When you’re in Amsterdam, it’s easy to get caught up in the hustle of the city’s main tourist drags, like Damrak and Nieuwendijk. But if you want a more laid-back, authentic experience, head to the 9 Streets (or “de 9 Straatjes” in Dutch).

This charming neighborhood is tucked away in Amsterdam’s historic canal belt (the “grachtengordel”). It’s made up of nine little side streets that form a neat grid between Leidsestraat and Raadhuisstraat. The streets connect the main canals, making it a perfect spot for a leisurely stroll.

A Peaceful Slice of Amsterdam

Compared to other parts of the city, the 9 Streets are much calmer and quieter. It’s a great place to just wander, window-shop, and soak up the atmosphere. You can admire the architecture too – some of the buildings date all the way back to the 17th and 18th centuries, with those classic stepped gables.

Shop, Eat, Repeat

The 9 Streets are packed with unique shops, cafés, and galleries. You’ll find:

  • Art galleries showcasing local talent
  • Boutiques selling designer clothes, shoes, bags, and jewelry
  • Vintage shops with secondhand treasures and reclaimed industrial decor
  • Bakeries and pastry shops for a sweet treat
  • Specialty food shops perfect for picnic supplies

Many of the street names hint at the area’s history as a hub for artisans and craftsmen, especially in the leather trade. Keep an eye out for Huidenstraat (Skins Street), Berenstraat (Bears Street), Reestraat (Deer Street), and Wolvenstraat (Wolves Street).

Easy to Explore

One of the best things about the 9 Streets is how easy they are to navigate. The grid layout and the lack of crowds mean you won’t get lost or overwhelmed. It’s the perfect place to just wander and see what catches your eye.

Make a Day of It

To really make the most of your time in the 9 Streets, plan to spend a whole afternoon exploring. Start with a visit to the nearby Anne Frank House (just be sure to book tickets well in advance). Then, head to the 9 Streets for some shopping and snacking.

When you’re ready for a break, pop into one of the neighborhood’s cozy cafés or restaurants for lunch. The 9 Streets have plenty of options, from casual sandwich spots to sit-down meals.

After lunch, continue your stroll and maybe do some more shopping. If you’re staying at one of our recommended hotels, the 9 Streets are an easy walk away – perfect for dropping off any purchases before dinner.

Find the 9 Streets

The 9 Streets are bordered by Prinsengracht and Singel, between the old city center and the Jordaan neighborhood. If you’re not sure if you’re in the right place, just look at the street signs. You’ll see “de 9 Straatjes” written below the street names.

Here are the nine streets that make up the neighborhood:

  1. Reestraat
  2. Hartenstraat
  3. Gasthuismolensteeg
  4. Berenstraat
  5. Wolvenstraat
  6. Oude Spiegelstraat
  7. Runstraat
  8. Huidenstraat
  9. Wijde Heisteeg

Tips for Your Visit

  • Wear comfortable shoes. The 9 Streets are best explored on foot, and the cobblestones can be tough on your feet.
  • Bring a reusable shopping bag. You’ll likely be tempted to make a purchase (or several), and a bag will come in handy.
  • Check shop hours. Many stores in the 9 Streets are independently owned, so they might have limited or irregular hours.
  • Bring cash. While most shops accept cards, it’s always good to have some euros on hand for small purchases.
  • Take your time. The beauty of the 9 Streets is in the details – the architecture, the window displays, the people-watching. Don’t rush through.

A Must-Do in Amsterdam

In a city known for its charm, the 9 Streets might just be the most charming spot of all. It’s a slice of “real” Amsterdam, away from the tourist crowds and kitschy souvenir shops.

Whether you’re in the market for a one-of-a-kind gift, a memorable meal, or just a pleasant afternoon stroll, the 9 Streets deliver. You could easily spend a whole day getting lost in this lovely little labyrinth.

So when you’re planning your Amsterdam itinerary, be sure to carve out some time for the 9 Streets. It’s a chance to slow down, soak up the local atmosphere, and maybe even find a hidden gem or two.

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