Katie from The Hostel Girl spent a few days with us in Amsterdam this month.
Do you know much about AmsterdamNOORD? It’s where you’ll find ClinkNOORD and it’s cool, creative vibe is hard to resist. Here’s Katie’s suggestions on how to fill 24 hours in Amsterdam – by bike!
The best way to start your day in Noord is at the ClinkNOORD breakfast buffet. Grab some all-you-can-drink coffee to fuel your day of cycling and top up on cold meats and cheeses all for just €5.90 if you book in advance. If it’s just coffee and a croissant that you need, stop off at the CatalystCAFE from 9.30am to get your caffeine fix from one of the smiling café team.
Head to the ClinkNOORD reception and hire a bike for 24 hours for just €13. Once you’ve got your receipt, take a minute’s walk around to the TIP Amsterdam store underneath the Tolhuis (by the ferry) where you can pick from a selection of beautiful Dutch-style city bikes. They even have a choice between hand brakes and the more traditional back-peddle brakes used in The Netherlands. Once you’ve got your bike, it’s time to start
The best thing about exploring Amsterdam Noord by bike is the opportunity to discover the mix of old and new Amsterdam. Buiksloterdijk is the perfect example of old Amsterdam in this otherwise modern district of the city.
Buiksloterdijk is a traditional trading village that lines the Noordhollandsch Kanaal and the best way to get there is by cycling through Noorderpark. A popular jogging track and route for local dog-walkers, Noorderpark is an oasis of calm in an otherwise bustling city.
Once you get to Buiksloterdijk, hop off the bike and take a moment to admire the old Café Noord-Holland. The building dates back to 1907 and it now serves as the office for a real-estate company. But if you’re lucky the kind owner will see you taking photos from her window and venture out to tell you the building’s story.
Pop back on your bike for a ten-minute cycle from Buiksloterdijk to Buiksloterham. This is the industrial area of Amsterdam Noord that has seen a creative revival in recent years. It’s here where you should stop for lunch in Pllek.
Shipping containers turned restaurant, bar and event venue, Pllek is at the heart of the local community. Used as a remote office for locals, and a yoga studio for health and well-being clients, the venue is also surprisingly welcoming. The staff here are always amazing, and if you’re popping by for lunch make sure to try the Ricotta Ravioli for €13.50.
Want to read more about Amsterdam Noord? Find out what our Top Local Picks are right here
Re-fuelled from your sustainably sourced lunch at Pllek, take a very short ride over to the IJ Hallen. Not only is this the location of Amsterdam’s best monthly flea market, but the outside of the old shipping warehouse is also host to some of the best street art to be found in Amsterdam.
Needless to say the murals are constantly changing. So if you’re looking for a more permanent art piece, take a few seconds to cycle to the Anne Frank Mural. At 240 square metres, this piece by Eduardo Kobra brings a stunning wall of colour to an otherwise grey area of post-industrial Noord.
If you’re lucky enough to be visiting at the right time of the month, step inside the old warehouses to find Amsterdam’s biggest flea market. It runs once and month and you can find future dates by clicking here.
If you’re not so lucky, then head into the NDSM warehouse to experience the Kunststad (Art City). The residents of Art City are all artists and creatives who have designed and built their own studios and workspaces within the old warehouse.
After exploring the incredible contemporary art that Amsterdam Noord evokes from its residents, grab a coffee from Bbrood. This café and bakery is located right next to the NDSM ferry to take you back to Amsterdam Centraal Station. But with a second-floor seating area that looks out over the IJ and the smell of freshly baked saucijzen broodjes (the addictive Dutch sausage rolls) wafting from the oven, it’s hard to grab just a coffee! So take a seat by the window and let the first ferry pass by while you relax and wait for the next one.
By now you’ll have been riding around for a good few hours, so hop on ferry ‘906’ to Amsterdam Centraal Station. Once off the ferry, stay on the dock and grab one of the two ferries heading to Buiksloterweg. You’ll be right back next to the TIP Amsterdam bicycle rental shop. But it’s not time to drop off your bike just yet!
As you get off the ferry, you’ll spot the A’DAM Lookout Tower on your left. Head straight towards it and grab a ticket to the top from €12.50. Needless to say, the view from the top is astounding, but it’s the swing that you should really be looking forward to! ‘Over The Edge’ is the name of Europe’s highest ever swing! At 100 metres high, you’ll definitely get butterflies dangling your feet over the lip of A’DAM Lookout. Which is why you should follow this up with a cocktail in the SkyBar on the floor below, with prices from €9. And before leaving the tower, make sure to check out the interactive exhibitions on the same floor as the SkyBar. With intricate touch-screen displays about famous Amsterdammers, DJs, Artists, Festivals and more, it’s a fun way to get to know the city better!
Read about what Katie got up to last time she was in Amsterdam Noord!
You won’t even have to unlock your bicycle to get to the next experience. The entrance to the EYE Film Museum is directly ahead of the exit of the A’DAM Lookout and tickets for the exhibition are just €10 (or €8.50 for students). Whether you’re a film buff or not, the permanent exibition at The Eye is a treat for the eyes and a step into the history of filmmaking. Their current temporary exhibition takes a close look at the work of Béla Tarr, and entrance is included in the main ticket price.
Now it’s time for dinner, which is just a 5-minute cycle away! If you’re exploring on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday then the Rolling Rock Kitchen is the place to be. Hours of opening however vary by week, so make sure to check their website to see if you’re in for a chance of tasting their fresh main dishes. If you miss the chance to grab their Big Chill Hamburger, then you’ve got no excuse for not heading 5 minutes on the bicycle back to ClinkNOORD. The Clink Burger is my personal favourite juicy burger, and comes either with a salad or fries.
Once you’ve lined your stomach with a Clink Burger it’s time to party! Most events in the ClinkNOORD ZincBAR begin around 7.00pm, but they go on til late. So you’ll be forgiven for jumping in the shower before rushing back down for a beer! Check out the music request night on Sundays, or the Kareoke night on Thursdays. Try and get back a bit earlier though if you want to make the Cocktail Workshop, which begins at 7.00pm promptly on Wednesday! And now you’ve had a few drinks, it might be worth putting away your bike keys to prevent any accidents on your way out to a late night out in Amsterdam!
We love following Katie’s adventures in Europe and beyond. Head over to The Hostel Girl where Katie shares her travel tips, stories and more …