Hello dear friends,
First of all, I would like to thank you all for the positive reactions I got on my last post entitled “Baby Bump Bonding“. I was truly overwhelmed by the spontaneous enthusiasm future parents and even grandparents addressed me with, convincing me to keep on “reporting live from within the womb”. However, what encouraged me even more to go on, were these great e-mails and messages by my fellow foetus friends out there. Boy, we sure have a connection! How remarkably wonderful is that!
Instead of addressing a rather serious topic as I did in my previous post, I decided that this time I would rather take on the role of your Dutch tour guide. After taking you all on a trip to the lovely cities of Utrecht and Alkmaar, after sharing mummy’s Amsterdam gourmet street food gems, I reckon it is time to introduce you to a hipster part of Amsterdam, which in fact is not at all far from Amsterdam’s city centre, but which has an entirely different character. It is called Amsterdam-Noord (Amsterdam North), which is situated directly across the water (known as ‘the IJ’) behind Central Station. This Amsterdam neighbourhood looks more like a village within a city.
You could go by car to this lovely part of Amsterdam, but why not do some sightseeing in an environmentally-friendly way and go by bike – after all that’s what you’re supposed to do in Holland, the most bike-friendly city in the world. You can take the free ferries behind Central Station and start exploring the child-friendly neighbourhoods. If you do not own a bike, Amsterdam has plenty of bike rental companies to choose from. If you are planning on taking your child(ren), do not forget to read my blogpost on bike seats, so that he/she can enjoy his/her bike ride to the fullest.
My future parents often take me on a bike ride in Amsterdam-North and I must admit I always enjoy these special moments very much. It strengthens the child-parent bonding thing, I can assure you.
One of my favourite spots in this rather vast area is the former shipbuilding yard called NDSM-wharf, which has a free ferry connection with Amsterdam Central Station. Until the eighties of the previous century this wharf was one of the largest shipyards in the world, where ships were being constructed and repaired. The buildings with their typical industrial character still give you a good idea of how it must have been in the shipbuilding era. In the midst of the iconic NDSM-wharf, the 100-year old NDSM-warehouse nowadays hosts quite a lot of small businesses, ranging form IT-companies, architects, painters, even a pub/restaurant called Ijver and many more.
The terrain itself is often used for festivals and all sorts of artistic and cultural events. You might even bump into some photographers during an alternative fashion shoot. The graffiti elements all over the place do add some special touch to fashion pictures, so I reckon.
Further on the terrain you do not only find the popular DoubleTree by Hilton hotel, but also some truly hipster places where they serve great food and drinks, all of them equipped with nice terraces. Don’t expect anything fancy. Trendy, eco-friendly and very often organic, names such as Pllek (a conglomerate of large shipping containers) and Café Noorderlicht attract locals and tourists at the same time.
The crane in the pictures is actually a 5* hotel, Crane Hotel Faralda, which has 3 design suites in the top and a studio for private parties, corporate and music events. It is accessible for invites and guests only, so if you are looking for something out of the ordinary, …
A bit more to the east, your bike ride takes you to the Nieuwendammerdijk or the Buiksloterdijk, two dikes, along which you can admire the ancient cosy typical Dutch gabled houses, painted in colours, ranging from dark blue or green to bright yellow or light blue. Nieuwendammerdijk nr. 297 is a lovely house dating back from 1565.
In it is a truly authentic pub that has been serving simple honest food and drinks for over 100 years. If you haven’t already done so, try their apple pie (the Dutch afternoon treat). Mummy ordered a roasted vegetables & hummus sandwich on their outdoor terrace this summer and she loved it. Luckily, I was able to take a picture before she dug into it.
Another lovely old-fashioned pub we recently encountered is called “Café ONS”. From up here you can see the back of Central Station, testifying just how close this neighbourhood is to the city centre. It is therefore the ideal place to finish your bike ride in the Amsterdam-Noord neighbourhood before taking the free ferry back to Central Station.
As I have been able to take some pictures on the many occasions my future parents took me there, I’m dying to know whether you too agree that this part of Amsterdam is definitely worth a visit.
Let me know. We might even bump into each-other.
Bike riding – even if I’m not doing the peddling – always makes me sleepy …
Speak to you soon. Hang in there.
A big hug from
PS 1 This is not a sponsored post. All opinions provided in this article are strictly those of LittleBoy2Be.com
PS 2 Some useful addresses:
PLLEK: TT Neveritaweg 59, 1033 WB Amsterdam
IJVER: Scheepsbouwkade 72, 1033 WM Amsterdam
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Amsterdam – NDSM Wharf: NDSM-Plein 28, 1033 WB Amsterdam
Café Noorderlicht: NDSM Plein 102, 1033 WB Amsterdam
Café ‘t Sluisje: Nieuwendammerdijk 297, 1025 LM Amsterdam
Café ONS: Buiksloterweg 27, 1031 CD Amsterdam
MacBike.nl with 5 bike rental locations in Amsterdam Centre
Crane Hotel Faralda, NDSM Plein 78, 1033 WB Amsterdam
PS 3 Interesting to know:
From the rear of Amsterdam Central Station you can take the FREE ferry service 906 towards NDSM-wharf or 901 and 907 towards Buiksloterweg. More information can be found on the website of the municipal transport company GVB when clicking on the above ferry numbers.
PS 4 Interesting websites for additional information
Iamsterdam.com Top 10 terraces Amsterdam Noord
Iamsterdam.com Cycling routes/Rustic North
PS 5 I would like to express my special thanks to photographer Rien Janssen for letting me use 4 of his Buiksloterdijk images