The Street Art Life of Amsterdam
As the Banksy exhibition has recently left Amsterdam, it’s time to explore the stunning street-art of the city available year-round and for free. From the first glance it might look that Amsterdam doesn’t have enough graffiti, murals, stencils, stickers and other forms of alternative art, but the first impressions can be deceiving. The truth is that our radiant city is full of them, but you might need to have your eyes open, pay attention and even know the hot spots of the local street artists. Let us help you a bit with that and send you at the right direction.
The NDSM Wharf
We can’t highlight enough the creative artsy spirit of the northern part of Amsterdam, where you see stunning graffiti and stencils every way you look. The NDSM Wharf is a vibrant industrial area with old cranes, trams turned into art projects, metal containers, huge ship halls and plenty of walls. All the colors of street-art look especially bright and vivid here with the rusty objects on the background. You can even see artists creating new pieces right in front of you, making the old walls come to life again. All you need to do is take a free ferry in the direction of NDSM behind the Central Station, and the best water views and street-art are guaranteed! As soon as your ferry arrives to the other side, you will be astonished by a gigantic colorful mural of Anne Frank’s portrait (240 square meters!!), recently painted by a very talented Brazilian artist Eduardo Kobra.
Space Invaders of the Jordaan
The historical and more authentic part of Amsterdam, called the Jordaan, might be one of the least expected places for street-art, but it’s full of small charming pieces. One of the most impressive murals here is done by iconic local artists the London Police that spread love with their joyful LADS characters. The Jordaan also hides a bunch of Space Invaders, which are mosaic artworks spread around 60 cities all over the world. The best news is that now you can collect those pieces through a Flash Invaders app same way as you do with Pokémon these days. Except these invaders are the real art that you find on the walls. Make sure to check out Marnixstraat for constantly updating colorful graffiti.
The Past Glory of Spuistraat
Not that long ago if you walked down Spuistraat in Amsterdam, you could enjoy numerous art pieces on the walls of all the squatted buildings right in the heart of the city. Creativity used to be limitless here, while the rebellious vibe was felt in the air. The situation has changed quite a bit since the municipality took over the central masterpiece of De Slang. What used to be an iconic picture of alternative scene of Amsterdam is unfortunately no more there. However, you can still find a few brightly painted garages’ doors, squatted bars with their doors full of graffiti and millions of small stencils and stickers along the street. Spuistraat is definitely worth having a look still, but you really need to look closely and check out tiny side streets too.
In case you want to see whether the roots of Amsterdam’s street art are coming from, then welcome to this bridge (under the bridge to be precise). Just take a tram 14 to the Flevopark, and you will find the graffiti paradise in the end of the line. Schellingwoudebrug goes over the IJ and is the witness of the crazy 90s, when street artists from all over the globe presented their wall pieces to Amsterdam.
Downtown Street Art Map
How about turning your day in Amsterdam into a street art quest? Just use this map to locate the best pieces in town, see how many invaders you can detect and what gallery turns out to be your favorite. Amsterdam’s street art goes way beyond some cool graffiti in the hidden spots, it becomes a trend of the city, worth exhibiting in museums and galleries. Even the local municipality realizes the importance of alternative art for the cultural life, providing the street artists with legal opportunities to create and present their pieces to all the guests to enjoy.
Amsterdam Teleport Hotel is happy to join with our grand Street Art Event on 27-28 November, so stay tuned to learn more!
This post is also available in: Dutch