De Hallen is a lot of different things to a lot of different people, but for the purpose of making a punchy introduction (and in the hope of keeping you reading past it), we’re going to try to summarise what de Hallen is to everyone; it’s a behemoth of a place, it’s unlike anything else in the city and fundamentally, it’s a weekend under a roof.
De Hallen is a complex of tram sheds that lay abandoned until 2014 when its massive doors reopened to the public. The first hall to be revealed now acts as a grand entrance to much of the De Hallen, with shops down one edge and a range of other amenities accessible from the other.
But it is more than just a foyer, it’s a space in its own right, with the vastness easily accommodating events like the monthly Local Goods Weekend Market.
The biggest fanfare came when the huge food court, appropriately named Food Hallen, fired up its hotplates. It’s a mood-lit bare brick cavern containing a couple of dozen food stalls, a central bar, and two smaller ones that specialise in gin & tonics and craft beers respectively.
The giant social space is a real destination for locals looking for a casual hangout and a lively atmosphere, with food and drinks that can’t really fail to please (providing you don’t get food envy). It has become a ‘go to’ venue for a lot of Amsterdammers almost overnight. The cavernous bare brick aesthetic carries through much of the complex, not least, next door to the Film Hallen…
The film hall is not your standard pile’em high multiplex. It’s nine screens are a part of the Cineville franchise which specialises in playing international and art-house cinema on top of the Hollywood goodies. It’s a beautiful place in its own right – once again using the building to do most of the work on the aesthetics front – but screen 7 (aka the Parisi Hall) is a particular stunner with its authentic art deco interior which used to be at the EYE Filmmuseum’s former location in Vondelpark. This is a fitting fit-out given how Film Hallen is the sibling of The Movies on Harlemmerdijk… the oldest movie theatre in Amsterdam.
While the food hall and movie theatre draw the majority of the masses, there are a lot of other elements that make De Hallen the all-day, all-round venue we described in the opener. There’s the library and reading cafe which act as quiet oasis in this bustling part of the west, meanwhile two restaurants, Meat West and Halte3, provide posher eats if that’s what you are seeking out. Rounding of the octuple-threat is the De Hallen Hotel and holiday apartments which are accessible from the other side of the De Hallen complex.
You can see why it might be hard to tear yourself away, but if you do there’s plenty of ways to be rewarded nearby. This is a city after all, and Oud West is an area that’s booming due to an influx of interesting food, drink and shopping experiences to meet the demand in the area. And yet, like much of Amsterdam, it maintains its individuality by sensitively combining long-standing institutions (take nearby Ten Katemarkt as a perfect example) with exciting new concepts.
De Hallen is literally both of those things, and a perfect example of what this city does so well.
|Price||Something to suit every wallet|
|Booking||Yes for the restaurants, no for Food Hallen|
|Groups||Absolutely. Everything is super-sized|