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Jordaan - Where to stay in Amsterdam
Jordaan begins just west of Central Station at the Brouwersgracht, and arches around the Canal Ring between Prinsengracht and Lijnbaansgracht before ending at the Leidsegracht. Traditionally, this neighborhood was defined as the area in which you could hear the bells of Westerkerk - as Anne Frank described in her diary.
Built in 1612 during the expansion of the city, the narrow streets and tightly packed houses of Jordaan hint to its past as a resolutely working–class neighborhood. That sense of close community lingers on for most of its residents, although many of its native inhabitants left some years ago. Jordaan has now become one of the most desirable and gentrified areas in Amsterdam and is almost picture book perfect! Beautifully restored canal houses, maze-like streets that give way to hidden courtyards, cozy cafes, gentle trendy bars (especially along Harlemmerstraat), and easy access to the Canal Belt and the Centrum attract many artists, students and young urban professionals.
Jordaan is also home to most of the outdoor markets in the city. In particular, Noordermarkt has a flea market on Monday mornings and an organic farmers' market on Saturdays.
Jordaan’s ordered streets give out to the Westerpark, which spreads roughly from the park itself in the north, to Marnixstraat in the east and Hugo de Grootplein in the south. This is a scruffy area that’s on the up, with intriguing spots, like the former squat bar Nieuwe Anita, attracting people from all over town. The area’s most beautiful section is Spaarndammerbuurt, where you will find some of the most notary examples of the Amsterdam School of architecture, a style that mixes socialist ideals and swooping brickwork. Look for example for the museum Het Schip (The Ship) and the Silodam.
The Westerpark itself is the main ‘sight’ of the neighborhood, and a great spot for leisurely picnics in the summer. In the same area as the park you will also find Westergasfabriek, a sprawling cultural complex of galleries, restaurants, clubs, a cinema and a petting zoo. A former gas factory, Westergasfabriek, is an area where a lot of cultural activities take place. Since the energy company abandoned the premises in 1990, they have been used for creative and cultural activities (temporarily at first, but as the approach proved successful the buildings were renovated and put back in use). With a (mostly) young public and an avant-garde atmosphere this is a very interesting place to be.
Both Jordaan and the Westerpark area are close to the centre of Amsterdam and easy to reach either by bicycle, boat or on foot within 15 minutes. Jordaan is the ideal areas for younger travelers, as well as those looking to be close to most of Amsterdam’s wonderful outdoor markets. Westerpark is great place for travelers looking to experience Amsterdam’s contemporary cultural scene.