The lush landscape of the Artis Zoo buildings, photo by basheem
A neighborhood with flair
We the Cheapos do love us some far-flung city character. So, when last in the city of Rembrandt and pancake houses, we opted to stay in Plantagebuurt, where today university buildings and historic remnants reign supreme.
Nestled in the northeastern most part of Amsterdam’s city center, the neighborhood is lush with tree-lined sidewalks and smaller parks and is about a 10 to thirty-minute walk from many sights. Neighborhood attractions include the Rembrandt House Museum, Artis Zoo, and easy walking distance to Nieuwmarkt Square, where you can still see an original guild house or visit the flea markets.
Plantagebuurt was a Jewish neighborhood from the 16th-century when it boasted factories, booming commerce and specialized industry. The neighborhood has always been a bit more isolated by canals and bridge constructions than other parts of Amsterdam, so it’s understandable that in World War II German armies cordoned off the area to create a Jewish ghetto.
When the war ended, many of the tragically deserted homes were destroyed here. Plantagebuurt was eventually restored in the 1970s. Today only the synagogue and the Jewish Museum remind visitors of the neighborhood’s past.
Since Amsterdam is a city on bikes, quite literally, it will take you no time at all to get from Plantagebuurt to the rest of the city’s attractions. Or, you can always hoof it. When the Cheapos were last in Amsterdam, they noted that a good, swift pace got them from the Artis Zoo in Plantagebuurt to Centraal Station in about twenty-five minutes.
If you go, be sure to check out Cafe in de Waag and don’t miss the zoo.
For a list of budget hotels in Amsterdam, visit our guide here.