Walk the Amsterdam’s Da Costabuurt
In this walk, we’re exploring one of the most lively areas of Amsterdam. One part will be in the Da Costabuurt, named after Isaac Da Costa – a famous Dutch poet and historian. Even though it’s mostly a residential part of town it has quite some secret places to be uncovered!
The other part is along the outer edge of the Baarsjes. The Baarsjes used to be a ‘polder’ outside of the city limits mostly used for horticulture and gardening. You can still see some remnants of that if you look closely and pay attention to the area. But before you put on your overalls and get your shovel ready to go, let’s explore the area by foot.
Enjoy your walk!
Total Walking Time: 40 min
Directions:Link or click the top right corner of the map to open full screen in Google Maps
FYI: the technology behind Google Maps is sometimes a bit shaky, so sometimes you need to click the link more than once, or zoom in to get the route view. Apologies for the inconvenience.
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Da Costabuurt Route Highlights
Highlight A: Het Sieraad
Het Sieraad (or ‘the jewel’) was built back in 1924 and is yet another typical example of the ‘Amsterdam school’ style. Why there is so much ‘Amsterdam School’ architecture in the city, beats us! Anyway, today Het Sieraad is an office place that is also used for events and lectures. Yet, the original intent of the building was to be a school for crafts. In 1949 Queen Juliana herself came for a visit, together with Prince Bernard in honor of Het Sieraad’s 25th anniversary. This was back when buildings still celebrated their birthdays. For those who like secret parties: once a month there is a ‘VrijMiBo’ (Friday after-work drinks) hosted in the middle square. The party is called ‘Edelwise’.
Highlight B: Westermoskee
As you walk along the Baarsjesweg you’ll pass an enormous mosque. This is Amsterdam’s Westermoskee or ‘Western Mosque’. The Western Mosque is actually the largest mosque we have, just like the nearby Western Church is our biggest church*. Its development was actually quite turbulent. The city government decided that the design was too large for the area, but the Islamic community had already bought the ground. The discussion between the two parties became so intense that the police had to be called in on one occasion. Yet the final result is magnificent!
Highlight C: Natuurtuin Slatuinen
As you enter what is probably the cutest street of Amsterdam, you should be able to find a little doorway between Slatuinenweg 43 and 47. This doorway leads to the Slatuinen (or Lettuce Gardens), one of the last remnants of the Baarsjes polder. This is a little public city garden that you can go into on Thursday and Sunday afternoons. It used to be a public park with a larger entrance from a different side. Once houses were built at that entrance and 39 trees were chopped down without any apparent reason, the residents of the area decided to turn the empty space into public gardens with a social and educational function. Power to the people, yeah!
Highlight D: Druis
In the little Bilderdijkpark, there is a small restaurant on the waterside called Druis. It’s the perfect place to eat Burgundian cuisine with a bottle of fine wine on the side. The plates they use were actually found during amateur excavations by the owner and this grandfather. Who knows, maybe Julius Ceasar ate off the same plate?
Highlight E: De Nieuwe Liefde
Cultural center ‘De Nieuwe Liefde’ (The New Love) is the place where language arts can be found at their best! They do literary plays, spoken word-concerts, and pretty much anything else that has something to do with literature. The white warehouse was built in 1904 for the storage of wine and it was actually one of the first warehouses in the world to be built out of reinforced concrete. Through the years the building has been a warehouse, a parish, a theatre school, and now a cultural center. What’s next, a ‘Yoga studio’?
Highlight F: De Trut
[This paragraph is for adult eyes only] This highlight might be more of a fun fact, but did you know there is quite an intense gay club in the basement of the old squatters house on Bilderdijk 165E? It was founded in 1985 due to the lack of dance clubs for gay squatters. It’s called the ‘Trut’ which roughly translates to ‘bitch’. Their slogan: Voor ‘potten & flikkers’ means ‘for dykes and faggots’. As said; quite an intense place…
Highlight G: De Hallen
This huge building used to be a tram depot, but has been renovated into a beautiful cultural center. You enter into the former tram parking lots that have been transformed into a movie theatre, food court, hotel, music shop, but no yoga studio (missed opportunity). Even if you didn’t visit any of these, you can still go into the main hall just to appreciate the awesome job the architects have done on renovating this old tram depot.
In our Private Food Tour we sometimes end in the Hallen. If you want to taste the best of the Dutch cuisine with your friends, we would love to see you in our tour.
Your Fav Hidden Gems
The above highlights are just some of our favorite spots along the way. If something catches your eye while en route, share a picture with us so we can share with the group next week. Email is best to email@example.com 🙂
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