De Baarsjes is a prime example of how you can change an area for the better without too much gentrification. Up until the 1990s, parts of this vibrant western neighborhood were in a dreadful state and considered a no-go area.
In fact, the central Mercatorplein was so notorious for its crime that a permanent police post had to be set up. Once crime levels came under control it was time for an extensive refurbishment and makeover.
City planners were reluctant to knock down the existing architecture (the Mercatorplein was designed by famous urban architect Berlage), so they instead decided to revamp the worn out social housing blocks, upgrading them in the same distinct Amsterdam School style. These properties were then put on the market and it wasn’t long until first time home buyers took notice. They fell for the charming architecture, the cheap prices, and the convenient location.
With their hard-earned money invested in their homes, they also felt more of an urge to spruce up the neighborhood than some of the previous tenants did, which has resulted in many local initiatives to enhance social coherence. The arrival of several new restaurants and newfound appreciation of immigrant shops secured the deal even more.
Nowadays, de Baarsjes is considered a perfectly safe and pleasant area in West Amsterdam where the multicultural society proves to work more than well. Thanks to its prices it's also become a hipster darling.
This lovely corner bar and restaurant overlooks a square with a church built in the distinct Amsterdam School architecture style. Large pots with massive plants adorn the extensive terrace and create an intimate setting. The tasty menu is diverse, with plenty to offer for everyone. Their beer menu is limited but decent and offers enough to keep picky beer lovers satisfied. Very much a local place, with a lot of families during weekend days, but people from other parts of town come here too.
This large and pretty park is one of the lesser known parks in Amsterdam and is used mainly by people living nearby or those cycling or walking through on their way elsewhere. This means that you can find yourself almost alone, even on a summer day. Though it's not officially part of De Baarsjes, it very much feels like it is since many of the apartment buildings overlook it.
Edel is part of Het Sieraad, meaning "the jewel" in Dutch. This restaurant was once home to the silversmith school of Amsterdam. It is located at a spot where two waterways split, offering a great view and ample sunshine. Because of this, but also because of its sturdy vintage interior, this place is a favorite with families. They serve a lovely menu of lunch, snacks, and dinner and are known for their friendly staff.
A bit out of the way, leaning against the ramp to the circular ring road, sits this massive 1960s school building. Aptly called de School (The School), it is now home to one of Amsterdam’s hottest new clubs where DJs from all over the world show their skills. The adjacent restaurant in the old workshop serves 3, 5 or 7 course meals on tables set as if they were transported from a French hotel. Frequented by hip students, young professionals, and the occasional local.
Photo Credits: Thanks to @beauartbymaria, @jebuurmeisje, @moredaan, @corindaf, @fleur.ena, @roysantiago, @framcnmellings, @annitta8, @isavanstav, @djvukadin, @agreyladywithanattitude, @thomasdevijver, @lindaroosenmedia, @zepequeno14, @bolocardsandmaps, @margottentusscher, @leonievdbeek, @sanderdenbezemer, @kitchendates for your great photos of this neighborhood!
Do you have photos you'd like to share? Send 'em in to firstname.lastname@example.org.