Volewijck has an above average violent crime rate and an average property crime rate for Amsterdam.
Amsterdam Noord has always been the odd one out. The psychological border of the ferry across the river IJ is too big for some Amsterdammers who don’t consider it real Amsterdam. This proves that the definition of Amsterdam is debatable, as Noord was part of the city before the ever-popular Jordaan was, for instance.
And some parts of Noord are closer to the historic heart of town than some of the more popular neighborhoods south of the river. This is the case with the van der Pekbuurt, a short ferry ride and five-minute walk from Central Station.
This is where Amsterdam hanged its criminals in darker days. After the gallows were torn down, Tolhuistuin Park functioned as a grand day out destination for Amsterdammers enjoying the fresh air across the river (it still partially exists today).
At the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries, the city council decided to build one of the first garden villages here and others followed shortly. These were designed to house laborers from the many new factories along the northern IJ shores, but also become home to those forced to leave their dilapidated flats in the overcrowded city. One of the architects was Jan Ernst van der Pek and the main high street still bears his name.
Van der Pekbuurt is a pleasant enough neighborhood. The houses, mostly small homes or duplex apartments, were designed for families, but are now often occupied by young couples or first time buyers. There are some larger homes as well.
Their presence in turn created an influx of small coffee bars, nice restaurants, a weekly market, and a few novelty stores.
Adjacent Volewijck is still very much a working-class neighborhood and is not as gentrified…yet. With the new metro line running North/South in the very near future (July 2018) it is expected that most of Noord, including here, will gain in popularity and housing prices will continue to rise.
But you can still get pretty good value for money here. Some of the original "Northerners" are dreading the influx of yuppies and townies but others can’t wait to see their 'hood finally become a full-fledged part of Amsterdam.
De Ceuvel is an award winning hub for creative entrepreneurs, artists, and sustainable technologies. Several houseboats sit on what was once a shipyard and are connected by a floating bridge. Truly unique is the fact that phyto-remediating plants actually clean the soil.
Eventually de Ceuvel will have to make room for what will likely be another ‘hip’ Noord development since they only have a ten-year lease. So make sure to check out their many workshops, events, concerts and amazing café and restaurant while it lasts. Due to the many industrial remnants here, it’s not the safest place for kids, but they do have special activities for children and families.
The very first building you see after you arrive in this neighborhood by ferry is Café de Pont. Once you learn that the Dutch word for Ferry is Pont, you’ll understand how it earned its name. It's a lovely place, with an enclosed terrace that allows for amazing people watching. The ferry that lands here runs 24/7 and with a mere 2 or 3-minute ride across the river to Central Station and Amsterdam, it is the perfect spot to meet people from Amsterdam and beyond. Decent menu with drinks and food, for a good price.
Soon after opening, this restaurant was hailed as one of Amsterdam’s finest. The high ceilings and 1950s décor mixed with the crisp white table linens create the perfect atmosphere for a great dining experience. The acoustics are notoriously bad, but people take it for granted to sample the chef’s concoctions on offer.
Photo Credits: Thanks to @danielgenser, @jasper_helsloot, @maykyrawithyou, @claudio_hs, @komeet56, @noorderparkfestival, @hotmamahotcatering, @colouredgoodies, @dlo_nl, @pekenkleren, @thriftlady9, @rayz.nl, @aureliadandrea, @marike.ha, @woneninvanderpek, @denbompy, @schoffieskoffie, @photon.captures, @emmavogn, @dock_amsterdam_noord, @maxie666, and @iskandrfor your great photos of this neighborhood!