Lodged between De Pijp and Amsterdam West, Oud Zuid begins just south of Stadhouderskade at Museumplein and fans out to Amsterdam’s Ring highway. In a way, it is a geographical mirror to the horseshoe formed by the canal ring.
Oud Zuid rose from mostly marshland at the end of 19th century when Amsterdam was enjoying a second Golden Age of sorts. Oud Zuid’s more affluent residents were quick to support the building of not only green spaces but also a world class concert hall, the Royal Concertgebouw. Museumplein, while now established as a cultural centre, has previously been the setting for the World Exhibition in 1883, concrete bunkers during WWII and massive anti-nuclear demonstrations in the 1980s. Meanwhile Vondelpark became world famous during the 60s and 70s as the ‘hippie park’.
Naturally it’s nice to live near one of the greatest overviews of Western Art in the world. Two of the main museums, the Rijksmuseum and the Stedelijk Museum, reopened in 2013 after extensive renovations. The city’s ‘green lung’ of Vondelpark remains Amsterdam’s most densely populated place-to-be whenever the sun shines. One can shop—for everything from daily groceries to speciality chocolate; interior design items to beauty treatments; Hugo Boss to Marlies Dekkers’ sexy underwear—along such arteries as PC Hooftstraat, Jacob Obrechtstraat, Cornelis Schuytstraat and Beethovenstraat.
In general the area is quiet and residential, but with nearby arterial streets providing easy access to daily shopping needs. Oud Zuid not only has some of the city’s more highly rated schools, but also features other children-friendly diversions such as parks and public swimming pools. Further south around the 1928 Olympic Stadium, there has been a lot of construction of housing attracting younger families of professionals. Amsterdamse Bos (Amsterdam forest) is nearby for a quick nature escape.
Eating, drinking, etc
Oud Zuid is central: on one end you have Amsterdam’s nightlife and culture square Leidseplein and on the other Amstelveenseweg that is developing into a true culinary boulevard. And throughout the neighbourhood, a new wine bar seems to pop up every week. But for residents, firm favourites remain Vondelpark’s Vondelpark3 and Blauwe Theehuis, as well such more traditional neighbourhood ‘brown cafés’ such as Welling where classical musicians come to unwind after their show at the Royal Concertgebouw.