|Written by Rosina Majid|
Tucked away in the south-western region of Leidseplein is the district of Oud-West. Not many visitors or tourists venture out of the city centre to explore this area, and are in fact missing out on one of the most liveliest neighbourhoods in Amsterdam. The diversely populated area is made up of shopping and residential streets that mingle to provide the perfect place for a leisurely stroll.
Oud-West is close to both Vondelpark and Rembrandtpark and is crossed by many commercial streets such as the Overtoom, which has over the years become a major thoroughfare. Then there’s the entire length of the Kinkerstraat, lined with high-street shops and the occasional cafe where visitors can take a well deserved rest with a drink or a bite to eat. Cutting through the Kinkerstraat is Ten Katestraat with its bustling market known simply as ‘Ten Katemarkt’ where hordes of fabrics, food and clothing are available to buy. The small market is a little hidden so be sure you don’t miss it as you hurtle along in a tram.
The Overtoom was once a footpath leading to the town of Sloten, and since the 19th century the district stretching from the Overtoom to De Clercqstraat has been built up in an urban expansion to make room for working class families. Today it is a multicultural melting pot, home to more than 170 nationalities. It is easy to lose yourself in the well-regarded neighbourhood of Oud-West with its flurry of shops, elegant mansions, cafes and great terraces. If you are coming to the Netherlands and are looking to experience authentic Amsterdam life, then a visit to the Oud-West is not to be missed!
While the Oud-West is predominantly a residential and shopping area, one cannot help but stumble across cool cafes and restaurants perfect for taking a load off. There are plenty of terraces welcoming you to enjoy a nice cold beer or wine in the spring or summer as well as brown cafes crowded with locals. While you may like to wet your whistle with a few drinks, this area is certainly not lacking on the culinary front either! There’s Bicken on the Overtoom for a nice meal out, or Zola’s on the Kinkerstraat for lunch, dinner and even a few cocktails. But if you’re truly the adventurous type then a visit to Lalibela on Eerste Helmersstraat (off the Overtoom) for a classic Ethiopian meal is the way to go. Should you be in the mood to find yourself a spot in the vast greenery of the nearby Vondelpark or Rembrandtpark, then you might want to consider taking some delicacies from either the Ten Katemarkt or Marqt on the Overtoom, where at the latter you can find an abundance of sustainable and environmentally friendly food and products.
When you think of Amsterdam, it’s guaranteed that some of the first things that spring to mind are not going to be horse riding and skiing. This may now be a thing of the past! Should shopping, drinking, eating and lounging around in the parks not suit your needs, then perhaps a visit to Hollandsche Manege, the oldest horse riding school in the Netherlands, is something for you.
If you are not up to taking one of their daily horse riding classes then it’s possible to just take a tour of their 130-year-old stable and museum for all-things-equestrian.
Though Amsterdam doesn’t actually have an indoor skiing mountain, it does have its very own ski school where you can learn to shoot down a piste on skis or a snowboard. The Ski Inn is the perfect place to get used to wearing and using ski-equipment or to simply perfect your skills and tricks in a safe and controlled environment. Who says Amsterdam doesn’t have it all?
Neighbouring the busy and popular Leidseplein and not too far from the charms of the Jordaan, Oud-West has a wide selection of places to rest at night. There’s everything from boutique hotels to apartments where you can mingle with local residents and feel like a true Amsterdammer during your stay. Click here for a list of our apartments in the area detailed list of all types of accommodation in the area. When in Oud-West, one is also not too far from the rest of the city with tram number 1 stopping along the Overtoom, as well as numbers 7 and 17 down the Kinkerstraat, and finally numbers 3, 12, 13 and 14 on De Clercqstraat.