The Dutch cultivate a phenomenon called ‘geveltuin’ (something like ‘roadside garden’): with only one square meter of fertile ground in front of their entrance, they can create magic- flowers, bushes, even trees give colour and a friendly atmosphere to neighbourhoods. Great examples of those ‘geveltuinen’ are only one thing that makes the Nieuwendammerdijk the most attractive street of Amsterdam-Noord. It is also the oldest street in this part of the city: the dyke goes back to 1514, and even if there’s hardly a building left from that era, you do see a lot of gorgeous houses from the 18th century.
For me, the Nieuwendammerdijk is the starting point of a fantastic cycling trip to Durgerdam, a small village by the Ijsselmeer, and then I continue all the way on the dyke (sometimes with water on both sides) to Monnickendam, an ancient fisherman village where you can still get excellent smoked fish. In summer, I often stop along the way for a nice swim, the water is usually very clean here.