Get a taste for heights at A’DAM Toren
See the sights before you eat, just in case your stomach can’t handle it: the A’dam tower is home to Europe’s highest swing. And if the thought of swinging over the edge of a hundred-metre building leaves your knees shaking, you can still take in the breath-taking views from the 360-degree sky deck. When you’re high enough, there are a couple of restaurants you can head to in the tower. Moon on the 19th floor serves up locally-sourced, seasonal lunch and dinner menus courtesy of two awesome chefs Jaimie and Tommy, as well as revolving view of the city – yes, the restaurant spins. One floor up (on the observation deck) you’ll find Madam serving Chef David’s modern interpretations of French and Mediterranean cuisine. Hang out at Madam’s long enough and it transforms into Skybar – so you might want to pack your drinking shirt.
Learn about sustainability (and grab some green coffee) at De Ceuvel
Excellent coffee and a crash course in sustainability: if that sounds like a great way to spend your afternoon then you plan a visit to De Ceuvel. De Ceuvel is a community built by a bunch of office-boating innovators as a cleantech experiment, over what once was a polluted harbour. Besides the excellent food and coffee, you’ll find a fascinating aquaponics greenhouse, and several showcases of clean technology that the compound itself uses to remain green. De Ceuvel creatively uses clean energy and heat exchangers, and reuses much of its kitchen and toilet waste through treatment, composting and filtration. They hope to inspire everyone around them to go green, and we hope we’ve inspired you to pay them a visit.
Ride a bike through stunning scenery to a historical village
It would be impressive to visit Amsterdam and avoid cycling entirely. Impressive, and unwise. The city has a bike-path network unlike any other, and dozens of signposted routes to help you along. We recommend you try cycling to Durgerdam, in Landelijk Noord: take the ferry north from Central Station, and bike along the Ijsselmeer coast. There are plenty of places to rest and recharge along the way: the beautiful and authentic Café 't Sluisje at the end of Nieuwendammerdijk lives in a building that’s nearly 500 years old, and serves delicious food, drink and desserts. If you haven’t tried Dutch apple pie yet, that should be your first stop. The historical village of Durgerdam itself is even more stunning; its protected status makes it as good a glimpse of Dutch history as you’ll get outside a museum and it has plenty of places to have a coffee and take in the sights. When you’re sufficiently steeped in culture, circle back to Central Station through the polders, and stop by the Landmarkt on Schellingwouderdijk for the best organic picnic you can put together.
Spend the day at a Dutch park
The Dutch do parks right. And while it is possible to have a quiet day at the park, the more prominent ones like Noorderpark are hubs for cultural and family activities. Noorderpark has a monthly programme which you should check out, but it also has a few must-see landmarks. Take for instance De Gele Pomp and the Roze Tanker, two former gas stations that became useless when the road network was updated; in typical Dutch fashion, these were turned into brightly-coloured community centres where you’ll find everything from pop-up cafes to cultural workshops. Noorderpark is also a great place to go for a swim, one of the best in fact: the Noorderparkbad is an award-winning swimming pool complex that is as fun to look at as it is to dive in. Diving boards, tubes and child-friendly locations mean kids both young and old can take part.
Lose yourself (and find some great stuff) in a street market
Looking for a huge mall that’ll sell everything you could possibly want to buy under one roof? Tough luck, the Dutch don’t do malls. What they do however is encourage small businesses, and as a result create beautiful, thriving places like the Pekmarkt street market. The colours, smells and buzz alone make the trip worthwhile, but you’ll also want to do some shopping while you’re there. The main street sells everything from bargain clothing to delicious street food, often including great organic breads and oils. Also expect fish stalls, soap stalls, pancakes and the unexpected. Off the main street you’ll find a lot to keep you busy as well; places like Fashion & Tea (they sell tea, and fashion) and the newly opened Café Keppler are definitely worth your time. And if you want the best ice cream in Noord (and perhaps in the city!) walk down to IJskoud de Beste and prepare to be amazed.
Explore more of Noord, or check out some other Amsterdam neighbourhoods!To experience even more of this neighbourhood including hidden hotspots and community events, don't miss this year's 24H Noord.