Things to Do in De Pijp- Cool and Not Touristy Neighborhood of Amsterdam
No one quite knows how this southern district of the Dutch capital got its name. Maybe it’s the resemblance of the narrow streets to pipes, a reference to the gas company that used to supply the district with power, or the ditch that used to bisect the area, now filled in and renamed Albert Cuypstraat. But what we certainly know are the things to do in De Pijp.
De Oude Pijp and Nieuwe Pijp
Just to the south of the central canal district and east of the the city’s most famous museums (the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum and the Stedelijk Museum), the area of Amsterdam known as De Pijp actually consists of two distinct neighborhoods: De Oude Pijp and Nieuwe Pijp, separated north-south by Ceintuurbaan.
This district was developed over the 19th and 20th centuries to create more housing for the overflowing district of Jordaan while still allowing easy access to the center of Amsterdam. It was originally settled mostly by students, poor artists and other bohemian types looking for a cheap room to rent in the city and was for a long time considered an undesirable place to live in Amsterdam. In the last couple of decades, however, it’s transformed into an up and coming neighborhood, having first become the home to many of the city’s immigrants, and lately the hipsters.
Things to do in Oude De Pijp
A good place to start exploring De Pijp is at the Heineken Experience, just across from the last ring of the canal district. At this interactive museum, you can learn about perhaps the Netherland’s most well-known export, and of course sample some of their golden elixir.
Albert Cuyp Market
The nearby Albert Cuyp Market is also worth checking out, as one of Amsterdam’s oldest and largest markets where you can find everything from fresh fruit and vegetables to souvenirs, flowers, clothing and famous Dutch cheeses.
Heading south, you’ll cross through the lovely Sarphatipark, named after Samuel Sarphati, a Dutch philanthropist and city planner of Portuguese Sephardi Jewish descent who lived in the Netherlands in the early 19th century. Designed in an English landscape style, this is perhaps one of the most pleasant parks in the whole city.
Things to do in Nieuwe Pijp
On the other side of the park, you’ll find yourself in Nieuwe Pijp, which is most notable for two things: its impressive range of world cuisine and unusual architecture. With significant numbers of inhabitants of Middle Eastern, North African and Caribbean origin, it’s no surprise that you’ll be able to find some excellent places to eat that serve something a bit more exciting than the otherwise limited Dutch cuisine.
Tucked away in the far southeastern corner of Nieuwe Pijp is Diamantburrt, a small neighbourhood built in the 1920s according to the Amsterdam School of architecture and design. Wandering around this part of De Pijp, you’ll notice that the layout and style is strikingly different than the rest of the district and indeed the city in general.
With much wider streets than is typical for Amsterdam, rounded, organically shaped buildings and complicated masonry, it is definitely something that stands out as unique. You can learn more about the area and the architectural philosophy behind its construction at the Dageraad Visitors Centre for free.
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