Amsterdam design for social living

a bicycle parked in front of a building

Most tourists want to stay at hotels in the canal ring district of Amsterdam and spend their time visiting the major museums.

I enjoy spending much of my time in Amsterdam walking around along the canals of Singel, Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht.

AMS canal-1

Brouwersgracht was named for the 16th and 17th c breweries and is a perpendicular canal to the four main canal rings.

I also like spending time walking residential neighborhoods and green spaces outside the 17th century canal rings.

Amsterdam is one city where Kelley and I think we could live. As adults, Kelley and I have never lived in a city with more than 50,000 residents.

Amsterdam purposely developed by design over the past century to accommodate social living for residents in the most densely populated country in Europe.


Mercatorplein in West Amsterdam was designed in 1925. The area was remodeled in 1990s to restore many of the Amsterdam School architectural features.


The Amsterdam School (Dutch: Amsterdamse School) is a style of architecture that arose from 1910 through about 1930 in the Netherlands. The Amsterdam School movement is part of international Expressionist architecture, sometimes linked to German Brick Expressionism.

Buildings of the Amsterdam School are characterized by brick construction with complicated masonry with a rounded or organic appearance, relatively traditional massing, and the integration of an elaborate scheme of building elements inside and out: decorative masonry, art glass, wrought ironwork, spires or “ladder” windows (with horizontal bars), and integrated architectural sculpture. The aim was to create a total architectural experience, interior and exterior.

Amsterdam School – Wikipedia

After nearly 20 years and a few dozen trips to Amsterdam,  residential neighborhoods, like those along Apollolaan in Zuid (South) around Hilton Amsterdam, and De Baarsjes in West Amsterdam near Ramada Apollo Amsterdam are quite appealing to me.

Rembrandt Park canal house view

When Kelley and I walked along this canal near Rembrandtpark Amsterdam, I thought to myself, this would be a nice place to live.

Rembrandt park canal housing

Dirk van den Broek supermarket at Mercatorplein and Albert Heijn at Marco Polostraat would be my local grocery stores.

Albert Heijn

Many of the streets in this part of Amsterdam West were named for global explorers.


Hudsonhof is named for explorer Henry Hudson 1550-1611.

The 1928 Olympic Stadium is an example of Amsterdam School architecture. Kelley said she wanted to visit the Olympic Stadium and Rijksmuseum this trip. We never reached either of those places in 4 full days wandering the city. I visited the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh last year to see works by the Dutch masters and the lost soul.

Loyalty Traveler – Netherlands Annual Museum Card 60EUR (Feb 6, 2016).

I have passed by the Olympic Stadium several times on the airport bus, but still have not been inside for a tour.

Rembrandtpark lanes

Rembrandtpark Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a city I enjoy exploring. Each trip has me wanting to stay longer. Most of Amsterdam exists outside the Canal Rings. There are still many aspects of the city I am discovering, even after around 9 months in cumulative weeks in Amsterdam since 2000.

Amsterdam is a vibrant, energetic city. The architecture and beauty of the historic canal district of Amsterdam, the museums, entertainment around Leidesplein, coffeshops and bars of Haarlemmerstraat, Spui and the Red Light District with their windows revealing prostitutes can be enticing to some tourists and overwhelming for others.

Yet, the residential neighborhoods away from the main tourist areas are truly designed for social living. These are the places in Amsterdam I have come to appreciate deeply over the years.

Rembrandtpark goats

Goats and horses in Rembrandtpark, Amsterdam.

July 2017

San Francisco SFO – Copenhagen, Denmark – Stockholm, Sweden – Amsterdam, Netherlands – Prague, Czechia – Bratislava, Slovakia – London, England – San Francisco SFO (22 days-6 flights-20 hotel nights-6 bus trips)

My July in Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Czechia and Slovakia July 5, 2017

SAS flying over San Francisco

Copenhagen, Denmark: Skt. Petri Copenhagen Choice Hotels Ascend Collection

Amsterdam, Netherlands: Loyalty Traveler Lost and Found in Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Netherlands: Ramada Apollo Amsterdam Centre hotel review

Amsterdam, Netherlands: Amsterdam design for social living

Amsterdam, Netherlands: Amsterdam beer, bud and burger joints

Amsterdam and Prague Hotels: 2 stays earned 1 Free Friday Park Plaza Vondelpark Amsterdam and Park Inn Prague

Prague, Czechia: Pickpocket stole my wallet on Prague Airport Bus

Prague, Czechia: Park Inn Prague hotel review

Prague, Czechia: Best Western Hotel Kinsky Garden Prague truly boutique

Prague, Czechia: Hotel review Clarion Prague City reward stay

Prague, Czechia: Vyšehrad, Prague far from the madding crowd

Pilsen, Czechia: Marriott Courtyard Pilsen CZ category 1 reward stay

Pilsen, Czechia: Pilsen Czechia photoessay

Brno, Czechia: Holiday Inn Brno, CZ PointBreaks stay

Brno, Czechia: Brno by beer

Brno, Czechia: Brno Bones in Europe’s Second Largest Ossuary

Czechia: Impressions after 9 days in Czech Republic

Bratislava, Slovakia: Review Radisson Blu Bratislava Slovakia

Bratislava, Slovakia: Walk to Bratislava Castle Slovakia photo essay

Bratislava, Slovakia: Bratislava Slovakia photo essay part 2

Bratislava, Slovakia: Category 1 Park Inn Danube Bratislava Slovakia opens Oct 1, 2017

Bratislava, Slovakia: Trip Report Regiojet Bus Bratislava to Brno Airport

London, UK: Buyer Beware National Express bus London Stansted to London Heathrow

London, UK: Radisson Blu Edwardian Heathrow hotel review

Hotel Loyalty: Loyalty? Yes! Loyal? Not so much for my hotel travel

Hotel Loyalty: My two Club Carlson Free Friday Nights posted today

Airline Loyalty: Aegean Silver elite and 17,000 miles to Star Alliance Gold