Starting east of the Old Centre at the Oude Schans, this area includes many smaller neighbourhoods. It’s bordered by the IJ harbour to the north, the Binnen Amstel river to the south and Sarphatistraat and its extension Czar Peterstraat to the west.
Starting in 1600, Jews from across Europe came to Amsterdam to live in relative freedom, and most settled in this section of the city. Rembrandt was drawn to live here (his former home is now the Rembrandthuis museum) so he could take advantage of all ‘the biblical faces’. In the 19th century, the area east, known as De Plantage, was developed as a quieter residential area for Amsterdam's wealthier residents. Few Jews returned alive after WWII, but the area remains marked by their legacy: Jewish Historical Museum, Portuguese Synagogue, Gassan Diamonds and Hollandsche Schouwburg.
Many come to live here in relative quiet while still enjoying the advantages of being so close to the inner city. Children can take full advantage of Artis Royal Zoo and Science center NEMO, while parents can escape for quiet moments in the botanical gardens Hortus Botanicus or on a bench along the River Amstel. Culture hounds are well-served at the Dutch National Opera & Ballet and the acclaimed Hermitage Amsterdam.
As can be expected from an affluent neighbourhood filled with many families, the schools and infrastructures for children is excellent - but your children will most likely just want to visit TunFun.
Community action is strong: The area around the Waterlooplein flea market began life as a poorer neighbourhood with its markets and diamond factories, but had strong union affiliations. In the 1970s, the area saw fiery protests around the building of the City Hall.
Eating, drinking etc
Being very central, you can easily access the Old Centre, especially the Nieuwmarkt. Still, there are bars and restaurants located along Plantage Doklaan and Plantage Kerklaan across from Artis Royal Zoo. Plenty more cafés and restaurants are opening as the neighbourhood becomes increasingly popular.
For a real flavour of the neighbourhood, there’s the brown café Eik & Linde. Near the University of Amsterdam, there’s the student-run Kriterion Cinema and several bars catering to students.