Bask in the sun on the beach
Take a break and head to the beach without ever leaving Amsterdam. The former shipyard lies all along the River IJ, and its immense size provides ample room for plenty of beachgoers to play some games or lounge in the sand. Head to Pllek, a cafe and beach spot constructed from old shipping containers, to relax next to the water or have a bite on the terrace under the sun. Nearby is Noorderlicht, a greenhouse-turned-café that offers a large outdoor space on the water – complete with a bonfire – as well as a sustainable, vegetarian-friendly menu.
Stay in (or bungee jump from) an industrial crane
If you’re interested in one-of-a-kind experiences, look to Faralda Crane Hotel, one of the most exceptional and exclusive hotels in Amsterdam. There’s no mistaking what this hotel used to be: a massive industrial crane, looming tall over the NDSM wharf. The hotel now boasts just three luxurious suites, each of which hang 30-plus metres in the air. Guests of the hotel also get exclusive access to a sky-high hot tub, where they can soak in solitude under a starlit sky. But even if you’re not staying at the hotel, you can still get a glimpse of the impressive view — but only briefly, as you’ll be too busy bungee jumping off the 50-metre platform.
Hunt for vintage treasures
The industrial history and artistic community of the NDSM neighbourhood has turned it into a treasure trove for vintage and antique goods. Two days a month, you can spend hours wandering the IJ-hallen flea market, called the largest in Europe, where hundreds of stalls hawk everything from clothes and jewellery to kitchen supplies and memorabilia. Nearby, Woodies at Berlin combines vintage and modern aesthetics with handmade items as well as upcycled chairs and lighting, while Neef Louis fills its 2,000 metres of space with vintage industrial furniture, lighting and design pieces.
Feel the good vibes at a festival
Watch the wide, open spaces of NDSM wharf transform during one of the many diverse festivals that take place throughout the year, all catering to different music genres and celebrations. The three-day DGTL Festival presents underground electronica with an emphasis on artistic features, while those who like a little bit of funk in their festivals can stop by NDSM during Wicked Jazz Sounds Festival. Families can visit on one (or more) of the ten days that the Over het IJ theatre festival takes over or head over on Ascension Day for family-friendly festivities at Hemeltjelief.
Watch a movie with a view
Cleverly dubbed Films With a View: Sunscreenings, these summertime events take place on Tuesdays from June until August, weather permitting, on the beach outside Pllek in front of a large screen – and the water. Snuggle up next to someone special and watch movies selected by Pllek and fellow organisers Outdoor Cinema and Cine, but voted on by attendees. Keep an eye on the weather as well as the Films With a View Facebook page to attend.