Looking for the best things to do in Amsterdam's De Pijp district? Travel blogger Ashlea Wheeler from A Globe Well Travelled is here to fill you in...
Anyone who has wandered the streets of Amsterdam would know that it’s both an outstanding and popular city. Its quaint canals, famous Red Light District, and infinite bicycles tempt over 5 million travellers to the city each year, making Amsterdam one of the 10 most visited cities in Europe. This doesn’t mean that your trip to Amsterdam has to be hellishly busy, though - if you know where to go, you can experience the best of Amsterdam while avoiding the areas that get overcrowded.
On my recent trip to this captivating Dutch city, I spent most of my time in De Pijp - a historic, trendy, and multicultural neighbourhood just a 15-minute walk away from the Flying Pig Hostel Uptown . De Pijp has a ton of cafes, restaurants and bars, and of course a handful of Amsterdam’s notorious ‘coffee shops’. It’s much less touristy than the canal district and Centraal, yet it has all of the cultural charm that runs through the more favoured areas of Amsterdam. Here’s my guide to all the best things to do in De Pijp!
Check out Albert Cuyp Market
The best place to start your time in De Pijp is the Albert Cuyp Market, which is actually the most popular daytime market in the Netherlands. Open from Monday-Saturday, the rows of stalls stretch in a seemingly never-ending line along Albert Cuypstraat. Vendors at this market sell a wide range of goods including souvenirs, clothing, artisan foods, and other knick-knacks.
One thing you absolutely must do at Albert Cuyp Market is to get a fresh stroopwafel. This traditional Dutch treat is made from two thin waffles with a gooey caramel filling in between. The original stroopwafel stall at Albert Cuyp is known to be the best place to get one!
Find Amsterdam School architecture
De Pijp is a great area to spot Amsterdam School architecture. This building style was popular in the 1910s and 1920s, and was often used for housing estates, institutions, and schools. The classic red/brown brickwork with rounded corners and Expressionist elements are an iconic sight among the buildings of Amsterdam.
The Bezoekerscentrum de Dageraad housing complex in De Pijp, which has a unique layered cylindrical facade, is the best local example of Amsterdam School architecture. If you’re interested in learning more about this architectural movement, head across town to check out the exhibitions in the Het Schip museum.
Wander along the Amstel
The city of Amsterdam was named for the Amstel River, which flows along the east edge of De Pijp. Bigger than most of Amsterdam’s other downtown canals, the Amstel is the permanent location of some modern houseboats in which over 5000 of Amsterdam’s residents live. Rowing races are also held along the Amstel, so it’s likely that you’ll spot some teams practicing for competitions as you walk along the riverside and over the Nieuwe Amstelbrug bridge.
Grab a bite to eat
There are an exceptional number of cafes in De Pijp which serve up incredible brunch dishes. Stop at Little Collins for an Aussie-inspired menu or head to Bakers & Roasters for a slightly different New Zealand cafe theme. The bright and airy Coffee and Coconuts is an interesting choice for those feeling a little beachy, or choose Scandinavian Embassy for some Nordic cafe vibes.
De Pijp also has an eclectic mix of international cultures that influence its restaurants. Dine in at Surya for a selection of tempting Indian and Nepalese curries, or visit Sir Hummus for some casual Israeli dishes of hummus and falafel. Deer Mama is the place to go if you have a hankering for some greasy vegan food, and don’t forget to stop at Massimo Gelato afterwards for a decadent Italian ice cream!
Stop in at a brewery
Many tourists will opt for the Heineken Experience (which is located at the north end of De Pijp) as their beer-related activity in Amsterdam, but those looking for something a little more crafty will find plenty of local bars and breweries to satisfy any cravings for a Dutch beer.
Brouwerij Troost is a great alternative for an authentic Amsterdam brewery experience. The De Pijp venue is actually a former monastery which has been redecorated with an industrial feel. The selection of beers on tap are brewed at one of their three Amsterdam locations, and the food menu has suggestions for specific pints that you should order to compliment each of the pub-style meals.
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