Noord is the borough of Amsterdam north of the IJ. It is residential district, and with about 86,000 inhabitants, it has the size of a medium-sized city (and it is growing at a rapid pace—three new neighborhoods are currently in construction). This district has remained well off the radar among tourists visiting Amsterdam, so amenities are not well-developed. It looks strikingly different from the city center, so get in with an open mind. Yet, there is more to see than you might think. The ferry to it in itself is a breeze, crossing the river IJ and showing the urban landscape of Noord. Get off at the NDSM shipyard, that functioned as a shipyard as recently as the 1980s, but now boasts a lively art scene. Urban culture comes alive in its large skate park. Then patch up your bicycle, and ride it through the rural farmland in the east. The picturesque villages Ransdorp and Zunderdorp are favorites among the locals for their traditional Dutch farmhouses.
The north lies fairly isolated from the rest of Amsterdam, but luckily, there is a free GVB ferry from Centraal Station in the Binnenstad. Instead of just being a way to get in, the ferry ride is an attraction in itself. It gives a great view over the urban harbor-front, and shows the diversity of the north's residents. Large signs show when the next boat is departing, and when it does, expect masses of locals getting on with their bicycles. Getting on just before the boat leaves seems to have turned into a sport here. You can take off at different piers, the NDSM shipyard being the most notable. If you want to do some further exploring, be sure to bring a bicycle and a decent map.
There's not much to see around here, but you might want to check out the windmill. It's not open to the public.
- 1 D'Admiraal (1792), Noordhollandschkanaaldijk 21. Windmill on the bank of the Noordhollands Kanaal in the north, ferry from Central Station.
Take the ferry over the IJ that run on the north side of Amsterdam Centraal. These are free of charge and provide nice views of the harbor and skyline. Take the ferry to Buiksloterweg and make a short walk to the EYE Film Institute for its architecture and free exhibition in the basement.
- 1 EYE Film Institute Netherlands, IJpromenade 1 (Ferry Buiksloterweg), ☎ . Su-Th 10:00-22:00, F-Sa 10:00-23:00. EYE is an institute dedicated to the preservation of film for future generations. Its the successor of the Filmmuseum. It has four film theatres with alternative screenings such as art films. In April the Imagine Film Festival is held here with screenings dedicated to exploitation, cult and lower budget films. Well worth it if you're a fan of the genre.
- 1 Buikslotermeerplein Boven 't Y Shopping Mall (Boven 't Y), Buikslotermeerplein Amsterdam, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.