This district can be split in Old West, a modern neighborhood built in the first half of the twentieth century, and New West, a multicultural area built after World War II and generally off-the-beaten path to tourists. The heart of Old West is (confusingly enough) the neighborhood of Old West proper, the area closest to the city center, bordered to the south by Overtoom and the Vondelpark and in the west by the Rembrandt Park. Other areas in Old West are Westerpark, a large park bordering the center with some interesting nightlife; De Baarsjes, a neighborhood built in Amsterdam School and New Objectivity architectural styles; and Bos en Lommer, most similar to New West with some remarkable buildings.
New West has often dominated the headlines for social and ethnic tensions, crime, urban decay. Most infamous is Slotervaart, bordering Old West to the east; other districts are Geuzenveld/Slotermeer and Osdorp. A special district is the vast area of Westpoort, a harbor occupying a large area to the north of Amsterdam West, but not of much interest to most visitors.
Scattered over the district are five windmills. Only one is open to the public (but all look good on pictures).
De 1100 roe, Herman Bonpad 6. This mill was built around 1674 at the Haarlemmerweg, near the 1200 roe. It was taken apart in 1962 and rebuilt at the current location in 1965. This mill is meant to pump water from the polder to the surrounding canal.edit
De 1200 roe, Haarlemmerweg 701. Built in 1632 to pump water out of the polder. edit
De Bloem, Haarlemmerweg 465. Here since 1878, but it's been moved to a different location at least three times. It's a corn mill.edit
De Otter, Gillis van Ledenberchstraat 78. A restored and functioning sawmill, built in 1631, opposite Buyskade, west of the Jordaan.edit
Molen van Sloten, Akersluis 10. Open 10:00-17:00. Newly built in 1990 with some old elements. The only mill in Amsterdam open for public visits.edit
Pacific Parc, Polonceaukade 23 (Cultuurpark Westergasfabriek), . Bar, restaurant and club.edit
Club 8, Admiraal de Ruijterweg 56b. A large alternative place with lots of art on its walls. There's ping pong, a very local and fairly young crowd.edit
Flex Bar, Pazzanistraat 1 (Tram: Van Limburg Stirumstraat, in the Westerpark), ☎ +31 20 486 21 23, . often until 05:00. Flex Bar is known for its innovative musical program and their openminded approach towards music as well as their public. Expect electro, techno, house, dubstep, hiphop, indie, funk and soul. edit
Stayokay Vondelpark, Zandpad 5 (Tram Stadhouderskade), ☎ +31 20 589 8996 (email@example.com, fax: +31 20 589 8955), . checkin: early check-in begins at 7:30AM, rooms available at 2PM; checkout: 10:30AM. Fairly large youth hostel, very clean and professional, operated by the Dutch affiliate of Hostelling International. Credit cards are accepted. Next to the pleasant Vondelpark, puts you on the southern side of downtown and just a few blocks from the Van Gogh Museum and the Rijksmuseum. Also a short stumble away from the partying Leidiesplien.The breakfast is filling and has a social atmosphere. This location is popular with school groups. Bring a padlock for your locker, or purchase one at the desk. Also available are bath towels and shower shoes. Wifi and internet kiosks are available. Musuem tickets available at the desk.....avoid the long lines to purchase tickets at the museum. Freee city maps available at the desk.All in all a safe, clean place to stay.Dorms €17+, privates €50+. edit