6 Must-See Amsterdam Neighborhoods and How to Visit
From hip Jordaan and diverse De Pijp to the coffee shops and brothels of the Red Light District, Amsterdam’s neighborhoods each have their own distinct character. Here’s how to explore beyond the Canal District and see what off-the-beaten-path Amsterdam is like.
Top attractions and lots to do.
Sky-high views and great shopping.
Just a short ferry ride from Amsterdam Central Station, Amsterdam-Noord is packed with waterfront cafés, rural villages, and cutting-edge culture. Bag the best city views from the rooftop observatory at the the A’dam Lookout; check out tiny wooden houses in Nieuwendammerdijk village; and shop for local specialties at the Pekmarkt street market.
Trendy and ideal for foodies.
Once a close-knit, working-class community, Jordaan is now an upscale neighborhood favored by artists and foodies. Cozy pubs, speciality foods shops, hip restaurants, and small galleries line the narrow canals in this trendy Amsterdam neighborhood.
Red Light District (De Wallen)
More than just the obvious.
There’s more to Amsterdam’s Red Light District than sex shops, brothels, and peep shows. De Wallen is the oldest part of Amsterdam and home some of the city’s most charming canals, gabled houses, and restaurants. You’ll also find the city’s oldest church, the gothic Oude Kerk, and Amsterdam’s Chinatown here.
Cool and cultural.
Just south of the city center, you’ll find De-Pijp, a lively and cosmopolitan district. Nicknamed Amsterdam’s Latin Quarter, this neighborhood was once home to the city’s students and artists, but now it’s a mix of cultures, cuisines, and markets.
History and family-friendly attractions.
Just east of the city center is the Plantage, aka the Jewish Quarter. This district is home to many sights significant to Jewish culture such as the Old Portuguese Synagogue, Jewish Historical Museum, and Hollandsche Schouwburg. The Jewish Quarter is also home to the Amsterdam botanical gardens and zoo.
More things to do in Amsterdam