The Jordaan district is located in the western part of the historic city centre of Amsterdam alongside the city’s famous Prinsengracht Canal. The area is made up of a series of pretty parallel streets, many of which have trees and flowers in their names. Indeed it is thought that the name Jordaan might have originally come from the French word ‘jardin’ meaning ‘garden’. Established in the early 17th century, the Jordaan remained for centuries a very poor and overcrowded area. By the 1960s many of the buildings in the area were largely in a state of disrepair following the war and amazingly the city council made pans to actually demolish large parts of the neighbourhood. Following residents’ vociferous protests and outright street battles, the plans were changed and the neighbourhood was restored to its traditional character. Since then this unique district has certainly come into its own with its beautiful architecture, enchanting inner courtyards, traditional ‘brown’ pubs, boutiques and art galleries. It is now one of the most sought after locations to live in the Netherlands and adored by visitors to the city.
The Jordaan boasts many interesting places to explore during your visit. Many people are enthralled by the pretty houseboats on the canals in the area. If you have any questions about life on the water then pay a visit to the House Boat Museum at 296K Prinsengracht. Visitors can climb aboard a pretty House Boat called the Hendrika Maria and find out what it really feels like inside. You will be surprised how spacious and comfortable it really is.
Look out for the interesting stone tablets on the facades of many of the buildings in the area. They denote the professions or the family name of the original inhabitants, some of them dating back to the 16th century. You may notice a carving of a pair of scissors, meaning a tailor or perhaps a pig for a butcher’s establishment. Some of them have been beautifully restored and painted.
On the very edge of the Jordaan you will find the Netherland’s most visited museum, the Anne Frank House Museum at 263 Prinsengracht. Anne, her family and friends lived in secret at the very top of this warehouse building in hiding from the Nazi regime during the war until their unfortunate discovery. Arrive as early as possible in order to avoid the extremely long queues that occur particularly in the summer months.
Our Jordaan apartments
The Jordaan makes the perfectly location for a short stay in the city (see our Jordaan selection below). Its central position means you can explore all the major visitor attractions in the city on foot with ease. We have a full range of extremely stunning Jordaan apartments for you to choose from. Simply state the date of your visit and click the search button for availability information. If you need further assistance or have any questions then please contact our helpful and friendly support team.
Note: This information was accurate at time of posting but often establishments change without notice. Please be sure to confirm details directly with the locations before making plans. Copyright 2012.
by James Fisher