Discover the Jordaan

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One of Amsterdam’s most distinctive neighbourhoods, the Jordaan is the blueprint for charm and seemingly purpose-built for meandering about its postcard-perfect backstreets. The wedge-shaped area is divided by a handful of peaceful canals and a few main roads. Although the busy roads will temporarily snap you out of your Amsterdam idyll, don’t overlook them; some interesting shops are to be found here, such as interior decoration hotspots Nordic New, Anno and Moooi.

Back in the rabbit-run of the Jordaan’s lanes you’ll encounter skinny streets exploding with hollyhocks all summer, and a mishmash of charming private homes, independent shops, trendy restaurants and traditional pubs. The joy – as with most of central Amsterdam – is in deciphering which is which as you meander past curtain-less windows and people dining in the street.

A predominantly workers area until late 20th Century, the Jordaan has seen an influx of new residents who make new traditions to join the old. For instance, the Jordaan is where the beautiful vintage wares and organic food of Noordermarkt and Westermark rub shoulders with the annual Jordaan Festival (celebrating traditional Dutch crooners).

The contrast is instrumental to the areas unique charm. However, if it’s a balance between the two you seek, head to Winkel 43. The cafe and bakery is regarded at the best in Amsterdam for delicious, traditional appeltaart. Winkel 43 is not a well-kept secret but just like the rest of the Jordaan, it’s definitely worth the trip.

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