The Jordaan district in Amsterdam (‘De Jordaan’ in Dutch) is well known for its convivial atmosphere. This district is located to the west of the famous Canal District and is honeycombed with little streets full of restaurants, art galleries, and cafés all waiting for visitors to discover them. Walking down the street, you will encounter a mix of artists, students, young entrepreneurs, and of course the ‘original Amsterdammers’. Why visit this area? Because it gives you a sense of everything that is typical of Amsterdam. And did you know that the famous Dutch painter Rembrandt spent the last years of his life in the Jordaan district, in a house alongside the Rozengracht canal? The Anne Frank House, where Anne Frank went into hiding during the Second World War, is also located on the edge of the Jordaan district, on Prinsengracht canal.
History of the Jordaan district
Construction work in the Jordaan began in 1612, when it was called Het Nieuwe Werck (The New Work). Its unusual layout compared to the rest of the city is due to streets and canals being built parallel to the old ditches, dykes and paths. Six of the Jordaan’s canals were filled in in the 19th century, including the Rozengracht. Did you know that some of Amsterdam’s most famous musicians grew up or started their careers in this part of the city? A few statues have been placed at the corner of Prinsengracht and Elandsgracht in memory of well-known Amsterdam singers such as Johnny Jordaan, Tante Leen (Aunt Leen) and Manke Nelis. The district’s music tradition is celebrated annually during the Jordaan festival.
Go to the Noordermarkt (Northern Market)
Every Monday a market is held on the Noordermarkt square and the adjacent Westerstraat. On Saturdays, a popular organic farmer’s market is held on the Noordermarkt square. It’s a great place to unearth antiques, to shop for vintage clothing, and to buy food at the same time.
This former blacksmith’s shop has been transformed into a kitchen which makes you feel like you’ve just sat down at the table at your friend’s home. We’ve tested Balthazar’s Kitchen personally, as you can see in the picture on the right. The food was amazing!
Balthazar’s Keuken | Elandsgracht 108
Also tried and tested: Bar Oldenhof after dinner at Balthazar’s Kitchen. You have to knock on the door to get into this speakeasy lounge bar with a 1930s atmosphere. The hosts are absolutely charming and will give you good drinks recommendations. They have a fantastic collection of single malt whiskies, fine wines, premium spirits, craft beers and classic cocktails.
Bar Oldenhof | Elandsgracht 84
Visiting the Jordaan district
Are y ou keen to visit the Jordaan district in Amsterdam? It’s just half an hour by public transport or by bicycle from Qbic Hotel WTC Amsterdam. That said: renting a bicycle is definitely the coolest to discover the city and absorb the city while heading to the Jordaan district. We’re looking forward to your stay!