Tucked in the heart of the Amsterdam World Heritage Canal Belt, you’ll find an area known in Dutch as “de 9 Straatjes” or “Negen Straatjes.” Located among the picturesque streets behind the Royal Palace on Dam Square, the district’s name translates to the “nine streets” or the “nine little streets.”
Built near the end of the city’s Golden age, the district literally does consist of nine streets in Amsterdam, which include:
- Oude Spiegelstraat
- Wijde Heisteeg
What once began as a small selection of shops on nine side streets has now become one of Amsterdam’s most famous shopping districts. Today, the 400-year-old streets of the district are bustling with a charming collection of diverse shops including vintage clothing stores, art galleries, gift shops, restaurants, and more.
If you plan to visit Amsterdam for the first time, then a visit to de 9 straatjes is a must! Not only will you enjoy great food and shopping, but the views in this part of the city are epic Instagram posts just begging to happen.
Join us for a look at the best things to do in the nine streets neighborhood. Whether you’re looking for the best shops or an awesome place to have a cup of coffee, we’ve got you covered.
Things To Do In Amsterdam’s Nine Streets District
1. Start Your 9 Straatjes Adventure With Coffee
As with any adventure, it’s best to ensure you’re sufficiently caffeinated before setting off to explore everything the 9 straatjes have to offer. Luckily, the neighbourhood is home to plenty of great coffee shops, such as local favorites like Screaming Beans and Kaldi.
You’ll also find great grab-and-go breakfast options at cafes like Chun. Or check out the ultra-trendy Strain Hunters Coffeeshop, which occupies a historical building that was once home to Frans Banning Cocq, who was featured in Rembrandt’s painting The Night Watch.
2. Enjoy Shopping in Vintage Stores de Negen Straatjes Are Known For
Not only is central Amsterdam known for its historical architecture, but for its many vintage clothing stores. You can’t go wrong shopping at Bij ons vintage, which is quite possibly the most famous vintage shop in the neighbourhood.
You’ll also find plenty of cool vintage threads at popular shops like Episode and Zipper. Other great stores include King Louie, where you can buy vintage-inspired threads, and Concrete Matter, which sells everything from quality men’s clothing to home accessories.
See Related: Cheapest Shopping Destinations in the World
3. Cruise the Canals of Historic Amsterdam
Part of what makes the 9 straatjes district so beautiful is that it’s home to the gorgeous canals that run through the city centre. You’ll find plenty of opportunities to enjoy them firsthand, such as a classic Rederij P. Kooij canal cruise.
There are also fun, specialized choices available, such as this canal cruise, which includes a local guide and an onboard bar, or this wine and cheese canal cruise. You can also explore nearby Jordaan or go on a historical, insight-packed walking tour of the area.
4. Explore the Eclectic Shops of the Amsterdam 9 Streets District
In addition to vintage stores, the nine little streets shopping area includes a selection of off-beat shops that are dedicated to everything under the sun. Pontifex_Kaarsen is an old-fashioned candle shop, complete with an on-site doll repair expert.
You’ll find vinyl heaven at Waxwell Records, while the resident shop cat at Boekie Woekie will welcome you to browse a huge collection of books by artists. Look no further than De Gamekeeper for the chance to buy any board game you can imagine and plenty you’ve probably never heard of.
5. Enjoy Excellent Food Overlooking a Beautiful Amsterdam Canal
Take a break after all that shopping with a meal at one of the many great restaurants in the Nine Streets (“de 9 straatjes”). Snack on the legendary “Dutch fries” at Fabel Friet or launch into carb heaven with the Italian cuisine you’ll find at Bussia.
Discover why Lebanese Sajeria is a local favorite when you enjoy classic Lebanese food with a fun, modern twist. Or treat yourself to a trip to the Michelin-starred Restaurant Vinkeles at the Dylan Hotel.
See Related: Best Canals in Amsterdam You Need to See
6. Try the Most Popular Drink in Amsterdam
Among the authentic shops along the canal belt, you’ll discover some great places to try genever, also known as “Dutch gin.” Head over to Proeflokaal A. Van Wees and take your pick of over 17 genever brands or 60+ old-Dutch liquors.
If you’re looking for more of a pub-type atmosphere, then check out Café de Geit, where you’ll find a great selection of beer, wine, and coffee. For a great alternative to high tea, try “high wine” at The Dylan.
7. Indulge In Cheese and Chocolate
If you’re into cheese, chocolate, or both, then de 9 straatjes will not disappoint. De Kaaskamer is stocked from floor to ceiling with enough cheese to put the entire state of Wisconsin to shame.
Pompadour offers an incredible range of high-end chocolates, which you can enjoy with a cup of Catalan coffee on the side. Skip the gift shops and head to Urban Cacao, where you can create customized chocolates that make excellent souvenirs for anyone.
See Related: Best Food Tours in Amsterdam to Book
8. Visit the Galleries of Leading Amsterdam Artists
In the first half of the 17th century, de 9 straatjes got its start as a collection of a few entrepreneurs. These days, it’s home to everything from designer boutiques to an awesome collection of art galleries.
Be sure to check out the work of some of the best artists in the city at the Keren de Vreede Gallery and the gallery of Eddy Varekamp. The Tertius Collection offers everything from amazing paintings to eclectic home interiors while The Merchant House specializes in contemporary work.
9. Visit the District’s Unique Museums
A stroll down the streets of Amsterdam will reveal that the city has plenty of amazing museums to explore, several of which are right in the middle of de negen straatjes. The Grachten Museum or “Museum of the Canals” is located in a 17th-century building that’s stocked full of fascinating exhibits about the history of Amsterdam and the 9 straatjes.
The Houseboat Museum, meanwhile, is housed aboard a former barge that’s been converted into a museum that floats along the canal belt. Be sure you also look into options like taking a personalized tour with a local or a Van Gough Museum and Canal Tour combo for a full day of fun.
10. Stay Awhile at Top Hotels in de Negen Straatjes
As you can see, the 9 streets of Amsterdam offer plenty to do in one of the most unique areas in the world. If you aren’t quite ready for your walk through the streets to end, then you might consider staying in one of the many awesome hotels that are located right in the middle of the neighborhood.
Immerse yourself in historical elegance with a stay at The Dylan, a charming boutique hotel located right on the canal, only a short walk from Dam square. With a gorgeous bar and a Michelin-starred restaurant on-site, the luxury boutique hotel is a great place to stay in Amsterdam.
Other great choices in the 9 streets district include Hotel IX and the Amsterdam Wiechmann Hotel, each of which offers its own unique charm. Or you could always choose from unique holiday rentals such as these beautiful Historic Canal View Suites.