It is late in the evening; I am hearing some small noises of a party going on in another room in the background and in front of me I see that the extraordinary headquarter of HEMA has already disappeared into darkness. I’m sitting in front of my large window writing something for you about Kraanspoor, where I have been living for the past couple of months now.
Kraanspoor is newly build accommodation owned by DUWO with 380 single studios available. Every 40 of them are divided into a separate area, which you can only enter with a personal card. This makes Kraanspoor a very safe place to live. Next to that every student has its own bike shelf and mailbox. There is even a laundry room, where you can use the washing and drying machine for 2 euros per use. If you want to read more about Kraanspoor, please have a look at the DUWO website as well.
Kraanspoor is located in the North of Amsterdam, next to HEMA’s headquarters. To travel between here and Central Station you will need to take a ferry, which is free of charge. The ferry will head off to Central Station every 15 or 30 minutes, so make sure to leave 10 minutes before. I have to say that catching the ferry has been the biggest challenge for me so far. However, I am now trying to see this 5 minute morning run as my new fitness routine. If you do not run fast enough to catch the ferry there is also the option of taking the 391 Bus at the back of the Kraanspoor building. This bus ride will cost you 1.91 euros. However, to be honest, it will not be any faster than waiting for the next ferry to arrive. When arriving by ferry at Central Station you will need to take a metro to the UvA Roeterseilandcampus. This will cost you around 1.25 euros for a single journey. If you are travelling a lot, buying a personal OV card and a central area contract might be cheaper. This contract will cost around 50 euros per month and can be bought at the GVB.
All in all the entire journey from Kraanspoor to UvA Roeterseilandcampus will take you about 35 minutes. Kraanspoor is located closely to Central Station and lot cheaper than most places in the city centre. Therefore I think it is a good place to live.
Most of my social activities take place on the other side of the river Ij. I normally do my groceries, go out for dinner or have a drink at or near the city centre. But also at Kraanspoor you do not have to be bored. You can easily do something fun with your neighbours or get some fresh air at the outdoor platform on the second floor of this building. As for shopping, the closest shop to Kraanspoor is the HEMA store, which is open until 6.30pm, 6 days a week. HEMA is not the cheapest shop, however it is handy to have a shop nearby where you can buy something that you urgently need. If you go up North you will also find an Albert Heijn. At the Albert Heijn you can do groceries, but also pick up parcels. You can bike to the Albert Heijn within 10 minutes. The scenery along this route is stunning. You will have ride along tall trees and beautiful houses with warm lights, as if you are cycling in Northern Europe.
Despite the fact that living in Amsterdam North is inconvenient sometimes, I felled in love with the place that I am living at, at the moment. Travelling back home with the ferry every day and being at Kraanspoor always inspires me a lot due to the extraordinary scenery that I happen to see every day. Furthermore travelling a bit further also leads to bonding and meeting with interesting people. We met quite a lot of Dutch people on the ferry, who learned us more about the Netherlands, the Dutch culture and the people here. We also met some tourists with whom we talked about travelling and being abroad. There is never a dull moment on the ferry! Even on Valentine’s days there was a guy on the ferry handing out roses to everyone. This made me feel happy and energetic for the whole day!
This is what Kraanspoor is like in my opinion, I would like to recommend you to stay here since I have such a nice time staying here at the moment.
By Zeya Wei (one of the student reps.)
I hope you enjoyed reading it, please let me know if you have any questions.