Amsterdam has a very active artistic community, and their creations can often be seen on its streets. But there is a certain area that is famous for the most eclectic and vibrant street art in Amsterdam. Today we present the NDSM area – a favorite among artists.
Brief History of NDSM
‘NDSM’ is a neighbourhood in the Amsterdam-Noord borough. A former shipping yard where ships were repaired and built. The Nederlandsche Dok en Scheepsbouw Maatschappij (NDSM), the shipbuilding company, began its activity in 1894. It was the largest shipbuilding facility in Europe for approximately a century. The wharf went bankrupt and closed its business in 1984.
But during the 1990s, the area experienced a resurgence. Thanks to its artists and other creative people, it became one of Amsterdam’s most thriving art scenes. As a result the area hosts a wide range of festivals, exhibitions, artistic performances, and other events in a post-industrial setting.
NDSM Graffiti art
The NDSM neighborhood is known for being one of the best places for street art in the Netherlands. The wharf’s large buildings provide a great canvas for street artists to express themselves.
NDSM’s graffiti art features all kinds of topics and styles – portraiture, stencil art, word art, and much more adorn the walls of warehouses located here. And not only that, the NDSM Wharf will be from the end of 2019, the home to the world’s first graffiti museum.
The museum will showcase the works of local and international artists. The collection features more than 100 works by prominent street artists, such as David Walker (UK), Hoxxoh (USA), Nils Westgard (USA), Cranio (BRA), and many others.
One of the museum’s most recognized artworks is a giant portrait of Anne Frank on its façade. The giant 240 m² mural was painted in 2016 by the internationally renowned artist Eduardo Kobra. Kobra is famous for making the largest street art creation in the world (it can be found in Rio de Janeiro and also in several other cities).
Streetart of the famous Amsterdam Mayor
Another remarkable NDSM graffiti art is the eight-meter-wide and high artwork of the Dutch artistic duo Telmo Miel. Telmo Pieper and Miel Krutzmann paint surrealistic murals, which are very detailed and rendered in vibrant color. They made a portrait of the popular former Mayor of Amsterdam, Eberhard van der Laan who died from lungcancer in 2017.
The Art and Culture Bike Tour
A good way to get here and explore this artsy industrial zone is by joining our bike tour. This Hidden Gems Bike tour takes you to the less touristic parts of Amsterdam. Therefore it is a great way of discovering the hidden gems of the city. Join and see the old industrial zones, the NDSM wharf and the famous street art in Amsterdam.
Our bike tour begins on the west side of the city, and it will take its cyclists through the art, history, and culture of Amsterdam. The tour also lets you explore wonderful canals and canal houses, former shipping docks from the 17th and 19th century, historical drawbridges, an old Russian submarine and amazing street art.
If you want to enjoy the less touristy splendors of Amsterdam? Book our art and culture bike tour and visit the famous street art of Amsterdam in a classic Dutch way.