Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam is a complex of 19th-century buildings, once a gas plant. Now it is one of Amsterdam’s biggest cultural venues. There are bars, restaurants, clubs, music festivals, markets, a park, a kids pool, raves, many outside terraces, a coffee bar, an ice cream shop, and even a cinema.
How to get to Westergas?
Westergas is located in the West of Amsterdam. By foot, you can walk to Westergas in about half an hour. Follow Haarlemmerdijk and Haarlemmerstraat until you reach Haarlemmerplein. Cross the square and the bridge. After the bridge, you can enter Westerpark on your right hand side. Westergas area is located at the end of the park.
To highlight some of Amsterdam Westergas’ best places to go to:
1. De Bakkerswinkel, Bakery
Entering the Westergasfabriek grounds from the right side on the map above, you will find The Bakkerswinkel. Inside is a comfy café where you can buy cakes, sandwiches and bread, coffee and juice. De Bakkerswinkel uses local, biological products as much as possible.
2. Tony’s Chocolonely, Chocolate
Across from the Bakkerswinkel, you can buy chocolate with a conscience. Amsterdam’s own Tony’s Chocolonely is working to create a 100% slave-free chocolate. The shop is a feast of colours and you taste their many different flavours.
2. Westergas Cinema and Restaurant Het Ketelhuis
On the left side of the main street is Het Ketelhuis, a film house cinema. Many films are non-English spoken and not subtitled, so check the agenda first.
Het Ketelhuis is also a café and restaurant with an nice industrial style. There are cakes and coffee, local brews on tap, lunch from 12 to 4 pm an dinner from 5.30. In summer there is an outside terrace on both sides.
3. Pop-up Art at Westergas’ Het Meterhuisje
Next door to Het Ketelhuis is pop-up gallery Het Meterhuisje. Every month new art by a rising star in the Amsterdam art universe.
4. Bar Cocovin
Natural and biodynamic wines on offer at Bar Cocovin. You can even take a bottle into the Westerpark.
If you prefer something cold and sweet, like real Dutch ice cream, move up a building to IJscuypje. These Dutch ice cream makers have conquered the city. Open in summer!
6. Westerpark Relax Zone
The large grass area at Westergas perfect to chill. There’s even free wifi! Around the buildings of Westergasfabriek and at the Westerpark there is free wifi on a high-speed network.
In summer, many Amsterdam locals organize their own barbecue at the Westergas area. Kids may enjoy playing games in the field and when the weather is nice, jump into the paddling pool.
7. Westergas Beer Brewery Troost
At the terrace of beer Brewery Troost you can rest with a home-brewed beer. On tap are ten different kinds of beer. None have high alcohol percentages, so it’s perfect for tasting a few in one visit. Brewery Troost Westergas also serves food like hamburgers, salads and cheesecake.
8. Sunday Market at Westergas
Every first Sunday of the Monday stands sell fashion, design, gifts, and jewelry, in most cases designed and hand made by the people who sell them during the Sunday Market.
Check Amsterdam Event Calendar for dates
9. West Pacific Restaurant and Bar
Pacific Parc is a large café, bar and restaurant with a big outside terrace. In winter, you can snuggle up to the fireplace. A DJ spins records every night and during weekends there is dancing.
Westergasterras is a restaurant and bar with a large outdoor terrace next to the large Gas Holder of the Westergasfabriek. Famous for its after-work drinks and its salsa dance parties in summer (every Thursday).
11. Westerunie and Westerliefde
Upstairs Westergasterras are clubs Westerunie and downstairs Westerliefde. Both spaces have a nice industrial look with lots of brick and steel to give it that Berlin-feel. The clubs are only open on organized dance and club nights. Club nights include those of Click, Static, Rotzooi and Loveland, all very popular.
Check Amsterdam Dance Festivals Calendar for dates
12. Arcade games at the TonTon Club
The TonTon Club is located at the very end of the green Westergas area. If you feel like playing an old arcade game, this is the place for you. There are more TonTon Clubs in Amsterdam, and this one has a Japanese touch. You can enjoy Japanese food and drinks also.
13. Raïnaraï, Algerian food
Raïnaraï is a nomadic restaurant with an authentic Algerian menu. It also has a large quiet terrace with a hippie feel.
History of Westergas
The Westergasfabriek was a factory constructed in 1885 to produce gas. The gas was needed to illuminate the street lights of Amsterdam. In those days, gas was extracted from coal.
The buildings were designed by Isaac Gosschalk, who also designed the Heineken Brewery and restaurant De Poort van Cleve. Gosschalk was an important Dutch architect who started with the Dutch renaissance.
In 1959 the largest natural gas field of Europe was found in The Netherlands, nearby Slochteren in the Northern province of Groningen. Since then, the Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam lost its function.
Clean up Wester Gas Plant
The original gas plant of Westergasfabriek was torn down, as well as the beautiful water tower. The remaining buildings were left to waste for years. In the 1990s the Westergas area was renovated and the polluted soil cleaned.
The large gas holder became a spectacular venue for the first Amsterdam mass techno raves. The huge Gashouder was home to the legendary and still happening Awakenings parties.