Oud-West in Amsterdam is a charming neighbourhood with a laid-back atmosphere and plenty of shops, cafes and cultural attractions to keep visitors entertained. Located close to the city centre, Oud-West covers the area between the major thoroughfare of Overtoom and the bustling shopping street, Kinkerstraat.

Much of Oud-West is comprised of tightly packed 20th-century buildings, but those in search of vegetation needn't fear, as on the southern perimeter of the neighbourhood lies one of Amsterdam's best-loved green spaces, the ever-popular Vondelpark. With its tree-lined terrain, network of waterways and neat grassy areas, the historic park is an ideal spot for a picnic or leisurely stroll.

Standing proudly at the edge of Oud-west – just before you reach the park – is the enchanting Vondelkerk church. The neo-Gothic heritage building still functions as a church, while its picturesque ceiling, modern facilities and unique atmosphere make it a popular multi-use venue, housing concerts, weddings, and even yoga groups.

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

What are the highlights of Oud-West in Amsterdam?

One of the area's most popular destinations for both tourists and locals is the multi-use De Hallen mall. The vast structure was originally built as a depot to service Amsterdam's first electric trams, and – after decades of neglect – the 19th-century building was given a new lease of life in 2015 when it re-opened as a buzzing hive of arts and culture.

Today, De Hallen mall is home to an artisan market, library, design hotel, a food hall, and all manner of boutique shops. The complex is housed under a high roof and skylight, making it a great all-weather destination, as well as being a veritable treasure trove for culture vultures from all shades of the arts spectrum.

Art lovers can delight in the exhibitions hosted by contemporary gallery, Beeldend Gesproken, while film buffs should consider paying a visit to De FilmHallen cinema, with its nine screening rooms and eclectic line-up of movies.

Another wonderful arthouse cinema in Oud-West is the imaginatively repurposed LAB111, which – as the name suggests – began life as a pathological laboratory. Refurbished in 2016 to include state of the art movie screens and a well-stocked restaurant, LAB111 regularly features screenings of cult classics and indie flicks, and hosts special events focused on various aspects of cinematic history.

photo by FotoDutch (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

Where to eat and drink in Oud-West in Amsterdam?

As with most boroughs of Amsterdam, Oud-West is home to a delightful open-air market, Ten Kate, where you'll find a mouth-watering selection of farmer's produce, eye-catching apparel, and colourful prints and fabrics. If a day of shopping at the market puts you in the mood for a caffeine hit, you'll find cafes in plentiful supply in the area. Barmhartig Koffie is a wonderfully bright and breezy space to enjoy a beverage, and LOT61 Roasters is one of the most popular options in the neighbourhood.

photo by Fons Heijnsbroek (CC0 1.0) modified

What else is good to know about Oud-West in Amsterdam?

Situated on the southern perimeter of the neighbourhood is the Orgelpark concert hall, a fascinating project aiming to shine a spotlight on organ-themed music. The internationally renowned venue is designed around a magnificent pipe organ that towers imposingly over the centre stage.

As well as hosting regular jazz, modern and classical concerts showcasing the work of organists, composers and other virtuosos, Orgelpark also offers a varied range of programming and activities, incorporating numerous forms of performing arts – including dance, film, and symposia.

If you prefer your music a little more on the modern side, Oud-West boasts plenty of bars and nightspots where you can enjoy a tipple while getting down to slick soundtracks provided by DJs and bands. Popular choices include the chilled atmosphere of Cafe De Kashmir Lounge and the friendly faces welcoming guests at Bar Mimi. When it comes to mealtime, the delectable momo and Nepalese dishes at Momo & Grill Huis are a favourite among locals, while the Italian cuisine at Colibrí Gastro Bar is certainly deserving of consideration – with the pavlova rated highly among the dessert selections.

photo by Martijn van Exel (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified

Oud-West in Amsterdam

Patrizio Cavaliere | Contributing Writer