Location and History
Westerpark is located Northwest of the centre of Amsterdam. It is bound by the IJ Harbour to the North, Nassaukade to the East and Centrale Markthallen to the South and West. This borough comprised the following areas: Spaarndammerbuurt, Staatsliedenbuurt, Frederik Hendrikbuurt and the Houthavens. As a neighbourhood it was built up at the end of the 19th century to accommodate workers. Very close to the Jordaan and the city centre, Westerpark is relatively quiet. The most beautiful section, Spaarndammerbuurt, has some of the most epic examples of the Amsterdam School of Architecture.
Like the rest of West, this formerly working-class area has been subjected to rapid regeneration and is now home to a varied mix of independent shops, old-school street markets, shiny new restaurants, traditional brown cafés and young expat and Amsterdammer families. Its multiculturalism and diversity plays out nicely both the street and surrounding parks. It offers endless shopping opportunities, dining, and entertainment. With its central location, it is great for those who want a little bit of everything.
The Westergasfabriek is a former gasworks that has been completely renovated and now houses a brilliant selection of cafés, charming eateries with plenty of outdoor space, regular food and design markets, an art-house cinema and a variety of small creative businesses. Many large cultural events, festivals and club nights take place here throughout the year, and some of the buildings can be hired for events (such as Amsterdam Fashion Week), parties or weddings. Architecture fans can learn about the Amsterdam School style of architecture, ubiquitous in the area, at the Museum called “Het Schip”. This building itself is an Architectural delight to visit.
Westerpark is currently one of Amsterdam’s all around best areas to invest in. It is in close proximity to the Jordaan, but offers reasonably priced apartments. Oud West has a diverse population, which means that buying an apartment here puts you in the middle of an accepting and dynamic community. Citizens range from upper-class Dutch families living in mansions to hard-working immigrants renting cosy flats. The district has a noticeably relaxed atmosphere and is almost devoid of snobbery, crime or haste. It is comfortingly free of tourists and has excellent public transport links to the rest of the city.