When one thinks of Amsterdam images of canals, cobbled streets and the Rijksmuseum come in to mind yet there is another part of the city that offers an alternative aspect. Amsterdam Noord is one of the more avant-garde areas, and with its industrial architecture it’s a far cry from traditional images of Amsterdam. Its stylish waterside hangouts attract an artistic, creative crowd. In this guide we explore Amsterdam Noord, offering our highlights of the best things to see and do there.
Those looking for the perfect retreat from the busy city centre should hop on a ferry to Amsterdam Noord and head for Noorderlicht Café. Located near NDSM Wharf, Café Noorderlicht is a perfect example of the area’s unique style. What appears to be a huge greenhouse is actually one of the city’s coolest outdoor bars, complete with impressive views overlooking the water. With its colourful mismatched furniture and quirky beer garden it is the perfect place to enjoy another side to Amsterdam. The food menu is great for vegetarians and vegans, with dishes such as vegetarian hamburger made with oyster mushroom.
Noorderlicht Café, NSDM-Plein 102, 1033 WB Amsterdam, +31 (0)20 492 2770
This is a must-see when in Amsterdam North. Housing a truly impressive archive of movie history and memorabilia, from classic blockbusters to cult films, Eye Filmmuseum offers a different side to Amsterdam’s cultural scene. It is also one of the best free things to do in Amsterdam Noord thanks to the no-charge Panorama exhibition of cameras and film equipment reflecting highlights in the history of cinema.
Eye Filmmuseum, IJpromenade 1, 1031 KT Amsterdam, +31 (0)20 589 1400
Café de Ceuvel
Amsterdam North is blessed with several cool waterside venues, with Café de Ceuvel one of the best. It is an award-winning sustainable space dedicated to showcasing creative and sustainable projects, all in the setting of a former shipyard. The site frequently holds events but be sure to check out the in-house eatery. Using organic produce from local suppliers wherever possible, the café is a real gem and a great spot for health food fans. Offering kombucha, buckwheat salads, vegan nachos and seaweed spreads, this is a great restaurant for vegans.
Café de Ceuvel, Korte Papaverweg 2, 1032 KB Amsterdam, +31 (0)20 229 6210
The banks of the river Ij make a perfect setting for a meal in Amsterdam ‒ and the area has particular appeal for seafood lovers. Located in a former industrial building, Café-restaurant Stork is an impressively on-trend restaurant here. With exposed brickwork and a minimalist-rustic interior, it is a design lover’s dream. Style does not come without substance; Stork is regarded as one of Amsterdam’s top restaurants. Daily fresh and seasonal seafood make up much of the menu, which frequently features sea bream, sea bass, brill and plaice. During the summer, sit out on the expansive terrace and watch the boats go by.
Café-restaurant Stork, Gedempt Hamerkanaal 201, 1021 KP Amsterdam, +31 (0)20 634 4000
Described as a city within a city, NDSM wharf is a former shipyard just 15 minutes’ ferry ride from central Amsterdam. It is a vibrant social space and a haven for creatives, with plenty of cool bars and galleries. It is also home to IJ-hallen flea market, one of the largest such markets in Europe, where hundreds of stalls offer a variety of vintage clothes, jewellery, homeware and design pieces. The summer is a great time to visit NDSM Wharf, with a top line-up of events ofering everything from summer screenings to music festivals.
NDSM Wharf, NDSM-Plein 28, 1033 WB Amsterdam