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The Jordaan is a very popular neighbourhood in Amsterdam. Every street in the Jordaan is like a picture postcard of Dutch life! Very beautiful houses, canals, cafes and craft shops.
I feel the Jordaan is an essential place to visit when in Amsterdam. I feel that you can get a truer view of what Amsterdam is like, rather than visiting 'the red light district' where it is very touristic and a little unsavory.
The Jordaan is the home of 'Anne Frank House' a wonderful and emotional museum which brings such history alive. The neighbourhood is inhabited mostly by Artists, and older people. It has many restaurants which are varied - dutch cusine, indian, italian to indonesian. There are many regular markets held in this area, and you can pick up a bargain at the Noordermarkt and Westerstraat (Lapjesmarkt textile market) and also on the Lindengracht.
I also reccommed this area if you are a photography lover, because you can take some very beautiful shots.