Explore Amsterdam’s coolest cultural quarter, Jordaan
THE NEIGHBOURHOOD North of the major museums and west of the red-light district’s coffee shops lies the crosshatch of canals that is Jordaan. Picture-perfect bridges link residential boulevards with the ‘Nine Streets’ district of plentiful markets, cafés and design shops. Read on for our guide to the hidden gems in this picturesque area.
WHERE TO STAY Occupying a row of 25 waterside townhouses, most built around 1615, the Pulitzer hotel (1) has just reopened following a revamp that perfectly combines grandiose (Old Master oil paintings, antique chandeliers, mini-bars on Art Deco drinks trolleys and velvet chairs by Sé London) with low-key (in-room bike repair kits and attic rooms with beams). Doubles from £235 per night (Prinsengracht 315; pulitzeramsterdam.com). Amsterdam also has great Airbnb properties, from bedsits up in the eaves to spacious open-plan midcentury apartments (airbnb.com).
WINE AND DINE Book a beer tasting at Hoppa! (2), a new joint pioneering Amsterdam’s brewing heritage (Singel 460; hoppa.amsterdam), or stop by the quirky Vesper Bar (3) for a strong cocktail ( Vinkenstraat 57; vesperbar.nl). Try the delicious lamb and feta burgers at Venus & Adonis (4), whose design is inspired by the painting by Rembrandt’s apprentice Ferdinand Bol (Prinsengracht 274; venusenadnois.nl); or head to Restaurant T Zwaantje (5) for Belgianstyle mussels; it tends to be bursting with locals (Berenstraat 12; zwaantje-restaurant.nl).
BREAKFAST AND LUNCH On a Saturday visit Noordermarkt (6), which originally purveyed pigeons and canaries, but is now a farmer’s market selling everything from organic eggs to fresh fish and – ideal with a hot coffee to start the day – loaves of gingery ontbijtkoek, ‘ breakfast cake’. For lunch, stop by Winkel ( 8, Noordermarkt 43; winkel43.nl) for a hearty stew and rye sandwich. Or head to cosy-but-chic Ree7 ( 7) for an omelette (Reestraat 7; ree7.nl).
ARTS AND CULTURE An artistic home as it was during Amsterdam’s 17th-century Golden Age, Museum Van Loon (9) is a private residence still owned by the Van Loon family: rooms are painted in gorgeous hues and the formal garden is a joy (Keizersgracht 672; museumvanloon.nl). Also visit Yellowkorner (10), a contemporary gallery with a mission to make photography accessible to all (Singel 282; yellowkorner.com).
SHOP Bookworms should head to Architectura & Natura (11), a library-like space packed with tomes on these two subjects (Leliegracht 22; architectura.nl), while Moooi (12) is a must-visit for all modern design fiends ( Westerstraat 187; moooi.com). Finally, Anouk Beerents (13) specialises in buying, selling and restoring Italian and French mirrors, and her open-house studio happily welcomes voyeurs (Prinsengracht 467; anoukbeerents.nl).
INSIDER TIP Cooking dinner in your rented apartment? Buy a bottle to accompany it from Peter Renalda’s cellar, De Wijnwinkel Renalda (14). He has been selling crates to Amsterdam’s most exclusive restaurants and one-off wines to discerning drinkers since 1985 – the prices may be higher than average, but the advice and chat is on the house (Runstraat 23; wijnwinkel.com).
The Pulitzer hotel occupies a row of 25 waterside houses and has its own barge