Modern architecture at Java-eiland, Eastern Docklands
East Amsterdam is a residential district in Amsterdam. It lies between the Amstel River in the west and the IJ in the east. It should not be regarded as a homogeneous area, as there are many different neighbourhoods with their own culture and identity. The Eastern Docklands and IJburg stand out as lively areas with modern architecture that show a completely different side of Amsterdam.
The Eastern Docklands (Oostelijk Havengebied) date from the nineteenth century, and as the name suggests, used to be a port that served the growing trade with the Dutch East Indies. In the first half of the twentieth century, this area was in full development as warehouses were constructed to facilitate the trade with the colonies. After the Great Depression, World War II and the subsequent decolonization, the area fell in decay. It was only in the 1990s that this area was reconstructed, turned into a hip and going residential area modeled after the Docklands in London. There are some truly stunning examples of modern architecture to be found here. Following this project, IJburg  is a new middle-class neigbourhood on artificial islands reclaimed from the IJ in the early 2000s. More islands are currently being reclaimed to build the Amsterdam of the future.
Directly south of the Plantage is the Oosterpark, the first large park financed by the municipality of Amsterdam as it dates from 1891. The Vondelpark is older and larger, but that initially was a private project. Activities can be undertaken in the park, and a visit to the Tropenmuseum shouldn't be missed. South of the Oosterpark are some ethnically mixed working class neighbourhoods that originate from the late nineteenth century. The Dapperbuurt is known for the Dappermarkt, the second largest market of Amsterdam after the Albert Cuyp Market. It has been a designated market street since 1910. Products for sale aim to a Dutch Antillean, Moroccan, Surinamese and Turkish clientele, reflecting the ethnic make-up of the area. Other working class neighborhoods with a large immigrant population are the Indische Buurt and the Transvaalbuurt; urban renewal projects are underway to improve the living conditions in these neighborhoods.
Going further south is the Amsterdam Amstel railway station, an emerging business district. In 1994 the Rembrandt Tower was completed, with 135 metres the tallest skyscraper of Amsterdam and the first in a series of towers named after famous Dutch painters. In 2001, the tower was accompanied by the Breitner Tower and the Mondriaan Tower, both located in the same area. East of these lies the Watergraafsmeer, formerly a polder that has been incorporated in Amsterdam in 1921. It was home to Stadium De Meer, the home of Ajax football club until its destruction in 1996. It is a green neighborhood with many trees and sport facilities, as it used to be a popular getaway for affluent citizens of Amsterdam. Now it is becoming Amsterdam's knowledge centre due to the development of the Amsterdam Science Park. This science complex is home to the Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX), the second largest Internet exchange point in the world.
You can reach most of the East easily by public transport. For IJburg, take tram 26 from Amsterdam Central Station. You can also get on bus 66 from Amsterdam Bijlmer ArenA to Vennepluimstraat.
You can also reach IJburg by car. Take Amsterdam's city ring A10 exit S114 (Zeeburg/IJburg), take highway A1 exit 3 (Muiden) or take Piet Heintunnel from the center of Amsterdam. And you can reach IJburg by bike. Take one of the two bridges: the Nesciobrug or the Enneüs Heermabrug.
By public transit
Metro lines 51, 53 and 54 follow the Amstel River along the western part of Amsterdam East. If you're coming from Centraal Station, you can just hop on any train as they are all going in the same direction (at least until 2017, when the North-South Line is completed). the first useful stop is Weesperplein, which technically is just over the edge in Plantage, but only is a short walk to the Oosterpark. The metro lines then head southwards passing Wibautstraat, Amsterdam Amstel station, Spaklerweg and Overamstel, before heading to the South.
There were plans to connect IJburg with a metro line, but all these plans were scrapped. After three years of delay, tram line 26 to IJburg finally opened as a replacement. This is the only tram in Amsterdam in which it is allowed to bring your bicycle along. Due to population increases, the tram's frequency keeps boosting up, as it now goes 10 times per hour during rush hour.
A plethora of tram lines connect the rest of Amsterdam East with other districts in the city. Tram 9 starts at Central Station and passes by Dam Square in the Old centre. From there, it goes right through Amsterdam East. The stop Eerste van Swindenstraat is close to Oosterpark, the Tropenmuseum and the Dappermarkt.
There are plenty of bus connections to the East, but it is better to take the metro or tram as they are less confusing. Bus line 357 from Central Station follows tram line 9 through the Linnaeusstraat and the Middenweg. It goes right through the middle of the district. An important stop is the Eerste van Swindenstraat close to the Oosterpark, but you might as well take the tram.
Most locals get around by bicycle, and so should you. Most arterial roads have bicycle paths attached to them. IJburg is hard to access by bike, because it is an island. It is connected to the city centre by the Piet Hein Tunnel, but it is not allowed to traverse it by bicycle. You can take tram 26 to IJburg as you are allowed to bring bicycles on board for exactly this reason. If you're coming from Plantage, you can cycle through the Zeeburgerdijk and cross the water using the bridges of the Zuiderzeeweg.
The architecture at IJburg is worth seeing. The first island you reach by tram is Steigereiland. At Steigereiland South many residents got the chance to design their houses themselves. Steigereiland North is all about water and air, with a basin full of floating homes. Haveneiland is the main island, and called after its harbour. Many buildings here are modern interpretations of the old city center. Blijburg beach is on the main island.
- IJburg, Steigereiland (pier island) and Haveneiland (harbour island) (tram 26 to IJburg, bus 66 from Amsterdam Bijlmer ArenA Station to Vennepluimstraat, by car exit the A10 at S114 (Zeeburg/IJburg)), . IJburg consists of several islands connected by bridges, with a harbour and a beach. The first house at IJburg was build in 2002. The islands have a population of 15.000 and is still growing. The two main islands are Steigereiland (pier island) and Haveneiland (harbour island). Amongst the attractions are modern architecture, water, nature, good restaurants, entertainment venues and hip shops.
- Oosterpark, (Behind the Tropenmuseum). Close to Plantage, this park holds several multicultural festivals throughout the year.
- Diemerpark, (Next to IJburg). This is a large park, a little like a dune park.
- Flevopark in the Indische buurt, at the East end of the Insulindeweg, next to the Jewish cemetery, the Flevobad swimming pool, and the Nieuwe Diep inlet. There are two cafe's open in spring/summer/autumn time and one festival each year.
- Scheepvaart Museum, . The Netherlands Maritime Museum is closed for complete renovation.
- Tropenmuseum, Linnaeusstraat 2, ☎ +31 20 568 82 15, . Ethnographic and cultural museum about Africa, Asia, and South America.
- Blijburg Beach, . Blijburg beach is on the main island. You can reach this beach with beach club with tram 26 (IJburg).
Going out at Blijburg beach, harbour club The Lighthouse, cool restaurant and bar N.A.P. or Dok48. Enjoying the water, the architecture, the nice shops and restaurants.
- Bimhuis, Piet Heinkade 3 (tram Muziekgebouw Bimhuis), ☎ +31 20 788 21 50, . World class jazz and improvised music venue, five minutes by foot from Central Station. Tickets €14 to €18.
- Blijburg Beach, (tram 26 to the last stop, then a few minutes walk, follow the signs), . This temporary artificial beach is only open in summers. Oddly enough it's surrounded by construction sites and modern architecture in IJburg, the newest neighborhood of Amsterdam.
IJburg has a lot of interesting shops, especially about design, home decoration and boutiques.
Design and home decoration
- Design020, Pedro de Medinalaan 89. A large interior design centre.
- IJgenwijs, IJburglaan 1285. Nice shop for presents and home decoration.
- Swah, IJburglaan 354. Another shop for presents and home decoration.
- W.I.C., Pampuslaan 36. sells sixties vintage designer furniture
- Bij'tij, Krijn Taconiskade 126.
- Frontrow, IJburglaan 1277.
- Ien Lifestyleshop, Diemerparklaan 52.
- Sevenlands, IJburglaan 1359.
- SUBURB denim, IJburglaan 1499.
- Bliksem en Sterren, IJburglaan 1153.
- Flo4Kidz, IJburglaan 1273.
- Mama's Design, IJburglaan 1495.
- Tjikky+Ko, Krijn Taconiskade 128P.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a typical meal for one, including soft drink:
|| Below €20
IJburg is a favourite among Amsterdam's locals. There are some special food shops and deli shops in IJburg and it further has about 25 restaurants and lunchrooms.
- Boerenjongens Eetwinkel, Talbotstraat 3. A deli shop annex lunch room with products from the region.
- Dal Magazino, IJburglaan 431. The deli shop of Italian restaurant Il Lago.
- IJsburg, Pampuslaan 41. Ice cream shop.
- De Keuken van Tante Til, IJburglaan 1501. Mediterranean deli annex restaurant. Mains €10-15.
- Bloem op IJburg, IJburglaan 1289, ☎ +31 20 416-0677, . Tu-Su 17:30-22:00. Italian restaurant. €15-20.
- Jerry's Eetcafe, Veemkade 1288 (Eastern Docklands, Left to Albert Heijn Supermarket), ☎ +31 20 362 80 00, . W-F, Su 18:00-22:00. Amsterdam's best kept secret until now. Small and very cheap restaurant. Good food and service. Great view from the restaurant. Don't let yourself be put off by the unwelcoming entrance to the restaurant shared with a fitness center. Walk up two stories and you feel welcome at once! Reservation required for groups more then 6 people. €15.
- Pannenkoek en zo, Taconiskade 406. Dutch pancake restaurant. €10-15.
- De Ponteneur, Eerste van Swindenstraat 581 (Oosterpark), ☎ +31 20 668 06 80, . An inexpensive bar-restaurant with great food and atmosphere. All food served is fresh- and home made. Free WiFi available. Excellent bang for the buck and suited for only a drink as well. Main courses start at €15. No English menu, some waiters speak English. €20.
- Silk Road Restaurant, Piet Heinkade 11, ☎ +31-20-5191200, . In Silk Road Restaurant we offer you an exciting East meets West Kitchen with both a la carte and (on high occupied days only) a live cooking theme buffet. Silk Road Restaurant is located on the 2nd floor of the Mövenpick Hotel Amsterdam with a great view on the river IJ. Open 7 days per week for lunch and dinner. €25-40.
- Blijburg, Muiderlaan 1001, . Tu-Su 09:00-late.
- Dok48, Krijn Taconiskade 328, .
- Espressofabriek, IJburglaan 1489. Coffee bar
- Lago Caffè, IJburglaan 431, . Mains €10-15.
- The Lighthouse, Krijn Taconiskade 432.
- N.A.P., Krijn Taconiskade 124, ☎ +31 20 416-4000, . A harbour-side cafe and restaurant with a view of the marina. You can just stop by for a cup of coffee, have breakfast, lunch or dinner. Stylish interior.
- Odessa, Veemkade 259 (Tram Rietlandpark), .
- Panama, Oostelijke Handelskade 4 (Tram Rietlandpark), . This nightclub is relatively close to the city centre. It has its fair share of nice nights and the view on the water is excellent.
- The Power Zone, Daniel Goedkoopstraat 1 (Metro Spaklerweg), . Note: This nightclub is in the process of moving to a new location.
- Tonight Club, Hotel Arena, 's Gravesandestraat 51, .
- Trouw, Wibautstraat 131, . This club opened in 2009 in an old newspaper building with the same name. Far away, amazing space, and great music. Can be a little expensive because of its cool.
|This guide uses the following price ranges for a standard double room:
|| Under €80
|| €80 to €150
|| Over €150
- Camping Zeeburg, Zuider IJdijk 20 (Tram Zuiderzeeweg), ☎ +31 20 694 44 30. This campground is near the city. It has camping cabins, wagonettes, tent sites and RV sites. A good store, free wifi and resturant/bar round out the amenities. A good, clean and cheap place to stay if you do not mind walking to the bathroom and paying €.80 for a hot shower.
- Stayokay Zeeburg, Timorplein 21 (Tram Zeeburgerdijk), ☎ +31 20 551 31 90 ([email protected]), . This 480 bed hostel is located to the east of the city centre in a typical Amsterdam neighbourhood. Amsterdam's historic centre is less than 15 minutes away by bike or tram. The hostel is in the same building as Studio K, a budget diner and movie theatre.
- B&B Lieve Nachten, Vaillantlaan 77.
- Bastion Hotel Amstel, Verlengde van Marwijk Kooystraat 30, ☎ +31 20 663 45 67, . Comfortable but lacking in charm, 4 star hotel near OverAmstel metro, 10 minutes walk then 10 minutes train ride to Centraal Station. But without pedestrian access to the road - you have to take your chance with the traffic. €70.
- The Flying Chef (De Vliegende Kok), Transvaalkade 26 (Transvaal, tram: Krugerplein), ☎ +31 20 468 65 08 ([email protected]), . Quiet art deco bed breakfast with culinairy arrangements. In East part, Watergraafsmeer of center. Wi-Fi access. See website for pictures. €90.
- Mövenpick Hotel, Piet Heinkade 11 (Tram Muziekgebouw Bimhuis), ☎ +31 20 519 12 00 ([email protected], fax: +31 20 519 1239), . The hotel is located in the Eastern Docklands, the renewed area of the city centre which makes it perfect for business or pleasure. €149.