Amsterdam draws visitors from around the world with its historic canal-lined streets, old-world architecture and vibrant city nightlife. This Dutch city is packed with some of the best museums, cultural centres and unique things to see and do, along with multiple UNESCO world heritage sites.

    Among Amsterdam’s diverse neighbourhoods and boroughs, you’ll find everything from ornate Medieval churches to flavourful Dutch restaurants, quiet cafes and packed nightclubs. Learn about some of the best areas to explore on your trip to Amsterdam.

    1

    Amsterdam Centrum

    Explore architectural gems in a historic spot

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    • History

    Amsterdam Centrum comprises the city's centre, housing many of Amsterdam’s most famous landmarks, including the historic old inner city and the UNESCO-heritage site Amsterdam canal belt.

    Some of the unique locations in Amsterdam Centrum include Leidseplein square, a gathering point of many or the favourite local hotspots, and Paleis van Justitie, which features sleek modern architecture. Historic churches like Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder and Westerkerk are also found in Amsterdam Centrum. You will also find the playfully ship-shaped NEMO Science Museum.

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    2

    Nieuwmarkt

    Wander the Red Light District

    Nieuwmarkt, or New Market, is a historic square in the Lastage neighbourhood, and part of Amsterdam's Chinatown. It’s located adjacent to the De Wallen, or the Red Light District, and is a popular place for those visiting Amsterdam to explore.

    Nieuwmarkt is home to many cosy cafes and cannabis coffeeshops and a towering Medieval building known as the Waag. On the square, you’ll also find a daily market, as well as weekend organic food and farmers markets, and a shop for books and antiques.

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    3

    NDSM

    See spectacular artwork in a cultural hub

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    NDSM is a former industrial shipyard turned into an edgy cultural hotspot, sitting beside the IJ River in Amsterdam. This post-industrial zone is now home to major corporate offices like MTV, Greenpeace and Red Bull and developed a thriving arts community.

    The NDSM area draws visitors for its unique architectural mix of industrial buildings, public art and scenic views over the water, with features like an archway built from huge shipping containers. Boutique concept hotels offer unusual accommodations to travellers and historical sites like a decommissioned Russian submarine.

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    4

    De Jordaan

    Photograph historic sites and old-world architecture

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    • History

    De Jordaan is a popular neighbourhood in central Amsterdam, bordered by the Singelgracht canal. This neighbourhood’s origins can be traced back to 1612, when dirt paths in the area began to be built into streets, explaining Jordaan’s unusual orientation compared to the rest of Amsterdam.

    De Jordaan houses many old-world architectural features and historical sites and was the home of the painter Rembrandt during the final years of his life and is his final resting place. The Anne Frank House, where Anne Frank hid during WWII, is located on the outskirts of Jordaan.

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    5

    De Wallen

    Enjoy adult entertainment

    De Wallen is home to the largest and most famous red-light district within Amsterdam, a historic area within the city that has been operating for centuries. De Wallen was the Medieval city centre of Amsterdam, full of old-world architecture and scenic canal-lined streets.

    The first monument in the world dedicated to respecting sex workers is located in the red-light district of De Wallen. You'll also find cannabis coffee shops, theatres and other adult entertainment venues. Historic locations in De Wallen include the red-brick Beurs van Berlage, the ornate Medieval church Oude Kerk and the hidden church within Museum Ons’ Lieve Heer Op Solder.

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    6

    De Negen Straatjes

    Explore UNESCO World Heritage sites

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    • History

    De Negen Straatjes, or Nine Little Streets, is located within the UNESCO World Heritage Site Grachtengordel. Many of the unique buildings in the area were originally constructed in the 18th century, and street names harken back to the trades that once dominated the region with names like Pelt Street, Inn Mill Alley and Old Mirror Street.

    De Negen Straatjes include museums like Het Grachtenhuis and Huis Marseille, the European Center for Art, Culture and Science, within the Felix Meritis house, and the Dutch Institute for War Documentation.

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    7

    De Pijp

    Shop at local marketplaces

    De Pijp, or The Pipe, is a neighbourhood south of the city centre in the Amsterdam-Zuid borough. The area is known for its diverse population, offering eclectic international restaurants and regional flavours like Dutch herrings and waffles.

    De Pijp houses one of the largest markets in the Netherlands, the Albert Cuyp Market, and famous monuments like the former town hall of Nieuwer-Amstel. You’ll also find the old Heineken brewery in De Pijp, along with local bars and cafes around Marie Heinekenplein.

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    photo by Guilhem Vellut (CC BY 2.0) modified

    8

    Oud-West

    Enjoy shopping and nightlife spots

    Oud-West is a bustling neighbourhood in Amsterdam, known for trendy hotspots and plenty of shopping destinations. This neighbourhood contains diverse communities like Overtoombuurt and Kinkerbuurt, which each offer their own unique historic sites and attractions to visitors.

    Historic sites in Oud-West include the Zevenlandenhuizen, 7 houses built in distinct architectural styles from different areas of Europe, the Vondelkerk church and the former riding school Hollandsche Manege. For local shopping, you can check out the sites around De Clercqstraat, Overtoom, and Kinkerstraat.

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    photo by FotoDutch (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    9

    Oud-Zuid

    Wander world-class art museums

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    • History

    Oud-Zuid is a neighbourhood that translates to Old South in English. It lies to the south of Amsterdam’s city centre. This area includes some of the wealthiest neighbourhoods in Amsterdam, drawing many visitors to the site to stroll its historic streets and see its various offerings.

    Oud-Zuid is home to some of the Netherlands best art museums, including the world-famous Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum and the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. You’ll also find the opulent Concertgebouw here, a historic concert hall, and beautiful green spaces and scenic walking trails within the Vondelpark.

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    photo by Aquilo (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    10

    Westerpark

    Explore vibrant outdoor spaces and gardens

    Westerpark, or Western Park, is a non-residential neighbourhood in Amsterdam. It houses a spacious public park by the same name, Westerpark, and diverse attractions and cultural destinations that are sure to delight any traveller.

    Within the Westerpark public park, you’ll find open green spaces, water features, playgrounds and scenic walking trails for your family to enjoy. Historic buildings have been converted into cultural centres, boutiques, restaurants, a cinema and breweries. There is also a historic cemetery nearby, the Sint Barbara Cemetery.

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