Plantage Middenlaan, Amsterdam
Written by Oryx
Amsterdam is a city blessed with beautiful streets filled with quirky shops and cafés for all to enjoy. The city’s Plantage neighbourhood contrasts that liveliness with a more peaceful park vibe.
If you want to get away from huddled shoppers perusing the latest styles from international brands on streets around Dam Square, a walk through Plantage Middenlaan is highly recommended.
“There are many nice streets in Amsterdam, but Plantage Middenlaan is one of my favourites,” says Peter. “Not because there are great shops, but because it passes the Artis Royal Zoo. It’s spacious and there are large trees, so there is a very strong park vibe.”
The Plantage neighbourhood itself was originally the city park, and it wasn’t urbanised until around 1860. Peter says, “You can still see remnants of the old canals in the zoo complex, at the heart of which there are three ponds where you can see the flamingoes today.”
Established in 1838, the Artis Royal Zoo is the oldest zoo in the Netherlands, and one of the oldest in all of mainland Europe. In addition to the diverse collection of animals, there is also a planetarium and aquarium inside – so it’s a great day out for families.
“Before reaching the zoo, you’ll first pass the botanical gardens, which are lovely almost any time of the year, especially in the spring and summer. In the winter they’re great because in addition to the beautiful botany, it’s nice and warm inside the greenhouses,” Peter suggests.
At the southern end of the Plantage is the Tropenmuseum, Amsterdam’s ethnographic museum of the tropics. Something of a hidden gem, the Tropenmuseum houses a massive collection of over 340,000 cultural pieces across eight permanent exhibitions. The modern presentation and smart layout makes it welcoming to visitors of any age, including children.
Peter and Wolter
Peter and Wolter are well-travelled Dutch business partners. Ten years ago they decided to combine their skills and expertise – Peter previously worked as a leading interiors and exhibition designer, Wolter for five-star hotels – to open Kamer01, a luxurious boutique bed and breakfast housed in a historic building, with only three uniquely designed rooms, and an eclectic small kitchen and breakfast nook overlooking the Singel canal.