Watergrafsmeer has an average violent crime rate and an above average property crime rate for Amsterdam.
Watergraafsmeer is a predominantly residential area in Amsterdam Oost. It’s quiet, very green, and offers comfortable living in a safe and pleasant environment. When looking on a map of Watergraafsmeer, the wide and busy Middenweg cuts it in half.
To the east are the more popular 1930s developments with large and roomy apartments and even some family homes. You'll find very few bars or even shops here, but the closeness to lively Oost and the offerings on or just off Middenweg make this a great place to live. West of Middenweg is the spectacular Frankendael Park, the cemetery, and a few social housing pockets.
In between this mix are several village-like pockets with their own distinct feel. The most famous one is the architecturally important Betondorp, a 1930s development famous as the stomping grounds of a young Johan Cruijff, the world famous Dutch ‘voetbal’ (soccer) player. AFC Ajax had their stadium here before it moved to the outskirts of Amsterdam. Another well known village in this neighborhood is Amsteldorp, on the southern tip of Oost just behind Amstel train station.
Along the charming Ringdijk canal one can still see traces of what the area was like before the 1930s building frenzy. The street that runs parrallel to the canal is lined with elegant brick homes and trees and plants.
Fun fact: Watergraafsmeer is a polder, meaning it is a drained, former body of water and at almost 4 meters below sea level it’s one of the lowest parts of Amsterdam.
De Kas restaurant is housed in a greenhouse (Kas in Dutch) that was once part of Amsterdam’s municipal nurseries in Frankendael Park. Ever since it opened in 2001 this place has been hailed as one of the best places to eat in town. All their products are fresh and often grow within sight of your table. The chef is not new to the Dutch haute cuisine scene and once even received a Michelin Star…hence the slightly pricy menu. But it’s worth it. Fun fact: Herman Koch’s book The Dinner was supposedly set here.
The Vergulden Eenhoorn (Gilded Unicorn) is an old farm from 1702. It’s location is slightly off the beaten track, which is likely the reason everybody said ‘What old farm?’ when the restoration was announced. It houses a restaurant, a cozy bar, and soon a small hotel. The garden is lush and green and a great place for kids.
Ths is very much a local pub, frequented by people living in the streets nearby. The location is wonderful, on a small square with one of Amsterdam’s few fountains. Great place to mingle and meet friends and neighbors.
This immense green space in the middle of Watergraafsmeer is home to a cemetery, crematorium, and tree garden. The park and grounds were designed by famous landscape architect Leonard Anthony Springer and are a joy to visit. It might be a bit of an odd sensation to walk between the many graves, but nature lovers will be thrilled with the many special trees and plants here.
Photo Credits: Thanks to @thowolf, @claraptk, @mikecervello, @catharinavanbentum, @romymorgan, @alexanderhairstylers, @jasper_helsloot, @erik_breuer, @romymorgan, @anne.annepost, @studioleagroeliker, @kennethjaworski, @mlpostma89, @badego1982, @photographlifeline, @tinuser, @markvandooren, @youramsterdampa, @badego1982, @bartcooks, @tineke_dijkstra for your great photos of this neighborhood!