Bos en Lommer has an average violent crime rate and a below average property crime rate for Amsterdam.
If you read some of the other Amsterdam neighborhood profiles, you might start to think that Amsterdam consists solely of revitalized neighborhoods. There is a bit of truth there: as recently as the 1980s, city life primarily took place in the historic center, the wealthy lived in the south, and slightly less expensive 19th Century neighborhoods could be found in the east or west. The neighborhoods outside of the A10 ring road were considered far and suburban. What was left were rather uninspiring and often-neglected neighborhoods developed in the first decades of the 20th Century, including Bos en Lommer.
People lived here because they couldn’t afford to live anywhere else, and at some point, mainly due to the predominantly immigrant population, Bos en Lommer was even thought off as unsafe. It was an undeserved reputation then; today it's still relatively peaceful and safe and the houses here are slightly larger than in neighboring developments.
When the housing market started to pick up, and more and more people wanted buy in Amsterdam, first time buyers started noticing Bos en Lommer, and it was coined the up-and-coming neighborhood of the city. To everyone’s surprise, neighboring de Baarsjes and the very unpopular Oost up-and-came first, leaving Bos enLommer behind for quite a few years.
Only recently has it gotten the attention and appreciation it deserves. Some new developments, mainly between the ring road and the pleasant streets along Erasmuspark, sparked new interest, and those first time buyers are cashing in on their roomy apartments. Retail shops and restaurants are also opening up here, making Bos en Lommer a very good place to look for young couples and families, first time buyers, and expats with a slightly limited budget.
The population is still mostly of immigrant background. It is said that 127 of the 180 nationalities present in Amsterdam live here. Some locals love this neighborhood exactly for that reason. The economically diverse population results in a diverse range of housing. A small, two-bedroom apartment is still affordable for a lot of people. Larger apartments, townhomes, and ground floor apartments with gardens can be as expensive as similar homes in more popular areas.
Bos enLommer actually continues to the west across the A10 ring road, where newer (and still popular) homes prove that this psychological border no longer stops people.
Once a church, now a cultural hub and restaurant offering a wide variety of theater, dance, music, cabaret, spoken word, and all crossovers imaginable. It’s considered the multicultural center of performing arts in town. The building is reminiscent of a mosque, but was actually a reformed church. The mosaic-style openings in the concrete façade quickly gave it the nickname ‘tea light’. The current proprietors gave it the subtler name Podium Mozaïek. The restaurant offers a wonderful menu with Arab and Middle Eastern influences. It’s frequented by a hip, ethnically diverse crowd, and much loved by families as there is a playroom inside.
It’s disputed whether this lush and green park is situated in Bos en Lommer or de Baarsjes. Either way, it is the go-to destination for many locals on a sunny day. But it never has so many visitors that it feels crowded, like many other parks in town. There’s a small café called Terrasmus, but the park also allows barbecuing, so it’s perfect for kids birthday parties or a leisurely evening with friends.
This newish square functions as the central market square of Bos en Lommer. It lacks the appeal it was supposed to have, but the street market that's here everyday except Sundays and Mondays is worth a visit. Recent openings of better quality restaurants and coffee shops suggest better times ahead.
Many of the old offices and school buildings along the A10 have become redundant. However, these architectural gems don’t always find a new purpose so in the past few years, the city council set aside money for organizations to allow them temporary use of the building. WOW-Amsterdam is one of those projects. This hostel, restaurant, and artist residence hosts numerous cultural and social events and has a decent menu. The décor is a fun mix of artsy and weird. The crowd is a mix of that and locals. Not ideal for kids.
This place doesn’t look like much from the outside (or, quite frankly, from the inside either). But don’t judge this book by its cover, as this is seriously good Indonesian food. Indonesia was once a Dutch colony, and the Dutched-up Indonesian ‘Rijsttafel’ — Tapas style dishes with rice — are the closest to Dutch cuisine it gets. People travel from far and wide to eat here. Reservations might be needed. The menu tends to be spicy, but if asked, they take sensitive pallets into consideration.
Photo Credits: Thanks to @alicelhrc, @cemkklik, @marlennemelo, @amsterdam2604, @hurisltn, @berkaybycelebi, @amsterdamodyssey, @paulinewalzak, @evalpeters, @eefleeft, @ecjansson, @adamhuur, @johnb154, @petervdenheuvel, @i__m__a__n__, @d.r.finica, @andreaelisabethw, @raquelsordi, @carolinaki for your great photos of this neighborhood!