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Written by Rosina Majid   

Oosterpark

The Oosterpark area , with the urban park Oosterpark as it's centre point, is one of the most culturally diverse areas of the city populated largely by  people of Surinamese, Turkish, indian and Moroccan origin and with a huge selection of  shops offering produce from these regions.


The park itself, which is sometimes compared to Vondelpark even if somewhat smaller in size and less crowded, was established in 1891 by the municipality of Amsterdam. Much to the outrage of the local residents a centuries old cemetery had to be relocated to new grounds to make way for the park and a part of the old cemetery still remains to this day.


The Oosterpark is a clean and well-kept park for a picnic, a leisurely stroll or run, or to simply bask in the natural surrounds and spot the odd wild duck, grey heron, and if you are lucky, a few parrots! It is also the first park in Amsterdam that offers free Wi-Fi, but you will need to set up an account to gain access. A number of monuments and sculptures have also been erected through the years, including The National Slavery Monument and The Scream, in memory of the Dutch film director Theo van Gogh, a distant relative of the painter, who was murdered nearby in 2004. Stop by the Speaker’s Stone, where on Sundays around 1pm people stand up and speak their minds.


Not only is the park a nice reprise from the busy city life, it is also the site of many summer festivals. There’s the annual free Oosterpark Festival on May 5, followed by Roots Festival for world music lovers in June, and Appelsap in July. If you are in Amsterdam during the summer, then it might be worth keeping these events in mind to make sure you don’t miss them!


There is plenty to do in the Oosterpark area besides having a picnic in the park. For an art, culture and history fix, you might like to visit the Tropenmuseum (Museum of Tropics), an anthropological museum showcasing eight permanent exhibitions of modern, traditional visual arts and photographic works. To experience more of the multicultural vibe this neighbourhood has to offer , head over to the Dappermarkt, a busy market between the Oosterpark and Muiderpoort Station,  where you can buy everything from clothes to food produce.


The area surrounding Oosterpark is lined with restaurants and cafes, perfect for a night out. Spend an evening sitting at the terrace at Pata Negra, sipping sangria accompanied by a selection of Spanish Tapas with a splendid view to the park. You may also wish to head over to Milo or Spargo for a relaxed evening with cocktails, drinks and dinner. Once you have had your fill of good food and feel like putting on your dancing shoes, why not visit one of the many clubs in the area, including Hotel Arena, Trouw and Canvas.


The neighbourhood maybe not be in Amsterdam’s centre, but it is not too far away from many of the city’s attractions and it is definitely worth spending some time exploring to get a different feel for the city. Oosterpark is easily reached by trams 3 and 7, exiting on Beukenweg, and by tram 9, exiting on Eerste van Swindenstraat. Close by the Dappermarkt is the Muiderpoort train station, which is a 3 minute train ride away from Amsterdam Central station.


 

 

 

 

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