We recently had the good fortune to spend a weekend with a good friend in North Amsterdam, and found it a pleasant surprise. The north side is a new part of the city and has a completely different feel to the canal zone. Rather than ancient buildings and a network of canals, the north was clearly designed with bikes in mind as the central form of transportation. It was amazing to be able to ride from one side of the city to the other through a green belt, surrounded by trees rather than roads. It was so peaceful that Hayden even fell asleep in his wagon bike.
Then we visited the former shipyards at Amsterdam NDSM. The area has been repurposed into an art district in a way that still keeps the former industrial feel. A crane has been turned into a hotel, greenhouses into cafes and walking through derelict shipping containers led us into a fun beach bar. A large warehouse had a hidden art studio village inside, and overlooking it was a stack of shipping containers turned into ultra-cheap student housing. A great way to modernise an abondoned site while still keeping the original visual uniqueness of the area.
North Amsterdam really struck me as a Coopenhagen-type city. Trendy and European, designed to just integrate seemlessly with modern sustainable urban lifestyles.