Wednesday 2 July 2014

Nieuwe Centrum - Oude Centrum in Amsterdam

Having spent three weeks back home after Budapest we set off again, this time to Amsterdam. It's very difficult for me to write about Amsterdam as I know it so well, it's like my hometown.  I have also posted on the city before, so there will be a very limited number of posts but I do want to revisit the Centre as this is where our hotel is and we tend to spend so much time there.

The heart of the city is divided into Het Oude Zijde (the old side) and Het Nieuwe Zijde (the new side) which is not new at all as it dates back to medieval times.

Sitting by this canal is the first thing we always do when we arrive, and this is our view. Most of these photographs were taken at dusk


The grand building on the left is the Grand Hotel, an Art Deco building


The water in the canal had turned golden as had some of the buildings. Across from us is the Green House, one of the more famous coffee shops of the city

When the weather is good everyone opens their windows and looks out. Alternatively, they take chairs out in the street and sit there enjoying the sunshine and warmth

This is the University district, very pleasant and quiet

Lots of canals, and bikes, of course

one of the quieter canals but oh so picturesque


The bridge at the beginning of Staalstraat, Staalmasters in the corner, a very popular café/restaurant where we've had many delicious meals

Staalstraat is full of delightful and diverse shops and eateries. The window above is a perfect example of Amsterdam style - so simple and yet so effective and stylish

a sweet shop and the skull is made, of course, with sweets


The bridge at the other end of Staalstraat - Van Gogh has painted one of the two bridges, but I can't remember which one
one more view of the bridge.

The light was so intense that evening

A modern complex, with a waterfall running down the middle

a closer look

Amsterdam style - flowers everywhere

and I love the shutters

this is a very typical Amsterdam image

a tiny building

On Damstraat now, a street full of interesting shops and fast food places


why not have the dummies advertising the sale?

Another sweet shop

and a closer look at that chocolate bath

Damstraat divides two sections of the Centre - the University district on one side, and the red light district on the other

 This must surely, be one of the narrowest buildings

Oude Kerk, the oldest church in Amsterdam, on the edge of the red light district



Niewmarkt. This has always been one of Amsterdam's most important markets, first for fish, later for the cloth traders from the adjacent Jewish quarter. During WWII however, after increasingly random arrests by the occupying Nazis in and around the once bustling market, the whole area was cordoned off with barbed wire and turned into a holding pen for the city's Jews awaiting deportation. The old exuberance never returned, and these days the market has all but vanished.

The main focus of the square is the turreted Waag which was originally part of the fortifications that encircled Amsterdam. It's had various uses since: a civic weighing house; home to the Surgeons' Guild; home to the Jewish Museum; and now it houses the Society for Old and New Media.

A Gaudiesque bench in the square. 


  1. It is interesting to see your tour of Amsterdam. I have never been there, so it is good to have the information from someone who knows the place well.

    1. It's a beautiful city, Olga: very beautiful, relaxed, relaxing, with lots of interesting things to see. We keep going back because we can never get enough of it.

  2. Hi Eirene

    Your Amsterdam posting has whetted our appetite for a return visit to this wonderful city, particularly since we've not been back to the Rijksmuseum since it reopened. Can you reveal the name of the hotel that you say you always stay in?

    1. It's a wonderful city, isn't it? I can never get enough of it. The new Rijksmuseum is absolutely wonderful and I will be posting on it some time in the near future, I hope - there's just so much to say about Amsterdam.

      We stay at the Rho Hotel, and here's a link to my blog from 2 years ago: which shows some pictures from the hotel. Housekeeping isn't wonderful at the Rho, but it's a good hotel, and the reception which was an old Art Nouveau theatre makes a stay there worthwhile.

      I hope you do revisit and I'm sure you'll have a wonderful time.