bars. It’s a bit more alternative than the Pijp
- The Vondelpark: traditionally the nicest park in town. Especially on a sunny Sunday nice to go there
- The Westerpark: this is also a nice, but newer park. In the summer it’s a lame version of the Mauerpark (yes I mean that), with small festivals