Zuid 52 |
text and photos: Marie-Charlotte Pezé
boutiques and coveted vintage shops. Cafés with sprawling terraces also abound, where you can enjoy the spring’s rays and sometimes hear the hooves of the horses taking riders for a stroll through the Vondelpark, the vast green expanse that borders Zuid to the northwest.
Into the woods
Zuid has its fair share of natural havens. Smack in the middle of De Pijp – the edgy, trendy neighbourhood that caters to the younger crowds (and the hipsters, let’s tell it like it is) – Sarphatipark is a breath of fresh air when you get tired of drinking lattes and buying independent designer wares. To the east lies the Amstelpark, where food festivals often park their trucks during the sunnier months, such as Taste of Amsterdam (from 1 to 3 june), with the city’s most famous chefs showing off their chops on paper plates. But especially, down south you’ll find the Amsterdamse Bos, an
enchanting 1,000 hectares of wooded coves and tranquil ponds, birdsongs and wildflowers, and a stupendous amount of sport, leisure and cultural activities.
Business and pleasure
Edging on all this history and culture is the new kid on the block, Zuidas. Urban planners and architects are having a ball developing this cutting-edge district, which sports a constantly-growing modern skyline that houses all the big names in finance, law and tech. A quick sevenminute train hop from Schiphol, this thriving neighbourhood is also being thoughtfully designed, with many green and pedestrian areas, family residences that foster community, and the environmentallyfriendly consciousness that has been a driving force in Amsterdam of late. Zuidas, and Zuid in general, are the perfect reflection of how well Amsterdam blends its past and its future: a rich and harmonious marriage that still thumps with many thrills.
The richness of the Museumplein isn’t just its diamond factories and luxury shops. It is also the beating heart of Amsterdam’s most prized cultural institutions. The jewel in the crown is certainly the Rijksmuseum, an arresting journey through 800 years of national art and history; but newcomer MOCO is also worth a detour, showcasing contemporary pop artists such as Banksy or Roy Lichtenstein (until 31 May).
“I work in Oud-Zuid and it’s certainly a posh neighbourhood, but lovely and quiet too. I enjoy the cafés and restaurants, especially those with big terraces, like George WPA. And I love getting a cup from CoffeeConcepts on Jacob Obrechtstraat.” Sanne van Hai, 36, works in marketing
Zuidas isn’t all business. Even the area around the World Trade Centre feels like a little community, with its bakeries and restaurants. The RAI Convention Centre also brings its fair share of entertainment, from the HISWA Amsterdam Boat Show (7-11 March) to a saucy Chippendales night (14 April). Follow up with dinner at The Roast Room next door.