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Rivierenbuurt, a lesser known but enchanting neighbourhood of Amsterdam



Rivierenbuurt located in the south of Amsterdam is the Rivierenbuurt, which together with Buitenveldert forms the newly shaped urban district, ZuiderAmstel. Rivierenbuurt’s (River Neighborhood) name is derived from the fact that many of the streets in this borough are named after Dutch rivers, like Maas, Waal, Schelde and Rhine. In 1946, three major avenues in the area were re-named after Stalin, Churchill and Roosevelt. Following the invasion of Hungary in 1956, Stalinlaan was re-named to Vrijheidslaan, as it is currently known. 


The Rivierenbuurt was constructed in the 1920s and 30s under Amsterdam’s ‘plan south’ and examples of the work of several well-known Dutch architects can be seen in the area including Michel de Klerk and Piet Kramer. Perhaps the most notable is the so-called ‘Skyscraper’, or 12-storey house located on Victorieplein (Victory Square) which was Amsterdam’s first highrise building. 


As little known as the Rivierenbuurt may be, the area is rich in history. Before escaping to the Prinsengracht where the Anne Frank House stands, a young Anne Frank first lived on Merwedeplein from 1933-42. At the beginning of World War II there were some 17,000 Jewish residents in the Rivierenbuurt, of which 13,000 were removed during the war. To this day, there is a strong Jewish community living in the area, some of who regularly visit the Orthodox Jewish synagogue on Lekstraat. 


Rivierenbuurt is connected to several other areas in Amsterdam, from the nearby RAI Congress Centre, where many trade fairs, as well as a variety of theatre performances, are given, to the  Amstel. Along the Scheldestraat are many cosy restaurants perfect for a relaxing evening meal. The Rijnstraat (named after the River Rhine) is a kilometre-long street that starts in the Pijp’s Van Woustraat and cuts through Vrijheidslaan and Churchilllaan. This is a busy shopping street with many small businesses owning bakeries, butcheries and fruit and vegetable stores. Have a juice in Casa Brazuca on the Rijnstraat ,a Brazilian cafe serving up biological sandwiches, coffee and juices, making this a perfect spot for breakfast and/or lunch, with Wi-Fi to keep you amused. 


During the summer months, Stand Zuid comes into full swing. Located at the harbor end of the RAI, adjacent to Beatrix Park, Amsterdam’s Strand Zuid city beach offers sun, sand, deckchairs and beach volleyball with showers  to freshen up before lunch or  dinner at the beach restaurant or just a drink on the terrace. 


If you happen to be visiting in August pay a visit to the Parade, an outdoor festival of theatre, live music, comedy fun and frolics which happens annually at Amsterdam’s Martin Luther King Park. Though many of the performances are in Dutch, music and food are a universal language and there’s plenty of both to enjoy. There’s also a fun fair for kids as well as craft and cooking activities, so something for everyone from the young to the not so young.


The Rivierbuurt is a busy shopping and residential area not too far from popular neighborhoods like the Pijp as well as the city centre. Here you can beat city centre prices while being only a tram ride away from all the major tourist attractions. Please click here for a list of hotels and apartments in the area to find something that suits you. The Rivierenbuurt is close to both the RAI and the Amstel railway and Metro (subway) stations while trams 4, 12 and 25 passes through the district. 


{top}A guide to Amsterdam's Rivierenbuurt{top}

{bottom}Rivierenbuurt, a lesser know Amsterdam gem{bottom}