If you ask me, Amsterdam-Noord is one of the most exciting parts of the city. From behind Central Station (Ruijterkade) free ferries take you to the north bank of ‘t IJ. Here you’ll find laid-back restaurants, the EYE Museum, the ADAM Tower and NDSM Dockyards, home of fancy festivals.
In Amsterdam-Noord, creative hubs and eateries are popping up like daisies. The good thing is, you can reach this part (of Amsterdam) for free. Hop-on the ferry with your rental bike, it will take you across (‘t IJ) in five minutes. Admire the glowing north bank and Amsterdam skyline. Usually, I take the ferry ‘Buiksloterweg’ or ‘NDSM-Werf’. Both are for free. Fantastic service!
Buiksloterweg – (EYE Museum, Tolhuistuin, Amsterdam Tower)
You’ll find the ferries behind Amsterdam Central Station. From Ruijterkade, Buiksloterweg ferry runs approximately every five minutes – day and night. If you like, bring your rental bike for free. It takes only a few minutes to cross. Mind you, it can be crowded in rush hours. Don’t worry if there’s a wait, the stunning view kills the time. Make sure you visit the EYE Museum. Which is located at the waterside and shows the development of the movie industry. If you’re not sure which one it is, EYE looks like a Star Wars-ship. You can admire the modern architecture. Or watch an art house movie. I just love hanging out at the waterside terrace sipping on a cold one
Next to the EYE you’ll find A’DAM Tower, the former home of Royal Dutch Shell. The LOOKOUT (€12,50) on the 22nd floor gives you a phenomenal view of Amsterdam. If you’re a real daredevil, try Europe’s highest swing (‘Over the Edge’) – over hundred meters above the ground. When you’re down to earth again, try Tolhuistuin, a bar/restaurant/concert hall. Which you’ll find next to the A’DAM Tower. For a laid back afternoon, sit down at the cool terrace or idyllic garden. Check out their theatre and concert programme to discover Amsterdam’s hottest new talent.
NDSM Dockyards – A creative hotspot
NDSM-Werf ferry takes you from Ruijterkade (at the back of Central Station) to the cultural hotspot NDSM Dockyards, a former shipyard on the north bank of ‘t IJ. Ferries run every fifteen or thirty minutes. Here’s the timetable. The fifteen-minute crossing is a great opportunity to see the Amsterdam skyline from a different perspective. NDSM is one of the best known festival locations in Amsterdam. And a home for artists and creative companies. In this raw waterfront area you’ll find restaurants and city beaches as well. Pllek and Noorderlicht Café are my favourite spots to hang out with friends.
IJ-Hallen, Europe’s biggest flea market
Near NDSM Werf – a 5-minute walk – you’ll find IJ-hallen. Once a month this is the home of Europe’s biggest flea market. Submerge in the convivial atmosphere in the market halls. vendors (over 750 stands) sell everything and anything. From clothes to typewriters and from books to furniture. After a long day of bargain hunting, put your feet up and try traditional poffertjes. Entrance will set you back€5. Check their website for upcoming events.
This is only a selection of my favourite places in Amsterdam-North. I would love to hear more about your experiences!