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9 Best Things to Do in Amsterdam-Noord

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Ready to learn about one of the coolest corners of the Dutch capital? Let’s explore Amsterdam-Noord, an industrial powerhouse transformed into an artistic playground of creativity and urban charm. 

Did you know that Amsterdam attracts a jaw-dropping 22 million visitors each year? That’s 27.5 times the population of Amsterdam itself! And the Noord part of town is a huge draw for visitors.

But what makes Amsterdam-Noord so irresistible? Well, stick around because we’re about to spill the beans on the best things to do in this hip and happening neighborhood.

Amsterdam-Noord, officially part of Amsterdam since 1393, has shed its industrial roots to become an artistic haven. The once factory-filled landscape now hums with artists and young souls, creating an electric blend of urban energy and artistic expression.

Amsterdam-Noord isn’t your average city neighborhood – it’s a thriving cultural hub and a significant part of Dutch culture. It’s almost a village within a city where you can find lush greenery, family-friendly fun, and good vibes.

This neighborhood has everything from scenic cycle routes that take you through picturesque landscapes to hip eateries, delectable street food, and lively street markets, where you’ll find the most unique Amsterdam souvenirs!

TL;DR

Most significant landmark A’DAM Tower
Best park Noorderpark
Best free activity Wandering NDSM Wharf
Activity for kids Noorderpark / Exploring Flea Markets
Activity for adults The Sky Bar at A’DAM Tower
Best food IJver Amsterdam
Place to stay Crane Hotel Faralda

Things to Do in Amsterdam-Noord (North Amsterdam)

1. STRAAT Museum

STRAAT Museum, Amsterdam Noord
Kyle Kroeger / Via Travelers

Address: NDSM-Plein 1, 1033 WC Amsterdam, Netherlands

When you visit Amsterdam-Noord, get ready to be amazed because our first stop on this super city adventure is none other than the remarkable STRAAT Museum! This museum is a celebration of street art on an unprecedented scale.

Centrally located in Amsterdam-Noord, the STRAAT Museum is proudly the world’s largest and finest street art museum. Located at the iconic NDSM Wharf, a hotspot known for its industrial charm and strong connection to Amsterdam’s lively street art scene, this museum is a feast for the eyes.

Imagine walls adorned with massive works of art as far as the eye can see! This museum is housed within a sprawling old shipbuilding warehouse boasting 8,000 square meters of gallery space. The building is a masterpiece, welcoming visitors with a stunning, colorful mural of Anne Frank by celebrated Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra.

And guess what? Getting to the gallery is an adventure in itself. Hop on a free ferry from Amsterdam Centraal Station, and in just 15 minutes, you’ll find yourself at NDSM Wharf. Along the way, enjoy a free sightseeing experience as the ferry cruises along the stunning River IJ. Or pay a little scratch, see even more of the city, and enter the museum right here.

Once you enter the STRAAT Museum, a world of wonder awaits you. Explore alleyways and junctions adorned with captivating street art that mimics the urban landscape. From the high vantage point of the Panorama Terrace, take in the panoramic view of the entire museum.

But there’s more! The STRAAT experience goes beyond the art. Immerse yourself in the STRAAT Gallery, embark on a thrilling treasure hunt for kids, savor a relaxing moment at the STRAAT Cafe, and don’t forget to explore the Museum Shop, where you’ll find a curated permanent collection of items that celebrate the essence of this exhibition center.

See Related: The Very Best Museums in Amsterdam to Visit

2. A’DAM Tower & Over The Edge

ADAM Lookout Swings
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: Overhoeksplein 5, 1031 KS Amsterdam, Netherlands

Hold onto your hats (and shoes, wallets…and phones…not that I’m talking from personal experience or anything), because our next stop is a true gem in Amsterdam-Noord – the Amsterdam Lookout! It’s spelled and branded as the “A’DAM Lookout,” but no one says “A’dam” (Or I guess “Ah’Dahm” in Dutch). Anyway, this fun spot is located within A’DAM Tower, which also features a number of other great things to do, including excellent live music at Shelter and The Loft, two of the best nightclubs in Amsterdam.

Imagine being on top of the world, gazing out over the stunning city of Amsterdam. A’DAM Lookout offers an unrivaled 360-degree view encompassing the city center’s historical heart, the bustling port, and even the unique Dutch polder landscape. And those iconic canals? You’ll spot them, too, reminding you why they’re part of the UNESCO World Heritage list.

But A’DAM Lookout is not just about the view. Brace yourself for an adrenaline rush on Europe’s highest swing, Over The Edge!

Feel the wind in your hair as you swing over the tower’s edge – an experience not for the faint of heart, let me tell you. And that’s not all! You can also take a heart-pounding virtual ride on the Amsterdam VR Rollercoaster, all while savoring stunning cityscape views.

Hungry? Thirsty? No problem! The Sky Bar awaits, offering an extensive lunch or cocktails with a view of Amsterdam and the IJ River that’s hard to beat. And here’s the icing on the cake – every entrance ticket comes with a free audio tour that gives you all the fascinating details about the city below you.

I recommend grabbing an Amsterdam Go City Explorer Card. It includes the tower plus multiple other unmissable attractions.

See Related: Best Famous Landmarks in Amsterdam

3. NDSM Wharf

Colorful bikes at NDSM Wharf building entrance in Amsterdam with artistic decor
NDSM Wharf entrance Amsterdam bikes Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Our next adventure takes us to an iconic place—NDSM Wharf. This is where history meets urban charm, where shipyards have transformed into a hub of artistic expression, cool cafes, and lively hangouts.

NDSM Wharf is the crown jewel of Amsterdam-Noord, and its transformation is nothing short of spectacular. Once a grimy industrial harbor, it’s now a haven for the city’s youth, where they come together to skate, socialize, and have a blast. The energy here, well, it’s pretty electric!

But that’s not all—this is a multifaceted destination. It has been transformed into a mosaic of restaurants, offices, and workshops for artists who have flocked to this area—and, of course, the art galleries! This place breathes and embraces creativity.

Speaking of creativity, you can’t miss Pllek – a phenomenal bar restaurant made from old shipping containers. Its urban beach along the IJ riverbank is the ideal spot to enjoy a meal with a view. But what makes NDSM Wharf come alive are its festivals and events!

This place hosts celebrations, music concerts, and all manner of fun, funky festivals throughout the year, such as the Over Het IJ theatre festival, which caters to families, the Wicked Jazz Sounds Festival, and events during the Amsterdam Dance Event, as well as the DGTL Festival, one of my personal favorites.

See Related: Summer Music Festivals from Around the World

4. Eye Filmmuseum

Eye Filmmuseum Exterior
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Address: IJpromenade 1, 1031 KT Amsterdam, Netherlands

Brace yourselves for a memorable adventure that will transport you into the world of movies like never before at the iconic Eye Filmmuseum. The remarkable Eye Filmmuseum, run by the Eye Film Institute, is a modern architectural masterpiece gracing the River IJ’s northern bank.

Its unique design has turned it into one of Amsterdam’s modern icons. Situated just across from Central Station, this cinema, film museum, café and restaurant, and cutting-edge event venue is an absolute can’t-miss destination.

EYE Filmmuseum is the epicenter of Dutch film culture and heritage. With four state-of-the-art screening rooms showcasing a diverse range of films, from historical classics to the latest arthouse premieres, you’re in for a cinematic treat like no other. 

And if that’s not enough, the experience extends to the large terrace, offering a spectacular view over Amsterdam that’s perfect for a moment of relaxation and reflection. And here’s a pro tip – a free ferry service right behind the train station takes you there in under three minutes.

See Related: Our House Amsterdam: The World’s First EDM Museum

5. Spend a Family Day at Noorderpark

Panoramic view in Noorderpark,  Amsterdam, Netherlands
Solodam J / TripAdvisor

Our next stop promises outdoor fun, artistic delights, and family bonding – it’s none other than Noorderpark! Noorderpark is a lively and lovely spot to take a break from city-side adventures. 

This place is a treasure trove of landmarks that cater to everyone’s interests. Are you in the mood for a swim? Head to visit the award-winning Noorderparkbad pool complex for a refreshing dip and hours of aquatic fun.

You won’t want to miss De (Roze) Tanker – a former gas station transformed into a lively and colorful community center. It’s a creative haven where pop-up cafes, cultural workshops, and artistic and cultural events can flourish. You’ll feel the pulse of creativity and connection as you step inside.

Noorderpark is easily accessible by various transportation options. Whether you prefer to hop on a bike and explore the enchanting lanes or utilize the metro, reaching Noorderpark is a breeze.

See Related: Best Parks in Amsterdam to Visit

6. Sample Top Dutch Cuisine

Ijver at NDSM, Amsterdam-Noord
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Amsterdam-Noord’s lively and evolving restaurant scene is where you’ll find some of the city’s best eateries and hot up-and-comers. From former factories turned trendy eateries to waterside cafes with picturesque views, this is where culinary dreams come to life.

Let’s start with one of the latest sensations in town – Pelusa. This gastropub is all about bringing a twist to familiar ingredients. Their seasonal menu showcases the culinary prowess of an Argentinian parilla smoker, delivering dishes that are nothing short of extraordinary.

Speaking of extraordinary, let’s not forget about Restaurant Europa. This counter-style restaurant with just 26 seats is a secret find that offers two tantalizing tasting menus, including a veggie version. Prepare to be inspired by their innovative dishes!

If you want to elevate your dining experience, head to Moon Restaurant. Located on the 19th floor of A’DAM Lookout, this restaurant offers a truly breathtaking 360-degree view of Amsterdam. As the restaurant revolves, you’ll enjoy the stunning panorama of the harbor, city center, and beyond.

Lastly, IJver Amsterdam is one of my absolute favorite restaurants anywhere in the world. With tons of indoor and outdoor seating, this red-brick, industrial-themed restaurant serves sensational seasonal fare and great local beers.

Speaking of beers, you’ll love the craft beer scene here as well. Some of our favorite breweries in Amsterdam are located on this side of the city, including Oedipus Brewing, Walhalla Brewery & Taproom, and Lowlander Botanical Bar & Restaurant, just southeast of Noord proper.

See Related: Bars and Clubs Dominating Amsterdam Nightlife Right Now

7. Spot Vintage Finds at their Famous Flea Markets

Ij-Hallen, Amsterdam North
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Our final stop is a treat for all the shopaholics looking to mainline that retail relief right into the veins – Amsterdam-Noord’s iconic flea markets. Of course, you should not leave this place without getting yourself some vintage souvenirs to remember your trip by!

One weekend per month, the massive IJ-Hallen flea market takes over a part of the NDSM, transforming it into a treasure trove for bargain hunters and vintage fans. This market, one of Europe’s largest, is a haven for all things vintage and retro – from timeless leather boots to quirky home decor bound to add character to any space.

But that’s not all! The Van der Pek Street market is an unmissable gem for a lively and sensory-rich experience. Lose yourself in the kaleidoscope of colors, the enticing aromas, and the energetic buzz as you browse an eclectic array of offerings.

And what’s a shopping adventure without some culinary delights to recharge? Along the bustling streets, you’ll find hidden nummy haunts like Proeflokaal Kef and Café Keppler. These spots offer the perfect opportunity to relax, refuel, and savor the local flavors after an exhilarating shopping day.

See Related: Best Food Tours in Amsterdam to Book

8. Explore the Historic Village of Durgerdam

Aerial view of Durgerdam in Netherlands
Nataraj / Adobe Stock

Amsterdam-Noord isn’t just about modern marvels and awesome art; it’s also home to hidden historical treasures. Durgerdam stands as a testament to the region’s rich history. With protected status, this village offers a glimpse into Dutch heritage that’s about as authentic as it gets.

Picture this: wandering through cobblestone streets, meandering by centuries-old buildings, and soaking in the captivating views of the Ijsselmeer coast. Durgerdam is a true haven for exploration, whether you prefer strolling on foot, pedaling along on a bicycle, or even cruising on the water.

And the top highlight? Durgerdam isn’t just a feast for the eyes but also for the taste buds! As you traverse this historic village, you’ll find delectable food hotspots ready to satisfy your cravings.

Make a pit stop at Café ‘t Sluisje, an authentic gem residing in a nearly 500-year-old building at the end of Nieuwendammerdijk. Indulge in delicious food, drinks, and desserts. And if you have yet to experience Dutch apple pie (the best apple pie on this green Earth), this is your golden opportunity!

For the best organic picnic this side of the Rhine, head to Landmarkt and assemble yourself a sumptuous spread serving food. And speaking of treats, if you’re in the mood for the best ice cream in Noord – and perhaps all of the Amsterdam area – stopping by IJskoud de Beste is an absolute must. Seriously, do NOT miss out!

See Related: Amsterdam Day Trip to Zaanse Schans, Volendam and Marken

9. Rent a Bike and Explore the Neighboring Countryside

For those who love the wind in their hair and the thrill of exploration – renting a bike and embarking on a picturesque ride through the enchanting countryside surrounding Amsterdam-Noord is an absolute treat.

It’s no secret that Amsterdam is a city best explored on two wheels, and Noord is no exception. As you pedal through the older part of Noord, you’ll notice a distinct style that sets this area apart. Even the charming canal-side houses carry a unique charm to capture your heart.

But the adventure doesn’t stop there! Noord serves as the gateway to some of the most spectacular Dutch scenery. With dozens of signposted bike paths, you’re in for a cycling experience.

Picture yourself pedaling through quaint villages like Nieuwendam, Ransdorp, and Zunderdorp. These hidden gems are known for their authentic stolpboerderijen – traditional Dutch farmhouses with roofs that resemble cheese covers!

The Waterland Cycleseeing route is a must for those seeking an immersive journey. This path takes you past an ancient windmill and a historic former cow market in the scenic town square of Purmerend.

And here’s a secret worth sharing—you can embark on a side quest to Het Twiske, a stunning nature area where you can swim, boat, and spot birds to your heart’s content.

See Related: Best Bike Tours In Amsterdam

How to Get to Amsterdam-Noord

GVB Ferry in Amsterdam
Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers

Getting to Amsterdam-Noord is pretty straightforward, particularly from Amsterdam Central Station. A free ferry runs every 10 minutes directly from there.

The pickup spot is located just behind the train station. The ferry services run throughout the day and night, so you’ll always have a chance to get over there and back. The ferry can either take you directly near A’DAM Tower or NDSM.

Other ferry services run from other locations in the city center, including the Ponsteiger ferry from Houthavens neighborhood just north of Westerpark. This will take you directly to the NDSM part of Amsterdam-Noord.

Where to Stay in Amsterdam-Noord

Faralda Crane Hotel NDSM Amsterdam bungee jumping unique NDSM accommodation
Faralda Crane Hotel Amsterdam Adventure (Kyle Kroeger / ViaTravelers)

Thinking about where to stay in Amsterdam-Noord? There are plenty of hotels, houseboats, and vacation rentals you can choose from, but here are a few of my favorites:

FAQs

Is Amsterdam-Noord worth visiting?

Heck yeah! Amsterdam-Noord is often referred to as a village within a village. It is a lovely, tranquil, and family-oriented area that offers various fascinating tourist activities, from shopping to exploring picturesque cycling routes. Visitors can enjoy lively street markets and magnificent gardens and even experience the highest swing in Europe.

What is Amsterdam-Noord known for?

The Amsterdam-Noord area is known for its artsy vibe, great food, proximity to NDSM Wharf, the STRAAT Museum, A’DAM Tower (look at all those capital letters!), Eye Filmmuseum, and traditional wooden houses in neighboring Schellingwoude and Nieuwendam. The area has numerous historic areas with low population density and wide open spaces, particularly in Durgerdam and Ransdorp.

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