Faralda Crane Hotel and Brooklyn Hotel on the NDSM Wharf
Faralda Crane Hotel and Brooklyn Hotel on the NDSM Wharf
Swan Roadmap to North Adam Toren
Swan Roadmap to North Adam Toren
Bridge over the IJ 
Pakhuis de Zwijger
Bridge over the IJ Pakhuis de Zwijger

East meets North on new ferry crossing

oost pont 50

The long-awaited East Ferry was launched on Saturday 15 March! The new connection runs between the  Azartplein on Java/KNSM island and North’s Zamenhofstraat and Johan van Hasselt weg.

It felt a little bit like the fall of the Berlin Wall. Finally the watery barrier of the River IJ to East Amsterdam has been overcome by a ferry link. A crowd of local residents waited in anticipation, entertained by various choirs…

Muzing on the ferry over the River IJ

Ferryman Photo: Michiel Bles of Blessed Shots

Who pays the ferryman? It’s a question many a passenger asks on the boat to North Amsterdam. But there is no fee, the crossing is free – both ways.

Seagull flies past Photo: Michiel Bles of Blessed Shots

Seagull flies past Photo: Michiel Bles of Blessed Shots

Amsterdam harbour is a busy shipping lane, but there is still time to muze on the bridge of the ferry.


Michiel Bles of Blessed Shots photographed the pilots, who take thousands of passengers across the River…

Adam finds paradise on the North Shore

Adam Toren - photo Adam Toren

It all began back in 2005. Royal Dutch Shell relocated its head office down river and vacated its characteristic Tower and a number of other laboratories and buildings, opening up a whole new riverside location, which had been inaccessible to the public for decades. The local council held a competition for the best idea to revamp what had become known as the Shell Tower and open it to visitors.

Sander Groet (Air) and his…

Dutch architects print 3D canal house

3D Printed Canal House

Millions of visitors come to Amsterdam every year to see the canals and their illustrious Golden Age houses on the ´Gouden Bocht´. Unesco has even added Amsterdam’s famous canals to its World Heritage List. But soon tourists will be flocking to North Amsterdam for a very different sight: the building of a canal house by 3D printer. DUS Architects have set themselves the task of being the first to build a house

What if you could pack your home in an hour?

Loes on the dike with goats Photo Petra Wilbrink

Loes on the dike

It’s the question artist/designer Loes Glandorff asked herself when she set out to become an Urban Nomad. Economic boom is turning nomadic people into city dwellers, while city dwellers are turning into nomads as they look for work. What can we learn from a nomadic lifestyle about using our resources more smartly, how can we use their experience to achieve sustainability on a planet that seems to be getting too small

Monumental NDSM crane returns as high end hotel Faralda

Faralda NDSM Crane Hotel by night

For decades, Crane 13, visible from the back of Amsterdam Central Station, has been a landmark for the NDSM Wharf. Since the docks closed as a shipbuilding yard in 1984, the crane slowly rusted away, while on the ground, things began to change.

The old wharf is undergoing a transformation. At first the derelict site attracted squatters, they were followed by artists looking for cheap studio space, then the creative industries…

Why the EYE Film Institute tops your itinerary

EYE Film Photo: Jitske Schols - elbrillo.nl

The Eye Film Institute on the northern bank of the river IJ is top of the list of what to do on your second day in Amsterdam. That means most tourists take the free ferry across the river to the low futuristic white building which now houses the Netherlands’ silver screen heritage.  The spectacular landmark is the first thing you see as you arrive at Central Station by train.

The Eye opened in May 2012 and since then …

Make De Ruimte your own creative space

De Ruimte - more than just a café

De Ruimte is quite literally a new space that has popped up in Amsterdam North, but please note – Ceci n’est pas un café! It’s an inspiring, free, culture stimulating opportunity. De Ruimte is a pizza place, restaurant space, stage and living room.

Take a seat, enjoy the view across the canal and if you get nippy peer into a hessian sack… you might find a blanket hiding in there. De Ruimte isn’t a café so don’t…

Noorderlicht draws an alternative crowd

photo | Jitske Schols

If you are looking for an alternative scene, try Café Restaurant Noorderlicht. The organic wholefood restaurant is housed in what looks like a war-time Nissan hut complete with sandbags and a half-cylindrical, corrugated-plastic roof. It’s built on a grassy mound overlooking the River IJ, tucked away in a corner of the NDSM Docklands terrain.

When Noorderlicht first opened its sliding doors six and a half years…

Pllek – a great place to get away from it all

photo | Jitske Schols

Pllek on the NDSM Docklands terrain boasts one of the best panoramas over the river IJ. Owner Sjoerd Steenbeek started off with a few open shipping containers placed in the form of a horseshoe around a patio with a pebble beach on the riverside.

Pllek means place and this is a great place in the summer, teaming with non-bathing beach-goers. This winter the open containers have been built in with a huge glass front looking…

The Chef´s Table – worth going out of your way for


One of the criteria for a Michelin star restaurant is it’s `worth going out of your way for´. This can certainly be said about the exquisite food at The Chef´s Table. Although Jeffrey Verwey´s restaurant located in the Asterweg industrial area of North Amsterdam doesn´t actually have a star, it deservedly gets very high ratings on restaurant sites.

The restaurant is situated in an old Renault garage and is surrounded…

Good off-the-beaten-track food at Hotel de Goudfazant


The owners of Hotel de Goudfazant, Bart Oosterveer and Niels Wouters are pioneers in creating off-the-beaten-track restaurants in North Amsterdam. They have been so successful, I see they are now branching out into Rotterdam’s industrial sites. You won’t happen to pass by Hotel de Goudfazant unless you take a boat down the river IJ. So the food has got to be good, and it is.

The restaurant is located in an old hanger…

Stork serves sole on the sunny side

Stork fish restaurant

Stork is not where you would expect to find a specialised fish restaurant. Before North Amsterdam became “North Amsterdam”, it used to be known as  “De Overkant”, or “the other side”. The city dumped everything it didn’t want north of the river IJ: its undesirables, its industries and the guest workers that manned those industries. Now that heavy industry has largely disappeared, there is

Fancy lunch at Jacques Jour?


Fancy lunch in North Amsterdam, the possibilities are endless. A portion of chips at  Pietjes chippy, toasted sandwich at De Pont or a Panini at il Pecorino, but if you want to go slightly more up-market  try a three-course hot lunch every day at Jacques Jour. Yes, the pun is intended.

It’s a ‘shop-in-shop’ as Jacques Jour is located in Café Modern. Every day, Lotte and Jessica serve breakfast and brunch during…

Circle-Line ferry cruises Amsterdam Harbour

Faralda Crane Hotel and Brooklyn Hotel on the NDSM Wharf

The long-awaited Circle-Line Harbour Cruise was launched this week. A boat trip over the River IJ/Amsterdam harbour taking you from door-to-door to hotspots, restaurants, hotels and tourist attractions on the north and south river banks.

The route is more or less the route taken on last year’s royal river parade after King Willem-Alexander’s inauguration and every five years the tall ships of SAIL …

North Amsterdam’s Swan Song Farewell

Swan Roadmap to North Adam Toren

You may be wondering why a 50 metre painting of a swan is hanging from the Adam Toren. North’s district council is saying farewell after 33 years of let’s call it political autonomy. From now on the central city will decide what happens in this part of the capital. The new district council will be the “eyes and the ears” of the centralised city council. But as Coby van Berkum (who will head then new executive in North)

Is a bridge to North Amsterdam still a bridge too far?

Bridge over the IJ 
Pakhuis de Zwijger

The debate on a bridge to North Amsterdam is hotting up. Is a bridge feasible, should it take cars, will it replace the ferries, will it mean paying a fare on the ferries? Emotions are rising as  capacity of the ferries stretches to breaking point, now that Amsterdammers, day-trippers and tourists are discovering the North Shore. It’s a good sign…in a way.


For centuries North Amsterdam was only accessible…

Tolhuistuin set to open its doors to the world


It’s been seven years in the making, but the refurbishment of the Tolhuistuin is almost complete. North Amsterdam’s new cultural centre is almost ready to open its doors and let the world in.


It’s artistic leader Chris Keulemans came to North Amsterdam some years ago. He has lived all over the world, but has seldom felt at home. Now in the Van de Pek neighbourhood he has grown roots. Chris is the…