De Pijp - Amsterdam’s Lively Latin Quart

Angela Wood

Senior Contributor

If you’ve spent time in Amsterdam, visited the Rijksmuseum, experienced De Wallen and cruised Dutch waterways, then head for De Pijp. Amsterdam’s vibrant Latin quarter is a blend of beautiful landscaped gardens, gastronomic delights and eclectic street markets. It’s a great place to get to know creatives in the city and at less than 3 hours by rail from London, Paris and Cologne, it’s the perfect place to spend a weekend!

Brunch in De Pijp’s Best Restaurants

Start your day in De Pijp with a freshly made sandwich, cup of strong, aromatic coffee or a slice of homemade quiche in one of the neighbourhood’s chic cafes. This district of Amsterdam boasts some of the best eateries in the city, and the bonus – you can discover all of them on foot or via bicycle. The community is diverse, therefore, it’s not unusual to find Dutch, Australian and Scandinavian cafes alongside traditional pubs. Remember to look for cafes not coffee shops though, in the Netherlands they mean a whole other thing! You can soak up the ambiance from a street side table as the Latin quarter comes to life. Café Blond – a vision in bubblegum pink, close to the Heineken Experience, Museum Quarter and Albert Cuypmarkt is a great starting point. Not only do they serve healthy dishes such as avocado toast, omelettes and croissants, you can also indulge in their signature ‘pink hot tub’ – a yummy ruby chocolate fondue with fresh fruit and cookies!

Browse Eclectic Albert Cuypmarkt

Albert Cuypmarkt is the largest and busiest of Amsterdam’s outdoor markets with over 260 stands selling everything from street food to local handicrafts. Stretching along a street of the same name, market deli stalls serve multi-cultural treats ranging from Chinese food and falafels to the delicious Dutch stroopwafel - a thick wafer cookie with sumptuous caramel filling. The markets laid-back atmosphere allows for easy browsing of books, clothing, flowers and ceramics, plus you can even pick up a tasty sliver of Dutch cheese for a picnic in the park. It’s one of the liveliest streets of De Pijp and if it’s your first time in Amsterdam, you can experience it with a guide as private food tours are available for individuals and groups. 

Picnic in Sarphati Park

Most visitors to Amsterdam venture to Vondelpark for recreational pursuits and weekend downtime. However, those in the know head for Sarphati Park in De Pijp. A little off the tourist circuit, 20 minutes’ walk from Rijksmuseum, this pretty park blooming with plants and trees is the perfect spot for a romantic picnic. The park, named after physician and philanthropist Samuel Sarphati was once home to windmills and country estates and the land was originally earmarked to house Amsterdam’s Centraal Station. Today, it’s surrounded by quaint gabled houses and deserted for the most part. Its relaxed atmosphere, honed by couples walking hand in hand and dog walkers meandering along pathways makes it the perfect place to escape to following a busy day of sightseeing in Amsterdam.

Admire De Pijp’s Art & Architecture

De Pijp was initially built in the 19th century as a working-class quarter to ease Jordaans overcrowding. However, its lure of cheap rooms and interesting mix of cultures led to artists and creatives from all over the Netherlands settling in the neighbourhood. In fact, one of the first things you’ll notice about De Pijp is that the streets are named after those who lived here. Pioneer of the Bauhaus movement Piet Mondrian lived here during his time at the Academy of Fine Arts and Dutch author Ferdinand Bordewijk also resided for a while in De Pijp. The neighbourhood is also famous for its Amsterdam School architecture, a style which arose between 1910 and 1930. As central De Pijp is devoid of canals, it’s possible to wander the streets seeking out architectural gems from the era. They are easily recognisable and characterised by their rounded, organic brick designs coupled with decorative masonry, glass and wrought iron work.

Gain the Best Views from Hotel Okura

On the banks of Amstelkanaal, Hotel Okura Amsterdam is a peaceful hotel with 5-stars, 15 minutes’ drive from Schiphol Airport. Located on the south side of cosmopolitan De Pijp, the hotel is a blend of Dutch and Japanese design, symbolising the relationship between merchants and traders of the two countries in the 1600s. The towering 23-storey building is a landmark of this lively district, a hotel of international appeal with two renowned Michelin-star restaurants – Ciel Bleu and Yamazato. The Twenty-Third Bar on the top floor of Hotel Okura is a perfect place to sip a glass of crisp champagne or signature cocktail while overlooking Amsterdam’s skyline. Hotel accommodations are a combination of deluxe rooms and suites, contemporary, stylish and each with their own appeal. However, before you retire for the evening, Nagomi Spa awaits. Capturing the essence of Japan with bamboo massages, Shiatsu and relaxing facials, it’s the perfect way to end the day after a shopping expedition or cycling trip around De Pijp!

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