Zuid is one of Amsterdam's seven boroughs. It is an affluent area and a popular place among foreign visitors. It has some of the country's best museums, fine dining, and lots of opportunities for shopping. It's also where many visitors sleep, as it has a plethora of affordable accommodation options relatively close to the city centre.
During the 1860s, when the Dutch economy grew rapidly, the Canal District became too small for the city's wealthy residents. Development of the Museum Quarter started, named that way because the upper classes of that time found this new area the perfect place for a grand national museum, the Rijksmuseum. The Museum Quarter is Amsterdam's equivalent of Paris' 1st arrondissement. With the later construction of the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum, the area now has three top class museums side by side. The Rijksmuseum, affectionately nicknamed "Rijks" by the locals, is largely similar to the British Museum or the Louvre, and houses a treasure of Dutch Golden Age paintings from Rembrandt, Vermeer, and others. The Van Gogh Museum is the largest collection of paintings and drawings from the post-Impressionist master, while the Stedelijk Museum has an impressive display of modern art. Surrounding the museums are the Vondelpark and the P.C. Hooftstraat, where you can spot Dutch celebrities buying designer shoes and gold watches.
De Pijp was developed around the same time, and city planner Van Niftrik had grand plans for the area. Then known as "neighbourhood YY", it was planned to become the new city centre of Amsterdam. A railway line was supposed to cut the district in half, and Amsterdam Centraal, the city's main railway station, was planned here. The neighbourhood was envisioned with large residential blocks and grand avenues, and it was supposed to have a grandeur that equalled that of Paris. However, the city council struck the plan down, as required land purchases made it too costly, and large tenements were needed to house a growing working class. In 1876, urban planner Kalff came with a new plan, which was accepted, and turned the neighbourhood into an example of revolutiebouw, a late-19th-century architectural movement dedicated to building as much cheap housing as possible for a booming population. Nowadays, De Pijp has gentrified, and blue collar workers are slowly making way for by students, yuppies and foreign-born residents. The Albert Cuyp Market, a large working class street market, is a nationally famous attraction, and the area around the Heinekenplein is Amsterdam's equivalent of Paris' Quartier Latin, a going out area for students and beer lovers.
The Museum Quarter and De Pijp are known together as Oud-Zuid ("Old South"). Between 1917 and 1927, the middle and upper-class neighbourhoods of Nieuw-Zuid ("New South") were built, designed by urban planner Berlage in the Amsterdam School style, a movement of functionalist architecture. The 1928 Olympic Games took place here, as can still be seen by the Olympic Stadium and the Greek names of the streets. In the following decades, Amsterdam kept expanding southwards gobbling up surrounding municipalities with neighbourhoods like Buitenveldert. Since the late 1990s, a large construction project is taking place in an area known as the Zuidas (or "Financial Mile"). It's Amsterdam's central business district, inspired by La Défense in Paris. Yes, Paris again. While some of Zuid's urban planning may have been inspired by that grand city, it has a unique atmosphere and completely stands on its own.
If you are arriving by car, the best advice is to park it at the Olympisch Stadion (Olympic stadium) park and ride and use public transport to get around. The P&R costs 1 Euro for 24 hours if you arrive after 10:00 AM (or anytime in weekends). Otherwise it costs 8 Euro for first 24 hours.
The district's main transportation hub is Amsterdam Zuid, located on the strategic railway line between the Schiphol Airport and Utrecht (with another branch going to Almere), which connects to pretty much all major Dutch cities in provinces other than North and South Holland. Metro lines 50 and 51, tram line 5 and numerous bus lines stop at Amsterdam Zuid allowing easy access to both the district and the rest of Amsterdam. Tram line 5 and Metro 51 run all the way north to Amsterdam Centraal, with the tram stopping close to many major attractions.
Of note is the fact that trains from Schiphol to Amsterdam-Zuid take only 7 minutes and cost half of what trains to Centraal do, so if Zuid is on your list, you may want to begin there and make your way to the north.
Zuid is a vast district and just looking at a map of all the tram lines that go through it can make you dazzle. But it's not that complicated if you know the few lines that are interesting for visitors. From Centraal Station, the fastest tram to the Museum Quarter is line 5, get out at either Hobbemastraat (Rijksmuseum, Vondelpark, P.C. Hooftstraat), Van Baerlestraat (Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum) or Museumplein (Concertgebouw). This line continues to Station Zuid (Zuidas).
For De Pijp, take tram line 16 or 24, stops Stadhouderskade and Albert Cuypstraat. You can also take these lines if you're going to the Olympic Stadium (stop Stadionplein).
For now, only the southern part of the borough is covered by the metro. From Amsterdam Centraal, take metro line 50 or 51 to station RAI or Zuid (for the Zuidas). Metro line 50 then continues in a north-western direction, while metro line 51 connects the district with Amstelveen in the south.
This will change when construction on the Noord/Zuidlijn completes in 2017. This new line will run right through the district along a north/south axis. Planned metro stops are De Pijp, Europaplein and Zuid.
The Museum Quarter has some of the best museums of the world, and especially the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum stand out. A trip to Amsterdam is not complete if you haven't been to at least one of these museums. Catering to its wealthy demographic, there are also two diamond museums here.
- 1 Coster Diamonds, Paulus Potterstraat 2-8 (tram 2 or 5 to Hobbemastraat), ☎ . This stately building is one of Amsterdam's two diamond factories. Guided tours are given showcasing the complicated diamond production process. It looks like just an ordinary jewelry shop, and of course it is, but there is a lot more to it. If you want to purchase diamonds, ask for the tax refund form so you can get up to 12% of the asking price back at the airport. Free.
- 2 Diamant Museum, Paulus Potterstraat 2-8 (tram 2 or 5 to Hobbemastraat), ☎ . 09:00-17:00. This brand new exhibition about the history of diamond trade in Amsterdam. €8.50.
- 3 Heineken Experience (former Heineken Brewery), Stadhouderskade 78 (tram 16 or 24 to Stadhouderskade). M-Su 11:00-19:00, last entry 17:30. Do not expect a beer museum, but rather to be flooded with Heineken advertisements.
- 4 Rijksmuseum, Jan Luijkenstraat 1 (tram 2 or 5 to Hobbemastraat), ☎ . 09:00-17:00 daily (cafe, museum store and cloak room to 18:00). The largest and most prestigious museum for art and history in the Netherlands: works by Vermeer, Rembrandt, and other Dutch masters. Its garden has a curious collection of architecture and has free entrance during museum opening times. Recommend to get there early to avoid long queues and crowds, then head first for the second floor to see the Rembrandt classics and others such as Avercamp's Winter Landscape with Skaters. €17.50 for adults, under 18 free, no discounts for students.
- 5 Stedelijk Museum, Paulus Potterstraat 13 (tram 2 or 5 to Van Baerlestraat), ☎ . Tu-W, F-Su: 10:00-16:00, Th 10:00-22:00. The Stedelijk Museum is the municipal museum of modern art. It has a long history, as it first opened in 1874 and has been at its current location since 1895. It was reopened in 2012 after a renovation that took four years: the newly constructed building is now locally referred to as the "bath tub" due its unique shape. The "bath tub" will host newly acquired film and video expositions, while the highlights remain in the old part of the building. €15.
- 6 Van Gogh Museum, Paulus Potterstraat 7 (tram 2 or 5 to Van Baerlestraat), ☎ . Sa-Th 10:00-18:00, F 10:00-22:00. This museum is dedicated to Vincent van Gogh, a late 19th century Post-Impressionist Dutch painter. The museum is extremely popular so expect to wait in line to get in. best to get there early (is a good cafe inside to keep you going). In the museum are many, but not all, of Van Gogh's works. The museum contains some famous paintings like Sunflowers and Potato Eaters, but lack others such as Starry Night. Also, there are selected works of Monet exhibited there. The audio tour at €5, in the language of your choice, will give you a much better understanding of Van Gogh's life and his paintings. €17 for adults, under 18 free, no discounts for students.
- 7 Museumplein, Willem Sandbergplein,. Not exactly a park, but a large grassed open space. Around its edges are the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum and the Concertgebouw. On a sunny summer day, many locals chill at the grass lawn on top of the Albert Heijn supermarket.
- 8 Sarphatipark. Situated in De Pijp, this is a place where people sunbathe and have picnics in the summer.
- 9 Vondelpark. The only large park that is close to the Binnenstad, and definitely the most popular one. Especially in the summer it is lively and crowded, many locals sit on the grass and enjoy a cold beer or wine. It's a lovely place to just hang out, sit in the sun and meet the locals. Open air theaters are running in the summer on Friday evenings, Saturdays and Sundays.
- 10 Riekermolen (1636) (on the bank of the Amstel river at Kalfjeslaan).
- 1 Concertgebouw, Concertgebouwplein 6 (tram 5, 16 or 24 to Museumplein), ☎ (Dutch phones only). Famous for its orchestra and its acoustics (among the top ten in the world), this is one of the world's most frequently visited concert halls. Classical music is the main fare, but they also bring other kinds of music on stage. They have a free "lunch concert" on Wednesday from 12:30 till 13:00. In the same building is the "Kleine Zaal" ("Small Hall") for more intimate performances, often top-notch as well. It's worth a visit if only for its architecture.
- 2 Friday Night Skate, Vondelpark 3. Put on your skates, and join the popular weekly skate tour (since 1997), a different route every week. Starts every Friday at 20:30 from the Vondelpark (near the former Filmmuseum).
- 3 Rialto, Ceintuurbaan 338 (tram 3 to Tweede van der Helststraat, tram 12 to Ceintuurbaan, night bus 71.), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. For all art-house cinema lovers. All films are shown in their original language with Dutch subtitles. They have late night and classic showings too. Just a short walk from the Albert Cuyp Market/Heineken Brouwerij, in the nice non-touristy neighborhood De Pijp. M-Th €9, F-Su €10.
The population of Zuid is mixed and that becomes most apparent when you're going shopping.
- 1 Albert Cuyp Market. M-Sa 09:00-17:00. Largest street market in Amsterdam, and the best-known street market in the country. It is iconic for the "De Pijp" neighborhood and its working class inhabitants. There is something for everyone here, whether you're looking for delicious Dutch treats, clothing or second-hand cameras. There's also a wide array of stores that cater to the city's Surinamese, Antillean, Turkish and Moroccan inhabitants, giving the market and neighborhood a strong multicultural feel. Can get very crowded, so watch out for pickpockets.
- 2 Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat (P.C. Hooftstraat). Probably the wealthiest street of the country where Dutch celebrities go for a new pair of designer shoes. Better bring a filled wallet if you're planning to buy something here.
De Pijp is an excellent area for getting ethnic food that belongs to former Dutch colonies, such as Indonesian or Surinamese cuisine. Koreans have congregated in the area known as Buitenveldert, so that's an excellent location for Korean cuisine.
- 1 Albina, Albert Cuypstraat 69. It's cheap and very good. If you arrive around dinnertime you probably have to wait for a table. The surroundings are depressing but the food is so good you will come back anyway. €6.
- Tijns Exotische Broodjes, Willem van Weldammelaan 55, 1082 DD (Gelderlandplein), ☎ . Tasty, great value Surinamese take-out. Located a short walk from the Zuidas area hotels. A few tables are also available to eat in.
- 2 Dosa, Overtoom 146 (Vondelpark), ☎ . They specialise in traditional Southern Indian cuisine, especially the eponymous 'Dosa' (a rice and lentil pancake with a variety of fillings). The food is outstanding and well worth hunting out. The dosas are exceptional and a treat worthy of a visit by themselves.
- 3 Sari Citra, Ferdinand Bolstraat 52 (De Pijp), ☎ . Located just off the far end of the De Pijp neighborhood's famous the Albert Cuyp Market, Sari Citra is one of the most delicious and most affordable Indonesian restaurants in town. Be sure to try several of the selections as the friendly staff builds a plate for you. Don't show up right at 5PM unless you feel like waiting in line behind a lot of hungry locals just getting off work. Open during the week from 2PM-9PM, and from 3PM-9PM on weekends.
- 4 CTaste, Amsteldijk 55, 1074 HX Amsterdam, ☎ . Dining in the dark. All waiters are blind, and serve you dinner in a completely dark restaurant. A very weird, but actually quite fun experience.
- 5 FRNZY, Eerste Jacob van Campenstraat 27 H, ☎ . Small restaurant with indoor and street seating. Serves good noodle salads and sandwiches with a Vietnamese influence.
- OCCII, Amstelveenseweg 134 (Tram Amstelveenseweg). A rock venue for cutting edge music (punk, noise, riot grrrl, etc).
- Club Media. Completely organic menu, fair selection, good prices, lovely staff, free fruit!
- Katsu. Just around the corner from Media, good prices + nice atmosphere.
Bars and beer gardens
- 2 De Roos, Pieter Cornelisz Hooftstraat 183 (on the edge of Vondelpark). Quite tea house with small garden.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:|
|Mid-range||€80 to €150|
Due to the area being cheaper than the center, Zuid has become the most popular location for budget and mid-range hotels.
- 1 Flying Pig Uptown, Vossiusstraat 46 (tram 2 or 5 to Rijksmuseum), ☎ , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. A bit loud and boisterous for travelers looking to relax but perfect for those looking to meet people from all over the world and get the true "Amsterdam Experience". Lockers require lockpads, which are not available for rent, only sale for €5. dorms €16, room €33.
- 2 Hotel ABBA, Overtoom 118-122 (Vondelpark, Tram: Overtoom or Eerste Constantijn Huygensstraat), ☎ . Cheap but clean hotel, close to the Van Gogh and Rijksmuseum.
- 3 Hostel Cosmos, Frans van Mierisstraat 69a (tram 5 to Museumplein), ☎ . Friendly youth hostel. dorm €24 per person.
- 4 The Poet Hotel Amsterdam, Jan Luijkenstraat 44 (near the Museum Quarter), ☎ . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 11:00. A new boutique hotel in Zuid, just around the corner from Museumplein. from €69.
- 5 Sphinx Hotel, Weteringschans 82, De Weteringschans, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Check-in: 15:00 - 23:00 hours, check-out: Until 11:00. From single rooms to five people sharing, steep stairs and no lift, shared or private bathrooms (quite small), very close to the museums.
- 6 Stayokay Vondelpark, Zandpad 5 (Tram Stadhouderskade), ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: early check-in begins at 7:30AM, rooms available at 2PM, check-out: 10:30AM. Fairly large youth hostel, very clean and professional, operated by the Dutch affiliate of Hostelling International. Next to the pleasant Vondelpark, puts you on the southern side of downtown and just a few blocks from the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum. The breakfast is filling and has a social atmosphere. This location is popular with school groups. Bring a padlock for your locker, or purchase one at the desk. Dorms €17+, privates €50+.
- 7 Van Ostade Bicycle Hotel, Van Ostadestraat 123 (Tram Tweede van der Helststraat), ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. A walk or short tram ride from the centre of the action, yet far enough away to feel safe. Surrounded by fantastic architecture with reasonable rates, even on peak. Rooms from single to quadruple and optional en suite. Comes with free coffee, breakfast and wireless internet access. Great for students. Doubles €50-85, doubles ensuite €80-120..
- 8 ibis Styles Amsterdam City, Stadhouderskade 135, ☎ . Check-in: 14.00, check-out: 11.00. The hotel offers the latest requirements of 3 star hotel. All the floors are reachable by elevator. All rooms have their own private bathrooms.
- 9 Hotel Flipper, Borssenburgstraat 5, ☎ . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 11:00. Hotel Flipper Amsterdam is very attractive with its peaceful location in a quiet residential area in the southern part of Amsterdam.
- 10 Hotel City Garden, P.C. Hooftstraat 162, ☎ . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 11:00. The hotel has 70 rooms with stylish interior and a beautiful view.
- 11 citizenM (Amsterdam City), Prinses Irenestraat 30, ☎ . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 11:00. Second property by citizenM hotels, opened in 2009. Located on Beethovenstraat in Oud-Zuid. Rooms include free WiFi and movies, a rainshower, and an XL kingsize bed with luxury linens. From €69 - €120.
- 12 Gresham Memphis Hotel, De Lairessestraat 87, ☎ . Singles from €70 and doubles from €90.
- 13 Holiday Inn Amsterdam, De Boelelaan 2 (Near the RAI conference centre. 15 minutes by tram #4 from city centre.), ☎ . Ticks all the main boxes for facilities but about due for a refurbishment.
- 14 Park Plaza Vondelpark Amsterdam, Koninginneweg 34-36, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Ideally situated right by the Vondelpark, Museum Quarter within walking distance. Close to Amsterdam's famous upscale shopping street, PC Hooftstraat and the business district Zuidas and the RAI Congress Centre.Free Wi-Fi in public areas. from €69-€120.
- 15 Roemer Hotel, Roemer Visscherstraat 10, ☎ . Trendy boutique hotel. Doubles from €129.
- 16 Dorint Airport-Hotel Amsterdam, Sloterweg 299, 1171 VB Badhoevedorp, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. The hotel offers 222 rooms & suites. from € 99 per room/night.
- 17 Bilderberg Garden Hotel, Dijsselhofplantsoen 7, ☎ , fax: , e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Five star hotel just off the Apollolaan and only a short walk to the city centre.
- 18 Hilton Amsterdam Apollolaan, Apollolaan 138, ☎ . Site of John Lennon's and Yoko Ono's bed-in. Located in an upscale, older neighbourhood outside of the city centre (Oud-Zuid) but close to the Rijksmuseum and Vondelpark. Nationally famous for being the site where Dutch artist Herman Brood committed suicide by jumping from the roof. From €200.
- 19 Hotel Okura, Ferdinand Bolstraat 333, ☎ . Five star Japanese-owned and operated hotel with an excellent range of Japanese food, clothing, and book shops in the basement, and wireless internet in the lobby, bar, and conference rooms. The only drawback is that it's relatively distant from the central station (15 minutes by tram), but worth considering if work is paying and you don't mind taking cabs. €275.
- 20 Park Hotel Amsterdam, Stadhouderskade 25, ☎ . Bang in the middle of Amsterdam between Leidseplein, Rijksmuseum and P.C. Hooftstraat. Four star hotel spread over several historical buildings. Parking. Very friendly staff. From €149.
- 21 Conservatorium Hotel, Van Baerlestraat 27, ☎ . Located in the heart of Amsterdam is the brand new five-star hotel and Amsterdam's best kept secret up to date. The Conservatorium offers 129 luxurious guest suites spread throughout 8 floors. Opening soon...
- Hotel JL No76, Jan Luijkenstraat 76, ☎ , e-mail: email@example.com. Hotel JL No76 is a luxury boutique hotel near the Vondelpark.
The Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum have free Wi-Fi throughout the museum, and the Stedelijk Museum has Wi-Fi and laptop connections available in the reading room of its library. Bagels & Beans branches also offer unlimited free Wi-Fi access, and can be found in the Ferdinand Bolstraat (near the Albert Cuyp Market and Heinekenplein), Van Baerlestraat (near the P.C. Hooftstraat and Vondelpark) and the Pernassusweg (near the Zuidas).
If you want to go completely off the beaten track, visit the urban forest Amsterdamse Bos in Amstelveen. It's three times the size of New York's Central Park and visited by 4.5 million visitors annually (mostly locals). You can have a walk, hire a bicycle or go rowing or riding. If you're with children, visit the pancake restaurant or the petting zoo.
|Routes through Zuid|
|Binnenstad ← Canal District ←||N S||→ Amstelveen|
|Binnenstad ← Canal District ←||N S||→ END|
|West ←||W E||→ Oost → Binnenstad|
|Binnenstad ← Oost ←||N S||→ Amstelveen|