West is a vast inner city area of Amsterdam. Administratively it consists of the boroughs West and Nieuw-West, and it also includes the harbor area along the IJ that is directly controlled by the municipal authorities. The district is often overlooked by travelers, but it does have some interesting places to see, especially for those interested in modern architecture such as the Amsterdam School style. The district can be divided in two parts: the 19th and early 20th century Oud-West, a quickly gentrifying part of town and the Nieuw-West area a suburban area. Most travelers will stick to Oud-West
Due to a strong population increase in the second half of the 19th century, Amsterdam needed to expand in a westwards direction from the city center. The first street that was built was the Vondelstraat, in an area now known as the Vondelbuurt. It was designed by the architect Pierre Cuypers, and became an affluent street with stately mansions bordering the Vondelpark. The horse tram ran through this street from 1877 till 1903, but was then superseded by the electric tram line 1 that runs along the larger avenue Overtoom just north of it (and is still running the same course after a century). Together with the Kinkerstraat, these streets make up the central area of West and are the most interesting for travelers to visit.
The neighborhoods north of it, the Frederik Hendrikbuurt, Staatsliedenbuurt, Zeeheldenbuurt and Spaarndammerbuurt, were constructed around this period as well. They revolve around the Westerpark, which was constructed in 1890 at the site of the city's former gasworks. It's now a lively park, and the surrounding area serves as a cultural hotspot for artists and students. There are hip cafes, eateries, galleries, clubs, and a cinema that primarily shows Dutch art films (but there are usually some English films too). The Houthavens east of the park has some remarkable architecture: the Silodam, basically a giant horizontal Jenga tower on water, surrounded by the historical Graansilo and Stenen Silo, old grain silos built in the late 19th century.
In 1921, Amsterdam absorbed the former municipality of Sloten. A year later, the Plan West was launched that proposed the construction of 6000 new houses in the neighborhood now known as De Baarsjes. They were to be built in the Amsterdam School style, an Expressionist style that was critical of the Neo-Renaissance style in which many buildings were designed before. Construction of the neighborhood took place between 1925 and 1927, and some areas were built in the contrasting New Objectivity style, such as the Mercatorplein by H. P. Berlage. The best examples of the Amsterdam School style can be found in the Spaarndammerbuurt, for example 'Het Schip' by Michel de Klerk in the Zaanstraat and Oostzaanstraat, which now houses a museum dedicated to the style.
After 1950 construction of a large residential district began in the area now west of the motorway A10. These were initially known as the Westelijke Tuinsteden, but are now part of the borough of Nieuw-West ("New West") and usually called out by that name. It's a multicultural borough with a strong presence of Turkish and Moroccan communities. Unfortunately the area used to make headlines for safety issues, but it has seen improvements recently due to reconstruction projects. The northern end of this area, around Sloterdijk railway station, is now a booming business center that takes advantage of Amsterdam's harbor immediately to the north of it along the IJ.
The line between Amsterdam Centraal, Amsterdam's main train station in the heart of its city centre, and Amsterdam Airport Schiphol runs through the middle of Amsterdam-West. There are two stations on that line - Amsterdam Lelylaan and Amsterdam Sloterdijk. All trains between Schiphol and Centraal stop at both of them. Sloterdijk is a major interchange, situated on a railway crossing between the north-south line (serving all of North Holland north of Amsterdam and connecting to South Holland via Schiphol) and the east-west line between Amsterdam and Haarlem. Trains running to Sloterdijk through Amsterdam Centraal connect the station to much of the rest of the country, with some stopping at Lelylaan as well.
Both Sloterdijk and Lelylaan are also metro stations on line 50. Apart from them, there are 7 other station in the district, including the terminus at Isolatorweg. While line 50 serves West, and especially Nieuw-West, very well, it doesn't go to the city centre but rather to the Zuid and Zuidoost. You can change to other metro lines at Station Zuid or all stations further south to go to other districts, including the centre.
Amsterdam's extensive tram network has many lines extending from the city centre towards terminii in the West. Those are your best bets for getting to and from the city centre.
- Line 1 goes from Amsterdam Centraal through Leidseplein and Vondelbuurt in Oud-West, and then through Station Lelylaan to Osdorp de Aker in the far west
- Line 2 diverts from the 1 at Leidseplein towards Rijksmuseum, passes the Vondelpark on the southern side, runs through Nieuw-West perpendicular to the metro (meeting it at Heemsteedestraat) and terminates at Nieuw Sloten in the south-west.
- Line 13 runs from Amsterdam Centraal through Jordaan and northern Oud West, then stops at the north end of Rembrandtpark, metro station Jan van Galen-Straat and terminates in Geuzenveld
- Line 17 runs from Amsterdam Centraal through Jordaan as well, but traverses Oud West further south and stops by Lelylaan station to terminate at Osdorp Dirkgrafplein
- Lines 7 and 14 start at Sloterpark terminus over the Slotermeer and travel through metro station De Vlugtlaan, with line 14 then running alongside line 13, and line 7 joining line 17. Both do not go to Amsterdam Centraal - line 14 goes through the very centre stopping at Dam and Spui, and line 7 takes a big loop along the canal ring, stopping in. al. at Leidseplein
- Line 12 is the only tram line serving Sloterdijk station, making a big loop through Oud-West, Museumkwartier and De Pijp to Amstelstation
- Line 3 is a branch of Line 12 going to Zoutkeestgracht instead of Sloterdijk and station Muiderpoort instead of Amstel
- Line 18 runs regularly from Slotervaart via Mercatorplein, de Markthallen, Frederik hendrikbuurt and Haarlemmerplein to Amsterdam Centraal station
- Line 21 runs regularly from Geuzenveld via Slotermeer, Bos en Lommerplein, Staatsliedenbuurt, (the beautiful) Frederik hendrikplantsoen and Haarlemmer Houttuinen to Amsterdam Centraal station
- 1 Museum Het Schip. A museum about the Amsterdam School architectural style, housed in a building that is probably the city's best example of that style. Open Tuesday to Sunday 11AM to 5PM, entrance €7.50, includes 20 min. guided tour.
- 2 Rembrandtpark. Not too far west of the Vondelpark, but much quieter and larger in size.
- 3 [dead link]Westerpark. Newly expanded park, at the western edge of the centre, with cultural activities in a former gas factory. Access from Haarlemmerweg.
Scattered over the district are plenty of windmills, however, none of them are open to the public (but they do look good on pictures).
- 4 De 1100 Roe (1674). In the Ookmeer sports fields along Ma Braunpad.
- 5 De 1200 Roe (1632), Haarlemmerweg 701. Near Seineweg.
- 6 De Bloem (1878), Haarlemmerweg 465. at Nieuwpoortkade.
- 7 De Otter (1631). A restored and functioning sawmill, opposite Buyskade, west of the Jordaan.
- 8 Molen van Sloten, Akersluis 10 (about 10 minutes walk from the terminus of tram line 2), ☎ . open daily from 10:00AM to 4PM.. In Zuid, the only one open for visitors
- 1 Ten Katemarkt, Ten Katestraat 97-99. M-Sa 08:00-17:00. Third largest in Amsterdam with food, households, flowers and clothing.
- Club 8, Admiraal de Ruijterweg 56b. A large alternative place with lots of art on its walls. There's ping pong, a very local and fairly young crowd.
- Flex Bar, Pazzanistraat 1 (Tram: Van Limburg Stirumstraat, in the Westerpark), ☎ . often until 05:00. Flex Bar is known for its innovative musical program and their open minded approach towards music as well as their public. Expect electro, techno, house, dubstep, hiphop, indie, funk and soul.
- MissOrtelia (Baarjes), Orteliuskade 51-I, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: flexible, check-out: 10.30. Free luggage store. Free bikes - Wi-fi free - breakfast included. 40/90€.
- Holiday Inn Express Amsterdam - Sloterdijk Station, Zaventemweg 3. This new HIExpress is right in the midst of the web of tracks extending around Sloterdijk station, making it very convenient for travel to just about any point in Amsterdam. That said, the actual area around the hotel is a sombre office park and a huge "transferium", so it is best to only come there to sleep and have (free) breakfast.
- MEININGER Hotel Amsterdam City West, Orlyplein 1-67. The MEININGER chain's properties sit somewhere between budget hotels and hostels, with available multi-person rooms with bunk beds and on-site laundrette. The hotel is relatively new and visually attractive if rather basic inside. Again, staying in the midst of Sloterdijk is great for transit possibilities and rather unexciting regarding everything else. €41.
- Bastion Hotel Zuidwest, Nachtwachtlaan 11, ☎ .
- Ramada Apollo Amsterdam Centre, Staalmeesterslaan 410. The Ramada is a solid, recently remodelled property, but calling it "Amsterdam Centre" was not even close to reality, as the hotel is at the remote of Rembrandtpark, close to the A10 ringroad running across Amsterdam-West. That said, you will find getting to the city quite easy thanks to them tram 13 stop at the hotel's back and the park provides a tranquil environment. The best rooms have great views of Amsterdam over the park, the less fortunate guests will have to enjoy residential blocks of Slotervaart. The good news is that the hotel has a top-floor restaurant, bar and terrace for everybody to enjoy the best views.
- 1 Amsterdam Marriott Hotel, Stadhouderskade 12. At the border of Oud-West and the Canal District, this old-fashioned Marriott can offer a relatively attractive rate and still has a convenient location for exploring the city centre.
- 2 Park Plaza Amsterdam Airport, Melbournestraat 1, Lijnden, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The hotel has 19 meeting rooms as well as 6 business suites. The hotel provides free shuttle service from and to the airport as well as free wi-fi in public areas. From €79.
|Routes through West|
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