Oostelijke Eilanden en Kadijken have a below average violent crime rate and a below average property crime rate for Amsterdam.
In the far east of Central Amsterdam, towards the train tracks, are the ‘islands’ of Kattenburg and Wittenburg and the area around Czaar Peterstraat. Together, they make up the Oostelijke Eilanden (Eastern Islands). Along with Kadijken, just south across the Rustenburgergracht, this was once a bustling harbor, built in the 17th Century, and was the center of Amsterdam's commerce.
It wasn’t until recently that people took notice of this slightly nondescript part of central Amsterdam. Most of the historic buildings on Kattenburg and Wittenburg were torn down in the 1980s and replaced with social housing blocks leaving very little to love about the architecture.
And the Czaar Peterstraat area was left to deteriorate with housing corporations caring very little for the upkeep of the 19th Century blocks. But since the city council invested heavily in the very family friendly Funenpark development and renovations of neighboring streets, this has been considered an up-and-coming spot.
Slightly closer to central Amsterdam, the Kadijken neighborhood has maintained most of its historical charm and architecture. Here one can imagine 17th century scenes of boats stocking up on merchandise hoisted down from the large warehouses. All of these buildings are now converted into desirable homes, some with views of giraffes in the zoo across the water. This is a very pleasant and quiet area, which makes it popular with families and professionals alike wanting to live close to the heart of town.
Towards Central Station, behind the National Maritime Museum, is a former navy base. Project developers are eagerly anticipating what the city is planning to do here as the location can’t be beat. The peninsular plot boasts gorgeous views of the Oosterdok basin towards the old city and would be perfect for prime real estate. However, as of now, the base is still pretty much intact and the few empty buildings were given temporary hotel and restaurant permits.
While making your home in one of the converted warehouse apartments will require a bigger budget than a former social housing apartment, in general housing here does not come cheap. And as this is also a popular area for families with kids, any apartment or home with a garden or elevator will be scooped up fast.
Also, more and more people are setting aside their aesthetic objections and falling for units in those brutalist former social housing apartments. Some even have gardens!
In general Kadijken and the newer Funenpark developments are pricier, and Kattenburg, Wittenburg, and some of the side streets of Czaar Peterstraat are still slightly affordable but prices are on the rise.
Brouwerij ‘t IJ is one of the first microbreweries in the Netherlands. It couldn’t be more Dutch thanks to its location next to a windmill. Brewsky lovers from all over the world hail their IPA and other specialty beers here. You can book a tour or just pop in for a drink. Their terrace is gorgeous. Favored by students, tourists, parents and young professionals, and the large picnic tables mean you’ll likely end up chatting with more than just your group
Roest is a lot of things in one space. It’s a gallery, a restaurant, a creative hub, a bar, a club, and even an urban beach, all located in a revamped industrial zone. In summer it’s a great spot for all hours of the day. Expect a mixed crowd of young creatives, students, hip parents, and a few lucky tourists who will wish they had an extra day in town.
Until recently, this part of town was only open to marines or those in training to join the Dutch fleet. But the Dutch Navy has left this site and everybody is waiting in anticipation of what will happen here. For now, some of the old buildings are leased to entrepreneurs and house some of Amsterdam’s finest culinary treasures. Homeland is one of them. This restaurant and hotel offers a surprising menu with a stunning view of the inner harbor. The building is the old officers' mess and was restored to all its Mid-Century glory. Not an ideal place for kids as the acoustics aren’t great.
Those wanting to learn all about Dutch maritime history will love this museum. It tells how the Dutch culture was shaped by water and the sea. It is located in an 17th century arsenal, a storehouse for the Admiralty of Amsterdam. Outside, several ships are moored and can be visited. One is a stunning copy of the famous East Indiaman tall ship ‘Amsterdam’ that was lost on its maiden voyage in 1749.