A short ferry ride from Centraal station will take you over the River Ij to Amsterdam Noord. Noord (literally meaning ‘north’ if you hadn’t already guessed) offers a decidedly different aesthetic to the rest of the city with the section running along the Ij having once been home to Amsterdam’s shipping industry.
It’s a very open, industrial landscape dotted with huge warehouses and cranes – not your typical Amsterdam destination then – but one worth investing time in if the area’s cultural calendar aligns with your own. Venues like De Goudfazant, Pllek and Noorderlicht are worth the trip alone, while events like the monthly flea market at Ij Hallen make the voyage even more worthwhile.
Noord’s abandoned industrial areas are now the epicentre of a cultural and architectural regeneration in Amsterdam. Several new venues are already open or opening in the coming years but thankfully the area keeps its impressive industrial heritage in the form of huge warehouses and factories. Meanwhile access to Noord’s urban charm is pretty simple thanks to regular free ferry services connecting both banks of the Ij at various points.