Hidden Tastes of Amsterdam Part 3: Noorderlicht Café

Amsterdam is the fascinating city which is in the heart of Netherlands and one of the most frisky regions of northwest Europe. What makes Amsterdam special is the variation within the city that modern and old, classic and contemporary is entwined with each other in harmony. It is unquestionably beautiful, but there is something else with the spirit of the city that attracts me to visit there often.

Amsterdam is a popular destination not only for me but also to others. Many tourists visit the city to enjoy the view of the canals and its surrounding houses. There is also a favorable location to experience the Dutch free spirit. In general, visitors spend all their time in the old town. However, they may not get the full glimpse of the real Amsterdam without exploring the surrounding neighborhoods.

There are in total of twelve neighborhoods of Amsterdam which is full of great attractions such as monuments, restaurants, cafes, and breweries and it is real spending at least a day to explore around. NSDM region is a suitable destination for anyone who enjoys the street art and modernism because here is one of the “hippiest” neighborhoods of Amsterdam.

NSDM Region Amsterdam

As part of the Noord neighborhood, NSDM is situated in the on the north bank of IJ river. A convenient way to come is by taking a boat from the central station. When I arrived in NSDM, my first impression was that it is a desolated industrial region however I was wrong. After a while, I started noticing the artworks on walls of the buildings and then it became alive. NSDM could inspire anyone who is motivated for deviating from the classic style.

The word NSDM stands for  Nederlandse Droogdok en Scheepsbouw Maatschappij (Dutch Dock and Shipbuilding Company), and it was the largest shipbuilding company a century ago. The company was founded in 25 Augustus 1894 and lasted until it went bankrupt in 1984. At the beginning of 90’s NSDM region was completely abandoned then it was rekindled and rapidly grew.

Taste'n Travel: Amsterdam Noorderlicht Cafe, NSDM region
Taste’n Travel: Amsterdam Noorderlicht Cafe, NSDM region

While I was walking along the large empty area, the railways on the ground attracted my attention, which was an apparent trace of its history, probably used for transporting ships from one place to another. For me, any journey gets more enjoyable when I could be able to trace the history of the things around.

Now, NSDM region is a popular area with its prominent “hip” style atmosphere. There is also industrially growing, in a different manner from its history that hosts many small, large creative businesses is spread over ten football fields large area. MTV is one of the companies that has an office in NSDM region. Besides the offices, there are also temporary buildings which were constructed from the recycled materials of the ship building company such as Noorderlicht Cafe.

Noorderlicht Cafe

Noorderlicht Cafe is in the southeast of NSDM river port which is a greenhouse situated on the river side. When you pass over the empty area, a rustic iron greets you with the welcoming signboard of Noorderlicht Cafe. It looks pretty disorganized from the outside but somehow attractive. What makes here different is that it was created by a collection of unrelated objects. It is an interesting way to decorate a place that most of the places are remaining from a shipyard.

Taste'n Travel: Amsterdam Noorderlicht Cafe, from outside
Taste’n Travel: Amsterdam Noorderlicht Cafe, outside

The keyword that describes the Noorderlicht Cafe is definitely “sustainability.” The cafe itself was recycled from a greenhouse and every furniture inside as well. Additionally, everything inside the cafe was collected from outside that useless became useful in Noorderlicht Cafe.

I visited Noorderlicht Cafe on a Saturday afternoon, which had an enjoyable and entertaining atmosphere. There was live music that a singer was performing on a Saturday afternoon. It was a perfect time to watch the sunset, towards the river.

For me, Noorderlicht Cafe is a place to enjoy drinks and with my family on it relaxed trendy atmosphere. I did not have a dinner, but rather enjoyed traditional Dutch finger food such as such as bitterballen and croquettes. However, a nice dinner is also served, click here to view the dinner menu on their official website.

Taste'n Travel: Amsterdam Noorderlicht Cafe, inside
Taste’n Travel: Amsterdam Noorderlicht Cafe, inside

The official address of Noorderlicht Cafe is NDSM-Plein 102, 1033 WB Amsterdam. To access to NSDM region from central station by taking the ferry 394 which departs from the IJ port of Amsterdams the central station. It is just 12 minutes away by ferry, and it is a free ride. From NSDM to Noorderlicht it takes approximately 10 minutes to walk.

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