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 a rough and alternative 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 festivals.
How to get to NDSM
NDSM lies in Amsterdam Noord, across the IJ water. It can be reached easily by free ferry. The ferry leaves from behind Central Station and takes you to the former ship wharf within 15 minutes.
Café and restaurant IJ-Kantine
One of the first buildings you see when the ferry docks at NDSM, is IJ-Kantine. Back in the day when huge cargo and warships were built at NDSM, workers came here, at the ‘canteen’, to have their lunch.
The large building with high ceilings, industrial interior design and breathtaking views over the IJ-water are a reminder of the working days. Nowadays IJ-Kantine is a large restaurant and café, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Special is the 18-meter long bar.
NDSM STRAAT museum for graffiti and street art
A recent addition to the NDSM art scene is the museum STRAAT. On show are huge works of graffiti and street art. The works are huge, hanging on the walls of the old industrial hall. The walls are over 25 meters high. A true visual spectacle.
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.
Throughout the year, there are many special events at NDSM. Check the list of Music Festivals in Amsterdam. There are also regular art exhibitions at NDSM. Find events at the Amsterdam Event Calendar.
IJ-Hallen Flea Market
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. Pretty good herring! Open Wednesday through Saturday, from 09:00 to 17:00 hours.
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 becomes a city beach.
Pllek offers live music, DJs and dancing at the weekends, yoga on Sunday morning, films, workshops, festivals and much more.
RECOMMENDED READ: Amsterdam city beaches.
Amsterdam NDSM Crane Hotel
Crane ’13’ was the last remaining crane at the shipyard. The industrial crane was dismantled in 2013, shipped away and converted into a luxury hotel: Faralda Crane Hotel. There is a jacuzzi on top.
Bar and restaurant IJver is a more recent (2019) addition to NDSM’s many bars and restaurants. IJver is located in the main hall and has terraces outside, and inside. The decoration is warm, modern and cozy.
It’s always sunny in NDSM’s café Noorderlicht. The walls are made of glass, like a greenhouse. Seating outside is great also, with stunning views over the IJ. There is a small stage outdoor where bands perform in summer. In winter, live music is played indoors. Noorderlicht is located the furthest away from the ferry.
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. They are is still being developed to make good use of the large boathouse and outside terrain and ramps.