Jordaan is a neighbourhood in the heart of Amsterdam’s famous Canal Ring. It used to be a working class neighbourhood and has since become one of the most upscale locations in The Netherlands. The name ‘Jordaan’ comes either from the French word for garden (jardin) or the Dutch word for the river Jordan. Rembrandt lived in the Jordaan for the last part of his life and he’s buried in the Westerkerk just beyond the neighbourhood’s official borders.
The most widely-known place in the Jordaan is the Anne Frank House where Anne Frank and her family lived in hiding for more than two years during the Nazi occupation of Holland. This building, where Anne wrote her famous diary, became a national monument in 1957. I read The Diary of a Young Girl at about the same age Anne was when she wrote it and it has stayed with them, as it has with many people. The House is very busy so make sure to buy tickets online in advance, up to two months ahead, to be sure you get inside.
Across from the Anne Frank House is a micro-neighbourhood within the Jordaan called the Little 9 Streets. It’s actually three streets that cross two canals which splits them into nine little streets. There are lots of adorable shops and restaurants. One unique shop is called No Boys Allowed. It’s a sneaker store which sells women’s sneakers in women’s sizes only. They also get exclusive releases from brands like Nike, Adidas, and Puma.
One of my favourite places I stumbled across in the Jordaan is a place called The Mouse Mansion Shop and Studio. The window displays are ridiculously charming! It’s a family business run by a mother and her four adult children. They write stories about a world of mouse characters they’ve created, build sets for the stories, and photograph them for books and videos. They sell the books, along with merchandise and toys, around the world. The sets are like dollhouses and extremely detailed - they can take years to build! The mice and their world is incredibly sweet and it’s a place I was glad to come across so randomly.
My other favourite memory from the Jordaan was getting a coffee and sitting on the terrace of a cafe called De Vergulde Gaper. It’s located across from the canal in an old drug store. It’s an ideal spot to sit and soak in the bicycles, the bridges, and all the sights that make Amsterdam so unique.
This neighbourhood was a true highlight from my trip to Amsterdam and I loved spending time there. Does it look like a place you’d like to visit? If you’ve already been, what were your highlights? I’d love to hear so please leave a comment down below and tell me!
Subtitles available in English, Dutch and Spanish! Click the 'CC' button (bottom right).
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