© Koen Smilde

Amsterdam Oost

Amsterdam Oost has it all. Pronounced to rhyme with ‘most’, this collection of neighborhoods in the east of the city offer a great change of pace, as they’re home to family-friendly museums, a fun-filled zoo and some of the city’s most dazzling architecture. What’s more, the area’s celebrated green spaces and wide, leafy avenues offer an alternative to the hustle and bustle of the nearby city center, ensuring a fantastic time for kids and families.

Typically Amsterdam Oost

Amsterdam Oost is one of the Dutch capital’s most diverse cultural hotspots. It’s packed full with memorable restaurants, bars and museums, and is home to Oosterpark, a large city park with winding paths. Don’t miss the wide avenues and green space of De Plantage neighborhood. Located slightly east of Amsterdam’s center, this neighborhood’s elegant squares and spaces are home to some of the city’s top attractions, including the Hortus Botanicus, the Dutch branch of the celebrated Hermitage Museum and Artis Royal Zoo.

Another treasure in the east of Amsterdam is the Oostelijke Eilanden, which translates to Eastern Docklands. Surrounded by water, this neighborhood was once the base of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). Freshly regenerated, with many of the former shipping warehouses converted into modern apartment blocks, office space and cultural hotspots during the past 10 to 15 years, it’s now home to some of Amsterdam’s most innovative architecture, including a 300-foot-long crimson bridge that winds like a snake: the Pythonbrug.

Things to do in Amsterdam Oost

Culture lovers visiting Amsterdam Oost will find plenty to immerse themselves in. The iconic Hermitage, located on the bank of the River Amstel, exhibits historical art and objects from the Hermitage’s collection in St. Petersburg. There’s also the National Maritime Museum (Het Scheepvaartmuseum) in the Oostelijke Eilanden. When visiting, don’t miss the chance to climb aboard the replica of ‘The Amsterdam’, a Dutch East India Company ship that was originally launched in 1749. Nearby is the NEMO Science Museum, an attraction designed to enlighten and entertain a wide range of ages for hours. Plus the area is also home to the Tropenmuseum, an educational ethnographic museum (including a children’s museum) situated within a large, decorative building from the 1920s.

If you love music, head to the beautifully designed Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ and Bimhuis. The former is Amsterdam’s concert hall for contemporary classical music. Opened in 2005, its eye-catching glass-façade hides a cutting-edge performances space that has won numerous architecture awards. Attached to the complex is the Bimhuis, a protruding black box that frequently hosts the biggest names in jazz, blues and world music.

There’s also De Plantage’s, one of the oldest zoos in mainland Europe – a must-see attraction for families visiting Amsterdam. Artis is home to more than 750 animal species, while its luscious gardens are a treat in the spring and summer, when a seemingly endless variety of trees and flowers bloom in a flurry of vibrant color and fragrance. Situated right next to Artis is Micropia, a knowledge-packed museum dedicated to microbes and bacteria.

Where to eat in Amsterdam Oost

Amsterdam has a long history with fishing; there’s a reason that raw herring is still seen as something of a delicacy among locals. Needless to say, the city has a variety of high-quality fish restaurants, and one of the trendiest is in Oost: Visbar Beet. The restaurant offers a variety of fish dishes – all sustainable – from the classic fish and chips to the quintessential Dutch herring. There’s a focus on shared eating, too, which is great for groups.

Another excellent eatery in Oost is De Groene Olifant. Fittingly, the restaurant – which translates to ‘The Green Elephant’ – is right behind Artis. It’s frequented by locals and visitors alike, who can’t get enough of its Italian-inspired menu and Dutch brown café vibe. While just across the road is Restaurant Elkaar, a quaint restaurant with a terrace overlooking the old city gate. Visitors can enjoy the typically French-Mediterranean cuisine or make it their own with the à la carte option.

Or if you’d prefer to just wander and see what takes your fancy, take a stroll along the Czaar Peterstraat, voted Holland’s best shopping street in 2015. With the Brouwerij 't IJ, a brewery in a windmill, nearby, as well as hip hangout Roest, you’re sure to fill up on some fantastic food and drink along the way.

Where to stay in Amsterdam Oost

Amsterdam Oost has a plethora of hotels that have something for every visitor. One convenient option is Hotel Arena. This four-star hotel is within walking distance of Oosterpark and also has an in-house restaurant with a daily menu that makes use of seasonal ingredients from the building’s very own herb garden. An affordable stay can also be found in Hotel Plantage, just a couple of minutes from Artis. But if you really want to get into the designer feel of Oost, you can’t go wrong with a visit to the Lloyd Hotel. This innovative establishment is peppered with beautiful pockets of traditional and modern Dutch design. Several renowned Dutch architects and designers from diverse backgrounds completely redesigned the hotel, making for some truly unconventional styles. This makes the hotel perfect for any aspirating artist or creative type. The best part: the hotel offers rooms rated from 1 to 5 stars, covering all price categories, meaning there really is an option for everyone.

Book your ticket

Book a discounted combi ticket for Artis Royal Zoo and Micropia to experience the best of the natural world - both big and small.

Editor's pick

When the sun shines, head to the small but beautifully sculpted Park Frankendael. Young ones will love its adventure playground, while grownups will struggle to resist the mouth-watering menu of restaurant De Kas, which showcases organic food grown in its own greenhouse.

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