Anyone who seeks an authentic café (pub) experience 'with the locals' will love the Jordaan. Off the tourist radar, the West attracts an artsy crowd.

Drink Like a Jordaanian

There's a certain hard-drinking, hard-living spirit left over from the Jordaan's working-class days, when the neighbourhood burst with 80,000 residents (compared to today's 20,000) and brown cafés (bars) functioned as a refuge from the slings and arrows of workaday life.

Local bastions that are still going strong include the following:


A stone's throw northwest of the Jordaan, the late-19th-century Dutch Renaissance Westergasfabriek complex adjacent to the Westerpark was the city's western gasworks until gas production ceased in 1967. The site was heavily polluted and underwent a major clean-up before it re-emerged as a cultural and recreational park, with lush lawns, a long wading pool, cycleways and sports facilities.

The post-industrial buildings now house creative spaces such as advertising agencies and TV production studios, as well as regular festivals and events – including the Sunday Market, a quality craft and gourmet food event.

Westergasfabriek's slew of dining, drinking and entertainment options includes the following: