Once a poor district, Jordaan is now one of the most famous neighborhood in Amsterdam, filled with beautiful buildings, shops, cafes, and art galleries.
Back to the 17th century in the historical and beautiful neighborhood of Jordaan
The History of Jordaan
Jordaan is a district in Amsterdam built in the early 17th century. The area was once the poorest district, occupied by working class and immigrants. Despite of the large population, Jordaan then was filled with small houses until around 1930s, after the sewer system was installed. The city was rebuilt in around 1970s and occupied by large groups of artists, students, and young professionals, while the old inhabitants moved to other area. If you are interested to learn more about the history, you can visit Jordaan museum. However, it is recommended to have a guided tour as the descriptions are in Dutch.
Wander around Lindengracht Market
On weekdays, Lindengracht is nothing but your typical block street. However, on Saturday, this place is one of the most crowded market in Amsterdam. The 900 metres market is filled with 232 stalls selling various products open for business from 9 to 4 pm. When you don't have the time to visit every shops in Jordaan, then this market is the best choice for you to find fresh ingredients such as fish and vegetables. You can also find wide varieties of cheese in the area. Apart from food, the market also offers general goods, mostly imported from China. Nearby, you can go and present yourself fresh flowers from the best flower shops in town, Pompon. If you are interested to look for some things for your house, go to Fens Decor, also not far from the market.
Westermarkt, an alternative to the Lindengracht
An alternative of the Lindengracht market can be found on Monday morning on Westerstraat. Though it has fewer stalls, Westermarkt is still worth the time. Originally a textile market, now people can find various items from the market. If you are lucky, some products come from popular brands, including Nike, Adidas, and Versace. The market is open from 9 to 1 pm. While you are here, indulge yourself with the infamous apple pie from Cafe Winkel43.
Some historic spots in Jordaan for music and history lovers
Jordaan is rich in history. One of the most famous museum located in Jordaan is the Anne Frank House, a museum dedicated to the famous Anne Frank who wrote a diary about her experience escaping the Nazis during the second World War. Five minutes walking from there, you will find the only houseboat museum called the Woonbootmuseum. Here, you will learn how is it like to live in a houseboat, and the unique story that comes along with it. Up next is the Pianola Museum. The small building is the house of pianolas, automatic pianos found in 1900s. You will also find more than 30000 music rolls and other memorabilia, making this place a must visit for music lovers.
Theo Thijssen Museum
If you are a literature enthusiast, you can also visit the Theo Thijssen Museum, a biographical museum about Theo Thijssen, a late writer, teacher, unionist, and politician. Another place is the Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica. This private library has the manuscripts for you who are interested in Hermetic tradition that meets religion and philosophy. Aside from museum, another famous spot in Jordaan is the homomonument, a memorial and the first tribute to many gay and lesbian people who died during World War II.
Enjoy the night sky in Jordaan
Jordaan has a beautiful view that is perfect to close your day. As the lights being turned on, a stroll beside the canal will be a lovely activity to spend the time. Another option is to lay back in the cafe or club of your choice. If you would like to enjoy some music, you can stop by Het Geveltje or Maloe Melo. You can also visit Cafe Chris, the oldest cafe in Jordaan, opened in 1624 that is usually packed with the locals playing billiard.
How to Get Tickets?
If you just want to walk around the area and visit some shops or restaurants, then you won't need any ticket. But if you want to visit the museum, then you better check the official website of the place as some museums, for example Jordaan museum and Anne Frank House, require online booking in advance.
How To Get Around?
Public transport networks such as metros, buses, trams, ferries and trains in Amsterdam are available to help you get around. There are also some package tour that will take you to famous spots in the area. You can also use apps designed to help you find your way around the city.
What Should I Wear?
There is no mandatory dress code for visiting Jordaan. But, it is better to check the weather and wear comfortable clothes.
Best Time to Visit
It is better to visit Jordaan between April and May or September and November to avoid the high season of tourist. The weather in Amsterdam is also mild. If possible, visit Jordaan in the weekend as some places are only opened during the weekend.
Will I Need a Guide?
Some museums might need tour guides because the descriptions are in Dutch. Please be noted to check whether you will have to book for a tour guide in before visiting.
How To Get There?
Jordaan begins at Brouwersgracht, located at the west of Amsterdam Central Station. The easiest way to get to Jordaan is by using tram lines 13 and 17 that will stop at Westerstraat market.
Be advised that in some museums, visitors are not allowed to take photos. Also, when going to the market, please beware of pickpocket as the area is crowded.