Plantage has an above average violent crime rate and an above average property crime rate for Amsterdam.
What Amsterdammers refer to as the ‘Centrum’ district covers all neighborhoods within the Singelgracht, the original canal that once served as a moat for this city. An often overlooked part of this district is the lush, stately Plantage neighborhood.
This spacious area is rich with history and things to do. The Artis Zoo is a gorgeous place with more than 900 species. Amsterdam's botanical garden is located here and dates back to 1638. And the elegant Hermitage Museum has an enviable position on the Amstel River.
Together with Waterlooplein and the streets around the old Diamond Mills, this was once the heart of the Jewish district. Many landmarks and museums here tell the sad story of how the Holocaust affected the once thriving Jewish population. The Hollandsche Schouwburg (Dutch Theatre), was the gathering point for Jews before they were deported. It now stands as an impressive and somber monument for those who never came back. The Portuguese Synagoge is a wonderful example of temple architecture and a staple for those wanting to learn more about Jewish history of Amsterdam. The same goes for the Jewish Historical Museum, housed in a former synagogue.
Despite its sad history, the area has plenty to offer for happier times. The main square, Waterlooplein, with its secondhand street market is a must visit for lovers of vintage goods. The zoo, gardens, museums, and surrounding bars and restaurants make for a wonderful day or night out.
Because of its variety in housing, prices vary a lot here too. Expect to pay a premium for a 1890s apartment or house in the Plantage area. And as this area is popular with families with kids, apartments with several bedrooms or a garden will be scooped up fast. The glorious canal homes are as expensive as their more central counterparts. Closer to Waterlooplein, around the Diamond Mills and in the side streets of Weesperstraat there are also some smaller, 1980s former social housing blocks. Parking spaces are often available for rent in the apartment buildings along the busy Valkenburgerstraat.
This restaurant is located in ‘de Plantage’, a building named for the neighborhood and home to a TV studio. Some of the Netherlands’ most famous talk shows were recorded here. The well-designed restaurant boasts an enormous conservatory with room for many guests. The terrace is lit up with large ferry lights and is accompanied by animal sounds from the zoo next door. It was actually once part of the zoo, but they felt Amsterdammers should be able to enjoy this wonderful spot and opened it up to the public. A fountain/water feature is a favorite with kids. The menu is decent, but a bit pricey and service is not always great. But the location and stunning décor make up for a lot.
When Dutch master painter Rembrandt was alive, Amsterdam was in a period of enormous wealth. Rembrandt benefited from this and was very successful. His success allowed him to buy this massive home in 1639. He lived here when he painted some of his masterpieces like the Night Watch and portraits of his wife, neighbors, and notables. The house is now a museum dedicated to the life and work of this world famous artist.
To learn more about Dutch Jewish life and to fully understand the devastating impact of the Holocaust on it, this is a must see area. The quarter consists of the Jewish Historical Museum, the Portuguese Synagogue, and the new Holocaust Museum which in turn consists of two buildings. One is the old ‘Hollandsche Schouwburg’ (Dutch Theater). The theater is where the Nazis rounded up most of Amsterdam’s Jews before their deportion to camps. Around the corner is the Resistance Museum, where you can learn about those who put their lives at risk to sabotage the Nazis and give shelter to those needing to hide.
The oldest Zoo in Amsterdam, and one of the oldest in mainland Europe. At its opening in 1838, a visit required a membership,. Nowadays it’s open to the public and a favorite spot for families. 27 monumental buildings and extensive grounds house a miscellany of animals, a large library, an arboretum, and an art collection. You can expect long lines on nicer days, so book ahead.
Photo Credits: Thanks to @omarosman__, @cntraveler, @botanicalfilm, @angelamn_, @domczia, @sararottenberg, @angelaela, @awesomeamsterdam, @carrhann, @chantinni, @marmitaveggie, @kristiglen, @snsalgado, @anya_golu, @depizzabakkers, @lucasschilling, @nuclear_james, @matthewi92, @devtrx, @susannecharlott, @fleurisksenia for your great photos of this neighborhood!
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