The Amsterdam Mamas’ Neighbourhood Guide is unique in that it is written by mothers living in Amsterdam—in particular, the neighbourhood they themselves live in—for families moving to Amsterdam.
De Baarjes/Bos en Lommer is northwest of Centrum. It’s a short 5-10 minute tram ride (no. 19) to Sloterdijk Station to get to the other major cities in the Netherlands as well as to Schipol Airport; it’s a short tram ride right into the heart of the city of Amsterdam. Bus 18 leaves from Admiraal de Ruiterweg/Jan Van Galenstraat and ends 18 minutes later at Centraal Station. It’s a short 5-min bike ride to the verdant and peaceful Rembrandt Park. But despite all these short journeys to major points within the city, it does not feel inner-city. The streets are lined with families in apartment blocks. Canals are wide. Shops feel intimate.
Come 6pm, the neighbourhood becomes very quiet. Traffic is very local. De Baarjes is filled with corner bars. One of the best coffee places in Amsterdam is Fuku, on Bos en Lommerweg.
The city centre is the oldest part of the city and has buildings dating back to around 1600. With that in mind, homes in Centrum are often:
- Old canal 4-5 floored houses, divided into apartments on each floor.
- In buildings that are up to 500 years old, and with that, come uneven, sloping floors, old floorboards and creaky stairwells.
- With heritage and age, many windows are single-paned (not great for energy conservation).
- Very steep, narrow, dark stairwells.
- Vermin is often an issue.
- Cobbled streets.
There are some good schools, though not many international schools as yet.
Points of interest
Park: Erasmuspark is a beautiful intimate park. Whilst small, it has some big pluses, when compared to the larger Rembrandt Park. There’s a playground that is suitable for younger children with a very popular cafe. It is also a very popular park to walk dogs. In the middle of the park, a lovingly tended Miracle Garden flourishes in the spring, summer and autumn with herbs and flowers. On days with good weather, a violinist sits to serenade.
Swimming hole: The canal circling the park is a very popular inner-city swimming hole. The gemeente maintain the Admiralengracht canal with water quality and dredging the bottom. this is an unusually wide canal with fast flowing water. The canal here also fills with boats, canoeists, SUPers, swimmers and swans. Even in winter, die hard cold-water swimmers often take dips in the early morning. And when it gets really cold, the water in the canal become solid and fill with ice skaters all day long!!
Shopping: Apart from the small shopping strips surrounding the neighbourhoods, the Bilderdijkstraat/Kinkerstraat area is only a 5-minute cycle away and is the major shopping area for the West.
From the Mamas:
We asked members of Amsterdam Mamas to share their experience of living in Centrum and here are some snippets of what they said:
- In the summer, BBQs and picnics fill Erasmus Park, which is the intimate park that is the heart of De Baarjes & Bos en Lommer. The canal alongside the park fill with boats, canoeists, SUPers, swimmers and swans. Even in winter, die hard cold-water swimmers often take dips in the early morning. And when it gets really cold, the water in the canal become solid and fill with ice skaters all day long!! This can last 5 days!
Glossary: (Frequently used words)
Bakfiets: Cargo bike
Negen Straatjes: The Nine Streets of Amsterdam
Albert Heijn: The Safeway/Woolworths of Netherlands. Pronounced “Albert Hein”
Relevant Articles for you:
Types of Bikes
New to Amsterdam
Schooling in Amsterdam
Working in the Netherlands
Buying a car in Amsterdam
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Audrey Coggins is *that* Crazy Asian Lady. That one that is working to develop a strawberry and olive chiffon cake recipe that wins. That one that doesn't take herself seriously - by choice. She has been Amsterdam Mama's Chief Copyeditor, sometime-Content-Manager, and currently is working on being a illustrator.