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Westerpark and Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam

Netherlands's insider take:

A late-19th-century Westergasfabriek (city gasworks) is enjoying a new lease on life as a "culture park" after extensive renovations in 2005. Its once-contaminated grounds now house the undulating Westerpark—notice how the landscape gradually changes from urban to wilderness as you walk west out of town—and a fountain pool where kids can frolic and moms and dads look on. Among the Fabriek's buildings are Pacific Parc, a grand restaurant with nighttime DJs and guest performers (Polonceaukade 23; 31-20-488-7778;, a branch of de Bakkerswinkel, Amsterdam's favorite bakery, (Regulateurshuis 1; 31-20-688-0632;, the art-house cinema Het Ketelhuis (Haamlemmerwag 8-10; 31-20-684-0090;, and postindustrial Westergasterras party venue (Klonneplein 3). Café-Restaurant Amsterdam is across busy Haarlemmerweg, in the 1900 municipal waterworks (Watertorenplein 6; 31-20-682-2666;

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