The Begijnhof lies hidden away from the noisy shopping street Kalverstraat, across from the English Reformed Church. Most of the houses in this area were built in the 17th Century; the oldest one here dating back to 1475. Wooden establishments slowly disappeared because the city forbade their construction in order to prevent fire in the densely populated inner city. The courtyards were created by small religious communities in an attempt to retreat from the world and live their own isolated lives. The Begijnen - a Catholic order - was only tolerated after the Reformation in the 16th Century. Only single women were allowed in the Begijnhof to lead the life of a nun.
This gambling hall is situated right in the center of the city, near the famous Rembrandt square. Although it is rather small, they still have a good selection of slot machines. The atmosphere at Lucky Jack is rather informal and both the interior and the exterior of the place look quite modern. When you enter, there is a booth where you can change your money into coins. Unlike most other gambling halls in Amsterdam, the minimum entry age at Lucky Jack is 21.
Anne Frank and her family went into hiding here on July 6, 1942, and lived in isolation for over two years. The German occupants removed all the furniture from Anne Frank House when the inhabitants were detained in 1944. However, films and other sources, including Anne's diary, give a good idea of what life was like during those times. The museum opened on May 3, 1960, and an enormous visitors' center was constructed in the 1980s.
One of the city's oldest neighborhoods, The Jordaan traces its roots to the 17th Century as an area built for the working class. Unchecked immigration and neglect over the years led to it being one of the poorest areas of the city at one point. In the more recent years however, efforts by it residents have worked, and the neighborhood has transformed handsomely into an upscale quarter. Today, the neighborhood is a harmonious blend of the old and new, with charming historical courtyards, stellar art galleries and great dining options.
This cultural phenomenon located within a short distance of the Leidseplein occupies a former dairy. That explains its name, which translates to "Milky Way." Melkweg is renowned for both its size and eclectic performers. In addition to a dance floor and 2000-person capacity, you'll find a gallery, cinema, theater, and concert stage. Bands are often followed by DJs who play tunes ranging from house to drum and bass. Its diverse audience is a mix of locals and tourists. The atmosphere is relaxed with plenty of space to dance or mingle.
Many internationally-acclaimed artists have performed at Paradiso, formerly a church. It features a spacious dance floor and a balcony offering excellent views of the surrounding balustrade. Every week, this venue hosts different bands in action, from regional musicians to world-famous artists like the Rolling Stones. Occasionally, the stage on the first floor is reserved for smaller indie bands that draw an eclectic crowd of locals and tourists.