This is not real – but we’ll get to something almost as scary that is!

We’d never before had cause to visit Amsterdam-Noord, the area across the IJ River from the centre of the city, but since our last visit we had read about new attractions opening up there. And it’s so easy to get to – a free ferry from behind Central Station only takes about 5 minutes. Off we set!

First port of call was the EYE Film Institute. I confess we didn’t look at any of the exhibits or see any films, but it was a great coffee stop.

Our main purpose for visiting was the A’DAM Tower, seen in the background of the last photo above. Formerly the offices for Shell Oil, which has since moved elsewhere, the 22-storey building now houses electronic dance music companies. However, it has a café and a restaurant near the top and a Lookout on the roof with Europe’s highest swing, Over The Edge. We had to try that.

On arrival, we were asked to sit on the beam at the top of this post – safely set on the ground, of course! I think we made quite a good job of pretending to fall off. Then we took the lift to the roof – unfortunately, another dull, misty day, so the views weren’t great as you can see.

So – onto the swing then! This is the couple before us. I was a bit nervous at this point …

Over The Edge

Then it was our turn to get strapped in before the swing moved upwards and outwards to leave us dangling over the edge and moving gently back and forwards. Eep!

It wasn’t too bad! I felt quite secure, except that I didn’t like the sensation of slipping forward on the shiny metal seat when the swing went backwards, so I gripped the side bars very firmly all the way through. I’m glad I did it, but I felt I definitely deserved my beer and frites in the café downstairs. Spot the selfie in the model tower!

After lunch, we walked up river to NDSM-werf, a derelict shipyard turned arts community. If we thought we’d found quirky areas before, this time we surpassed ourselves! Graffiti everywhere:

We had coffee in Pllek, made out of old shipping containers. A lot nicer inside than out!

We decided that, given the frequent ferry service, this wouldn’t be a bad place to stay. There are choices! There’s a Doubletree and a Botel.

Or – there’s a crane! Yes, really – the Faralda Crane Hotel has just three rooms, so make sure you book well in advance 😉

Lots of other boats were berthed, mostly not functioning because it was out of season – I fancy the pancake boat next time, but maybe not the rusting submarine.

By this time, the light was fading and it was bitterly cold. Time to get the ferry back – it had been an absolutely brilliant day!

Ferry ride into the sunset


  1. Brilliant stuff, looks like you had a blast. I get nervous about anything too high or fast but usually let the kids twist my arm (and the husband buy me a stiff drink later haha). We are hopefully off to a holiday park near Amsterdam later in the year, maybe we’ll divert for a day and give this place a look.


  2. I’m heading to Amsterdam next month and will look into checking all of this out. Looks like so much fun! Thanks for sharing, it looks like a great day!!


  3. What a great adventure! The swing looks amazing. I think I would be holding on tightly too. It’s years since I last visited Amsterdam; you’ve definitely made me want to return!


  4. Hi Anabel – well that was some visit and you really brought it to light … despite the cold and gloom – amazing to know about … thanks … I’m quite glad I’m going out to lunch shortly!! Cheers Hilary


  5. It is many decades since I visited Amsterdam (40 years to be exact), and your description and photos make me want to go back again.

    When my son was 14, he and I (and our dog) did a driving tour across Canada, and we stopped at every theme park along the way. Despite my fear of heights, I rode with him on every roller coaster and gravity drop ride. Your swing ride reminded me of that.