National Geographic Traveller (UK)

Amsterdam Oost




This East Amsterdam landmark opens its opulent double doors early, just as the sun hits the tall poplars outside. Come here for coffee and a speculoos biscuit at the bar, or take eggs Benedict on the terrace, where you can watch houseboats bob about on the Amstel River. Built in the style of a grand European cafe, with soaring ceilings and distressed wood furniture, it echoes with the roar of the bean-grinder and the clinking of satisfied spoons. deysbreeke­



Follow the river out to the forested paths of Oosterpark. Start your walk at the National Slavery Monument, which was created 20 years ago by Surinamese sculptor Erwin de Vries. It commemorat­es the New World’s emancipati­on from Dutch slavery after

250 years. A little further on is The Scream, a steely silhouette of Theo van Gogh, the filmmaker and free speech activist

(and grand nephew of Vincent) who was murdered nearby. Herons — and even a parrot or two — nest around the pond.



What began as a repository of ‘exotica’ from the colonies is now a thoughtful and critical examinatio­n of treasures seized overseas and the human impact of colonial rule. The reworked exhibition­s, curated by immigrants, are confession­al and heartbreak­ing. And the building is a dazzler: officially opened in 1926, it has a vaulted, Renaissanc­e-style atrium for displaying the collection of towering tribal totems. A chic cafe serving curries and lassis faces the park. tropenmuse­



The entreprene­urial collective known as the Three Wise Men opened this Caribbeant­hemed restaurant in 2016 at the entrance to Javastraat. Lush and green, with an indoor terrace and pots of cheese plants, it specialise­s in toasties and focaccia sandwiches with flavour-punching ingredient­s such as tropical jackfruit and kimchi. Try the panzanella salad, sprinkled with fried okra. Sun streams in through tall, south-facing windows in the morning, but the crowds really pick up from mid-afternoon. barbotaniq­



The dual personalit­ies of East Amsterdam are conspicuou­s in its two shopping streets. Dappermark­t is a daily street bazaar where locals load up on produce and day-trippers nibble fresh grilled corn on the cob as well as poffertjes, the mini Dutch pancakes sprinkled with icing sugar. Czaar Peterstraa­t, meanwhile, once a classic working-class hub, is now replete with boutique jewellers and gourmet cheesemong­ers. A standout is the high-fashion emporium CP113. dappermark­ czaarpeter­



The last windmill standing on the city’s 17th-century bastions is De Gooyer, which milled corn when the city was without power during the Second World War. The adjoining bathhouse has been repurposed by Brouwerij ‘t IJ as a microbrewe­ry, supplying popular blondes, whites and tripels. The taproom is a great spot for borrel, the national happy hour. Grab a beer on tap and enjoy a clear view down the canal to the sunset. brouwerijh­



The Foundation launched five years ago across a series of vibrantly painted studios near the Eastern Docklands as a cultural centre for budding performers who had nowhere to channel their creative energy. There’s a workshop nearly every night of the week dedicated to pop- and lock-dancing, voguing or spinning, plus a regular spoken word Poetry Circle, in Dutch and English.



After slavery was abolished in Suriname in 1863, Dutch landowners there sought labourers from the subcontine­nt; this is why most Surinamese menus in Amsterdam have an Indian influence. Lalla Rookh, named after the ship that took Indian indentured workers to South America, is a top roti restaurant, dishing out Surinamese curries with Indian flavours, alongside thick egg-stuffed flatbread and bowls of spicy pickle. Afterwards, head to Javastraat where Bar Basquiat, Badhuis Oedipus and others will be getting a second wind. barbasquia­


Eurostar runs between London St Pancras Internatio­nal and Amsterdam Centraal several times a day.

Average journey time: 5h20m. Numerous airlines fly nonstop between the UK and Amsterdam Schiphol Airport including British Airways, EasyJet, Flybe and KLM.

Average flight time: 1h15m.

It’s easy to navigate Amsterdam Oost on foot. To explore further afield, hire a bicycle at Black Bikes, from €11.99 (£10.50) for three hours.


Amsterdam’s climate is similar to that of London’s. It can get wet any time of year, but June to October is the most settled. Hot spells, well into 30C, are easier to bear in Amsterdam than many cities, as you can glide around on a bicycle or swim in the Amstel River.


The Manor, Amsterdam Oost.

Doubles from £105, room only. themanorho­telamsterd­ Pillows Grand Boutique Hotel, Maurits at the Park, Oosterpark. Doubles from £359, room only. pillowshot­


HOW TO DO IT offers a round-trip on Eurostar and three nights at the Manor Hotel in Amsterdam Oost from £300 per person, room only.

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