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Graffiti and street art on the NDSM wharf in Amsterdam

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At the back of the central station we took the ferry across the IJ. After about 10 minutes the boat moors at the trendy NDSM wharf. The NDSM wharf (in Dutch “NDSM Werf”) is a creative hotspot in the north of Amsterdam that has become increasingly popular in recent years.

Not only because DGTL hosts its festival here every year, but also because beautiful graffiti and urban street art can be found everywhere. You will find here in addition to the works made with a spray can also a lot of sticker and stencil art.
The NSDM yard is a raw area. It looks a bit like Berlin. No structure and very dynamic. Many large ship halls and therefore many walls. The industrial area is a perfect coloring page for the artists. And because the gray of the industry is so dominant, street art and graffiti bring a special color to the yard. At the end of the article we mention every other hotspot in Amsterdam so it’s easy to find all the hotspots in Amsterdam!

At the end of the article are more photo’s of the NDSM wharf. 

The NDSM Wharf is a unique location in the city of Amsterdam, which has been transformed into an artistic and cultural hub for creatives.

With museums such as the Rijksmuseum, the Hermitage, the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum, the capital of the Netherlands has a lot to offer for street art and graffiti lovers. But you don’t necessarily have to go to a museum in Amsterdam to see streetart: you can also do that at the NDSM wharf in Amsterdam North. In addition to the works made with a spray can, you will also find a lot of sticker and stencil art here.

NDSM wharf in Amsterdam North

Once the largest shipbuilding facilities in the world, today the NDSM Wharf in Amsterdam serves as an ideal backdrop for a new wave of creative minds and startups.

The street museum is located on the NDSM island. It is an interesting mix of old and new architecture and easily accessible from Amsterdam Central station with the ferry.

To locate street art and graffiti in Amsterdam North you really just have to do one thing; stroll through the former shipyard. You may come across small drawings on doors, electric boxes, walls or on the pavement. Some works can be found covering entire buildings or ships that you cannot miss. The NDSM Wharf is a real hotspot for street artists. Walk down cool street art in Amsterdam North and discover colourful artwork and graffiti on the sides of the industrial ship halls!

Street art Amsterdam

If you’re a fan of graffiti and want to see some nice murals, I’d recommend visiting the NDSM Wharves in Amsterdam. There are lots of amazing pieces of street art there.
A lot of people would agree that the city of Amsterdam is one of the best places to visit if you’re into street art. Not only do you get to see great works of art in public spaces, but you’ll also find them in private buildings too! In addition to the above mentioned murals, you should check out the Moco museum.

Practical information for tourists visiting Amsterdam from the north

The NDSM museum in Amsterdam North is easily accessible by foot or bike. There are two free ferries that leave from Amsterdam Central Station, below the train deck to the NDSM wharfs, which are accessible to walkers and bikers.
You take the first ferry from Amsterdam Central Station (NDSM) to the NDSM island. It leaves every 15 to 30 min during peak times, and every 1½ hrs outside these times. The trip takes roughly 15 mins.
From the Pontsteiger you can sail to the NDSM wharf in about 7 minutes.

In short the top 9 street art / graffiti hotspots in Amsterdam:

The street art on the walls. Blood, sweat and tears from artists who spent hours working on the perfect combination of colors and images. You focus on the things you are used to and let all the beauty slip by but their is so much more street art to be found in Amsterdam than the above works at the NDSM. Start your journey with street art in Amsterdam and start looking for the most beautiful works in the city center, East and Jordaan.

Want to know more legal graffiti hotspots in Amsterdam?

  • NDSM Wharf Amsterdam / Biggest streetart museum in the world
  • Hemonylaan: Hugo Kaagman
  • London Police Wall
  • “Het slangenpad” or Snake Path
  • Spuistreet
  • Amsterdam Planenstreet
  • Amsterdams bridge/ Flevopark
  • Abcouderpath
  • Head of Java Island

Street Art Museum Amsterdam:

This beautiful open air museum in Amsterdam New West shows high-rise work by contemporary, renowned, international urban artists. With Stinkfish, Scount, Kenor, Pipsqueak among others.

Hemonylaan:

Hugo Kaagman The Amsterdam “Stencil King” Hugo Kaagman is doing well. The artist has his own street in De Pijp where only his work can be seen. There will probably be ticking over it, but then Kaagman just comes by again to fix it. At the end of the seventies, the old punker was one of the first to focus on stencil art. Art is formed on the wall by means of a template. “Banksy has become popular with stencil art at the beginning of this century, but guys were already working on this art form much earlier. If you look at Blek Le Rat, you see that Banksy is not that original at all. The nice thing is that the Amsterdam Kaagman was even earlier than the two. The harder punk influences are clearly reflected in Kaagman’s art. On the walls you see texts like: “help the poor, fuck the banks” and “please don’t blow yourself up here.” It’s the opposite of hippie culture, it was softer.

NDSM-Wharf:

Accessible with the NDSM ferry from Amsterdam CS as described above. Here are two locations next to each other on one site. Proves itself: a parking lot between the wharf buildings and the descending dock to the water. With nice weather street art trives here.

London Police wall:

Great wall with work by the British-Amsterdam street art artist duo The London Police. Late last century (1998) the men of The London Police exchanged England for Amsterdam. They started their career with autonomous work on the street. They left the characters, which they called “lads” throughout Amsterdam. The men have become very famous muralists. They have largely shed their illegal activities. Now they earn good money with their legal work.

“Het Slangenpand” or the Snake Path:

The snake building / the tobacco buildings. This former street art hotspot in the Spuistraat lost its soul after the squatters’ evacuation in the spring of 2015. And now they are boarded up.

Spuiststreet Amsterdam

The mecca of Amsterdam street art. Many tourists are already taking a selfie with the street art in the Spuistraat, while also enough people do not even look around them as they walk through this street. “De Spuistraat” naturally consists of many different squats. A number of permanent street artists have been trying for some time to make a whole of the street through street art. This is one of the few places in Amsterdam where so much street art can be found in one place.

Platanenstreet:

Corner of Wibautstraat and railway bridge between Oosterparkbuurt and Transvaal. The murals can be found in the dead-end section of the road, on the rear of the residential blocks, with a view to the railway.

Amsterdamsebrug / Flevopark:

Largest hall of fame in Amsterdam. The supporting pillars / walls under the bridge are a draw for graffiti tourists.
Put on old shoes or boots when it rains: it is swampy and muddy under the bridge. With nice weather something is always made. Watch the tram when you cross the end-rails-loop. This is not clear. So don’t stay on track.

Abcouderpad:

Since 2009, R.U.A. Brazilian urban artists traveled from the favels to the Netherlands. In 2014, the Hogevecht flat in Amsterdam Southeast, the staircases of the Hoptille residential block and the underpass of the Karspeldreef viaduct between Hoptille and Hakfort / Huigenbos were fitted with colorful urban murals.
Accessible by Metro 54 and 50, Bullewijk station. Here is also the Heesterveld complex, where you can also see graffiti / murals.

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