The Most Stunning Hofjes in Amsterdam (Secret Courtyards)


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When it comes to exploring the Dutch capital, it can generally really feel as if no stone has been left unturned. From the dancing homes to the grand museums, the city has a lot of have to-see attractions and can not miss destinations. Even so, if you are hunting for an oasis of calm in the centre of the city, you can nonetheless hide away in some of the most gorgeous Hofjes in Amsterdam, which are largely to be identified in the Jordaan district of the city.

The Most Beautiful Hofjes in Amsterdam (Secret Courtyards)

What are the Amsterdam Hofjes?

For these who want to escape the crowds of the Rijksmuseum and get away from the mass of persons who flock to the gingerbread homes of Damrak on a everyday basis, the hofjes of Amsterdam are secret, obscure, and hidden courtyards that are filled with greenery and dotted all through the city.

Claes Claesz Hofje

In existence due to the fact the middle ages, the Dutch word ‘hofje’ is applied to denote courtyards surrounded by almshouses. Privately funded, a great deal of the time these residences had been when constructed to serve these most in want, and for the most component, older ladies. In Amsterdam, these oases of calm are commonly hidden behind grand canalside homes and several are nonetheless lived in now.

The biggest concentration of hofjes is to be identified in the Jordaan district, which boasts just below twenty of these fairly courtyards, even though there are about thirty remaining inside the UNESCO canal belt. There are at present a quantity that are cost-free to take a look at and open to the public through choose instances. Even so, when going to, just recall to be respectful and quiet. Following all, these are nonetheless people’s houses!

Amsterdam Hofje in the sunshine

Claes Claesz Hofje

Address | Eerste Egelantiersdwarsstraat 1, five Amsterdam

Of all the secret small courtyards you need to know about, A small out of the way and close to the hidden gem that is the Mouse Mansion, a toy shop that sells mouse-themed children’s books primarily based on a mini mouse doll series, the Claes Claez hofje is 1 of the oldest hidden courtyards in the city.

Nowadays, this hofje differs from several of the other folks in Amsterdam in that the space is truly comprised of two hofjes which have due to the fact been interconnected by means of a narrow passageway. Zwaardvegershofje and the Claes Claesz (also recognized as Anslo’s hofje) are cost-free to take a look at.

Even though several of the homes seem ancient, the hofje truly underwent substantial renovations in the 1960s, resulting in several of the homes getting virtually rebuilt. Now, the hofje truly has 3 entrances, even though the prettiest of the courtyards

Claes Claesz Hofje


Address | Karthuizersstraat 89 – 171, 1015 LN Amsterdam

Tucked away down a small side street, the Karthuizerhofje is 1 of the bigger Amsterdam hofjes that is truly open to the public. Free of charge to take a look at, head right here and you can anticipate to come across a wealth of gorgeous plants, a trickling fountain, and a lot of benches on which to sit and loosen up.

Numerous of the buildings right here had been developed by Daniël Stalpaert, a renowned 17th-century architect who is finest-recognized for his perform designing the Royal Palace and the Oosterkerk. Like several of Amsterdam’s hofjes, when upon a time, this courtyard was the website of a Carthusian Monastery.

Karthuizerhofje, Amsterdam

Zon’s Hofje

Address | Prinsengracht 159-171, 1015 DR Amsterdam

Filled with cherry blossom and just streets away from the ever-so-well-known Westerkerk (i.e. the final resting spot of globe-well-known Dutch painter Rembrandt), Zon’s Hofje was when exactly where a Mennonite Church was identified.

At that time, Mennonite churches had been not permitted to have public frontage along the principal road, and so they had been hidden away behind the canal homes. As such, a extended and narrow passage leads into the courtyard. After known as Sonnegang, it was later recognized as Noachsgang, and certainly a Noah’s Ark Gable Stone can nonetheless be spied in the courtyard now.

By the late 18th-century, the region had been transformed into housing for Mennonite ladies who had been aged fifty or more than. Wander into this secret spot now and you can anticipate to love various picnic benches, tulips through the spring, and a relaxed atmosphere all year ’round.

Zon's Hofje tulips and sunny day in Amsterdam

Hofje van Brienen

Address | Prinsengracht 89-133, 1015 DA Amsterdam

Opening hours | Monday- Saturday 06:00- 18:00, Sunday closed

Just down the road from the ever-well-known Zonshofje, the Hofje van Brienen is quickly 1 of the most breathtaking courtyards in the Jordaan district of the city. Free of charge to enter, we had this hidden gem all to ourselves when we wandered about mid-week through the late afternoon.

The history of this hofje traces its roots back to 1797 when a neighborhood merchant, Arnaut van Brienen, purchased a residence, storehouse, and brewery named the star so as to demolish the complicated and transform it into a hofje. Through the 19th-century the space was applied to residence up to twenty couples and six guys.

Though the downstairs floors had been in use as living accommodation, the upper floors had been rented out as grain lofts. Now, Van Brienen can be visited all through the week and functions various nicely-manicured box tree displays. Nearby, the protestant Noorderkerk dates back to the 17th-century.


Address | 1012 AB Amsterdam

Opening hours | Monday – Sunday 09:00 – 17:00

The most well-known of all the Amsterdam hofjes is quickly that of the Begijnhof, a beguinage dating back to the 14th-century. Even though not as a great deal of a hidden gem of Amsterdam as just a couple of years ago, this courtyard is populated by a lot of historic almshouses as nicely as an English Reformed Church and the Catholic Houten Huys. 

Wander inside the English Reformed church now and you can anticipate to come across various pulpit panels developed by Piet Mondrian, amongst other treasures. Elsewhere in the expansive courtyard, the wooden residence is 1 of only two remaining wooden homes in the centre of Amsterdam. Dating all the way back to the 16th-century, nearby you will come across various gable stones mounted on an otherwise nondescript wall.

Begijnhof Amsterdam: A Secret 14th-Century Hofje in the Dutch Capital, Amsterdam, Netherlands

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About Sophie Nadeau

Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, Paris, pizza, and history, even though not necessarily in that order. A fan of all factors France connected, she runs when she’s not chasing soon after the subsequent sunset shot or consuming her weight in sweet meals.


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