Once you’ve exited the Central Station the Westersingel is like a green carpet rolled out for you and welcoming you to enter the city. It stretches almost 2 kms to its final destination: the Scheepvaart Quarter around the Veerhaven and it’s my favorite stroll through, or rather along the centre.
This network of canals, gently winding watercourses accompanied by a tree-lined avenue was designed in the mid 1850s by the Zochers (yup, the same ones who designed The Park). Once, together with a few other canals, part of the city Water project, a hygienic solution for flushing the town waters as a framework for urban expansion in the future, it now is mostly a very pleasant lush walkway.
Halfway the Westersingel is ‘t Oude Tramhuis, a century-old steel mobile hut, which served as a waiting room and later turned into a 24/7 bar in which I’ve spent some nights of the kind not to be mentioned here. The pavilion now hosts a Turkish snackbar.
What really does it for me is the presence of a large number of statues and artworks along the canal. Auguste Rodin, Pablo Picasso, Paul McCarthy’s Santa Claus and Giuseppe Penone’s elevated tree are just a few of them.
Enjoy your stroll!