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DE PIJP: AMSTERDAM’S COOLEST NEIGHBORHOOD

A PEEK INSIDE THE CHIC, BOHEMIAN ENCLAVE

De Pijp, which in English means The Pipe, is the hippest neighborhood in Amsterdam, The Netherlands’ city of canals.

Located directly south of the city center in the Oud Zuid, or Old South section, De Pijp originally was a working-class neighborhood and has three districts—Diamantbuurt or Diamond, Nieuwe Pijp, and Oude Pijp.

“It’s the hipster section of the city,” says Marianne Joanknecht, managing partner, at Amsterdam Sotheby’s International Realty. “It’s comparable to SoHo or the Meatpacking district in New York.”

De Hooch is a new development, named for its street address and an old master painter

Many of the residents, she adds, are students at the University of Amsterdam or VU University Amsterdam.

Throughout its history, De Pijp has been home to creative notables, including painter Piet Mondrian, folk singer André Hazes, and actress Carice van Houten.

And De Pijp’s bohemian charm starts with its streets, most of which are named for Dutch painters—Jan Steen, Frans Hals, and, of course, Vincent van Gogh; they lead to a variety of chic shops, bars, and restaurants.

Apartments With Character

Apartment living defines De Pijp. The residential buildings, which date to the 1900s, are filled with long, narrow units that have windows only in the front and back. Aside from some renovated buildings, most do not have elevators.

According to Joanknecht, renovated units go for 7,000 euros (US$7,970) per square meter, putting the price range at €280,000 to €560,000.

A row of homes in stylish De Pijp

What Makes it Unique

De Pijp offers a variety of activities during the day and at night, and its youthful residents keep it ahead of the trends.

A favorite spot for residents and visitors alike is the Albert Cuyp Market, a 260-stand, open-air grocery that’s the largest day market in Europe and is named for the famed 17th-century painter.

The neighborhood, home to some 150 nationalities, has an abundance of ethnic restaurants that feature Syrian, Moroccan, Surinamese, Turkish, Japanese, and Spanish dishes.

Joanknecht mentions Brut de Mer, an oyster bar, and Caron, a French restaurant. Bazar, which is in a converted church, specializes in Middle Eastern and African dishes, and Chocolate Bar serves drinks and holds weekly DJ nights. For dessert, there’s Taart Van M’n Tante, known for elaborate custom cakes­—just like your tante used to make.

The concept shop Miuse carries fashion, interior, and beauty brands created by emerging local designers.

One of the neighborhood’s defining buildings is the former Heineken brewery, a national monument that’s on the European Route of Industrial Heritage. The imposing red-brick structure has been repurposed into a tourist attraction.

The area also has its own park, Sarphati, a two-block-long rectangular green space in the center of the neighborhood that features a Victorian monument honoring its namesake, doctor and philanthropist Samuel Sarphati.

De Pijp is a short walk from Museum Square, home of the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk—which has a world-renowned collection of modern art­—and the Concertgebouw or concert hall. It’s also close to the Vondelpark, a 120-acre green space that features an open-air theater.

It’s easy to get around De Pijp—it has its own metro stop, and as Joanknecht notes, recent upgrades to the subway system have given residents easy, efficient access to all parts of Amsterdam as well as the airport.

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