Tarrangini from India
Tarrangini from India
Velox Classic Bikes
Velox Classic Bikes
Over het IJ Festival Flags
Over het IJ Festival Flags
Jazz on the roof 2013 www.hothousejazz.nl
Jazz on the roof 2013 www.hothousejazz.nl

Rent a vintage bike in North

Velox Classic Bikes

Everyone knows the best way to get around Amsterdam is by bike. But negotiating narrow, bumpy brick bike paths and city traffic, as well as not falling into a canal can be a tricky business for tourists who are not used to biking it.

Let me suggest cycling in North Amsterdam, where the bike paths are a lot quieter (once you have got past the daily commuters). All you have to do is catch the free ferry to the Buiksloterweg and hire…

On the Roof concerts back on top

Jazz on the roof 2013 www.hothousejazz.nl

After three successful summer concert series On the Roof  is back . The open air world music and jazz concerts are located on the Op Zeezand building in an unlikely industrial estate (near the Zamenhofstraat). From this vantage point you have a great view over the river IJ and can watch the sun setting over Central Station. The venue is easier to find since the East Ferry started up because it takes you right there.


Premiere of the film NOORD

Photo Maria Smeets

This film gives an impression of North Amsterdam. It was made by filmmaker/photographer Maria Smeets. The film is an ode to the part of Amsterdam that until recently did not even feature on the tourist maps. Like this blog, it was borne out of enthusiasm for this part of town.

It shows all aspects of the district. Not just the hip hotspots, but also the working docklands, the historic neighbourhoods, the electric canta…

Il Pecorino Wilhelmina Dok – little Italy on the quayside

il pec menu terrace

You can’t miss it, Il Pecorino Wilhelmina Dok is the modernist bright orange pavilion on the River IJ just along the bank from the IJplein ferry. It has a large waterside terrace and you can even moor your boat on the pontoon. So it has quite a spectacular view, not least because it is the official turning point for the cruise ships which regularly visit Amsterdam. 

The restaurant is located on what used to …

2015 festival season opens in Noord

Liberation Day dinner table

In the late 1970’s the former ADM shipyard was the backdrop for the Festival of Fools between the IJplein and the Meeuwenlaan. This theatrical extravaganza later evolved into the Boulevard of Broken Dreams and eventually into theatrical caravan De Parade, now held annually in the Martin Luther King Park. It was many years before festivals resurfaced in North Amsterdam. The first was location theatre festival

Summer show comes to the NDSM wharf

Photo Nieuw Dakota

Want to see work by  artists living or working in North Amsterdam. NDSM art galleries Nieuw Dakota and Francis Boeske Projects are holding their first joint Summer Show for local artists between 21 June and 1 August 2015.

The work on view has been selected by an expert jury. The show includes all disciplines and levels, professional or amateur, art graduates or established artists. Any artists living or working…

Sleep aloft in the letters of Amterdam’s Botel


It’s inexpensive, a free ferry-ride from the city centre and bang right in the middle of the trendy NDSM Docklands area. The Amstel Botel is a floating 3-star hotel in the IJ harbour. If you have been to Amsterdam before you may have seen the big white ship with its prices painted  on the side at its old location outside Central Station.


Photo @NDSM_werf

Photo @NDSM_werf

 Great if you want to be gently rocked to sleep by the …

Friendship is… creating the perfect brew

Photo Brouwerij de Vriendschap

You could say the Dutch are acquiring a taste for independent beers.  In the last ten years 243 independent breweries have been set up in the Netherlands. Although they still only represent a small segment of the market (roughly 5 %), it is definitely a growing trend. As a result, microbreweries are popping up in the most unlikely places.

Three years ago, friends Peter Harms and Aart van Bergen started experimenting…

Brooklyn Hotel towers over the NDSM wharf

Opening Brooklyn Hotel

For some the Brooklyn Hotel signifies the completion of gentrification process on the NDSM wharf. Others will probably like to book a room there. The hotel literally towers over most of the former shipyard buidings. Although many of them have been given new purpose, they have kept their authentic and unique look. Renovation may have saved many of the crumbling monumental structures that once housed a bustling shipbuilding

Go North! There is a cuppa waiting at every port of call

Al Ponte

If  you are an Amsterdam townie or a tourist who so far has not ventured north of the River IJ, here’s a quick guide to coffee spots just beyond the ferry. People have even come from as far away as Weesp to taste an Italian Al Ponte cappuccino.  But it doesn’t matter which ferry or bridge you take there’s a hot cuppa waiting for you at every port of call.

Rolling  Rock Kitchen

It used to be one of North’s quietest…

The taste of North

Upcycled chocolate boxes

Sometimes it’s nice to discover something new. Something that cannot be found in New York, Paris, London or even central Amsterdam. North has its own assortment of foodmakers. Individuals who have followed their passion, set up shop and sought an alternative to the usual range of commercial products on the supermarket shelves. Some of them are even winning prizes.

Taste of North exhibition is now on in Museum Amsterdam…

Old North meets New on the Pek Market

the new Pek Market

Every visit to Amsterdam should include at least one visit to one of its many markets. The Dutch love a bargain, whatever the size of their wallet, and every town and city neighbourhood has its own market day. North’s favourite market is changing location and changing its name. A bit of an adventure for all.

Fresh veg at the Pek Market

Fresh veg at the Pek Market

The Mosveld Market has been located in the heart of North Amsterdam since the 1920s,…

Go vintage in North Amsterdam

Photo A-Lokatie

Everyone loves to find something unique to wear or something special for their home. Shopping is more fun when it is not more of the same. That is why vintage stuff is so popular. But it also makes more sense to reuse and upcycle disregarded articles from another era. You can create a new look, or give your home an authentic feel. It doesn’t have to cost a lot and it is kind of fun too. 

Today (16 Nov) at the NDSM wharf: Jazz…

Small Talk unearths a dark family secret

Memorial for Babies

Shortly before the death of her mother, North Amsterdam playwright Jacqueline Nolan discovered her mother had kept her half-brother a secret from her all her life. As an unmarried young woman in Ireland, she was forced to give up her child. The disclosure of the family secret coincided with the height of the  sexual abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. Now new revalations of mass graves at the “ophanages”

Urban Nomad Loes is back in North

Urban nomad Loes

Last year, Loes Glandorff travelled around North with her mobile yurt and two goats as part of a project to see what it is like to live as a nomad in an urban setting. We live in a land of plenty and it didn’t take her long to find out where to dumpster dive for food and who would be willing to put her up in their back yard. She spent a couple of weeks in my neighbour’s back garden. If you like she can stay in yours….

Ten tips for a terrace on the Sunny Side of the IJ

Pllek Photo: Marion Golsteijn

The days are getting longer, the skirts shorter, and in North Amsterdam the waterside terraces sunnier. With glorious weather predicted for the weekend, North’s summer season has finally opened. So where better to enjoy the summer than the sunny side of the IJ on the North shore. Just take one of the free ferries, choose the perfect spot and relax.

Partly compiled by Jeroen Kleijne

 Here is a top 10 of North’s sunny…

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.

 ‘Over de Brug’ exhibition at Museum

Tolhuistuin opens its doors to the world


It’s been seven years in the making, but the refurbishment of the Tolhuistuin (Toll House Garden) is complete. North Amsterdam’s new cultural centre is ready to open its doors and let the world in. To mark the event, the Framer Framed exhibition opens in which young artists from the Middle East show the lost dreams of their future in ´Crisis of History.


Chris Keulemans Artistic Director

Chris Keulemans Artistic Director

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.

View of Adam Toren from the river

View of Adam Toren from the

Dutch architects print 3D canal house

3D Printed Canal House DUS architects

Millions of visitors come to Amsterdam every year to see the famous canals and their illustrious Golden Age houses on the ´Gouden Bocht’ on Unesco’s World Heritage List. But since US President Barack Obama was given a private viewing of this project during his visit to the Rijksmuseum in 2014, tourists have been flocking to North Amsterdam for a very different sight: the building of a canal 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.

Eye intertior, photo: Nicola Chadwick

Eye interior

The Eye opened in May 2012 and…

Make De Ruimte your own creative space

De Ruimte - more than just a café
De Ruimte - more than just a café

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.…

Pop-Up Summer Restaurant on the Lighthouse Island

Glass Summer Pop-Up Restaurant

It must be the most spectacular location for a pop-up restaurant. The Lighthouse Island is in the IJsselmeer Lake off Durgerdam village …

The island is usually closed to the public so when you can go, you should go. The boat trip alone is worthwhile. Last summer a temporary glass structure was built on site of an old fort. It’s re-opening this Thursday 29 May and is a joint project by Staatsbosbeheer (forestry authority),…

Cafe Modern brings new élan to North Amsterdam

photo | Jitske Schols

Not only is Cafe Modern fast becoming one of the best known restaurants in North Amsterdam, it also brings new élan to what used to be a bit of a run-down area of the city.

It’s located in a former bank just off the Van de Pek Street and less than five minutes from the Buiksloterweg ferry.  Café Modern is Bart Observer and Niels Pouters’ second restaurant in North Amsterdam, the other is Hotel de Goudfazant. But nothing…

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…

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 photo | Jitske Schols

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…

SAIL 2015 in North

Tarrangini from India
Tarrangini from India

Tarangini from India

In 1982, I watched the tall ships sailing past the Cornish coast from a field near Falmouth. Now I live in Amsterdam this sailing spectacle is re-enacted every five years.

The 2015 edition of SAIL (19-23 August) has divided Amsterdam’s quayside into five oceans, each with its own theme. Three of them are on the north shore: The Green Ocean on the NDSM wharf, the White Ocean is the Overhoeks area opposite

North’s oldest festival receives a face lift

Over het IJ Festival Flags

This year’s Over het IJ theatre festival in North Amsterdam has a new look, a new website and a new set up. Over het IJ performances will be spread across the NDSM and beyond turning the whole wharf into a festival city. Head for the containers at the Greenpeace building (next to Doubletree hotel), Pllek or Noorderlicht.

For 11 days, the 23rd edition of North’s oldest festival will more than ever before go deeper into…

A Party Fit for a King!

these guys

On Monday 27 April, the Netherlands celebrates the king’s birthday. It’s easy just put on something orange and join the fun. So now you are all dressed up, where do you go? Here is an overview of what is on in King’s Day in North Amsterdam!

It’ll be busy on the ferries so be patient and avoid the Buiksloterweg and NDSM ferry if you are taking a bike.

Street markets in North:

- Buikslotermeerplein
Be early for the…