Festivals, art and food in Amsterdam North

There’s something to experience and discover around every corner of this derelict shipyard-turned-edgy art community. A creative hub, it bustles with artists’ cooperatives and youth brands, which have set up shop in the converted factory buildings and hangars. The blustery expanses, austere tower blocks and rusty hangars north of the IJ are hardly the idyll picture postcards are made of. But that’s precisely the area’s appeal for the new generation of creatives and entrepreneurs who, over the course of the last decade, have built a creative refuge here and turned the former NDSM terrain into an extremely popular location.

NDSM Wharf Amsterdam

The area was originally used by the Nederlandse Dok en Scheepsbouw Maatschappij (NDSM; ‘Dutch Dock and Shipbuilding Company’) between 1894 and 1979, but nowadays it feels more like Brooklyn or Berlin. When you arrive by ferry – passing by an old Russian submarine and a crane that’s been converted into a boutique hotel – you know you’re entering a special area. Festivals take place here throughout the year, there’s a huge flea market in the IJ-hallen every month, and the most beautiful cafés and restaurants serve up great views of the water and the city, every day of the week.

Did you know? Many of Amsterdam’s best festivals take place on NDSM