Jordaan in Amsterdam - A District To Fall in Love With

Hip boutiques, enchanting houseboats, and trendy cafés. The Jordaan is the most beautiful district in Amsterdam. Find out how to get there and what's hidden in the backstreets.

It could not be more picturesque - The Jordaan District in Amsterdam

Once a working-class district, the Jordaan now attracts mainly young families and wealthy business people. In contrast to the shopping miles and tourist attractions in the Amsterdam Canal Belt, the Jordaan District is a bit quieter.

Beautiful - postcard scenes wherever you look

Along the canals are many well-kept canal houses. In the side streets, you will find lovely boutiques and cozy cafés. The houseboats in the canals of the Jordaan District are considered to be the most beautiful in Amsterdam.

Tip - Explore the historic old town with a local

Our partner Get Your Guide offers exciting city tours with local guides. The most beautiful parts of the city, insider information and reasonable prices: Here you will find an overview with special offers.

You can just stroll through the Jordaan District and enjoy the flair. Nowhere else you will get to know the "real" Amsterdam so well, and it will never get boring.

Jordaan Amsterdam - Image 1

Popular leisure activities in Jordaan - Canal Cruises

Jordaan Amsterdam - Image 2

Jordaan Romance - Stylish Dutch bikes and cool houseboats

Jordaan Amsterdam - Image 3

Small rag shop in a side street

Read on and find out how to get to the Jordaan and why you should definitely check out the backyards of the canal houses. Below we have summarized some information about the history of the Jordaan District for you.

Your Tour Recommendations

How do I get to the Jordaan District?

Walking: The Jordaan is very easy to reach by foot from the central station. You walk about fifteen minutes. Go right and cross the main canals of Amsterdam's Canal District: Singel, Herengracht, Keizersgracht, and Prinsengracht. Then you' re in the Jordaan. Show the route to the Jordaan on the map.

Map - Jordaan Amsterdam

Map - Jordaan District - Press to activate

By tram: Take number 13 from the central station in the direction of Geuzenveld and get off at the stop "Marnixstraat / Rozengracht". Here you can buy discounted tram tickets.

Read on and find out what is hidden in the backyards of the Jordaan district.

Hofjes in the Jordaan District – Backyard Haven

All over Jordaan, you will find small havens in the backyards of the canal houses. The green courtyards are called Hofjes. Most of them are hidden so you would normally just walk past them.

Hofjes - Jordaan Amsterdam

Many Hofjes lie behind inconspicuous doors

The small apartments around the inner courtyards used to serve as shelters for the needy and were donated by wealthy citizens in the Middle Ages.

Hofjes - Jordaan Amsterdam

Perfectly tended lawn in the Karthuizerhof

Each of the approximately 20 Hofjes remaining in Amsterdam has its own charm. Most of them are lush and lovingly cared for.

A small world can be discovered at every corner

A small bench to relax on, a cat sneaking into a house, an artistic tiled mosaic on the wall, a view into a cute apartment with a low ceiling and dusty furnishings – you can lose yourself for hours at the Jordaan Hofjes.

Our favorite Hofje in the Jordaan District - Andrieshofje and Karthuizerhof

Sint Andrieshofje in Egelantiersgracht 105 is the oldest Hofje in Jordaan and one of the oldest of its kind. It was established in 1614. In the past, it was mainly older women who were dependent on help who lived in this strictly Catholic Hofje.

The entrance is behind an inconspicuous front door on Egelantiersgracht. Through a corridor with beautifully crafted Delft tiles, you enter the small courtyard. There are a water pump and a stone with the inscription "Peace be with you" in the green garden.

The Karthuizerhof in the Karthuizerstraat 157 was built around 1650 and consists of 104 very narrow houses arranged around a large inner courtyard. In the past, the Hofje was mainly a home for widows with children. Even today there are still some council apartments here. However, they are no longer quite as small as some houses have been merged.

Hofjes - Jordaan Amsterdam

The Karthuizerhof consists of 104 very narrow houses

The lush garden is a feast for the eyes, especially in summer. Rich green ivy ranks over the house entrances and colorful flowers decorate the flower beds. A white wooden fence borders the garden and lawns, and there are two fountains. Lovingly decorated places with tables and chairs invite you to relax. There are also some cats living in the Karthuizerhof - you might see one with a bit of luck.

In the next part you will learn all about the exciting history of the Jordaan district.

The history of the Jordaan District

Feces on the streets, high poverty and reeking canals. The Jordaan has not always been the picturesque district we know today. Built in the 17th century during the Golden Age, it was mainly craftsmen living here who worked hard to expand the city.

During and after the Second World War the situation was so dramatic that the whole district was to be demolished. Luckily, things turned out differently. Gradually the dirty canals were filled up or cleaned, many houses were placed under monument protection, and real estate investors discovered the now picturesque district as an investment object.

From a worker’s district to an upscale district

The change from a worker’s district to an upscale district also caused problems. Hardly any old-established Amsterdam resident can still afford the rents today.

Houseboats - Jordaan Amsterdam

Beautiful canal houses and houseboats

Many houses are no longer occupied and belong to banks or insurance companies that use the noble canal houses as prestigious addresses.

Today Bakfiets are speeding through the streets

However, you definitely can't say that everything is worse than it used to be. Some of the old residents maintain the character of the district. Many cozy cafés, galleries, and shops attract mostly very well-earning young families - a great mixture.

Transport Bike - Jordaan Amsterdam

Bakfiets are a popular way of transport in the district

Jordaan moms and dads and their kids are speeding through the alleys at breakneck speed with their transport bikes (Bakfiets) – you just have to love this part of town.

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