Just a short (and free) ferry ride across the IJ River lies Amsterdam’s newest cultural hotspot, NDSM Wharf. Originally a shipyard, this world that time forgot wasteland has bloomed into a go-to place for the city’s creative crowd. Its abandoned buildings, taken over by artists and entrepreneurs alike, have been gentrified into event spaces, art galleries, and independent restaurants and cafés. So if you are looking to discover a different side of the Dutch capital, away from the blasé of the red lights and coffee shops, it’s a great place to start. Here are the best bits not to miss when visiting this Amsterdam uptown playground.
Pllek is a pretty unique restaurant & bar. It’s constructed from old shipping containers, so it’s got a post-industrial feel to it. Yet the fantastic view of Amsterdam across the water (thanks to the large panoramic window at the front), a private beach, and Amsterdam’s largest disco ball add a luxe appeal to the place. As a great hangout whatever the time of day, Pllek alone is enough of a reason to venture across to this part of the city.
If you like a good bargain then IJ Hallen flea market is a must visit. It’s actually the largest one in Europe, and takes place once a month in NDSM Wherf’s biggest building. At the market, you can find pretty much anything and everything, from vintage clothes and art to old cameras and household electricals, with hundreds of people flocking there each month to find new treasure amongst the junk.
With a huge half-pipe shaped greenhouse as it’s centrepiece, Noorderlicht Cafe is another great (and rather unique) place for relaxed eating and drinking in NDSM. Their menu offers lunch, dinner and snacks, with ingredients all coming from organic and sustainable sources. Inside, the cafe is colourful and homely, with a canteen layout downstairs and the feel of someones living room upstairs. Whilst in the summer months, you can sit outside in the beer garden and terrace that lead down to the water’s edge.
Nieuw Dakota Gallery
One for contemporary art lovers, the Nieuw Dakota gallery showcases the latest work of emerging artists from both local and international art scenes. Its regular program of exhibitions throughout the year is aimed towards supporting the Netherland’s art community and inspire art lovers alike. Admission is free.
How to get there
Take the 905 or 906 free ferry from behind Amsterdam Centraal station. The journey takes around 15 minutes.
This isn’t by all means an extensive list of all NDSM Wharf’s hidden treasures, but hopefully it is enough to get you started on exploring and discovering one of Amsterdam’s most unique and interesting neighbourhoods. Have fun!