For more information on Amsterdam Centrum, check out the Neighbourhood Guides on our website: iamsterdam.com/ neighbourhoods
Forget Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal and Kalverstraat; some of the best 63 shopping in Amsterdam happens on the Utrechtsestraat, which runs from Rembrandtplein all the way to Frederiksplein. Boutiques include We Are Labels (where the writing’s on the wall: designer brands and more designer brands), local creator of luscious leather bags Smaak, Dutch staple brand Sissy-Boy, and interior design temple Mobilia. As for food, don’t start that diet just yet: Guts & Glory offers a seven-course feast whose theme changes every few months, Bistro des Alpes will stuff you with melted French cheeses, and Pata Negra is a temple to Spanish tapas. Leave room for dessert, with a detour by French-inspired Patisserie Kuyt or chocolate heaven Van Soest.
the famous ARTIS Royal Zoo and the enchanting Hortus botanical gardens, but also a thrumming cultural life including the Jewish Cultural Quarter, the Hermitage Amsterdam Museum, Royal Theatre Carré, the Kriterion cinema – and a slew of exceptional bars and restaurants. Most of all, though, it’s strolling (or cycling) around the Canal Belt that shows off the best qualities of Amsterdam’s centre: its historical beauty, of course, but also its cosy friendliness, and its drive to be a flourishing city at the top of its game – be it in arts, fashion, design, cuisine… or simple joie de vivre.
Brouwerij de Prael
The local brewery hotspot may be Brouwerij ’t IJ, located on the fringes of Oost, with its famous windmill and staple brown bottles adorned with colourful labels. But Brouwerij de Prael, smack in the middle of the Red Light District, isn’t short on fresh brews either, not to mention its friendly, convivial atmosphere. “People and beer” is their motto, and they live up to it.
“The city works hard at keeping the centre liveable. Urban planners redesigned the main avenues and are calling it ‘The Red Carpet’. It is a lot less congested and much safer now.” Anke Dijkhuis, 32, journalist, and her friend Christa
This little shop of vintage memorabilia and curiosities should be renamed “everything is adorable”. Jolijn Bosma, who opened the shop 15 years ago, is a master at gathering the endearing: old toys, painted boxes, porcelain tableware and dozens of decorative objects inhabit the first floor of the shop while the basement level holds the romantic, hand-painted furniture. PRINSENGRACHT 230 JUFFROUWSPLINTER.NL
OUDEZIJDS ARMSTEEG 26 DEPRAEL.NL