Amsterdam Noord

by Tanja
Amsterdam Noord 10 things to do

What do to in Amsterdam Noord? The North of Amsterdam has it all: space, nature, history, great old and new architecture, beautiful and ugly industrial areas and many great bars, restaurants, and cool hangouts. It is a large, old neighborhood that has become extremely popular to live and visit. If you want to go where the locals go, go to Amsterdam Noord. The best things to do in Amsterdam Noord? Here’s a list of top 10 things to do.

Top 10 Things to Do in Amsterdam Noord

1. Explore the NDSM former shipyard

NDSM, Amsterdam
Noorderlicht café at NDSM, Amsterdam.

The former shipyard NDSM is Amsterdam Noord’s most famous and most popular hangout. The ferry takes you there in less than 20 minutes. The large area hosts huge old warehouses, once used for the shipping company NDSM.

The spacious halls now house workspaces, a flea market, hotels, restaurants and bars. The area is often used as a grounds for Amsterdam Music Festivals.

TIP For special events at NDSM, check out the Amsterdam Events Calendar.

2. Enjoy the view on the A’DAM Tower

A'DAM Tower, Amsterdam Noord
View from MADAM restaurant and club at A’DAM Tower.

You cannot miss the huge tower that stands facing Amsterdam Central Station. The tower of 22 floors used to serve as the headquarter of the Dutch Shell company. Since 2016, the iconic tower houses a hotel, a club in the basement and several restaurants.

The bar and restaurant on the 20th floor have amazing panoramic views! On the roof is A’DAM Lookout, where there is a spectacular swing. To get to A’DAM Tower, take the free ferry behind Central Sation to ‘Buiksloterweg’.

3. Visit the EYE Film Museum

EYE Film Museum and A'DAM
EYE Film Museum and A’DAM Tower.

Next to the tower is an impressive white creation. This is the Eye Film Museum. A place to see the best films of all time: the Eye has a collection of over 4000 films, from silent films to the latest favorites from the art-house cinema. It’s also a great place to enjoy a drink, with a lovely view of the ships passing by.

TIP Don’t forget to stop by at their great little museum shop to pick up some original souvenirs.

4. Architecture at the Flower neighborhood

From the 14th to the 18t century Amsterdam Noord was known as the Siberia of Amsterdam, or just ‘the other side’. And even today many think of ‘poverty’ and ‘social housing’ when they hear the words ‘Amsterdam Noord’. They refer to the ‘garden cities’ (‘tuinsteden’) of Amsterdam Noord: Vogelbuurt, Disteldorp, Van der Pekbuurt, Floradorp and around Kamperfoelieweg.


These villages were built by housing corporations between 1910 and 1944. The architects were inspired by the Amsterdam School, Jugendstil and art deco. It’s totally safe and beautiful to walk around here. The oldest and most beautiful is the Birds Neighbourhood (‘Vogelbuurt’, the streets are named after birds).

The first houses in this ‘village’ were built by housing corporations, financed by the owners of the shipyards, who wanted good housing for their employees. There are not just workers’ homes here but also the villa’s for the directors of the companies. Look at the map to find this area. Get there by taking the ferry to IJplein or the metro and you will walk straight into the neighborhood.

RECOMMENDED READ: Amsterdam School Architecture

5. Go antiques and vintage shopping

Vintage shopping Amsterdam Noord
Warehouses full of vintage, at Papaverweg 46, Amsterdam Noord.

Amsterdam Noord is home to one of the best places to go antiques and vintage shopping. At Papaverweg, there are a couple of warehouses full of the best interior designs finds of Amsterdam clustered together.

From simple second-hand items to vintage household finds classic design, industrial beauties and old school inventory that bring back memories, Van Dijk & Ko and Neef Louis have it all for you. Also, a lovely spot to have a coffee and a sandwich.

6. Eat at the best restaurants of Amsterdam Noord

Hotel De Goudfazant, Amsterdam Noord.
Hotel De Goudfazant is not a hotel, it’s a hip restaurant in Amsterdam Noord.

Amsterdam Noord has been going through some heavy gentrification – the prices of housing have risen sharply. This means there are now a lot of good and hip places to eat, sleep and drink! From informal places like Mandelahuisje, Smaaqt, Café De Ceuvel for organic food, Brewery Oedipus, De Verkeerstoren, Rolling Rock Kitchen and Coba (taco’s) to full restaurants Hotel Goudfazant, Tolhuistuin, fish restaurant StorkPompet, Il PecorinoCafe Modern, Hangar and the rotating restaurant Moon at the A’DAM Tower.

Find them on the map above. Restaurants at NDSM are named in the blogpost about NDSM.

7. Bike along the lovely Nieuwendammerdijk

Nieuwendammerdijk, Amsterdam Noord
Always lovely: Nieuwendammerdijk.

The Nieuwendammerdijk is a beautiful street with traditional Dutch houses. This old village was once a bustling center for the thousands of people who worked at the shipyards of NDSM and ADM.

The houses at Nieuwendammerdijk are made of wood. It’s a better choice of material because of the swampy ground, which doesn’t support heavy building material. Get lost in the narrow winding alleyways: Meerpad, Molenpad, Havenpad, and Kerkepad. Enjoy a Jenever at Café ‘t Sluisje, where time stood still.

8. Ride your bike along the IJ

Het IJ, Amsterdam Noord
View on the IJ.

If you keep to the water, you ride right into the Dutch countryside. The open grass fields, cows, windmills, homemade apple pie, not to miss!

TIP Follow the IJ Lake Bike Tour on this website for directions.

9. See a film at FC Hyena

FC Hyena calls itself ‘The Netherlands’ ‘first boutique cinema’. I don’t know what that means, but I do know that FC Hyena is a great cinema to hang out if you are wondering what to do in Amsterdam Noord. I

The artsy film house theatre has two film halls, great films (popular and art-house) on the widescreen and a restaurant with great reviews. They also have nice wines, all-natural. And you can take your food and drinks into the cinema!

10. Have a swim in The Best Swimming Pool in the World

Still need a fun thing to do in Amsterdam Noord? Go swimming. The Noorderparkbad is not just some swimming pool, it is the best swimming pool in the world, according to the jury of Piscine Global. Its architecture is soft and flowing.

It’s totally sustainable as the rainwater is collected, cleaned and used in the swimming pool. There is an indoor as well as an indoor pool. The swimming pool lies in the Noorderpark, a great park for a stroll.

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