The former NDSM Amsterdam ship wharf is a stunning hangout. Just 15 minutes by free ferry from Amsterdam Central Station and a large area is there to explore. After the glorious era of Dutch shipbuilding was gone, the empty buildings were squatted in the 1980s.
City nomads, craftsmen and artists converted the NDSM wharf into a breeding ground for creatieve talent.
Nowadays, restaurants, bars, cafés and clubs with stunning views over the Amsterdam IJ-lake make the former ship yard of NSDM the perfect area to hang out, eat out, explore and dance the night away. Many of the old buildings that were in use for the making of large ships are still there, housing creative enterprises.
History of the NDSM Amsterdam ship wharf
In 1937, the NSM, forerunner of NDSM, was the largest shipbuilding company in the world, building tank ships as well as huge passenger ships. Later the company merged the Dutch shipbuilders of NDM, becoming NDSM (Nederlandsche Dok en Scheepsbouw Maatschappij) Located across the IJ, at Amsterdam North, NDSM ship wharf built cargo ships, bulk carriers and war ships for the Dutch navy.
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 were soon squatted. ‘City nomads’, craftsmen, artists and wanna be 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 to further develop the area an make good use of the large boathouse, the huge outside terrain and ramps.
Bars, restaurants and art at NDSM
The building that housed the offices and workers canteen was the IJ-Kantine. It was used by former employees of NDSM, where they gathered to meet, enjoy a drink and play cards. The IJ-Kantine is now a bar and restaurant located right beside the docks of the NDSM ferry.
PLLEK (“The place”)
Pllek is located at NDSM Amsterdam along the waterfront, resulting in a stunning view on the IJ-waters. Pllek Amsterdam is more than a café and restaurant with a great outside terrace. In summer, you can dive into the water and the place becomes one of Amsterdam city beaches.
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 a good wifi you can work here.
Check out the Pllek calender of events
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.
The Amsterdam NDSM Crane Hotel offers 3 design hotel rooms located in the crane. 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 on the city. In the morning, there is, of course, a champagne breakfast.
Prices start at € 435 and do not include the breakfast, spa and security.
Sexyland is an art project on NDSM Amsterdam. The wooden clubhouse offers the opportunity to organise your own acts or party. Every day of the year someone else ‘owns’ the club. The club nights vary from a poetry night, cd release
party tot game and sport events.
Check out the Sexyland agenda.
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 thru Saturday, from 09:00 to 17:00 hours.
Café Noorderlicht is located beautifully along the IJ-waters. The terrace and the inside of the bar and restaurant always has a sunny side, as it is covered with plastic see through material, like a greenhouse. For lunch and dinner, live music outside in summer and dj’s and dancing inside in winter every Friday night.
Check program of Noorderlicht (in Dutch only).
Taking a left from the ferry, you will fid the sailing ship Pollux. It was originally to train sailors who wanted a job with the merchant navy. Now the ship is a restaurant. Inside you will find a warme cosy environment.
Loetje aan ‘t IJ
Restaurant Loetje is famous for its steaks. This branch of Loetje is located at the NDSM wharf at the top of the Amsterdam Marina port building. There is a deck terrace as well and a modern, spacious interior.
Restaurant Brooklyn is located in one of the old building dating back to the shipbuilding times. There was blacksmith activity in this building. Now, you can enjoy lunch and dinner in a modern, stylish atmosphere.
NDSM-warehouses and IJ-Hallen
The giant NDSM ship yard also is a large breeding space for creative talent. Inside the warehouse are many shipping containers that house the work spaces of over 80 ambitious artists and craftmen and -women. But the wharf is also home to many dance parties, expositions and art exhibits. Every month the IJ-Hallen host the largest flea market of Europe.
Modern and new offices
On the South side, 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 places. Each house is 24 m2 and they all have a kitchen, bathroom, toilet, tv and internet. They cost €225 per month.
Self sustainable houseboat
Next to the Noorderlicht is the remarkable houseboat ‘geWoonboot’. The floating house is completely self sustainable. Installations on board make heating and electricity and clean drinking water. GeWoonboot is owned by Amsterdam housing corporation The Key. More info on: www.opgewekt.nu.
Throughout the year, festivals, raves, exhibitions are organised. The bars and restaurants are worth a visit, as well as the monumental old buildings and street art and graffiti. There is also a large flea market and in summer there is a city beach where you swim.
How to get to NDSM Amsterdam
You can get to Amsterdam NDSM by taking the free ferry leaving behind Amsterdam Central Station. Ferry takes about 15 minutes.