A place beyond belief

north Amsterdam by ferry

OK, Amsterdam charm is all about canals, historical residences and feeling of living on water. A walk along Prinsengracht or Herengracht take us back in Golden Age and we would almost expect to see Rembrandt coming out of his house. But if you want to discover whereis the beating heart of creative Amsterdam today, don’t hesitate to cross Ij river to reach the northern side of Amsterdam. That’s what we made on our first day in Amsterdam – besides, have you seen our video about it ?

And if I tell you that on top of that, ferry is free, will you come on board with us?

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Just behind Amsterdam Central Station hide ferries wharf to cross Ij river. These local, free ferries, give to all the occasion of a short journey on water. There are two possibilities :

  • ferry line 56 towards Buiksloterweg, continuously operating till midnight, with a ferry every 5 min. Within a couple of minutes, you cross Ij river. Opposite, you arrive in front of the superb EYE Film Institue building, Amsterdam Film Museum, a visit that I highly recommend. On the promenade next to EYE, there are some nice cafes with a view and a huge “I AMSTERDAM” statue much less crowded than the Museumplein one
  • ferry line 906 towards NDSM Docklands, leaving every 15 – 30 min till midnight reach in 15 min NDSM habour area. This abandonned shipyard is reinvested by artists, this surrealist area has a very Berliner feeling

Of course, you can embark with your bike, or even with a non-licensed car. Bike is a great idea to enjoy North Amsterdam and its charming neighborhood with a village feeling. We tested both ferrries; a short visit to EYE Film Museum – what a great free family visit in Amsterdam – then a second ferry to creative NDSM Hipster area.

i amsterdam lettersIJ-HallenIJ-Hallen Amsterdambalade originale amsterdam

On our way up the Ij river, we discover Amsterdam contemporary side, audacious architecture, contrasting with the Goldean Age patrimony of the centre. Arriving at NDSM area, we pass in front of a boat-hotel and an abandonned submarine. “A PLACE BEYOND BELIEF” proclaim the luminous panel planted in water. Yes, this is exacty a place a place beyond belief. We disembark and found an automatic flower bunches vending machine. A little further, we incidentally enter in NDSM Kinetisch Noord Art Factory. This ancient shipyard, huge abandoned building has been transformed into artistic laboratory to welcome workshops, exhibitions, markets, shows. At the end of an alley, we discover Barbie peep show. What a hot moment !

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A geocache later, we pass at a crane foot . There is an hotel with a bungee project in this crane. Standing under, a tram transformed in house with a view as found a second life.

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We end our discover of NDSM area in Noorderlicht Cafe, installed in a greenhouse. This local institution serves simple dishes between 11:00 and 16:00, before passing to restaurant style service in the evening. It was a bit cold to use it but Noorderlicht Cafe have a large outside playground, making it a perfect family stop in North Amsterdam. Several times a week, music bands play on stage. You’ll find the complete agenda here. In summer, many events take place in NDSM. It’s the occasion to discover Amsterdam trendy side, out of touristic beaten tracks. And it is only a short free ferry journey from Amsterdam Central Station.

Have you already visited North Amsterdam ? Would you be attracted by a ferry journey to the North during your next stay in Amsterdam?

This post was written by Daphné




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