Nature and active in Oud-West
Besides the lively shops and restaurants, Oud-West is filled with leafy streets, small parks and hidden courtyards. The neighbourhood is also home to community-driven gardens, and urban farms whilst the historic canals provide an excellent spot for paddling.
Vondelpark flanks the Eastern border of Oud-West providing the locals with ample space for strolling, picnicking or getting their skates on. This vast green space offers something for everyone with various outdoor sculptures, a sprawling doggy field, an open-air theatre, various tearooms and an adventure playground. No visit to Amsterdam is complete without exploring the hidden corners of this iconic park.
The canals in Oud-West are some of the most beautiful stretches in the city, much quieter than in the centre and great fun to explore with a kayak, boat rental or stand-up paddleboard (SUP). This relaxing activity is a brilliant way to see Amsterdam’s historic waterways, houseboats and bridges from an alternative perspective. Canal SUP provides board rentals for anywhere between 1 to 8 hours. Their handy location along the Sloterkade gives you access to numerous scenic routes in Oud-West, and you are just a few paddle strokes away from the city centre.
Strolling down the busy Overtoom, you might come across the faint farmyard whiff usually associated with horses. That’s because tucked away behind this busy shopping street is Amsterdam’s most unusual architectural gem: De Hollandsche Manege, an 18th-century riding school with opulent Baroque interiors. Children, teens and adults can enjoy riding classes here, designed for ages eight and up. Visitors can look down on the trotting ponies from the balcony of the stunning café.
In Oud-West, you’ll also find the Landje van Ome Kick - a stretch of land where Frits Bottelier, or Ome Kick, has been organising children’s activities since the 1970s. Now, this area has been transformed into the Zimmerhoeve city farm where you can pet goats, rabbits and other farmyard critters. The farm also nurtures various wild plants and hosts horticultural workshops. Incidentally, the farm is still known as the Landje van Ome Kick by residents.
Het Eetbare Plantsoen
How about heading to your local park to pick fresh vegetables? The enthusiastic residents living in the Borgerbuurt neighbourhood have set up a real urban vegetable garden called Het Eetbare Plantsoen (the edible garden). All the vegetables and herbs grown here are edible and this community-driven project provides a pleasant meeting point for the locals.
The area surrounding Bellamyplein used to be a rural, wetland area with sawmills and polder houses. Now, the small park between the prestigious houses behind De Hallen offers a scenic spot to unwind. In the warmer months, you’ll see the paddling pool full of local children splashing about to cool off.