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Discover Amsterdam
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Live, Work and Study
Cyclist and wheelchair user with dog crossing road towards restaurant terrace on Schinkelhavenstraat
Image from Verity Seward

Things to do in Oud-Zuid

Oud-Zuid is the neighbourhood you want to be in if you’re an art-lover, or recent lottery winner. It’s home to the Museumplein and some of world’s best museums, but also home to some of the most expensive shopping you can wave your wallet at. So if your plan for the day is admiring beautiful things and pampering yourself, head here without delay.

Indulge your inner art critic at Museumplein

Rijksmuseum Cuypers library
Image from Charlie Red

There’s an art critic in every one of us, and if you haven’t found yours yet, a quick trip to the Stedelijk's modern art exhibitions will sort that out. If you want to go more contemporary, head to the Moco Museum for works by ‘rock star’ artists like Banksy. Of course, no visit to the aptly named Museum Quarter can be complete without a stop at the Van Gogh Museum, which tells the story of the artist himself alongside more than 200 paintings and 500 sketches. And with its infinite paintings by the Dutch masters and international reputation, the Rijksmuseum doesn’t need much introduction. However, there are a few hidden spots in the building that many visitors don’t know about. The Cuypers Reading Room is the oldest and most extensive collection of art history texts in the Netherlands, where sunlight streams through the glass ceiling to illuminate seemingly endless rows of tomes.

Window shop from the world’s biggest fashion houses

Lights in the winter at Christmas in the PC Hooftstraat shopping street
Image from Koen Smilde

There are many reasons why Oud-Zuid is the city’s swankiest neighbourhood, and the P.C. Hooftstraat shopping district is undoubtedly one of them. P.C. Hooftstraat is the best place to stare at beautiful things we might never buy: Chanel, Gucci, Hermés, Louis Vuitton, Chopard, Cartier, Mont Blanc and Armani all have a presence there. And after not buying that €2000 bag to carry your imaginary €500 pen, further inspiration can be found at one of the many clothing, wine or chocolate stores on Beethovenstraat. Thankfully, Beethovenstraat has many cafes and restaurants that will not break the bank, so you could always treat yourself to something sweet instead!

Explore the boutiques and brasseries of Little Paris

Scooter on Cornelis Schuytstraat street view in Oud-Zuid
Image from Koen Smilde

While nearby P.C. Hooftstraat is the famous splurging spot for luxe labels, the charming Cornelis Schuytstraat − often described as ‘a slice of Paris’ − offers niche fashion and beauty boutiques like Buise, 1Amsterdam, REPEAT Cashmere, ByDanie Designer Vintage Store, Salle Privée and Babassu Beauty. There are also excellent food and drink specialists, such as fish shop Visque, butcher Slagerij De Schuyt and upscale greengrocer Tom Ensink. Refuel at the always-convivial Brasserie de Joffers or IJsboutique, a superb purveyor of ice cream and fries. Linger longer over French bistro classics at the chic Café Garçon or try Georgian specialities at Batoni Khinkali. Tip: do pop into the city’s fanciest florist, Menno Kroon Atelier, which is a feast for the eyes.

Get pampered at a day spa

Soap Treatment Store
Image from Hans de Mol

All of us could do with a few hours at Akasha, The Conservatorium Hotel’s wellbeing centre. Their selection of luxury treatments extends to a signature facial using 24-carat gold, diamonds and pearls that are guaranteed to put you on top of the world again. Next to the Conservatorium Hotel, you’ll be lured in by the niche beauty brands and exclusive perfumes at Skins Cosmetics Amsterdam. If you prefer a more accessible experience, book in for a manicure or massage at Soap Treatment Store on Van Baerlestraat. Check out our guide to beauty boutiques in Amsterdam for an at-home experience.

Cycle through a museum

Cycling through the bike tunnel under the Rijksmuseum at museumplein
Image from Koen Smilde

OK, so maybe not through the exhibits themselves, but the Rijksmuseum is the only museum we know of that has a bike tunnel running right through it, often full of incredibly talented (and sometimes not so talented) musicians and performers. The building is a masterpiece of architecture designed in 1885 by Dutch architect Pierre Cuypers – the same man who designed Amsterdam’s Central Station – and reopened in 2013 after a ten-year renovation. It beautifully blends the old with the new, and staring at it, you’ll often have difficulty noticing where one ends and the other begins. Understandably, it has been a designated national heritage monument since 1970.

Do as the locals do in Vondelpark

'T Blauwe Theehuis terrace
Image from Janneke Nooij

The iconic Vondelpark 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. You’ll find several great restaurants and cafes in the park, including the Blauwe Theehuis or Vondeltuin, an open-air theatre, fitness areas, and a beautiful rose garden.

Catch a classical concert, for free!

The Royal Concertgebouw is one of the world’s finest concert halls. It has exceptional acoustics, meaning it was purpose-built with meticulous care so that when the first string in Schubert's Symphony No. 8 vibrates, every spine in the room tingles with it – and all this achieved before modern recording equipment had even been invented. The Concertgebouw has an ongoing schedule that includes nearly year-round, free lunchtime concerts, as well as regular 75-minute guided tours that are well worth the low fee. If you’re a fan of classical music but have never listened to it live, you'll soon discover that your high-end speakers have nothing on the building’s sound quality. Read our guide to free classical concerts for more tips.

Shop for picnic supplies at a local market

People shopping at the Stadionplein market.
Image from Koen Smilde

Any gourmand worth their chef’s apron must check out Zuidermrkt. This cosy Saturday market has a cooperative character, presenting stunning farm-fresh and organic produce, almost all exclusively grown in the Netherlands. Alternatively, head to Stadionplein Market on Saturdays for small and large groceries. It is ideal for the early or late riser who wants to score fresh, organic products or purchase a bunch of flowers.

Dine, then dance the night away

Club entrance and exterior of Multipla
Image from Verity Seward

Named after one of the ugliest cars ever produced, Bar Dancing Multipla is “an ode to function over form and fun over fancy” with a concept that combines eating, drinking and clubbing. Set in a former garage, tucked away in the lesser-known Schinkel district, it attracts a mostly young, creative crowd and still feels like a bit of an insider’s secret. Tuck into their Italian-inspired menu (think mozzarella and tomato arancini or pulpo carpaccio with zesty gremolata), with well-chosen wines to match before joining one of their pumping club nights on Friday and Saturday nights.