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Noord in Amsterdam
Photograph: fokke baarseen /

Noord has been named Amsterdam’s coolest neighbourhood

The former industrial area by the River IJ came 18th in our annual list of the world’s coolest ’hoods

Huw Oliver
Written by
Huw Oliver

Each year, we quiz tens of thousands of people around the world to discover which particular neighbourhoods in their cities have totally nailed food, drink, art, culture and – in 2020, especially – community spirit and resilience.

The result is our annual list of the world’s coolest neighbourhoods, based partly on the responses of more than 38,000 city-dwellers in our annual Time Out Index survey (supplemented with the expert opinions of our global network of Time Out editors and contributors).

In a lot of cities, inevitably, you have several obvious contenders – making our final choice all the more difficult. We’re talking big, thrilling metropolises like Berlin, New York, Tokyo, London – and, of course, Amsterdam.

So which area was crowned the Dutch capital’s number one hotspot this year? In 2020, it had to be Noord, a thriving former industrial area a quick ferry hop from the city centre across the River IJ, which came 18th in the overall list.

Christina Newberry, our Amsterdam expert, wrote: ‘In the buzzing borough of Amsterdam-Noord, shipyards have become cultural playgrounds and wide-open spaces beckon young families, artists, brewers and entrepreneurs.

‘Its young creatives have built a flourishing community of multi-concept businesses, like the cinema-slash-waterfront restaurant at FC Hyena (now with added drive-in theatre), SkateCafe – where you can take a break from the half-pipe for a meal and a glass of natural wine – and the urban beach at Pllek, with its airy organic restaurant built from old shipping containers.’

Sounds like a pretty dreamy part of town, right? If you’re local, you may well have discovered the joys of Noord already. But for everyone else: you just got an incredible tip for your next place to stay in this fun, chilled-out, ever-surprising city.

Want to see the full list? These are the coolest neighbourhoods in the world in 2020.

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