Want to know the best things to do in Jordaan? Tucked inside central Amsterdam, this popular neighbourhood is a charming area that backpackers simply can’t miss from their Amsterdam itinerary. Jordaan is a pocket of trendy streets lined by canals boasting beautiful houses, alternative boutiques, cosy pubs and hip eateries. We definitely recommend spending half a day here to get a real feel for Amsterdam’s appeal. From museums, coffeeshops, markets and monuments, here are the best things to see and do in Jordaan…
ANNE FRANK HOUSE
The most famous attraction in Jordaan is no doubt the Anne Frank House. This museum was the real home to the Jewish wartime diarist Anne Frank for 2 years where she hid during WW2. Dedicated to the Anne Frank, you will get a glimpse into her life in hiding, gain access to the Secret Annex and learn her history during these tough times. You will leave the Anne Frank House with a whole new appreciation for life and her story really puts things into perspective. We would recommend this to anyone, just be prepared to shed a tear or two.
You can’t come to Amsterdam and not indulge in traditional Dutch pancakes. Our favourite place in Jordaan to eat pancakes in The Pancake Bakery just a 4 minute walk from the Anne Frank House. Located in the prime spot for backpackers, this cafe overlooks the water of Prince’s Canal and serves up some of the city’s best homemade pancakes, savoury and sweet. While the Pancake Bakery offers different pancake styles from around the world, we recommend ordering the Dutch ones that come topped with stroopwafel chunks, cinnamon, ice cream, chocolate flakes and whipped cream. YUM!
SHOPPING ON THE NINE STREETS
If you want to go shopping for something unique, the Nine Streets are the place to go. This pleasant part of Jordaan forms nine little picturesque streets in the middle of the World Heritage Canal Belt. Specialising in vintage clothes, quirky fashion and homeware, you can find a mix of independent boutiques on the Nine Streets as well as contemporary stores such as Vans and Dr Martens. There is a lovely ambience around these pretty streets filled with not only shops but also charming cafes and healthy restaurants such as Dr Blend and The Cold Pressed Juicery. The beautiful 17th century architecture and pretty shop fronts that make up the Nine Streets makes it even more Instagrammable.
VISIT LINDENGRACHT MARKET
Every Saturday, the Lindengracht Market comes to Jordaan and we reckon it’s one of the best food markets in Amsterdam. Selling everything from organic fruit and vegetables, fresh fish, delicious Dutch cheeses, pastries, flowers, Dutch haring (herring), fresh juices, Indian curries, stroopwafels, cakes, hot food trucks and even clothes, we recommend stopping by in the morning or early lunchtime before it gets too busy. The atmosphere at the market is really cool where people are eating and drinking on the streets, really embracing what the market has to offer.
Milkshakes, coffees and good smoke. If you fancy resting your legs and stopping by at one of Amsterdam’s famous coffeeshops, then Coffee Paradox is one of the best. Pop in for a smoke and or try some edibles in between your day of sightseeing. It’s a very chilled out atmosphere and the staff are super helpful and friendly making it the best coffeeshop in Jordaan.
TRY THE CITY’S BEST APPLE PIE
Got a sweet tooth? Stop at Winkel 43 to get a taste of the traditional Dutch dessert Appeltaart. Similar to an apple pie, Appletaart is more cake-like topped with good portion of whipped cream. This quaint Dutch cafe in Jordaan serves up the best appeltaart in Amsterdam and it’s so delicious - make sure to try it. There’s outdoor seating too so you can indulge in your tart under the sun.
AMSTERDAM CHEESE MUSEUM
If you’re a cheese lover, then don’t miss the Amsterdam Cheese Museum in Jordaan, just a 2 minute stroll from the Anne Frank House. Not only will you be able to sample the best Dutch cheese, you can also learn all about how local cheese is made, the history of cheesemaking in Holland and see the most expensive cheese slicer in the world. The committed cheese guides will talk you through everything.
THE BEST COFFEE IN AMSTERDAM
One of our favourite coffee shops in Amsterdam is Screaming Beans in Jordaan. This place is all about quality in a cup, serving up smooth coffee made with the finest beans in the business. The baristas really know what they’re doing which is why locals have made this hipster coffee shop and roastery a regular hangout. Get a cup of coffee on the go, or sit in and enjoy the chilled atmosphere inside with a slice of matcha cake. Being located on the Nine Streets makes Screaming Beans an ideal stop during a day of exploring this cool part of Amsterdam.
In Jordaan's Westermarkt you’ll find the Homomonument, a memorial that commemorates the LGBT community who have been subjected to persecution because of their homosexuality in the past, present and future. Make sure to check it out when you’re in the area; there are always colourful flowers that have been placed there - and it’s the first homomonument in the world. It was built in 1987 to remember the gays and lesbians who were killed by the Nazis.