NDSM Amsterdam is a stunning hangout in Amsterdam Noord. City nomads, craftsmen and artists converted the former NDSM ship wharf into a breeding ground for creative talent. Restaurants, bars, cafés and clubs with stunning views over the Amsterdam IJ-lake make NSDM the best place in Amsterdam to eat, chill, explore, enjoy music, drinks, and art and to dance the night away. In summer the area of NDSM is used for many festivals.
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NDSM in Amsterdam Noord is reached easily by ferry. The ferry leaves from behind Central Station and takes you to the former ship wharf within 15 minutes. The ferry is free.
Bars, restaurants and art at NDSM
One of the first buildings you see when you arrive at NDSM is the building that housed the offices and workers canteen when NDSM was still a ship wharf. The former employees of NDSM gathered to IJ-kantine to meet, enjoy a drink and play cards. T
IJ-kantine is now a stylish restaurant serving lunch and dinner. The large restaurant has a great outdoor seating as well. Service might be a bit slow, but food is fresh and good.
Moving on, you will find the exciting Sexyland. Originally an art project, but nowhere to stay, this wooden clubhouse offers the opportunity to organize your own acts or party. Every day of the year someone else ‘owns’ the club. The club nights vary from a poetry night, dancing shows to book or cd release.
Festivals and Exhibitions at NDSM
The spacious NDSM shipyard is a breeding space for creative talent. Inside the warehouse are many shipping containers that house the workspaces of over eighty ambitious artists and craftsmen and -women.
Every two weeks there is a large flea market at Amsterdam, the IJ Hallen. In summer the flea market is outside, in winter it’s inside. The focus of the sales is on used household and clothes, but it’s also great for design.
Fish shop Cisca Jonk
For a quick and tasty bite, check out the fish truck of Cisca Jonk in front of Sexland. Pretty good herring! Open Wednesday through Saturday, from 09:00 to 17:00 hours.
Restaurant Brooklyn is located in the monumental building of the forgery, the Smederij. At the very spot where workers stood decades ago forging pieces of iron and copper, dishes are now prepared on a daily basis. The restaurant comes with an open kitchen concept, spacious seating and outdoor terrace.
Like most bars and restaurants, Pllek is located along the waterfront of IJ. It is a large restaurant and café with a great outside terrace. It has amazing views over the IJ-water. In summer, you can dive into the water and the whole area is full-fledged city beach.
Pllek (plek means spot or ‘place’ in Dutch) really fits in the old shipyard. The place is made out of old ship containers combined with lots of glass, so even in winter months, you feel like you’ve been outside. Around lunch hours, even office people come over. There is good wifi you can work here.
Pllek offers live music, DJ’s and dancing at the weekends, yoga on Sunday morning, films, workshops, festivals and much more. Food is 75% vegetarian.
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Amsterdam NDSM Crane Hotel
The old buildings at NDSM Amsterdam have been kept in their original state and are considered officially monuments. All locations on the wharf are accessible to the public.
Even the old shipyard crane has been given a new function. ‘Crane 13’ was the last remaining crane on NDSM. It was dismantled in 2013, shipped away and converted into a luxury hotel. People who book a suite can order their preferred music. Guests are picked up by boat from Amsterdam Central Station. On top, there is a jacuzzi, with a spectacular view of the city.
Bar and restaurant IJver is NDSM’s latest (2019) add. There are two terraces, one outside, and one inside the warehouse. There are 34 beers on tap, so it’s great for drinks as well. The decoration is warm, modern and cozy.
It’s always sunny in Café Noorderlicht. Indoors is covered with plastic through the material, like a greenhouse. Outdoor seating is great also, with stunning views over the IJ. The lunch and dinner menu is simple but good and good prices. There is a small stage outdoor where bands perform in summer. In winter, live music indoors. The atmosphere is more easy-going than at PLLek.
Self sustainable houseboat
Next to Noorderlicht is the remarkable houseboat ‘geWoonboot’. The floating house is completely self-sustainable. Installations onboard make heating and electricity and clean drinking water.
Back at the ferry, there is a pier on the northern side that houses the Botel, a cheap hotel and the Veronica ship. Veronica once started as a radio pirate ship, broadcasting from the North Sea, way back. The Veronica ship is the base for radio and television makers, but there is also room for music, theater, debate, art, singing and dance.
Modern and new offices
On the Southside, new office have been developed, using the old offices. Headquarters of IdTV, Discovery Channel, HEMA and VNU have now settled in this part of NDSM Amsterdam.
On the former ship wharf, temporary student living cabins have been placed. Each house is 24 m2 and they all have a kitchen, bathroom, toilet, tv, and internet. They cost €225 per month.
History of the NDSM Amsterdam ship wharf
In 1937, the NSM, forerunner of NDSM, was the largest shipbuilding company in the world. The NSM built tank ships as well as huge passenger ships.
Later the NSM merged with the Dutch shipbuilders of NDM, becoming NDSM (Nederlandsche Dok en Scheepsbouw Maatschappij). The massive ship wharf found its location at Amsterdam Noord, across the IJ. NDSM ship wharf built cargo ships, bulk carriers and warships for the Dutch navy.
The shortage of new orders caused the NDSM to finally stop building new ships in 1978. The company continued repairing ships until around 1984, but the glorious era of Dutch shipbuilding had come to an end.
The empty buildings left to waste at Amsterdam NDSM East Wharf. Prostitutes and junkies swamped the area. ‘City nomads’, craftsmen, artists and wannabe artists, settled in and united, naming themselves foundation Kinetisch Noord.
The city council like the idea of this new so-called ‘broedplaats’ (‘breeding spaces‘). Kinetisch Noord now receives subsidies from the Amsterdam city council. The are is still being developed to make good use of the large boathouse and outside terrain and ramps.