Just a short ride South of Central Station, between the Boerenwetering in the West and Amstel in the East, takes you into one of the most cosmopolitan and vibrant districts of Amsterdam. In early times the De Pijp area used to be an autonomous part of the city. These days it is a section of the Oud Zuid area, easy to reach by tram (3,4,12,16,24,25) and soon by the North-South subway, which is presently getting build and will enable everyone to step off the train between the Ferdinand Bolstraat and the Albert Cuypstraat.
Formerly a working class quarter built to ease the overpopulated Jordaan in the 19th century and to house labourers, De Pijp has turned into a bohemian district. When strolling along the streets you will recognize that most of roads are named after famous Dutch painters and built in the world-renowned style of the Dutch School originating from the early 20th Century.
The Ceintuurbaan is seperating the Oude- or Noord-Pijp (13.616 inhabitants) from the newer Nieuwe- or Zuid-Pijp (11.348 inhabitants) resulting in a mixture of cultures and population with a total of 33.185 (2006) residents. De Pijp is an extremely lively district for the young and the young at heart and with students and artists all over the place. The area is often referred to as the Latin Quarter of Amsterdam and is named after the narrow, long and straight streets that run parallel to each other creating the shape of a pipe.
Tourist attractions in the De Pijp area
The De Pijp area is known for its variety of cafés, bars and coffee shops. Exotic Syrian, Moroccan and Surinamese restaurants as well as Spanish, Indian and Turkish delicatessens are a must for food lovers! The famous Albert Cuyp Market invites you to linger along a variety of stalls lining the street and if you want to relax after a tough shopping day lay or sit down in the Sarphatipark, which is just a minute away.
For those who are interested in museums the former Heineken brewery located at the Stadhouderskade would be worth to have a look at. Other well known buildings are the diamond cutter Asscher and the Okura hotel. Furthermore the Ostade theater and the movie theatre Rialto are luring just as beautiful church architecture represented by the Oranjekerk (Orange church), Vredeskerk (Peace church) and the Afrikahuis (Afrika House).
Landmarks in de Pijp:
- Albert Cuyp Market
- Ferdinand Bolstraat
- Heinekenplein, Andre Hazes
Bars and restaurants in the De Pijp area
One of the best of these is Chocolate, (Eerste van der Helststraat 62a), still going strong after three or so years and invariably packed on a weekend night. No coincidence either, because this bar does a lot of things right. Friendly staff, decent DJs, a selection of cocktails, good food, relaxed décor, even street-side outdoor seating. Regularly rotated exhibitions by young, local artists adorn the walls. The music on weekend nights can drift from lounge and soul towards house of the deep and progressive flavour
1e van der Helststraat 62a, (675 7672)
Open: Mon-Thur, Sun 10am-1am; Fri, Sat 10am-3am
No credit cards
Peace in the Middle-East
Within the radius of a few blocks many of de Pijp its other interesting spots can be found. What last year was popular grand café de Engel on the Albert Cuypmarkt has just become a giant warmer-hemisphere-themed restaurant / bar, Bazar (Albert Cuypstraat 182). This Middle-Eastern themed restaurant/café that seems to be sending a clear message – with its Hebrew and Arabic texts on the wall of this massive former chuch. Check out the rather unusual décor if you are up for it, and enjoy the international menu from various warmer lands.
Hero for a Night
Try Helden ( meaning Heroes, 1st van der Helststraat 42), which is what the once überfashionable cocktail lounge Madame Jeanette (former watering hole of soap stars and footballers) recently morphed into through a change of owners. A stylish interior combines with thankfully dim lighting, friendly staff, unobtrusive music and a mixed but restrained clientele to provide a pleasant venue for a pre-party drink or a chilled evening with friends. Excellent mojitos.
Only the Finest in Your Pipe
Right around the corner is the Marie Heinekenplein, home mainly to grand cafés, but on the Ferdinand Bolstraat across the way one finds two of de Pijp its finest establishments. About two years old, 18 Twintig (Ferdinand Bolstraat 18/20) boasts a large bar, a more extensive drinks list, pleasant décor, plasma screens, a restaurant earlier in the evening, and plenty of standing and sitting space. Upbeat and lively, it draws a more professional crowd than Chocolate. Kingfisher (Ferdindand Bolstraat 24), across from the southern corner of the Heinekenplein, is really more of a brown café than anything, but its modern approach, chill staff, comfortably cool vibe and notorious cocktails mean the locals flock there until the wee hours. Summer terraces outside means the sounds of trams, bicycles and other terrace chatter adds to the evening jazz.
Bar Restaurant Simpel
A few seconds walk from Heineken Brewery is Bar Restaurant Simpel, specialising in French and Mediterranean cuisine.
Just Heinekenplein is bar-restaurant Bar-ca. Established early 2005, Bar-ca is playfully named after Barcelona, serving Spanish and International cuisines. The concept behind the name reflects their attempt to recreate the atmosphere one may experience on a visit to Spain
Eerste van der Helststraat 72. (Tel. 672 05 79)
Open: daily 5-11pm
If you are looking for stylish interiors, do not look now. If however, you are after a hearty meal with a Middle Eastern twist, pull up a chair. Highly recommended is the excellent Assyrian rissoles pancakes stuffed with chicken, lamb or cheese for €3,60 or the lentil soup for €3.
Ferdinand Bolstraat 13-15. (Tel. 672 06 51)
Open: Sun-Thurs (6pm-1am), Fri -Sat (6pm-3am); kitchen open 6-11pm
For the ultimate in gastronomic extravagance, indulge yourself with some foie gras at the Naughty one and admire the sheer flamboyancy of the interiors: mirrored columns, erotic vintage photos and chandeliers.
Saenredamstraat 37. (Tel. 664 00 66)
Open: daily 4pm-midnight
The atmosphere at this ultra cool whitewashed Mediterranean is buzzing and the tapas equally as exciting. No corners are cut when it comes to taste. Choose from a mouth watering selection of 12 tapas including the garlicky mushrooms or the ceviche (marinated fish). Full meals include pinchos morenos (€7,50) and grilled salmon. Cash only.
Quellijnstraat 104. (Tel. 673 6361)
Open: Tue-Sun (6.30-10.30pm)
Surrender to Mamouche, the latest Moroccan neighbour to the multicultural Pijp. Mamouche not only offers an inexpensive menu but a highly minimalist backdrop. The music is simply entrancing.
Albert Cuypstraat 69. (Tel. 675 51 35)
Open: Tue-Sat (10:30am-10pm), Sun noon-10pm
Extremely friendly service, excellent value for money and very popular with the locals. Top marks for the Tjauw minh (thin noodles with meat and veg) and the € 4,31; gado gado (vegetables smothered in peanut sauce). Cash only.
Roelof Hartplein 1-3, (676 8220)
Open: 9am-1am Mon-Thur; 9am-3am Fri; 10am-2am Sat; 10am-1am Sun.
Accept credit cards