The "Jordaan" is a neighborhood bordered by the canals Lijnbaansgracht, Prinsengracht, Brouwersgracht and Leidsegracht. The former canal Rozengracht, which has been filled up, is the main road in the area.
The Jordaan is one of the more expensive neighborhoods in Amsterdam, home to many specialty shops, art galleries, bars and restaurants. As with so many of Amsterdams trendy neighborhoods, this wasn't always the case.
[caption id="attachment_525" align="alignleft" width="600"] The Lijnbaansgracht, a typical canal in the Jordaan[/caption]
Since the start of it's construction in 1612, the Jordaan had always been a working-class neighborhood and living circumstances were pretty bad. In the 20th century, restorations took place and a lot of residents moved out to more affordable locations around Amsterdam, such as Purmerend and Almere.
Music played an important role in the Jordaan's history. A lot of famous Dutch musicians have a statue on the corner of Elandsgracht and Prinsengracht. The annually held Jordaanfestival celebrates this aspect of the neighborhood.
Eating and drinking
The Jordaan hosts a great number of restaurants and most cuisines are represented. For international cuisine, check out Small World or the more upscale BIHP. Beulings and L'invite Le Restaurant are good options if you're into French cuisine and if you like Sushi make sure to check out Sugoi Sushi.
There are plenty of small bars and cafes in the area. They used to function kind of as a second living room, as many families were living in small houses with little space. You'll find a nice lively atmosphere in places like Cafe Nol, De Blaffende Vis and cafe Thijssen.
Although the Jordaan doesn't host many big tourist attractions, there are a few things worth checking out. The area's main church, the Noorderkerk, is worth a visit. It was build in the early 17th century and is still in use.
[caption id="attachment_526" align="alignleft" width="600"] The Noorderkerk[/caption]
On the edge of the neighborhood (technically just outside) lies the Westermarkt, with the beautiful Westertoren. This is where the Jordaanfestival takes places.
Also located on the edge of the Jordaan, the Prinsengracht, is the famous Anne Frank House. The museum is dedicated to Anne Frank, who hid with her Jewish family during the 2nd World War to avoid persecution from the Germans. She chronicled the experience in a diary, which has been published in many languages.