Amsterdam-Noord is the creative playground of the famous and busy Dutch capital. It is where nature, Dutch traditions and modern-day life all come together in a trendy neighbourhood. The neighbourhood is just a few minutes away from Amsterdam Central Station thanks to the free GVB ferry service. Amsterdam-Noord is where you will not only find many green spaces full of beautiful flora and fauna, but also very modern and impressive architecture. From trendy cafés and unique hotels to well-known attractions and an advanced start-up scene: Amsterdam-Noord has something for everyone.
Taking its name from its location north of the River IJ, Amsterdam-Noord (which literally means “north” in Dutch) is an area rich in personality. Traditionally home to lots of factories and the workers who fuelled Amsterdam‘s industrial growth in the 19th and 20th centuries, today the area is a fantastic mix of serene residential neighbourhoods, quaint villages, and thriving cultural hubs that have emerged from long-term urban regeneration projects. Probably the most famous regeneration project has been the NDSM Wharf. Once an immense shipyard, this area is now one of Amsterdam’s must-see locations, home to artist’s studios and 21st-century businesses, all while still retaining its industrial, factory-like aesthetic. It’s no wonder the city’s young adults and creative types have flocked to NDSM, bringing an array of cool cafes, edgy art, and innovative events and festivals with them.
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What to see in Amsterdam-Noord?
What was once an emerging neighbourhood is now a bustling, quirky melting pot of culture and activities. Amsterdam-Noord is no longer “a village within a city”, but a green, family-friendly district where there is always something to do. Here are some of the things to see and do in this beautiful part of Amsterdam.
EYE Film Museum
The futuristic, spectacular EYE Museum, a museum where everything revolves around film, is located on the northern banks of the IJ in Amsterdam. The EYE Film museum can be called a cinema, film mecca and museum are all in one. You can watch films in four movie theatres, but there are also exhibitions, educational activities and the annual Film Festivals. You can also combine all of that with eating and drinking in bar-restaurant EYE with a cinematic view of the IJ River and ships sailing by. In the summer the doors open and visitors are allowed to chill on the terrace.
It was once the largest shipyard in the world, but in the 1980s the “Nederlandse Dok en Scheepsbouw Maatschappij” went bankrupt and the site on the north side of the IJ became vacant. Today you feel like you’re in Brooklyn or Berlin because the messy yard with its rusty sheds and unruly concrete has become the ideal backdrop for a new generation of creative people and entrepreneurs.
Festivals take place here all year round, there is an impressive Street Art museum and you can enjoy the fantastic views of the water and the city from the coolest hospitality spots.
For “the best things in life” that contribute to a healthy lifestyle there is the Landmarkt, an indoor market in Amsterdam-Noord. Fresh fish, the best meat, cheese from local farms and artisan chocolate from local chocolate makers can be found at the market. All farm produces are fresh, completely natural and cheap. The Landmarkt is open from Monday to Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
When you think about where an industrial setting meets style and creativity mixed with a tropical vibe, you get Restaurant Hangar. A corrugated iron hangar on the IJ for extensive tea, lounging and good food. From bites to modern dishes that match the seasons with fish and meat. On the menu are dishes such as chanterelle risotto, bavette with homemade fries and a spicy lobster with sriracha, spinach and sweet potato. During the spring and summer months, visitors can also eat on the large terrace on the IJ River.
Tolhuistuin is a sleek restaurant located in a former Shell canteen. This is where some of Amsterdam’s happening people come to eat delicious food indoors or on the spacious terrace for a good price. Festivals, events, markets, exhibitions, dancing to catchy tunes from DJs and cool concerts, etc. Tolhuistuin has everything that makes life fun and interesting. In the summer the restaurant is all about 100% outdoor happiness and fun with many hours of dancing in the sun and moonlight.
FC Hyena is a boutique cinema with a petit restaurant and wine bar. FC Hyena was created at the end of 2016 as the first boutique cinema in the Netherlands. Housed in a unique location in Amsterdam Noord, you cannot only enjoy the beautiful view over the IJ, but also two exceptional cinemas and a rock-solid list of films. The restaurant has an interesting menu and almost all dishes are prepared in the wood-fired brick oven. FC Hyena shows a mix of arthouse and popular films in two halls, both with home-made comfortable seats. Besides the movies, this is also a good place for a snack (tacos and oysters) and drinks.
What’s there to do in Amsterdam Noord?
Apart from cycling and sightseeing, there are also other activities that you definitely shouldn’t miss out on:
1. Try the Famous Amsterdam Ferry
Fun, fast and completely free! The GVB ferry across the IJ will take you safely to Amsterdam-Noord and back again. The hotspots of Amsterdam Noord are a short boat trip away. The sailing time depends on where you board and is between 5 and 20 minutes. Frequently used boarding places are those from the De Ruyterkade behind Amsterdam Central Station. The ferries operate 24 hours a day, at least 5 times an hour. This is one you definitely shouldn’t miss.
2. The A’DAM Tower or Amsterdam Lookout Tower
The A’DAM Tower in Amsterdam Noord, with its 22 floors, towers above everything and everyone in Amsterdam. There are various bars, restaurants and a viewpoint with a spectacular view of Amsterdam in the tower. The A’DAM Tower may look new, but the tower opened its doors for the first time in 1971, as the then headquarters of Shell. The building was later closed when Shell left and after a major renovation, the A’DAM Tower is back as one of Amsterdam’s most dynamic, creative and fun locations. The tower houses a boutique hotel, a night club and a selection of bars and restaurants — including a restaurant on the 19th floor with panoramic views of the city.
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3. Attend the IJ Festival
The IJ Festival, which takes place annually in early July, is one of the most attended summer festivals in the Netherlands and takes place every year at the NDSM wharf. In 2020 the festival returns to the same site in July. The IJ Festival takes you out of your daily routine, and treats you to summer theatre and delicious food in an urban oasis in Amsterdam Noord. For ten days visitors can enjoy both upcoming talents and established entertainers along the banks of the IJ River and in various neighbourhoods in Amsterdam Noord. The festival location is easily accessible for everyone on foot, by bicycle, by public transport and by car.
4. Visit the Van der Pekbuurt
The Van der Pekbuurt in Amsterdam Noord is an old working-class neighbourhood turned creative place with a unique hipster feel. With a Boeren & biomarkt (on Friday) and Bontemarkt (Saturday), the Van der Pekbuurt is a food and non-food mecca. Here you treat yourself to homemade pie, homemade sausages, honey from the local beekeeper and organic cheese. Artists and musicians shuffle among all that tasty food. On Saturdays you can even show your undiscovered talent to the world on the Pekmarkt street stage. Microphone and amplifier are provided for you.
5. This is Holland 5D Flight Experience
Have you always dreamed of flying over the Netherlands? Now it is possible!
Experience a unique 5D Flight Experience across all must-sees in the Netherlands. Fly like a bird and be surprised by the diversity, beauty and richness of the Low Countries. A breathtaking journey to many beautiful places, including the Zaanse Schans, the Veluwe and the Amsterdam canals. With additional effects such as wind, mist and smell, it really looks like you’re flying through the clouds, transcending dykes and braving storms. Feel the wind through your hair while flying right over Dutch World Heritage Sites. View the canals, polders, tulip fields, and other beautiful places in the Netherlands from a new perspective. Learn how the Netherlands came to be and continues to exist below sea level.
6. Visit the IJ-Hallen
The IJ-hallen in Amsterdam Noord is one of the largest and most unique flea markets in Europe and the perfect place for everyone who loves a good bargain. The market is home to about 700 stalls filled with vintage wares, secondhand clothes, toys, curios, trinkets and attic clutter. If you like to spend hours poking around and looking for that one interior object or seventies piece of jewellery, visit the IJ-Hallen flea market. Everything is second-hand and can be bought at affordable prices. The market is there every first weekend of the month. Admission is € 4.50, € 2 for children aged 11 or younger.
7. Graffiti Museum Amsterdam Noord
Amsterdam Noord is where you will find many cool different forms of street art. The street art promotion platform Street Art Today was established in 2014. The largest Street Art Museum in the world can be found in the Lasloods on the NDSM-Werf. The former Lasloods, now a national monument, with an area of more than 7,000 m² is twice as large as the famous Turbinehal of Tate Modern in London. One of the most famous works of the Graffiti Museum is Anne Frank by the Brazilian artist Kobra. Above the wall painting is ‘Let me be myself’.
How to get to there
Amsterdam-Noord can be reached by car via the A10 ring road. From the centre of Amsterdam, you can reach Noord via the IJtunnel. The permitted maximum of 70 kilometres per hour applies in the IJtunnel towards Amsterdam-Noord. From Noord to the city centre this is 50 kilometres per hour.
Every year 14.5 million people travel by the GVB ferry or bus to Amsterdam-Noord. This number will increase with the arrival of the North/South line. We are still waiting for a while. If you come by train you can get off at Amsterdam Central Station and take the ferry or the Noord/Zuidlijn from De Ruijterkade. As a pedestrian or cyclist, you can also use the ferry.
There are various ferry connections to Amsterdam-Noord. A number of the ferry connections depart from De Ruyterkade, directly behind Central Station. Since the opening of the Noord/Zuidlijn you can no longer use the bus lines from Central Station to Noord. So you will have to take the metro.
Parking in Amsterdam Noord
Amsterdam-Noord can be reached by car via the A10 ring road. From the centre of Amsterdam, you can reach Noord via the IJtunnel. The permitted maximum of 70 kilometres per hour applies in the IJtunnel towards Amsterdam-Noord. From Noord to the centre this is 50 kilometres per hour.
Every year 14.5 million people travel by the GVB ferry or bus to Amsterdam-Noord. This number will increase with the arrival of the North/South line. We are still waiting for a while. If you come by train you can get off at Amsterdam Central Station and take the ferry or the Noord/Zuidlijn from De Ruijterkade. As a pedestrian or cyclist, you can also use the ferry. There are various ferry connections to Amsterdam-Noord. A number of the ferry connections depart from De Ruyterkade, directly behind Central Station. Since the opening of the Noord/Zuidlijn you can no longer use the bus lines from Central Station to Noord. So you will have to take the metro.
Amsterdam-Noord is the only part of Amsterdam where you still have places where you can park for free. Paid parking has only been introduced in part. The parking policy in the Amsterdam-Noord district was that parking would remain free, with the exception of Shopping Center Boven ‘t Y and the NDSM area, which is clearly no longer the case.
From July 1, 2018, a lot has changed in terms of parking in Amsterdam-Noord and April 14, 2019, the price has also been increased again. April 14, 2019, parking fees have been increased. From € 1.30 to € 1.40. From € 3.00 to € 3.50.
Paid parking expansion
Partial introduction of paid parking in a number of neighbourhoods in Amsterdam-Noord created additional parking pressure in a number of surrounding neighbourhoods. As a result of this, from 21 January 2019, there is also paid parking in Tuindorp Buiksloot/het Blauwe Zand, Rode Kruisbuurt, Leeuwarderweg, Nieuwendammerkade and Nieuwendammerdijk up to house no. 297, the Nintemanterrein, the Buiksloterdijk Oost en West, the Marjoleinterrein and Jeugdland.
Short-term parkers in front of the shopping centre can park in the neighbouring neighbourhood “Noord 1 and 2”, where the rate of € 1.40 per hour applies and you can pay per minute.
Parking Areas in Amsterdam Noord 1, 2 and 4:
Paid parking from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Paid parking on Saturday between 12:00 and 19:00.
Sunday parking is free.
Parking Areas in Amsterdam Noord 5, 6, 7 and 8:
Paid parking from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Paid parking between 12:00 and 19:00 on Sundays.
Parking tickets are digital in Amsterdam-Noord. You can pay with a PIN and credit card.
Note: You must enter your license plate number before paying for parking. If you enter a wrong license plate number, you can still receive a fine.
Amsterdam-Noord has two parking garages at Buikslotermeerplein: Bomengarage P2 and at the Mediamarkt parking garage P5 “De Opgang”. At the Mt. Lincolnweg is a ParkBee garage with an hourly rate of € 1.50 and a daily rate of € 7.50. These rates apply to Parkmobile users! Garage is open 24/7 and has a headroom of 2.10 m. There is no charging point and the garage is not wheelchair friendly. Make sure you download your free Parkmobile app.
A’DAM Lookout Tower also has a parking garage A’dam Parking. You can only park there if you reserve in advance.
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