Explore a 17th-century estate
Situated in the stunning Park Frankendael, Amsterdam's only surviving 17-century country estate transports you back to an era of 17th-century grandeur. Wander through Huize Frankendael's sprawling gardens, filled with manicured hedges, sculptures and water features. The stately home hosts exhibitions and special events throughout the year, and Restaurant Merkelbach, located in the former coach house, is an ideal spot for lunch.
Check out the local brewing scene
With breweries around every corner and under every windmill, Amsterdam Oost is something of a Walhalla for craft beer lovers. Let's take Brouwerij ’t IJ to start with, which was an independent local microbrewery long before anyone dreamed up the modern terminology. Housed in a former bathhouse next to a proper Dutch windmill, the bar boasts a large enclosed terrace that stays busy in all weathers. Next up, the tasting room at Poesiat & Kater offers speciality brews with a side of history including the resurrected legendary Van Vollenhoven beer. Or, for some fragrant grapefruit and lychee undertones to your beverage, sample classic concoctions from the heated terrace of De Eeuwige Jeugd. Finally, the team at Oedipus Brewing have been getting stuck into the fermenting process, serving up a colourful selection of beers and kombucha from their sunny terrace at the historic Badhuis Javaplein.
Sip jenever surrounded by gorgeous views
Located in a former pumping station, the tranquil terrace of Distillery ‘t Nieuwe Diep is almost completely surrounded by water. Soak up the beautiful views over the lake as you sip on the best jenevers and liqueurs from the tasting room. This hidden hotspot is parked right in the middle of Flevopark, a tranquil escape packed with walking routes and gorgeous green barbecue areas. It’s also where you’ll find the Joodse Begraafplaats Zeeburg, a Jewish cemetery that is now heritage-listed.
Chill out at Oosterpark
Oosterpark is a fantastic green space filled with ponds, streams, a wading pool for children and plenty of walking paths. In the summer months, the lawns will be awash with sunbathers and picnickers from diverse walks of life and the park also hosts a variety of festivals. Sit back overlooking the pond to try and catch a glimpse of the park’s nesting birds or pass by the Speaker’s Stone on a Sunday afternoon to hear the locals saying what’s on their mind.
Play boules in a hidden garden
Amsterdam Oost is awash with fantastic bar terraces for people watching, but only one has a secret jeu-de-boules pitch. De Vergulden Eenhoorn (The Gilded Unicorn) is a historic pub and farm founded in 1702, serving up tasty seasonal lunch and dinner dishes such as Moroccan Taktouka with asparagus, egg and chorizo or Indonesian gado-gado salad with sesame chicken and cashew nuts. In the back. After a stand-out meal you can take to the hidden picnic garden and book one of the boules lanes - the perfect way to while away some merry hours on a summer evening.
Eat, pay or haggle in a street market
If you’re a fan of street markets, you’re in the right city (and a great neighbourhood). The Dappermarkt on Dapperstraat is a great place to pick up everything from fresh produce to beautiful fabric. You’ll also often find good meat or cheese, and the occasional sushi wrap. As with all street markets, the goods on offer and crowd-sizes vary greatly from day to day; the best way to find out is to head there. Some of the fish vendors here are a great opportunity to sample traditional Dutch delicacies like kibbeling, herring or eel.
Check out a festival
Oosterpark is home to a busy schedule of events, and some great festivals. The Keti Koti Festival (Surinamese for broken chains) celebrates the abolition of slavery with a busy, colourful festival complete with performers and a parade. The Amsterdam Roots Festival is filled with song, dance, acrobatics and kid’s activities. Expect to find some fantastic food and shopping stalls throughout both. And there’s a lot more throughout the year, so keep an eye on the park’s Facebook page for the latest.
Discover the up-and-coming food scene
Oost is a beautifully diverse neighbourhood, and a trip there wouldn’t be complete without a meal at one of the many local favourites. If you fancy some seafood instead, the Scandinavian-inspired Fyrre will satisfy that craving entirely. The green Bar Botanique on Swindenstraat is here for you if you’re in a French-Mediterranean mood. Finally, for a South American take on bar food, the beautiful Bar Louie Louie is the easy choice in the neighbourhood. Check out our dedicated restaurant and bar guide for more foodie tips.
Catch an art-house film, or ten
Films large and small find their way onto the Studio/K schedule, a homey arthouse cinema, café and club on Timorplein. Some 50 dedicated students painstakingly put the schedules together, so expect the best in classics and new releases whenever you visit. If you’re in the city in August, you’ll not want to miss one of the indoor or open-air shows from the World Cinema Amsterdam Festival either. Festival screenings will be held at different times and across the city, so the website is your best bet for staying current. Here's our culture guide for more hotspots in Oost.