Tour 3: Hidden Gems of Amsterdam





The Hidden Gem Route

  • Start: Dam Square
  • End: The Jordaan
  • Time: 1 hour

  • Route Map:
  • Dam Square
  • Oude Kerk
  • Chinatown
  • Westerkerk
  • The Jordaan

    Hidden Gems Highlights

1. Dam Square

  • Location: Central Amsterdam.
  • Significance: The bustling heart of Amsterdam, surrounded by historical landmarks.
  • Points of Interest: The Royal Palace, Nieuwe Kerk, and the National Monument.
  • Interesting Fact: Dam Square was the original dam built in the 13th century on the Amstel River, which gave the city its name.

2. Oude Kerk

  • Location: Oudekerksplein 23.
  • Significance: Amsterdam’s oldest building and church, dating back to the 13th century.
  • Interesting Fact: The Oude Kerk was consecrated in 1306 and is renowned for its Gothic architecture and stunning stained glass windows.
  • More Info: The church has a fascinating history, including its role as a sanctuary during conflicts and its evolution into a cultural venue for art exhibitions and music performances.

3. Chinatown

  • Location: Around Zeedijk and Nieuwmarkt.
  • Significance: A vibrant area reflecting Amsterdam’s multicultural heritage.
  • Interesting Fact: Home to the largest Buddhist temple in Europe, the Fo Guang Shan He Hua Temple.
  • More Info: Chinatown is known for its diverse Asian cuisine, traditional shops, and lively festivals. The area is a melting pot of cultures and offers a unique glimpse into the city's ethnic diversity.

4. Westerkerk

  • Location: Prinsengracht 279-281.
  • Significance: One of the most important Protestant churches in Amsterdam, completed in 1631.
  • Interesting Fact: The church features the tallest church tower in Amsterdam, known as the Westertoren, which offers stunning views of the city.
  • More Info: Westerkerk is famously associated with Anne Frank, who mentioned it in her diary. The church's rich history and beautiful architecture make it a must-visit.

5. The Jordaan

  • Location: Western Amsterdam.
  • Significance: A picturesque neighborhood known for its narrow streets, canals, and vibrant cultural scene.
  • Interesting Fact: The Jordaan was originally a working-class district but has transformed into one of Amsterdam’s most desirable neighborhoods.
  • More Info: The Jordaan is home to many galleries, independent shops, and cozy cafes. Notable sites include the Anne Frank House and numerous hidden courtyards and gardens.

    Hidden Gems In-Depth Historical Facts

Dam Square

  • History: Established in the 13th century, Dam Square began as a dam on the Amstel River. It has evolved into Amsterdam’s central square, hosting major events, markets, and political demonstrations. The square has seen the proclamation of the Batavian Republic and liberation celebrations after World War II.
  • Architectural Significance: The Royal Palace and Nieuwe Kerk, both located on Dam Square, are prime examples of Dutch Baroque and Gothic architecture, respectively.

Oude Kerk

  • Historical Background: The Oude Kerk, or Old Church, is the oldest building in Amsterdam. Its construction started in 1213, and it was consecrated in 1306. The church's wooden roof is the largest medieval wooden vault in Europe.
  • Cultural Role: Over the centuries, Oude Kerk has transformed from a religious sanctuary to a cultural hub, hosting contemporary art exhibitions and concerts. Its location in the heart of the Red Light District juxtaposes history and modernity.

Chinatown

  • Development: Amsterdam’s Chinatown developed around the early 20th century as Chinese sailors and immigrants settled in the area. It has grown into a vibrant community that celebrates Asian culture and traditions.
  • Cultural Highlights: The Fo Guang Shan He Hua Temple, a beautiful example of traditional Chinese architecture, is a focal point of Chinatown. The area also features a variety of restaurants, tea shops, and grocery stores, making it a culinary hotspot.

Westerkerk

  • Construction and Design: Westerkerk was designed by architect Hendrick de Keyser in the Dutch Renaissance style. The church's interior is known for its simplicity and grandeur, reflecting Protestant values.
  • Historical Significance: Westerkerk played a crucial role during the Reformation and the subsequent religious changes in Amsterdam. Its tower, Westertoren, is an iconic part of the city’s skyline and offers panoramic views.

The Jordaan

  • Origins: The Jordaan was established in the early 17th century as a neighborhood for workers and immigrants. It is believed that the name Jordaan comes from the French word "jardin," meaning garden, reflecting the area’s many courtyards.
  • Cultural Transformation: The Jordaan has undergone significant gentrification since the 20th century, evolving into a trendy area known for its artistic and bohemian vibe. It hosts numerous cultural festivals, open-air markets, and is home to the renowned Anne Frank House.


Enjoy Your Walk in Amsterdam!

This comprehensive guide will help you lead an engaging and informative tour through Amsterdam’s hidden gems. For more details and reservations, visit FreeWalkingTourAmsterdam.eu.