Take the ferry to Amsterdam Noord
If you’re visiting Amsterdam, chances are that you’ll begin on the south side of the River IJ – for example, arriving at Amsterdam Central Station. To begin exploring the district of Amsterdam Noord ('north') simply board one of the free ferries (by public transport operator GVB) at the waterfront exit of the station (following signs to ‘Noord’). These public ferries depart every few minutes in daytime and even run (less frequently) through the night, transporting pedestrians, bicycles and mopeds.
Cultural, architectural & culinary achievements
Almost directly opposite Central Station stands the Eye Filmmuseum in all its futuristic glory. This cinema, museum, film archive and café/restaurant is a standout location; although it only opened in spring 2012, the building is already one of Amsterdam’s modern icons. Around the corner, find the Tolhuistuin, another cultural hotspot that boasts a live music venue, a restaurant and much more. The eye-catching A’DAM tower redevelopment next door is further upping the ante in this area, providing space for bars, restaurants, nightclubs and other music businesses.
In what seems like direct contrast to the cutting-edge vibe, this area also has loads of lovely little villages that are ideal for exploring on foot, by bicycle or by water. Historic villages such as Nieuwendam, Ransdorp and Zunderdorp have authentic stolpboerderijen (traditional Dutch farmhouses with roofs built in the shape of a cheese-cover), wooden houses, canal locks and impressive polder views.