Jewish Quarter Walking Tour, Amsterdam

Amsterdam has been the center of the Dutch Jewish community for the last four centuries, and although the holocaust had a dramatic effect on it, great efforts have been made to rebuild it in the years since. Wandering around the Jewish Quarter will give you an insight into the centuries-long history of the Jewish community of Amsterdam and the Netherlands.
You can follow this self-guided walking tour to explore the attractions listed below. How it works: download the app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play to your mobile phone or tablet. The app turns your mobile device into a personal tour guide and its built-in GPS navigation functions guide you from one tour stop to next. The app works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Jewish Quarter Walking Tour Map

Guide Name: Jewish Quarter Walking Tour
Guide Location: Netherlands » Amsterdam (See other walking tours in Amsterdam)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 km
Author: clare
1
Rembrandt House Museum

1) Rembrandt House Museum (must see)

Rembrandt was a Dutch painter who is considered as one of the most important artists in the Golden Dutch Era in the midst of the 17th century. The Dutch Empire enjoyed maximum power and fame in this period. Among the various talents that Rembrandt possessed, he was an exceptional painter and specialized in portraits, self-portraits, war, and biblical scenes. His work comprises over 300 pieces in the form of paintings, sketches, etching, and drawings.

Standing modestly on the Jodenbreestraat is the house that once served as home to one of the most renowned painters and etcher in Dutch history- Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn. Now converted into a museum, the house was bought by the painter in 1639 and has stood witness to some of Rembrandt’s masterpieces.

Constructed in 1607, the structure housed many artists and merchants. However, it was not until 1639, that Rembrandt purchased the mansion for himself. He lived in the mansion for almost two decades and it is within these walls that Rembrandt was commissioned to make his magnum opus, 'The Night Watch'.

The museum offers a glimpse into the artist’s daily lifestyle, with the furniture and ambiance maintained within the rooms. On display, one can find a vast collection of Rembrandt's etches, paintings and drawings.

Why You Should Visit:
A home, a studio, a museum, and a great insight into the master and the extremes of his life.
Great if you want to fill 30-60 minutes.

Tip:
Reserve some time to step into the little shop inside the museum.
You can find some really nice, good quality souvenirs at reasonable prices, and most likely, you will want to buy something for yourself!

Opening Hours:
Daily: 10am-6pm
2
Gassan Diamonds

2) Gassan Diamonds

Gassan Diamonds is a family-owned business located in a beautifully restored diamond factory within the Jewish quarter. The company is billed as one of the leaders of local diamond industry. The historic diamond factory serves as a tourist attraction as well. Here you can not only buy diamonds, but also find out how the diamonds are cut and polished. Gassan is open Monday through Sunday between 9:00 am - 5:30 pm.
3
Waterlooplein Flea Market

3) Waterlooplein Flea Market (must see)

No trip to a city is complete without a visit to the local bazaars and markets of the place. The Waterlooplein Flea Market is one such destination you cannot afford to miss. One of the most interesting places in Amsterdam, the Waterlooplein Flea Market is also one of the oldest markets in the city. If you have the patience, you can find almost anything under the sun here. From the trendiest attires to old military uniforms; from jewelry, antiques and electronics to getting yourself a great deal on a tattoo - there is nothing this flea market doesn’t have.

Built in the early 19th century, the market was then a renowned Jewish market. It ran successfully up until the Second World War which brought along banishment of the Jews. However, after the War, the market was revived and thenceforth has been a popular pit stop for tourists and locals alike. The market is crude and gives you the perfect bazaar feel. You can shop, haggle or just look around the various items on display.

With over 300 stalls, the Flea Market is very large to browse through quickly and with the wide array of items it is difficult to make a speedy visit. So make sure you have allotted enough time for this visit.

Why You Should Visit:
Great place for an afternoon stroll, cultural immersion and treasure hunting (if you have the inclination and patience).

Tip:
If money-saving is valued, do a walk-around of the market before buying.
Many items (like hats and sunglasses) can be found at numerous stalls and prices vary from stall to stall.

Opening Hours:
Mon-Sat: 9:30am-6pm; closed on Sundays
4
Mozes en Aäronkerk

4) Mozes en Aäronkerk

Featuring an immaculate neoclassic façade, this Roman Catholic Church stands in what was once the Jewish neighborhood of the city. Decorated and completed in 1841, the Church of Mozes en Aäronkerk was originally built in the late seventeenth century, undergoing several refurbishments along the years.

Until 1649 the house of Moses stood next to the present building. Beside it also stood the house of Aaron (Moses’s brother). Both these buildings were later combined to make the present day church which is where the name comes from. Initially, the Church lay quite plain and dull, and it was only in 1841, two centuries after its conception, that work was done to beautify the Church. The Façade and interiors where designed by Tieleman Suys Francis, who was known for his Neoclassic architecture.

Many tales are associated with the Mozes en Aäronkerk, one of which explains why the very little was done to decorate the Church and much was done to hide it. Built after the time when Amsterdam was declared a protestant city, great effort was made to hide this Roman Catholic Church from Protestant authorities. In reality the Church was named after the earliest followers of Saint Francis of Assisi. The official name of the Church however is Saint Antonius kerk, or Saint Anthony of Padua.
5
Portuguese Synagogue

5) Portuguese Synagogue (must see)

The option of enjoying religious freedom is what brought a majority of Jews from all over Europe to Amsterdam. The city has over the years earned a reputation for being tolerant and offering equal rights to individuals of every community.

The Jewish community first took refuge in Amsterdam in the late 15th century. Fleeing from Spain and Portugal, they enjoyed religious freedom in the Netherlands like no other. During that time, the Dutch Republic was also at war with Spain. To avoid further mishap, the refugees called themselves Portuguese Jews.

The community grew at a fair rate and about a century later in 1665, the Jewish community built the Portuguese Synagogue. Also known as the Esnoga, it was designed and built by architects Elias Bouwman and Daniel Stalpaert. Drawing inspiration from the Temple of Solomon in Jerusalem, the building back then was the largest synagogue in the world.

Today the Portuguese Synagogue overlooks traffic on one of Amsterdam’s busiest streets. However, the Synagogue itself seems to have gotten away untouched by the hands of time. Not much has changed in the design and interiors of the structure since then and one can still appreciate the antiquities and grand interiors that time has no effect on. During service, about 1000 candles light up the entire synagogue.

Why You Should Visit:
2nd oldest Synagogue in continuous use in Europe.
The entrance fee also allows access to the Jewish Historical Museum across the street.

Tip:
Don't skip going down the stairs to the treasure rooms, which house some of the best artifacts of this type in the world.

Opening Hours:
Sun-Thu: 10am-4pm; Fri: 10am-3pm
Sight description based on wikipedia
6
Jewish Historical Museum

6) Jewish Historical Museum (must see)

Located in the heart of Amsterdam’s old Jewish district is one of the most detailed museums dedicated to Jews. Housed between four medieval synagogues, the museum shines light upon the history of the Jews of Amsterdam and their journey to the present day.

Amsterdam was the haven for Jewish community for a long time. Known as "Mokum" in Hebrew, Jewish communities like the Sephardic from Iberian peninsula and the Ashkenazi from Central and Eastern Europe sought refuge and flourished in Amsterdam. Although parts of the same ethnic group, these two Jewish communities had a huge economic divide and belonged to different strata of the society. The synagogues that accommodate the Museum today were first built by the Ashkenazi in the late 17th and 18th centuries.

The Jewish community enjoyed great religious freedom and tolerance in the Netherlands until the Nazis took over the city in 1940. Despite the serious efforts that were made, almost 80% of the thriving Jewish population of the city was sent to concentration camps.

The Jewish Historical Museum is the perfect place to get a glimpse of the triumphs and tribulations of the community. Being one of a kind in the entire city, the Museum has in its possession some of the rarest documents, artifacts, and manuscripts.

Why You Should Visit:
This is the major museum within the Jewish Cultural Quarter, with less focus on the Holocaust, and more on all aspects of Jewish life, and the relationship between the Jewish community and the city of Amsterdam.

Tip:
A great idea would be to buy the combined ticket so that you can visit the Portuguese Synagogue and the Holocaust Museum as well (you've got 30 days to use all tickets).

Opening Hours:
Daily: 11am-5pm
7
Zalio

7) Zalio

Located along the banks of Amstel canal, near the city Opera, Zalio Antiques features a wide variety of antiques, including ornaments, interior articles, silk flowers, glass and Asian antiques. The owner, Bing Lie Gan, started out by having his own shop in a basement beside the Amstel.

Operation Hours Friday - Saturday: 11 am - 6 pm; Tuesday - Thursday: by appointment

Walking Tours in Amsterdam, Netherlands

Create Your Own Walk in Amsterdam

Create Your Own Walk in Amsterdam

Creating your own self-guided walk in Amsterdam is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Canal Belt Nightlife

Canal Belt Nightlife

A major cosmopolitan city with an absolutely electrifying nightlife scene, Amsterdam offers a variety of entertainment, from live music to underground house music, including ultra-chic to casual hangouts. Amsterdam is also home to variety of bars and clubs located inside historic buildings, allowing some of these former establishments to live on thematically, including the industrial chic of a former printing house, the heavenly theme of a converted church with large stained glass windows still intact, and more. Take this Nightlife Tour of Amsterdam's Canal Belt and discover what this great city is all about.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 km
Churches Walking Tour

Churches Walking Tour

Amsterdam's numerous churches are an unique example of architectural diversity. Whether you are a keen church goer or simply interested in the architectural and historic aspects, Amsterdam will not disappoint. Take this tour to visit the most important religious sites in the city.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.9 km
Old Side Walking Tour

Old Side Walking Tour

Amsterdam's Old Side or Oude Zijde in Dutch is a neighborhood of true contrast. On one side we have centuries old medieval buildings, churches and landmarks, and on the other hand we have the Red Light District, which is not in fact a district, but an area within the Oude Zijde of Amsterdam.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.7 km
Jordaan Walking Tour

Jordaan Walking Tour

The Jordaan is a district of the city of Amsterdam. It was originally a working class neighborhood, but in recent years it has become quite upscale and home to many museums and art galleries, particularly those focused on modern art. The district is also dotted with specialty shops, markets and restaurants. This tour is a perfect opportunity to see the main attractions of the district of Jordaan.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.6 km
Western Canal Belt Walking Tour

Western Canal Belt Walking Tour

The Western Canal Belt is one of the most scenic parts of Amsterdam, it is where the web of historic canals is most tranquil. Various attractions are found here, from tiny shops and cafes to churches, museums and galleries. Take this tour and see the best sites of the Western Canal Belt.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.9 km
Old Center Gay Nightlife

Old Center Gay Nightlife

Amsterdam is second to none when it comes to tolerance and respect for individual uniqueness. This intimate city is an iconic gay destination and offers a wide range of gay bars and clubs. Follow this tour to visit some of the best rated gay venues in Amsterdam's Old Center.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.3 km

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