The newly built artificial island and residential area known as Ijburg (pronounced eye-burg) is becoming increasingly popular among local Amsterdammers looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. Located east of Amsterdam Centraal Station, Ijburg's construction, which is bordering on unbelievable, officially started in 1997, with its first building completion in 2001. Connecting Ijburg to the city is a huge bridge that is humorously referred to as the 'Bh-Brug' due to its form resembling a bra, known in Dutch as a 'bh'. Restaurants and bars soon opened and when in 2005 the tram line 26 came into service, life was made easier for the general public to visit the area. Though Ijburg is currently comprised of six artificial islands built on the IJ river, it is still under construction, with four additional islands in the pipeline.
Once you have crossed the Bh-Brug by tram 26, or bicycle if you have the leg muscles for it, you will have arrived on Ijburg. Though the area is not renowned as a major nightlife centre of Amsterdam, it certainly has its fair share of attractions that will appeal to the traveller looking for something off the beaten track for their trip. The main street running through the centre of the island is lined with restaurants, cafes, bars, shops and more. Blok 4 is a popular eatery with its waterside terrace offering breathtaking views of the IJ river. Drop by Lighthouse on a Thursday night for dinner complemented by live jazz music and spectacular views of the harbour.
Renowned as a family neighbourhood, Ijburg's own shopping centre boasts a playground frequented by children of the local residents. The shopping centre area also hosts many weekend events for the family, so don't be alarmed if you stumble upon a travelling petting zoo!
Beach lovers will not be disappointed on Ijburg. When you take the tram to its very last stop, you will find yourself at Blijburg aan Zee, Amsterdam's only real beach. But Blijburg is so much more than just a beach. It's a restaurant, bar, club, shop, yoga school and festival area. Its bohemian atmosphere welcomes all walks of life for a relaxed time at the cafe and for a dip in the water during the summer months. The weekend is for some the best time to visit Blijburg. On Fridays they offer 10am yoga classes when the weather is warm, while Saturday is beach party night. For a chilled out visit, pass by on a Sunday afternoon to enjoy a live jazz jam session. You can expect the beach to come into full swing with the annual Koninginnedag (Queen's Day) celebrations on April 30th, as well as its very own beach festival, Costa del Sol in July.
If nature is what you are looking for then head over to Diemerpark, which is easily reached from Ijburg. The park opened to the public in 2004 and is perfect for a visit with the family for a picnic, walk, or a dip in the water in the specially created area for little children. Ijburg, surrounded by water, is the perfect place for travellers and locals to engage in a number of nautical sporting activities. There's everything from sailing lessons to canoeing, while there is also a surfing club and a wakeboard school for the sport fanatics among you.
Whether you're looking for a bit of peace and quiet, nature, architectural wonder, or a place to meet some kindred, free-spirits, then Ijburg is the way to go. As a residential area, Ijburg has many apartments which may be rented during short or long stays. Please check here for a list of accommodation available in the area.
Luxurious city house with garden
The H2O House
Ijburg can be reached by Tram 26, departing in front of Amsterdam Centraal Station several times per hour. Ijburg