What to Do and See in the Jordaan District of Amsterdam
Where is the Jordaan district (the most beautiful area of Amsterdam)?
The Jordaan is located to the west of the main canals, the socalled 'grachtengordel', and lies between the Brouwersgracht (north), the Lijnbaansgracht (west), the Passeerdersgracht (south) and the Prinsengracht (east).
How to get there?
It is at walking distance from the Central Station, Dam Square and the Leidseplein, but if you don't want to walk, there is ample public transport. I do not recommend you to drive, because parking is very expensive and it is difficult to find parking space.
From Central Station: Take tram 13 or 17 and alight at the stop called Westermarkt. Cross the bridge, turn right (Prinsengracht) and you are in the Jordaan district.
From Dam Square: Take tram 14 and alight at the stop Westermarkt. Further, see above.
From Leidseplein: (1)Take bus 170, 172 or 174 and alight at the stop Rozengracht. Cross the road straight on, go right and then left into the Lijnbaansgracht. You have reached the Jordaan district.
(2) Take tram 10 and alight at stop Bloemgracht. Walk a little back to go to the left onto the Bloemgracht. You have arrived.
Photo credit: all photo's are by the author unless mentioned otherwise
A Few Pictures of the Bloemgracht
Taken From the Bridge on the Previous Photo - and Looking Back
August 2012: The Bloemgracht looks quite bit different now. For me this is the most beautiful canal in the Jordaan.
What Can You Do in This Area of Amsterdam?
I think first you'll like to know where you can eat and drink
There are many resaturants and café's around in this small district. In the website from the Jordaaninfo you can find a list of 99 restaurants. This is not completely up to date, however. Some restaurants are missing.
One restaurant that I should like to mention that is not on the list is Restaurant Mantoe, the first Afghaan restaurant in the Netherlands. You don't need to choose what to eat, for everybody gets the same menu, which is different each day. I have been there twice and the food is supurb and not expensive. Their address is Tweede Leliedwarsstraat 13 in Amsterdam. Telephone: 020 42 163 74
For the vegetarians among you, I should like to recommend Restaurant De Bolhoed (this is on the list). A lovely little place.
With regard to café's, 66 are listed in the Jordaaninfo website. A very nice one is 't Smalle, on Egelantiersgracht 12, which you can see on the photo below.
Café 't Smalle
A nice, little café with a terrace on the Egelantiersgracht. (Actually, the café itself is not visible on this photo.)
Museums in the Jordaan - I guess you'd like to visit one or more museums. There are several in this area.
- Anne Frank Museum
Anne Frank, the Diary and the Secret Annex. The most complete and current information with unique photos and film images.
- Theo Thijssen Museum
The late teacher, unionist, politician and writer Theo Thijssen (1879-1943) grew up in Jordaan. The collection of the museum consists of manuscripts, first presses, photographs, drawings, pictures, sound material and personal belongins of Theo Thijss
- The Houseboat Museum
All information about the houseboatmuseum in Amsterdam
- Pianola Museum
The pianola is already a hundred years old, but we can still enjoy the music of these wonderful instruments, thanks to the smart technology that makes them work. Come and listen to the masters of the keyboard of 100 years ago.
- Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica
The Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica brings together manuscripts and printed works in the field of the Hermetic tradition, more specifically the 'Christian-Hermetic' tradition.
- Amsterdam Cheese Museum | Amsterdam.info
A cheese shop with almost 100 different sorts of the Dutch cheese with a small museum exhibit.
- Amsterdam Tulip Museum
From Sultans of the Ottoman Empire and Dutch Merchants of the Golden Age, to gardeners today, the tulip has captivated people around the world for centuries. This fascinating flower has inspired artists and brought great wealth and even economic ruin
People Queueing for the Anne Frank Museum - Better Go and Visit it at the End of the Day ...
And this is the Amsterdam Cheese Museum - at the Prinsengracht 112
Usually there is a table on the black pole on the left in the shape of a large cheese.
To the left, on number 114, is café De Twee Zwaantjes (the two swans). After visiting the cheese museum, you might want to go there for a nice beer or something else.
Where Does the Name 'Jordaan' Come From?
In the early years of the seventeenth century the Jordaan was built for the working class and emigrants, many from France, but also from Germany, Spain and Portugal.
As the names of the streets are mostly flower or plant names, it is suggested that the French called the area 'Jardin', meaning garden, and later this would have become Jordaan. Others think that it is called after the Jordan River in the Holy Land, whereas the historian J.Z. Kannegieter proposes that the name comes from the river Jordanne in the French Auvergne. This was a smelly river and the French compared it with the, in those days, also very polluted Prinsengracht canal.
What do you think is the correct explanation for the name of this district?
Open Ateliers (Open Studio's)
In 2012, during the weekend of Ascention Day, on May 18, 19 and 20, the biennial route "Open Ateliers Jordaan" (open studio's Jordaan) took place for the thirteenth time. Seventy-four artists opened the doors to their studio's.
Every time many people from all over the country come to visit these studio's.
Coach Tours Through Amsterdam
Would you fancy a tour by coach through the Jordaan district? That is possible with Karos Citytours! You can choose to take one of five set tours. They all start at Dam Square.
One of the coaches at the corner of the Prinsengracht and Bloemgracht
One of the tours takes you through the Jordaan district, where you can choose between tours of 20, 30 or 45 minutes. The longer, the more expensive, of course, viz. 35, 45 and 65 euro.
There is also a coachtaxi, that collects you from anywhere within the centre of Amsterdam and takes you anywhere you want, also within the centre of Amsterdam. The cost is 70 euro for the first 20 minutes, thereafter 35 euro per 20 minutes. If your destination or place of collection is outside of the centre, then there is a minimum fee of two hours.
Plan a Trip in the Winter?
Amsterdam can be beautiful in winter, too!
When there is a long frost, which does not occur every year, the canals freeze over and people go iceskating. This is a popular sport among the Dutch. I, myself, learnt to iceskate on the ice of a canal when I was a child. The winter of 2011-12 was such a frosty one. On the photo you see people skating on the frozen Prinsengracht in Februari 2012. In the distance is the tower of the Westerkerk (Westernchurch).
Winter is not a bad time to visit Amsterdam, especially when the sun shines and there is a (light) frost. However, often enough the temperatures are just above freezing and it is cloudy with rain or sleety snow.
A Wintry Picture in December 2010 - Prinsengracht, on the Bridge over the Egelantiersgracht
More interesting books on Amsterdam - To help you get around the city
King's Day in the Jordaan
Every year, on April 27, the Dutch celebrate the king's birthday. In this video you'll see an impression of these famous celebrations in the Jordaan in 2014.
Looking for a Place to Stay? - There are Various Hotels in the Jordaan
Some information on the hotels can also be found in the Jordaaninfo website.
A lot can be said about our comfortable Bed and Breakfast Jordaan in the centre of Amsterdam. Yes, we received 4 awards since 2007 but we figure that an endless website would be as bothering as a talkative host.
- Hotel van Onna Amsterdam
The Hotel van Onna is a cozy one star hotel in the heart of the Jordaan, not far from the Royal Palace and the Dam. All worth seeing tourist attractions are easily reach by foot. The hotel consists of three very beautiful canal houses on the peaceful
- 180 graden - bed and breakfast
Luxury, private apartment of 75 m2, unique and quiet situated, right in the center of Amsterdam’s historical centre, the Jordan area, at one of the most beautiful canals, the “Egelantiersgracht”. This stylish apartment on the third and fourth floor l
- Amsterdam Wiechmann Hotel
Hotel Wiechmann has been favorably listed in the world's best and most used travel guides like Rick Steves and Lonely Planet.
- Hotel de Looier
Hotel De Looier Amsterdam was built as a diamond factory in 1886 and had recently renovated to a 3 star hotel.
- Shelter Christian Hostels
Prices from 17 euro per night including breakfast, sheets and taxes. Special offer for girls on Sunday nights only - from just 12 euro!2 great hostels in Amsterdam's city centre. Close enough to walk to most of the popular attractions and only 100m f
- Hotel Pulitzer, Amsterdam
A 5-star hotel on the Prinsengracht 315-331
A word of warning!
During the last few years, after I wrote this article, the number of tourists to Amsterdam has increased dramatically. So, unless you enjoy walking amidst hordes of people, waiting for hours in queues before visiting museums and see (or hear!) annoyed locals, I'd advise you to think twice before visiting Amsterdam.
Have You Ever Been in the Jordaan District ... - ... or Would You Like to go There?
Would you want to visit the Jordaan?