Walking from the Leidsestraat to the Haarlemmerstraat is one of the best ways to get a taste of Amsterdam. From crooked canal houses to small side-street cafes, the neighbourhood livens up local history with new, youthful energy. This is one of the most beautiful parts of the city, where bars, restaurants and outdoor shopping streets embody gezelligheid – Dutch for cosiness.
There’s no better time than summer to take to the streets of the Jordaan. Its sun-kissed terraces may be tempting, but canal walks, on-trend boutiques and buzzy markets await. The charming Nine Streets district is packed with indie shops and friendly cafés. Pick up vintage sunnies at Laura Dols, or stop by Le Petit Deli for sweet picnic treats. From the best tunes to the tastiest treats, here are our must-visit spots in the neighbourhood.
Noordermarkt, 1015 NA, Website
In the shadow of the impressive Noorderkerk, this lively market has been drawing visitors in for centuries. These days, you’re more likely to find organic food and vintage goods than the pigeons and canaries once peddled here. Visit the farmer’s market on Saturdays and the flea market on Mondays. Make sure you stop by the pancake stall for a treat topped with chestnut cream.
Prinsengracht 263-267, 1016 GV, Website
This is the house where a young Jewish girl hid for two years during the Nazi occupation. Now it’s a poignant monument to the humanity of Anne’s diaries, and the inhumanity that curtailed them. In the summer, queues can stretch down the street and across the square. Take the time to enjoy the view of the Westerkerk, or book online to skip the crowds.
Amsterdammers have strong opinions about the best apple pie in town. A stone’s throw from Noorderkerk, Winkel 43 is a favourite contender. Enjoy a slice of their thick-crusted, cream-topped, cinnamon-dusted specialty on the petite terrace. The lunch menu changes every month. Try a wild boar steak sandwich, say, or a hearty shrimp bisque.
Chef Dennis Huwaë may have trained in Michelin-star kitchens, but his pared-down eatery is anything but pretentious. Dinner here is a lengthy affair, stretching out over five or seven courses and a generous dollop of caviar. If you’re in a rush, grab a spot on the restaurant’s laid-back waterside terrace for a more purse-friendly three-course lunch instead.
Dance the night away at Paradiso, a converted church now hosting international gigs. It’s evolved from a squat in the mid 60s to one of the city’s most beloved music venues. Decked out with stained-glass windows, the main hall welcomes big-name acts. Adele, U2 and, the Rolling Stones have all performed here. Head upstairs to the smaller room for more intimate sets.
Stock up on holiday essentials at this cute boutique. Founders Val and Rose have lined up a roster of international brands for a casual-cool take on Dutch style. Pick up furry slides, slogan t-shirts and animal-print skirts. The lifestyle section is worth a browse, too, with its selection of limited-edition spirits, quirky textiles and take-me-home prints.
A French brasserie in New York, set in Amsterdam: Café George prides itself on its transatlantic vibe. You’ll find many an Instagrammer snapping away here, but the classic menu is a hit with families, too. Graze on bitterballen, croquettes and charcuterie, or go the full hog with a scrumptious bistro burger. The canal-view terrace isn’t bad, either.
Image credits: © Winkel 43; © Winkel 43; © Adobe Stock; © Cris Toala Olivares © Anne Frank House; © Winkel 43; © Daalder; © Paradiso; © Ou Boutique Stories; © Café George