Art and culture in Oost
Packed with smaller galleries, world-class museums, concert halls, cinemas and multi-functional venues, Amsterdam Oost has much to offer culture lovers looking for alternative things to see and do. The Tropenmuseum is a must-visit collection of intriguing artefacts, whilst Studio/K and the Mezrab Cultural Centre are hotspots for arthouse film and spoken word. You'll also find a variety of warehouse spaces, churches and former factories that have been taken over by a range of artistic initiatives, transforming Oost into an epicentre for culture in Amsterdam.
Run by a team of enthusiastic students, Studio/K is a forward-looking centre which functions as an arthouse cinema, a music venue, a gallery and a bar-restaurant. The two screening rooms lay on an outstanding range of quality films focusing on cinema that has emerged from outside Hollywood, including countries such as Turkey, Morocco and India. You'll find an equally impressive array of eclectic club nights, festivals, markets and other open-air activities which extend outdoors to the spacious terrace. Meanwhile, the gig agenda encompasses everything from singer-songwriter and jazz to rock and electronic.
The expansive, light-drenched Tropenmuseum houses a fascinating three-storey collection of intriguing artefacts from around the globe, each with its own story to tell about world cultures, past and present. Presented in insightful and imaginative displays, the Things That Matter permanent exhibition considers themes that connect people across borders, whilst Afterlives of Slavery brings to light the history of slavery and its modern-day repercussions. Kids can get stuck into the Tropenmuseum Junior, which uses hands-on exhibits to promote an open view of the world.
Pakhuis de Zwijger
Originally used as a warehouse for refrigerated goods, Pakhuis de Zwijger in Amsterdam's Eastern Docklands area now serves as a meeting place for culture fiends and creative networkers. The programme encompasses regular events, exhibitions and lectures, and amidst the meeting rooms, you'll also find a café, radio and television studios and multimedia workshop spaces.
Mezrab Cultural Centre
Settle into Mezrab's cosy floor cushions for a night of tall tales and real-life stories told by professional storytellers. This unique cultural centre, located in Pakhuis Wilhelmina in the city's eastern docklands, has grown into one of the best stages for spoken-word, improv and comedy in the city. The expansive venue also hosts a diverse array of exhibitions, dance parties and musical guests from around the world with a casual atmosphere that will make you feel right at home, no matter what's on the agenda.
P/////AKT Project Space
This not-for-profit exhibition space has provided a robust platform for emerging talents in the city since 2003. Multiple times a year, the sprawling warehouse is given over to individual artists to produce new works related to the specific location. These large-scale solo presentations give viewers a real insight into each artist's thought process and the opportunity to catch one of their early-career shows before they undoubtedly go on to exciting bigger things.
Curators and artists collide at this long-standing project space and arts foundation in the cultural epicentre of Amsterdam Oost. Every year, the venue collaborates with emerging and established international talents to organise exhibitions and an extensive public programme of lectures, debates, screenings and performances. You'll be confronted with work at the cutting edge of contemporary art, visual culture and politics from a diverse range of voices and perspectives in society.
Canvas and Doka
Located on the roof of the Volkshotel, a former office building where the national newspaper de Volkskrant once rolled off the press, Canvas op de 7de is a rooftop bar with panoramic city views and fantastic cocktails. The terrace has to be one of the best places to hang out in Amsterdam, and when it gets late, party-people can move downstairs to Doka to check out the varied live music agenda and club nights.
Museum Tot Zover
If you're interested in how the Dutch approach the inevitability of death, then the Museum Tot Zover (Funeral Museum) is just the ticket. Tot Zover offers an array of changing contemporary and historical exhibitions featuring art and photography, plus a growing selection of online galleries delving deep into our relationship with the afterlife. As befitting a funeral museum, it's located in a cemetery - the only Dutch museum to be – and housed in the former director's residence.
The biggest music-making centre in Europe, Q-Factory offers musicians, actors and dancers all kinds of opportunities to rehearse, perform and record. Enjoy live music in one of the halls, have a Q-Burger or ice-cold beer in the café-restaurant or stay overnight in the music hotel.
This former church In the Indische Buurt is the home base for the Netherlands Philharmonic and Chamber Orchestras. Anyone who loves music is welcome to attend free open rehearsals and children's concerts in the spectacular surroundings, known for their impressive acoustics.