A narrow headland along the Amstel

This audio tour by architour provides an informative picture of the historical and current developments along the Nes and invites participants to become acquainted with the arguments and dilemmas behind urban issues. 100% Corona-proof and free!

De Nes entertainment center

The Nes was originally a narrow spit of land along the Amstel. In contrast to the much more famous Kalverstraat – the counterpart of the Nes on the Nieuwe Zijde – this neighborhood kept its hidden character for a long time. An entertainment center with café chantants, variety shows and artists' cafés arose here early in the 19th century, and in 1911 The Empire opened its doors in the Nes, Amsterdam's first gay café. Later the tobacco trade brought a lot of activity and the construction of larger complexes. Since the 1960s, more and more theater companies have moved into these abandoned factory buildings and brought a cultural theater offering with plenty of room for experiment and innovation into the street.

Hidden part of the city

Today, the Nes is still a hidden part of the city where you will find a great density of cultural activities. The many lobbies, foyers and halls, together with the restaurants and shops, increase the limited space. Large and small buildings as well as more and less prominent architecture alternate. In addition to the programming of the ground floor, the coherent design of the public space also reinforces the identity of the street.

Traces from the past

The audio tour is guided by the traces of the past. Visitors and residents are taken from Grimburgwal to Dam Square, past 10 striking buildings. You explore the area in an individual way, supported by a digital map and current and historical photos per building. At each stop you can listen to an explanation about the architecture for about 3-4 minutes, but also about the origins of the institutions and companies. The narrator is a local architect and architectural guide who shares his experience in an accessible yet well-researched way. He or she knows how to tell a story about every project.  

The tour is available for free and is brought to you by BIZNes. All you need is a smartphone with earbuds. Starting point is Grimburgwal 1.