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ndsm in amsterdam noord

The Ultimate Guide to Amsterdam Noord: What to See

July 21, 2023

Amsterdam Noord: what to see? That is a question we get asked a lot. And it is not surprising, because it’s a part of the city that has developed rapidly in recent years. This area is full of art galleries, quirky cafes and interesting shops — not to mention great views of the skyline. Here’s your guide to the best that Amsterdam Noord has to offer.

1. NDSM Werf

To get a sense of the creative energy that pulsates through Amsterdam Noord, head to the NDSM Werf. This former shipyard has been taken over by artists and is now home to a number of studios, galleries and performance spaces. It is also the location of a hip skate park — a popular youth hangout where skaters practise their skills or watch some talented skaters. The area is home to Amsterdam’s best flea markets, and also plays host to some bigger events throughout the year, such as concerts and festivals.

You’ll find several impressive bars and restaurants around the location, making it the perfect place to spend an afternoon or evening. From the all-day Helling7 restaurant perched on an old shipyard slipway, to a large hangar-style bar/restaurant called Pllek — there are lots of unique food and drinks establishments to choose from.

Where to find it? 

On the banks of the River IJ in Amsterdam Noord

Useful tip

Check out the list of events on the NDSM website before you visit, as you may find some gems you won’t want to miss.

Outdoor artwork mural of Anne Frank in Amsterdam

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2. EYE Film Institute

If you are a film lover, then you will not want to miss the EYE Film Institute. This state-of-the-art facility offers screenings in four movie theatres. It is also home to an extensive collection of films — one of the largest in the world — and has a large exhibition area. Most exhibitions charge an entrance fee but viewing the permanent collection is completely free. The building is an attraction in itself. The institute’s unique design is worth a visit even if you are not interested in film. Plus, it has great views over the river.

Where to find it?

On the north side of the Central Station

Useful tip

There is a free 24/7 ferry that runs from Central Station to the EYE Film Institute. The journey takes about 3 minutes and leaves every few minutes.

EYE Film Institute building viewed from across the river

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Read: 35 Free Things to Do in Amsterdam

3. Oedipus Brewery Taproom

If you are a fan of craft beer, then you will want to head to the Oedipus Brewery Taproom. This is the perfect place to try some of the establishment’s delicious beers, and chat with its friendly staff. The taproom is open every day from midday until late, making it a great place to spend an evening. You can choose to sit inside or soak up the sun on its lovely sun terrace.

The arty, industrial space is also home to a number of events, such as live music and tasting sessions. Plus, there is a small shop selling Oedipus merchandise and great craft beers that you can take home with you.

Where to find it?

Gedempt Hamerkanaal 85, 1021 KP Amsterdam

Useful tip

The kitchen is open from Thursday to Sunday, so make sure you go on one of those days if you want to taste some delicious, award-winning burgers.

People socialising outside Oedipus Brewery Taproom at night time.

Image courtesy:

4. A’DAM Tower

For the best views of Amsterdam, you will want to head to the A’DAM Tower. This is the tallest building in the city and has a 360° observation deck and a seriously funky elevator ride. The views from here are simply stunning, and on a clear day you can see as far as Utrecht. Opt for the free 30 minute audio tour for fun facts on the tower views.

If you are feeling brave, you could have a go at the Amsterdam virtual reality ride, or try the ‘Over the Edge’ swing, which is suspended 100 metres above the ground. If you’re looking for a more relaxed time, you can enjoy a delicious cocktail at the sky bar, or eat at the panorama restaurant. From 7-course dinners to a quick lunch, you can choose from many options depending on your mood at the time!

Where to find it?

Overhoeksplein 1, 1031 KS Amsterdam

Useful tip

Get a €2 discount if you book your tickets online in advance.

A view of the A’DAM Tower at sunset with river in the background

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For a quirky and fun cafe, head to SKATECAFE. The coffee is excellent, and the food menu features a range of tasty dishes. The real drawcard here though is the fact that it is located in an old skatepark. The cafe is surrounded by ramps and half-pipes, making it a distinctively cool place to hang out. It is also home to a number of events, such as live music and art exhibitions. So make sure to check out their online events listing if you’re after a cool gig with lots of atmosphere.

Where to find it?

Gedempt Hamerkanaal 42, 1021 KM Amsterdam

Useful tip

The cafe is only open from Thursday to Saturday, so plan your visit accordingly.

Do not miss…

6. Tol Huis Tuin

If you are looking for a relaxed and charming cafe, then Tol Huis Tuin is the perfect place for you. This cafe is located in an old toll house which has been beautifully renovated. It is surrounded by a quaint garden, making it the perfect place to enjoy a coffee or meal on a sunny day. The menu features a range of traditional Dutch dishes as well as some more unusual fare. Plus, there is a music hall and a gallery on site, making it the perfect place to while away an afternoon.

Where to find it?

IJpromenade 2, 1031 KT Amsterdam

Useful tip

The cafe is only a 3-minute walk from the EYE Film Institute, so you could easily combine a visit to both places.

7. STRAAT Museum

STRAAT Museum is a must-visit for anyone interested in street art. The museum is located in an old factory, that has been transformed into a gallery space. It features a rotating selection of exhibitions, showcasing the work of both local and international artists. There is also a cafe, serving up delicious food and drinks. The museum hosts a number of events throughout the year, such as workshops and talks. And, it is located in a great spot for exploring the rest of Amsterdam Noord.

Where to find it?

NDSM-Plein 1, 1033 WC Amsterdam

Useful tip

If you’re a student, make sure to bring proof with you as you can get a €5 student discount.

Inside the STRAAT Museum with large pieces of art on the walls

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8. ClinkNOORD

If you are looking for a place to stay in Amsterdam Noord, then you will want to check out ClinkNOORD youth hostel. This hostel is located in an old shipbuilding factory and has been renovated to provide a unique and comfortable place to stay. There is a range of room types available, from private rooms to dorms, so there’s something to suit everyone. This quirky and trendy hostel also has a bar and restaurant, making it the perfect place to relax after a long day of exploring Amsterdam Noord. Plus, it is located just a short walk from the ferry terminal, making it easy to get to and from the city centre.

Where to find it?

Badhuiskade 3, 1031 KV Amsterdam

Useful tip

With all Clink hostels, you can get a 20% youth discount – which applies to 16-26 year olds, students and apprentices.

9. Noorderpark

Noorderpark is a large park located in Amsterdam Noord. Head here if you just feel like relaxing and escaping the hustle and bustle of the city among the park’s beautiful waterways and greenery. If you want some activities, try the minigolf, outdoor fitness classes and races on offer — it even has an outdoor swimming pool.

Why not visit the park like a local by hiring a bike and exploring all it has to offer? You can cycle around the park and stop for a refreshing drink at the Grand Cafe. You can also order a snack if you’re feeling peckish.

Where to find it?

Floraparkweg 1, 1012 AA Amsterdam

Useful tip

Noorderpark is a station on the newly opened Metro Route 52 (North–South Line) in Amsterdam.

10. Pekmarkt

This market space is located in an old school and has a very cosy vibe. You’ll find all kinds of things here, from fresh produce to vintage gems. What makes Pekmarkt so unique are the themed market days, so pick a day that interests you the most. You’ll find a range of stalls selling vintage clothes, furniture and more on vintage days (Saturdays), or fresh local produce on organic market days (Fridays). 

If you’re looking for a cheap and cheerful snack option, try out some of the local Danish food offered by some stalls — from delicious Appelflaps to fresh stroopwafels, if you have a sweet tooth then you are bound to love this market. 

Where to find it?

Van der Pekstraat, 1031 Amsterdam

Useful tip

If you want to avoid the crowds, then make sure to arrive early as the market gets very busy later on in the day.

11. Schellingwouderpark

One of our favourite spaces in this part of the city (and a real hidden gem in Amsterdam!) is a newly formed park called Schellingwouderpark. Less crowded than Vondelpark, it’s a great place to go for a stroll, take a picnic or go swimming in the summer. It’s also the perfect spot for bird watching and looking at animals in their natural environment.

Where to find it?

Schellingwouderdijk 109, 1023 NA Amsterdam

Useful tip

At ClinkNOORD you can hire a bike for 24 hours for just €13.50. Once you’ve got your receipt, take a minute’s walk around to TIP Amsterdam underneath Tol huis Tuin (by the ferry) where you can pick from a selection of beautiful Dutch-style city bikes. Schellingwouderpark is only a 15-minute bike ride away.

Amsterdam Noord is a great place to visit if you’re looking for something a little bit different. With its unique cafes, museums and parks, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So why not add it to your list of places to visit in Amsterdam? And if you’re looking for a cheap and trendy place to stay, ClinkNOORD cheap youth hostel in Amsterdam city centre is the perfect option. We’re just a stone’s throw away from the ferry and main attractions in Amsterdam Noord.