The Nieuwmarkt and a large part of the Zeedijk form the heart of Chinatown. The first Chinese in Amsterdam worked as coal stokers, fuelling the large passenger ships. With the decline of sailing, many Chinese became unemployed and started restaurants and Chinese shops. The Chinese community is very close, takes care of each other and remains loyal to their traditions and customs. The current Chinatown is unique because of all the different nationalities that are located in Chinatown as well, you won't find such a multicultural Chinatown anywhere in the world.
After the second world war the Dutch 'discovered' the Chinese kitchen and expanded even further on the Zeedijk. Besides the cafés and restaurants, more and more Eastern companies appeared including traveling agencies, herb shops, toko's and a printer. The streetname signs in Chinatown are bilingual: Dutch and Chinese. Since 2000 the Buddhist temple on the Zeedijk is the heart of Chinatown Amsterdam. The temple plays an important role in organising all the Chinese events.
You can find a walking route in our free city map which will lead you to the most interesting and beautiful sights on this entertaining city walk in the old town of Amsterdam.