Urban and outdoor leisure

City trips, markets, museums, hiking, sailing, visiting castles and historic villages

View on harbor of Eastern Docklands

In the Eastern Docklands and the neighboring Eastern Islands many  interesting places related to seafaring, shipbuilding, overseas trading, colonial and military history can be visited.

Old Church / New Market area
The neighboring Dapper Market area has a large daily market and a variety of ethnic shops and restaurants.

There are some yacht-harbors in the Eastern Docklands where it is possible to join sailing or canoeing clubs.
South of the Eastern Docklands are some centers for indoor and outdoor sports and a campsite at the lake.

The medieval and seventeenth century center of Amsterdam offers many leisure opportunities.
This is an attractive area with many canals and historical buildings, shops, cafes and restaurants in small streets.

Museum Quarter / RijksmuseumOf particular interest are the areas around Waterloo square, the quarter Jordaan and the area around the Old Church and the New Market, the oldest, medieval part of town.

Around the Singel, at the former seventeenth century city wall, are the museum quarter (Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum, Concertgebouw), the large Albert Cuyp market and Dapper market, the City Zoo and the Museum of the Tropics.
Hardly anything is left of the former city wall.

The city has a cosmopolitan atmosphere, which attracts a variety of people.

River Amstel / Waterloo SquareAlthough world famous, Amsterdam is not a big city. It has approximately 700,000 inhabitants; about 20,000 live in the Eastern Docklands.
Distances in and around town are rather short, compared to New York, Shanghai, London or Paris. Size and population are comparable to San Francisco.

The nearest recreational areas for outdoor sports and leisure are at the northeastern and southeastern side of town.

Waterland / IJsselmeerTo the east, the lake Markermeer stretches out as far as the eye can see.

This lake was part of the sea until 1932, when a dyke was completed, closing off a part of a volatile sea and changing it into a gentler, but still stormy lake.

To the northeast, the Markermeer and the area Waterland have wetlands with a varied birdlife, several historical villages and small towns maintained in tradional style.

Some of these villages are mainly inhabited by city folks, but some are still traditionally and religiously conservative. In some fishing villages the habits of fearing both God and the sea can still be strong.

Waterland / traditional villageThe Waterland / IJsselmeer area offers great opportunities for swimming, sailing, canoeing, hiking and cycling. The long lake-coast has several small beaches.

River Gein recreational area

In the southeast, the picturesque areas around the rivers Vecht and Amstel have many former country-residences of wealthy merchants and nobility.
Most of them acquired their riches in colonial enterprises and overseas trade, mainly with the West Indies and East Indies.

Many mansions, castles, mansion-gardens and lakes surrounded by forested areas are situated near the rivers. Some castles, mansions and gardens can be visited.

River Gein recreational areaSoutheast of the Eastern Docklands is the Diemen recreational area, an area with forests, a river, wetlands and some traditional agricultural activities.
This is an attractive area for hiking, cycling and horseback riding.

See also:
location and connections
social life and nightlife

Diemen recreational area
More information:
(general site by the municipal administration, with links)
(information about nightlife)
  (tourist information)