With Amsterdam’s long-awaited North-South metro line finally due to open this month, there’s more reason than ever to head north and discover a totally different side to the vibrant Dutch capital. Its northern borough – helpfully called Noord – has evolved into one of the city’s trendiest districts, thanks to an artist-led, bottom-up regeneration.
Co-founder of Noorderlicht Café
Noorderlicht has served as a canteen for the people initially working to regenerate Noord. These days, the bohemian café’s organic food, riverside views and live music are enjoyed by people from all over the city.
Co-owner Jasper Helmer loves going to Hotel de Goudfazant, where diners can savour modern European fare in an elegantly converted car garage. After chowing down, he recommends a trip to club Skatecafe to dance on its indoor half-pipe. Helmer says that this kind of imaginative project is typical of Noord. “It’s all temporary here, mainly using low-budget builds. Because of that, it’s really creative,” he says.
Unsurprisingly, graffiti art is prominent here, and Helmer is involved in an enormous new 7,000m² museum opening later this year. “It [will feature] top street artists,” he says. “That’s going to be the next big thing in Noord.”