Things to do in Oud-West
Just outside Amsterdam’s canal ring, Oud-West maintains a historic charm but adds a dash of contemporary city-living. Along with a range of fantastic concept stores and artisanal markets, you’ll find a host of cultural centres, cinemas and exhibition spaces to explore whilst the leafy neighbourhood parks and canals offer a lush green escape - on foot or with a paddle. One certain thing is between the street food vendors, restaurants and the massive Foodhallen, there is ample opportunity for a culinary adventure in Oud-West.
Stroll the neighbourhood for interior inspiration
Find out what’s SUP
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 on a 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.
Sample Dutch delicacies along the Ten Katemarkt
This bustling street market on the Kinkerstraat is a firm favourite with locals. Alongside the various stalls selling flowers, cheese, wine, fabric, fruit and veg, you’ll also find a range of food trucks serving up typical Dutch snacks and deep-fried delicacies. If you haven’t yet had the opportunity to sample kibbeling (battered cod bites served with herby mayo), loempia (Indonesian spring roll) or a broodje haring (a raw herring sandwich), check out the vendors here and have a read of this guide to Dutch foods to try in Amsterdam for additional pointers.
Do as the locals do in Vondelpark
This iconic city park occupies a special place in the heart of almost every Amsterdammer and visitor. On a sunny day, the paths are packed with skaters, joggers, dog-walkers and commuters taking the scenic cycle route home, whilst groups of friends chill on the lawns by the pond and parents catch up outside the playgrounds. Inside the park, you’ll find several great restaurants and cafes including the Blauwe Theehuis or Vondeltuin, an open-air theatre, fitness areas, and a beautiful rose garden.
Meet the makers at the Maker Market
De Hallen, a cultural centre in Oud-West comprising not just shops but a hotel, cinema and food hall, invites Amsterdam artisans to the Maker Market, where they present their wares once per month to those looking for unique, made-in-Amsterdam items. Wander the halls of De Hallen to discover stands and displays of clothing and accessories, bicycles and furniture, books and other knick-knacks and trinkets to gift or keep for yourself. If you missed the Maker Market, you can still stop by the Maker Store from Tuesday through Sunday to browse their collection.
Chomp your way through the Foodhallen
De Hallen’s food court is packed with so many pop-up eateries and well-established favourites, that a tour through here really needs to be classified as an activity in itself. You can’t go wrong with the range of classic toppings at Renato's, a lively pizzeria that also dishes up calzones, burrata-stuffed paninis and mouth-watering antipasti boards. Order a selection of tacos stuffed with everything from jackfruit, spicy tuna or traditional Mexican al pastor pulled pork at Taqueria Lima. If that doesn’t take your fancy, you’ll find options for dim sum, bao buns, hot dogs, burgers, sushi, fried chicken, pho, Spanish charcuterie in this dazzling indoor food market.
Veg out (literally) for the day
With so many new vegetarian and vegan restaurants in Amsterdam reinventing the way plant-based food looks and tastes, a growing number of Amsterdammers have been handing in their steak knives. Oud-West has become a veggie Valhalla, with restaurants and cafés ditching boring salads and tofu-everything to offer delicious dishes that just happen to be vegetarian. Give your body a day of plant-based nutrition with breakfast or lunch at Meatless District, ending the day with your choice of burger at Soil or the Vegan Junk Food Bar
Immerse yourself in Dutch culture
While the city centre offers boatloads of historic buildings and famous sights, Oud-West is another cultural centre, marrying the history of Amsterdam with modern art, music and media. There’s always something interesting happening at Lab111, a cinema, restaurant and exhibition space housed in a former pathological anatomy lab that runs a collection of quirky films and insightful documentaries every evening while the works of artists, photographers and designers fill the exhibition space.
Pretend you’re in Italy
After catching a film or exhibition, a favourite activity amongst locals in Oud-West is to take a stroll through the neighbourhood savouring a stand-out ice cream. On a warm evening, the line outside Massimo Gelato is a sure-fire sign of its status as one of the best gelaterias in the city. The flavour choices are straight-to-the-point and exquisite with milk procured from an organic farm, chocolate from Venezuela and lemons for those zingy sorbets shipped in straight from Sicily. For a funkier alternative with slightly more neon signage, La-La-IJs is just around the corner and sells over 20 flavours of ice cream handcrafted on their solar-powered machine along with delicious milkshakes and sorbets.
Explore the tree-lined streets of the Helmersbuurt
Built-in the late 19th and early 20th century as a much-needed expansion to the ever-growing city, Helmersbuurt has become a unique neighbourhood, filled with lush, towering trees, quiet residential areas and cultural hotspots. Once the home of many artists and writers, Helmersbuurt has creativity on every corner – you’ll just have to wander around to find it. When you’re feeling suitably inspired, rest your feet at one of the many quirky cafes and coffee joints in the area. This guide to the best food and drink spots and lunch break ideas in Oud-West has got you covered.