Leave the cobblestones of the city and enter another world, where a former shipping yard has been transformed into an artistic hub for all to enjoy.
Visit Amsterdam North to experience the urban charms of the NDSM Werf on the banks of the river IJ. This former industrial wasteland was transformed with a daring attitude towards urban renewal. The wharf, with its art galleries, cafés and studios, is now one of Amsterdam’s most dynamic creative spaces.
The seafaring Dutch ceased shipbuilding in the NDSM wharf in the 1980s. The site was left to decay and squatters took over until the city of Amsterdam sponsored a community of artists to turn the former shipyard into something special. Since then, youth-oriented TV and marketing companies have moved their headquarters here to make the most of the edgy vibe.
At first sight this wide open space is littered with rustic metal, abandoned vehicles and graffitied relics of the industrial days. Once you set foot in NDSM Werf, however, you’ll find it full of life. See skaters hone their skills on the skate ramp and photographers make the most of the rugged backdrop of the docks. Explore old warehouses and hangars that have been turned into art studios and exhibition space.
You may find some more unexpected curiosities as you look closer. There's an old ship that has become a 3-star “botel” and a towering crane that is now a three-room luxury hotel with unequalled city views.
Have a coffee or cocoa with Dutch apple pie and cream in a laid-back café, such as the area’s authentic IJ Kantine. Share some Amstel or Heineken beers in a bar before having dinner in a trendy restaurant with river views.
NDSM Werf is an ideal spot to enjoy the long summer days of Northern Europe. Even if you have already visited the wharf, the 11-day Over Het IJ Festival is a good excuse to come back for theater, food and music.
NDSM Werf shows you a side of Amsterdam that not many people know. To get there, rent a bike in the city center and then catch the free passenger ferry from the back of Centraal Station.