Amsterdam is a wonderful city. It’s also a city that feels like a small village, which adds on to its appeal. The city of canals has many diverse neighborhoods that are all only a short bike ride away from each other. The charm of many of these neighborhoods comes from their 17th and 18th century architecture lining the canals. The ‘port city’ composed of rings of canals, which were artificially constructed in the 16th and 17th centuries, is today recognized as a UNESCO world heritage site.
Right on the eastern side of the Prinsengracht is a neighbordhood called the Jordaan (pronounced, yor-dahn) that stretches from the Leidsgracht all the way up to the Brouwergracht. This area is not only known for being the once-working-class-now-upscale-neighborhood with its trendy/traditional mixed vibes, but also a highly desired neighborhood for young professionals and artists. The Jordaan neighborhood is also the home of the Noordermarkt where there are regular street markets and various commerces.
As a little historical fun site to see, the Jordaan district has a little square called the Johnny Jordaanplein that is dedicated to the famous singers of the Jordaan neighborhood, featuring a few statues with the heads of famous singers and artists such as Johnny Jordaan and Johnny Meijer. Rumour has it they may add some more statues…
According to many sources, the explaination for the name of the neighborhood came from the French word “jardin”, as there were many streets named after flowers in the area.
Although Jordaan has many museums, it is also right across the Prinsengracht from the Anne Frank House. You can enjoy apple tart at Winkel, sit on the corner and enjoy pizza at La Perla, pop in Unicorn Boutique for trinkets, or go for brunch at G&T‘s. There is so much to discover in this neighborhood that a little stroll could never be disappointing.
Don’t forget to also hunt down some other cute places outside of the Jordaan district such as the Bakkerswinkel and De Laatste Kruimel for snacks and precious things. Shops all along the Prinsengracht are also worth a gander. With its relaxed vibe, cool shops and cafés, the Jordaan symbolizes Amsterdam as a whole, and the best the city has to offer.
Get in touch with the author @meggagnard.