A couple of years ago I set my feet on Amsterdam Noord soil for the very first time. I wrote about it here, and I also gave a small hint in the same article as to the extent of Amsterdam Street Art in the Noord District.
So, in order to offer you guys the most comprehensive overview of Street Art In Europe, I recently returned to ClinkNOORD Hostel. Located just across the water behind Amsterdam Central Station, ClinkNOORD offers the best location for exploring the relatively unknown district of Noord!
Noord: Showcasing the Best Amsterdam Street Art
Why Amsterdam Noord?
The more I get to know Amsterdam Noord, the more I tell my friends that they should go there. And yet I still have Dutch friends, born and bred in Amsterdam, who have never been to the district!
And considering its roots, you can almost understand why they don’t think it’s worth the 2-minute ferry crossing.
Noord was first and foremost a collection of villages separated from the centre of Amsterdam by the IJ River. Then in the 19th and 20th Century the district rapidly grew into an industrial dockyard. And then finally, as the shipping industry diminished, so did Noord.
Enter the 21st Century, and Noord residents decided to show the rest of Amsterdam what they were missing out on. Boutique restaurants, exquisite museums and talented art communities have been steadily growing on the shores of the IJ River.
And in this article, it’s the talented street art community in particular that I want to share with you…
Where To Find Amsterdam Street Art in Noord
In March 2015 I was working in an office in the centre of Amsterdam when news broke that residents of one of the most famous and long-standing graffiti squats was being evicted. Two years later, and little remains of the beautiful artwork that once lined the alleys off Spuistraat.
Similarly, while murals still remain in the centre of Amsterdam, the notion that the city is an open canvas for Amsterdam street art seems in decline. That is except for one district… Amsterdam Noord!
De Tanker, Noorderpark
Okay, so honestly there’s not an awful lot of street art in Noorderpark. But on the side of a shipping container located in an abandoned gas station called De Tanker you’ll be able to spot my favourite piece of street art in Amsterdam Noord!
Painted by Anopsy, a Polish artist who has been living in Amsterdam now for years, this colourful portrait brings so much life to the park. Especially on my last trip there in Winter when the natural surroundings were still waiting for Spring to bloom!
In another recent article I wrote – 5 More Things To Do in Amsterdam Noord – I also introduced you to the restaurant Pllek. As you walk in the entrance you’ll be able to spot another Anopsy portrait that’s equally as stunning…
Not far from the entrance to Noorderpark lies another fantastic mural. Painted by Telmo Miel, a Dutch street art duo, it’s the shades in this piece on Varenweg that enticed me the most!
While other examples of their art offer exceptional insights into human life, this mural intertwines both a mythological and robotic aspects to create a piece that you can’t help but stare at. Oh and the colours are stunning!
The two pieces of Amsterdam street art are individual examples of the creativity that Amsterdam Noord inspires. But for a full immersion into the artistic lifestyle of the district, the one place you must visit is the NDSM Wharf!
Originally the centre of Amsterdam’s thriving dockyard, the warehouses here fell into abandonment before the street art community came along and breathed new life into the area.
Portraiture, typography, stencil art and so much more can be found on the warehouse walls. And not only does the NDSM Wharf provide a space for graffiti practice, but it also acts as a free open air museum showcasing the best local and international talent!
The best example of just how important NDSM Wharf has become in the global street art scene is a mural that was finished in September last year.
This giant mural of Anne Frank, arguably the most famous and iconic symbol of WWII, was created by Eduardo Kobra and his team.
Its astounding height means that you just can’t miss the mural, or it’s message. At the top Kobra has written ‘Just let me be myself.”
I can’t be entirely sure why he wrote that. But for me it’s an incredible important message to send out to a world that is once again dealing with rumblings of the far-right.
Amsterdam Noord Street Art Map
Below is a map with the locations of the four main Amsterdam street art murals and spaces in Amsterdam Noord that I’ve mentioned in this article. Hopefully I will get to add to this on my next trip so stay tuned!
And my one final tip is that all of these pieces are ridiculously easy to access by bicycle from ClinkNOORD Hostel – the only hostel so far in Amsterdam Noord!
Have you spotted any other great examples of street art in Amsterdam Noord? Let me know in the comments!