about CREA

about CREA

what does CREA do?

CREA, Amsterdam’s cultural centre for students

CREA is a cultural student centre where all kinds of students meet in creative courses, lectures, workshops, debates and performances. We do this across the board: from mainstream to subculture, from contemporary narratives to classic stories. A unique place for different ways of thinking, perspectives, new possibilities and leeway for social issues and current themes.

The aim of CREA is to stimulate interest and expressions of cultural activities and to promote understanding of the connection between science and society among students and staff at the institutions of scientific and higher professional education in Amsterdam.

CREA has


CREA came into being in the late 1960s during a turbulent time with many educational innovations, with the goal to make social and cultural education a fundamental part of student life. In the process, a number of existing arts and culture student associations joined forces to form one large organisation where the practice of art was central: CREA was born.

CREA’s first beginnings were at Herengracht 88 and the Herenlogement on Huidenstraat/Keizersgracht. After a period on Sarphatistraat in an old military hospital, the Binnengasthuisterrein became the location of CREA for many years. From 1999, CREA also became the cultural student centre of the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (HvA), where previously we were only part of the University of Amsterdam (UvA).

In 2012 CREA moved for the last time, this time to the former diamond-cutting factory ‘Maatschappij’ in the heart of the Roeterseiland campus. Behind the monumental facade, a contemporary cultural student centre with modern facilities flourishes, where thousands of students meet every year during our courses and cultural activities. We also facilitate over fifty student organisations in our building, and the CREA Café has been an important meeting place for UvA and HvA students for years.

Diamantslijperij Maatschappij
Beeld: De Diamantslijperij Maatschappij te Amsterdam 15 april 1845 - 1920 door M. Barents.

opening hours

CREA main building
Monday to Friday:  09.00 – 23.00 hrs
Saturday: 10.00 – 23.00 hrs
Sunday: 10.00 – 17.00 hrs

CREA café
Monday to Friday: 09.00 – 00.00 hrs
Saturday: 10.00 – 00.00 hrs
Sunday: 10.00 – 18.00 hrs

CREA closed 2023/2024

  • Easter break: Sunday 31 March and Monday 1 April 2024
  • King’s Day: Saturday 27 April 2024
  • Ascension Day: Thursday 9 May 2024
  • Pentecost: Sunday 19 and Monday 20 May 2024
  • Due to staff activity: Saturday 6 & Sunday 7 July 2024

course-free periods

  • Christmas break: Saturday 23 December 2023 until Sunday 7 January 2024
  • May break: Monday 29 April until Sunday 5 May 2024

During fall and spring break, course classes continue.

opening hours during summer

From Monday 8 July to Sunday 18 August 2024
Monday to Friday: 09.00 – 23.00 hrs
Saturday: 10.00 – 17.00 hrs
Sunday: closed


Nieuwe Achtergracht 170
1018 WV Amsterdam
T. 020 399 1212

contact details per department

General/course registration

Studio rental
Tel 020 399 1212

Lectures and debates

CREA theatre & music hall


CREA café

contact details confidential counsellors

in case of undesirable or transgressive behaviour

The confidential counsellor is the contact point for anyone who experiences inappropriate behaviour and works at CREA, attends CREA courses or is involved or present in other CREA activities.

Unacceptable behaviour is behaviour from others towards you that makes you feel uncomfortable or unsafe.

CREA is committed to a safe and pleasant environment for all employees and visitors. If you are unable to bring your experience to the attention of a CREA employee, you can contact one of the UvA or HvA counsellors:

> UvA counsellors
> HvA counsellors

send us an email


Nieuwe Achtergracht 170
1018 WV Amsterdam
T. 020 399 1212


Please note that CREA is located on a car-free site. The building is in the middle of the Roeterseiland campus and may be difficult for a new visitor to find. Therefore, please check the directions below.

Walking or cycling

  1. From Sarphatistraat: near the Albert Heijn supermarket (Sarphatistraat 141K) you will find a car-free alley (Pancrasstraat). Turn into this street and you’ll immediately see the back of the CREA building, walk towards the canal. You’ll find the entrance to CREA on your left.
  2. From Plantage Muidergracht: you can reach CREA via two pedestrian bridges.
  3. From Roeterstraat: enter the Roeterseiland campus via the right bank of Nieuwe Achtergracht, walk/cycle under the building built over the canal. You will see CREA on your right.

Bike parking

By bicycle? Bikes can be parked in the open-air parking area next to the CREA building or in one of the UvA’s underground parking areas. Please note that these underground parking facilities close at 10pm.

Tram and metro

  1. Tram 1, 7 & 19 – stop Korte’s Gravesandestraat. Walk to Sarphatistraat, then turn left. Just before the Albert Heijn supermarket, turn right into the car-free alley. From here on out, follow ‘Walking or cycling’ at point 1
  2. Metro 51, 53 & 54 – stop Weesperplein. Walk east down Sarphatistraat until past Roetersstraat. Just after the Albert Heijn supermarket, turn left into a car-free street. From here on out, follow ‘Walking or cycling, point 1.


CREA is located on a car-free site. Available parking space near CREA is limited, especially in the evenings. The best chances are in the area around Plantage Muidergracht. From Plantage Muidergracht, CREA is easily accessible via two pedestrian bridges.

Loading and unloading

For this, call 020 399 1212 on weekdays between 09:00 and 16:00.