Schellingwoude and Nieuwendam have a below average violent crime rate and a low property crime rate for Amsterdam.
Those who make an effort to cross the river IJ just behind Amsterdam Central station are in for a pleasant surprise. Just 5 minutes by bike from the ferry landing, the hustle and bustle of the city are completely forgotten as you find yourself in an almost rural setting. This is where in the 1930s Amsterdam developed the so-called ‘Garden Cities’. It's here that you'll find the charming villages of Schellingwoude and Nieuwendam.
Nieuwendam was a ship builders town, an industry that made many of its inhabitants very rich, as can be seen in some of the homes. Schellingwoude relied on fisheries and, later, farming, and was (and still is) more isolated.
These adjacent neighborhoods are full of small but attractive homes sitting next to pleasant parks and on tidy courtyards (most of the housing here is rent controlled). As with most of Amsterdam, water is never far: Nieuwendam is divided by several canals; Schellingwoude sits on the IJ river so you'll have glorious views of the water and the eastern outskirts and skyline of Amsterdam.
Cutting right through Nieuwendam is the Nieuwendammerdijk, eventually leading to the Schellingwouderdijk, which runs through Schellingwoude. Nieuwendammerdijk and Schellingwouderdijk are quite easily two of Amsterdam’s prettiest streets.
As the street names suggests, the two are old dykes, once used to protect the hinterland from the wild waters of the Zuiderzee. Both streets are lined with beautiful wooden houses, some dating back to the 1500s and telling the history of these once isolated towns.
Because of the slope of the dykes, homes along them often have an entire extra floor below dyke level, which makes them popular for those working from home. This extra space is much needed since the homes are often quite small. Still, the unique village-like character, and the relatively affordable housing prices make this a popular spot for families.
There is a newer shopping mall around, though residents tend to go to the better places in neighboring parts of the Noord district for most of their big shopping trips. Purmerplein, the old heart of Nieuwendam, offers a few decent local shops for groceries and daily needs and some restaurants. There are several schools, a couple of which are well-rated. For high school kids cross the river by bike or bus to schools in Amsterdam's Centrum and Oost districts.
Those wanting easy access to all the amenities of city life, but who also like the benefits of a more rural place to live will find Nieuwendam or Schellingwoude the perfect compromise.
Sluisje means ‘tiny lock’ and in this name hides the history of this spot. Farmers used this lock to sail to the city to deliver milk and produce. There has been a café here since 1904, and even before that you could stop for coffee here. The large and sunny terrace overlooking the water and the lock are a treat in summer. In winter it’s a cozy place to hide and get warm. The crowd is a mix of locals, cyclists, and passersby.
The first of a small chain of biological, locally sourced supermarkets. Amazing cheeses, wonderful breads, cool craft beers, and fresh veggies and fruits. The restaurant serves gorgeous food, great for a mid-shopping snack or leisurely lunch.
The location alone is worth the visit. The Purmerplein is the main village square of garden city Nieuwendam and is an wonder. The restaurant itself boasts a simple but lovely French-themed bistro menu. Their wines are very nice, too. Mostly locals here, but more and more people from other parts of town are learning about this place.
This is the oldest city forest in Amsterdam. In 1911, in the midst of the development of the garden village Nieuwendammerham, council member Vliegen proposed this forest. His idea was met with skepticism at first, mainly because the silty outer dyke soil was deemed not fit for trees. But after a successful planting of elms and ash trees, the plan was granted. Today the park is a haven for joggers, dog walkers, local scouting groups, and families with kids.
This delightful little white church is located on a small terp just behind the Schellingwouderdijk. The current building dates back to 1866, but research done during the last restoration indicates that several other churches once stood on the same spot. This is a favorite spot for weddings, and the annex community building often hosts parties, workshops, and intimate dinners. The building is looked after by ‘Stadsherstel’: an organization for the preservation of historical buildings.
Photo Credits: Thanks to @marrithkuiper, @ataconk, @piccologramm, @loeszie, @hotmamahotcatering, @verwijderverwijder_verwijderve, @maartje100, @humbuggles, @atakanakardere, @charlotteschoots, @carmenlouwe, @liesbethkauw, @mrmiguu, @milolikescowcow, @alfonso_bernal, @off.beating, @ronald_amsterdam, @rutmul, @bossepix for your great photos of this neighborhood!