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Touring Amsterdam’s Coolest Neighborhood While Studying Abroad

May 24, 2024
by Mary Thomas
A room in a store with a variety of objects, including plants and statues, on tables and shelves

A Walk Through De Pijp, Amsterdam’s Coolest Neighborhood, While Studying Abroad 

It’s no secret that Amsterdam has its fair share of interesting neighborhoods; from the narrow, canal-filled streets of the Jordaan, to the Red Light District’s Gothic streets, there’s surely something for everyone. For me, that was De Pijp.  

A sidewalk with bicycles parked on it

Walking through the residential streets of De Pijp, it becomes clear why the neighborhood is so popular with young people. The quiet bike-filled streets lined with cozy apartments are only minutes away from exciting restaurants and bars. 

Although this isn’t the neighborhood I call home, I found myself wandering its charming streets on a regular basis. I found this neighborhood by accident one day, after heading south of the city center on a long walk. The bustling neighborhood is the perfect place for young people, and one can easily spend a whole day roaming its streets, as there’s something exciting around every corner.  

Large copper tanks in a brewery

De Pijp is also home to one of Amsterdam’s most popular tourist attractions: the Heineken Brewery. While the historic building is no longer the actual brewing site, you can still see the large copper brew kettles up close! 

If you’re looking to spend a day in this bohemian neighborhood, I strongly recommend starting it off with a good cup of coffee and perhaps a sweet treat to pair with it. There are many options, but on this rainy afternoon I quickly ducked into the Scandinavian Embassy to escape the rain and tried a Scandinavian-style breakfast. It didn’t disappoint, and the minimal, rustic space was the perfect environment to cozy up in as I waited for the rain to pass.  

A pastry on a plate and a cup of coffee sitting on a table

Like any good neighborhood, De Pijp is filled with amazing cafes. This mushroom Danish pastry and oat milk latte is from the Scandinavian Embassy. Their no-laptop policy makes it a great environment to catch up with a friend, or even crack open a book like I did. 

Luckily, the rain let up rather quickly and I made the short walk over to the Albert Cuyp market. Open Monday through Saturday, this market has vendors for just about anything.  

A group of study abroad students walking down a street with market stalls on either side

The Albert Cuyp Market—a lively, 300-stall open street market open any day of the week—is a must-see. Stop by to pick up lunch, unique clothing, or even some fresh produce. 

I liked going there every Monday to get some fresh produce for the week, but this day I was more interested in finding a good souvenir for my mom back home. I found a beautiful collection of Delftware, the Dutch word for the blue and white pottery typically found in the Netherlands.  

A table with various dishes

This dishware collection at one of the market’s stands immediately caught my eye. The beautiful blues and carefully painted tulips make for the perfect Dutch souvenir (while also supporting a local artist!). 

On my way out I grabbed a fresh stroopwafel for my stroll through Sarphatipark, where I picked up some fresh jams and jellies from the annual Natuur & Milieu Market that was set up right at the front of the park.  

A market stall featuring a table with various plants and jam jars with people behind it in the distance

While on my Sunday stroll through Sarphatipark I accidentally stumbled upon the annual Natuur & Milieu Market—a pleasant, green, and organic market accompanied by live music. This gathering for sustainable entrepreneurs is the perfect place to pick up some new plants or fresh jams. 

A group of people sitting under a tree, facing away from the camera

If you’re lucky enough to catch a bit of sunlight, Sarphatipark is the place to be. Located in the center of De Pijp, this serene park is the perfect place to relax and reconnect with nature. 

A hand holding a stroopwafel half covered in chocolate with a busy street in the background

My last stop at the market was, of course, a stroopwafel! Their intoxicating aroma makes these hard to pass by. Made fresh right in front of your eyes, these are an absolute must for any person with a sweet tooth. 

I finished up my day by heading down Gerard Doustraat and getting some shopping in. A day spent in De Pijp is a day well spent—ask any local, and they’ll surely confirm that it’s most certainly Amsterdam’s coolest neighborhood.  

A line of clothes on a rack in a store

During this time of year, you can plan on seeing quite a few orange racks upon entering any store. Thanks to this section at Felice Home of Brands, I pieced together an outfit for King’s Day, the orange-filled celebration of the king’s birthday. 

A room in a store with a variety of objects, including plants and statues, on tables and shelves

If you're looking to do some shopping, Melting Pot Amsterdam is a great starting point. This eclectic store on van der Helststraat is the first of many boutiques full of clothing, home goods, and accessories.  

Mary Thomas is the Content Creator - Photographer in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and is currently studying at DePaul University.
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