Within the crowded city of Amsterdam lies one of the oldest courtyards dated back to the 14th century. The Begijnhof was originally built as a sanctuary for the Begijntjes, a Catholic sisterhood who lived like nuns but without monastic vows. At present time, it is a residential area and only a small section is accessible (free) to public.
Among these picturesque old traditional houses are a church and a chapel which are still very much in use. Check out the statues, the beautiful plaques on walls and the written history board around this courtyard. Not forgetting one of the oldest wooden house in Amsterdam is located at number 34.
Make it a point for a quick detour whenever you are in the neighborhood. Step into a beautiful secret garden and forget the hustle and bustle of the city around the corner. Please show your utmost respect for the residents when visiting.
There are 2 ways to get there: A door on the north side of the Spui and a door on the Gedempte Begijnensloot. Look out for a throng of tourist going in and out brown wooden gateways.
Begijnhof open daily 9am to 5pm.
Website (English): http://www.begijnhofamsterdam.nl/home-en