Chinatown   since 1911

oldest Chinese district of continental Europe

Chinatown is the Chinese district of Amsterdam. It includes also numerous Indonesian, Malaysian, and Thai restaurants, shops, salons, markets and more.

hehua

Amsterdam Chinatown is home to He Hua Temple, 荷花寺, the largest Chinese Mahayana Buddhist monastery in Europe.

For tourists guided tours are organised at schedule times. You can also attend courses or meditate in the temple.

The relatively new Fo Guang Shan Temple , a Taiwanese organization, on the Zeedijk is a testament to the prosperity of the local Chinese.

Chinatown Amsterdam has exploded in recent decades. It's gone beyond it's confines in the Red Light District and is now spilling over past the Nieuwmarkt.

The oldest Chinese neighbourhood in continental Europe (1911) is centered around Zeedijk, Nieuwmarkt and Geldersekade.

The Chinese of Amsterdam

The Chinese people who arrived in the Netherlands from around 1900 onwards were nearly all seafarers and, in particular, stokers who worked on the steamships of the big shipping companies.

In Amsterdam, the Chinese community lived in and around the Binnen Bantammerstraat . The Dutch public only really became familiar with the Chinese when they began to sell peanut biscuits on the streets in 1931.

Restaurants

In 1928, the first Chinese restaurant (named 'Kong Hing'), which also attracted Dutch diners, was opened in the Binnen Bantammerstraat. The Chinese population consequently grew after the Second World War.

The Binnen Bantammerstraat remained the centre of the Chinese in Holland for a long time. Apart from the string of restaurants, it was also home to gambling houses and opium dens that were only open to the Chinese themselves.

In the many REAL Chinese restaurants - as opposed to Indonesian Chinese which is lacking the finesse of true Chinese cuisine - you can get authentic and really tasty Chinese food, like spicy Sichuan or Hunnan. These restaurants are easy to spot as the ducks are usually hung in the front window.

Ceramics stores and apothecaries

Besides restaurants and markets, there are some very interesting shops and supermarkets with all sorts of dry goods from China. Everything from Dragon masks to ceramics to incense can be found in these stores.

You can also find apothecaries selling all sorts of Asian remedies for whatever ails you. Martial arts schools can focus your mind and body and help develop confidence and clarity.

Chinese festive celebrations

New Year's Day and Chinese New Year is celebrated yearly in Chinatown with dragon dance, lion dance and loud, explosive firework. Each year also Vesak - birthday of Gautama Buddha - is celebrated in May by the local Fo Guang Shan He Hua Temple.

The annual traditional Chinese lion dance is performed by local Kung-Fu clubs to congratulate Chinese shopkeepers and businessmen in Amsterdam's Chinatown for the new year.

Chinatown has transformed the red light district into a more friendly place for tourists and locals to enjoy Asian culture and great food!

more impressions

drakendans

Lion Dance in Chinatown

zeedijk

Street names in Chinatown are in both Dutch and Chinese characters

stormsteeg

Chinese supermarket Toko Dun Yong at the corner Stormsteeg-Zeedijk

duck

roasted ducks are hung at the window of Amsterdam Chinatown's restaurants

wingkee

Cantonese restaurant Wing Kee on Zeedijk 76 serves very tasty Peking duck

zeedijk

Zeedijk with its traditional Chinese restaurants and shops

chinatown

'Chinese streets' that belong to Chinatown are: Binnen Bantammerstraat, Elleboogsteeg, Geldersekade, Molensteeg, Nieuwmarkt, Oosterdokskade, Rechtboomssloot, Stormsteeg, Zeedijk

sichuan

Chinese restaurant on Warmoesstraat

visitors are also interested in:

Asian Food Restaurants

Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Indonesian, Thai, Korean and Fusion restaurants in Amsterdam   Amsterdam Directory

Zuiderkerk

first protestant church of Amsterdam from 1614

Nieuwmarkt

lively square with many bars, restaurants and terraces in one of the oldest parts of Amsterdam