Charming cafe-bar in de Pijp is simple, friendly and ‘gezellig’
The 9 Streets is a network of shopping lanes full of elegant character.
A short ferry ride from Centraal station will take you over the River Ij to Amsterdam Noord. Noord (literally meaning ‘north’ if you hadn’t already guessed) offers a decidedly different aesthetic to the rest of the city with the section running along the Ij having once been home to Amsterdam’s shipping industry.
One of Amsterdam’s most distinctive neighbourhoods, the Jordaan is the blueprint for charm, seemingly purpose-built for strolling about within its picture-perfect backstreets. The wedge-shaped area is divided into several portions by a handful of peaceful canals and a few busy main roads. While the main roads break the Amsterdam idyll, don’t overlook them; some interesting interiors shops are to be found here, such as Raw Materials, Nordic New and Anno.
Follow the tram tracks south-ish from Rembrandtplein and you’ll find yourself stepping onto Utrechtsestraat. This is a bustling avenue that cuts across the canal belt at the east side of the city centre, providing an impressive mixture of places in which to eat, drink and shop.
Haarlemmerstraat and Haarlemmerdijk are a single-stretch of shopping streets slightly to the west of Centraal Station. Once a bit of a no-go area, the stretch’s shady past is long behind it, now hosting a mixture of homeware and clothes boutiques in between the liberal smattering of coffee shops.
The area of Amsterdam Centrum is a collection of the inner-most boroughs of Amsterdam which include the historic centre, the semi-circular Grachtengordel or ‘canal belt’, and areas lying to the west, south and east of those.