Jordaan is an upscale neighbourhood in central Amsterdam, close to the esteemed shopping area, De Negen Straatjes. On top of scenic canals, it's well-known hosting quaint cafes, pubs and restaurants, as well as hidden shopping spots. For those hoping to get a taste of Dutch produce, visit Noordermarkt to find stalls selling cheese and local snacks.

Jordaan in Amsterdam - one of the highlights of 10 Most Popular Neighbourhoods in Amsterdam (Read all about Amsterdam here)

A brief history of Jordaan in Amsterdam

Although it's one of the most expensive places to live in Amsterdam, Jordaan was originally a working-class neighbourhood. The name of the area, Jordaan, is believed to have derived from the French word jardin, which means "garden".

Most constructions in the Jordaan neighbourhood were known to have begun in 1612, with streets and canals built to follow old paths and ditches around the area. This has caused many of the structures in Jordaan to be oddly built, which stand out from most of Amsterdam's well-planned architecture.

Despite this, many buildings in Jordaan features beautiful inner courtyards. Music enthusiasts are also known to put up concerts on Sundays in the summer. Known as the hofjesconcerten, these performances are usually free, but seat reservations are required to help with crowd control.

What are the highlights of Jordaan?

The famous Anne Frank House, the last place where diarist Anne Frank hid during WWII, is by the Prinsengracht canal where Jordaan ends. Opened in 1960, the museum hosts the original living and hiding place of Anne and her family, as well as numerous exhibitions related to the war.

Various markets, churches, and art galleries line the streets of Jordaan. There's a rich music culture in the neighbourhood – you’ll even find a memorial plaque of Dutch singer, Willy Alberti, at the Westerkerk Church.

While you're in the area, be sure to stop by Winkel 43 for a slice of what is arguably the best homemade apple pie in Amsterdam. Every order is served with a side of whipped cream that’s freshly made from a machine sitting by the counter. If you're not a fan of sweets for teatime, the cafe serves bitterballen, a type of deep-fried meaty snack.

Good to know about Jordaan in Amsterdam

Each year, the locals gather near the Busstation Elandsgracht in Jordaan to celebrate Jordaanfestival. It is a celebration of music that runs over the weekends, with many Dutch folk singers performing in the open-air area.

To help gain a better understanding of the history of De Jordaan, a group of enthusiastic locals have formed the CorridorsWalk. It is held every 3rd Saturday of the month, with groups meeting up at the Willemsstraat 22 of Jordaan to begin their walking tour. A small fee is required, and you can book in advance if you have a preferred visiting time.

Because Jordaan encapsulates a large area of Amsterdam Centrum, getting to the area can be tricky. To best explore the neighbourhood, we recommend starting from either Elandsgracht or Westermarkt via trams 7 or 17. You can walk around the area but beware of zooming bicycles along the way.

Jordaan in Amsterdam

Elie Lam | Contributing Writer