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Dam Square

Lying in the very heart of the Dutch capital, Dam Square is surrounded by scenic and notable buildings.

TravelCurious Tip

The square can get very crowded, making it attractive to pickpockets: keep an eye out!

Damming the Amstel

Dam Square got its name the same way Amsterdam did: it began life as a dam of the Amstel river nearly 750 years ago. As the city grew so did the dam, until it became large enough for a town square, and it has been at Amsterdam’s heart ever since.

Paved with the Dutch capital’s distinctive cobblestones, the square today is a great place to breathe among some of the city’s most notable attractions: Madame Tussaud’s, the 15th century Gothic Nieuwe Kerk, the Royal Palace and the swish department store De Bijenkorf are all here.


Hub of the Netherlands

Looming over Dam Square is the National Monument, built in 1956. This impressive white pillar commemorates the victims of World War II. As an important centre not only of the capital but of the Netherlands as a whole, National Memorial Day is held here every year on 4 May. At other times of year the square plays host to a variety of events: you may encounter a funfair, market stalls or even an ice-rink. There is also a horsedrawn carriage tour that leaves from the square.

Sit down here with a coffee or beer to watch the world go by after a busy day of shopping or sightseeing: always busy with trams, bikes and people, you’re unlikely to miss Dam Square on a trip to Amsterdam.

Nearby Attractions

See all attractions in Amsterdam
Oude Kerk (Old Church)
Amsterdam’s Oude Kerk was consecrated over 700 years ago. Before the Reformation of 1578, it was a Roman Catholic church; afterwards, it became an important centre of Calvinism.
Koninklijk Paleis (Royal Palace)
Amsterdam’s Royal Palace is one of the best examples of Dutch Baroque.
Nieuwe Kerk (New Church)
Used for Dutch royal investiture ceremonies, this magnificent church is full of history.
Magna Plaza
Built in the 19th century as a post office, Magna Plaza is today an iconic shopping centre.
De 9 Straatjes
A photogenic zone of nine cobbled streets full of designer stores, vintage boutiques, cafés and galleries.
Begijnhof
Amsterdam's picturesque ancient court has a fascinating religious history.

Related Tours

Full Day Private Highlights Tour including Tickets: Canal Cruise and Amsterdam's Architecture
Discover the vibrant culture, architectural beauty, and fascinating history of Netherlands' capital.

  • Enjoy a canal cruise through Amsterdam
  • Explore the bustling Dam Square
  • Visit the oldest building in Amsterdam, Oude Kerk
  • Learn about Amsterdam's royalty at Koninklijk Palace
  • Cross the famous Torensluis Bridge and pass by Anne Frank's House
  • Meander through the unique and trendy Jordaan District
  • Discover the hidden gems of Amsterdam at Nine Streets and Spui Square
  • Conclude by the beautifully-lit bridge, Magere Burg
Venice of the North
You will begin your tour with a comprehensive cruise that will take you through the warren of canals that define the great city of Amsterdam, giving you an introduction to the history of Amsterdam and a deeper appreciation of the diverse districts that make up this fantastic city. 

After your canal cruise, you will explore Amsterdam’s bustling Dam Square where you will get to visit the astonishing 800 year old Oude Kerk (Old Church), the oldest building in Amsterdam, which is such a part of the Dutch identity, that is called “Amsterdam’s living room”. 

You will then venture on to the magnificent Koninklijk Palace (Royal Palace), once the residence of Louis Bonaparte, the brother of Napoleon. Luckily this beautiful building is now open to the public, and you will get the chance to visit the Citizen's Hall (Burgerzaal), clad in marble which is particularly striking on a sunny day.

You will then cross the quintessentially Dutch Torensluis Bridge where you will pass Anne Frank’s iconic home and the 17th century Westerkerk (West Church) with its gigantic 85m high tower.

Authentic Amsterdam
You will go on to explore the beautiful Jordaan District, traditionally a rather poor neighbourhood, attracting amazing artists and poets, including Rembrandt and the famous 17th century Dutch writer Joost van den Vondel. You will also explore the picturesque Nine Streets with its myriad independent boutiques and beautiful cafes. 

From here you will make your way to the world famous Flower Market, where you may grab a bite to eat and perhaps buy some colourful and fragrant tulips. You will also get to experience some of the hidden gems of Amsterdam, including a visit of the Spui Square where local booksellers and artists vie for your attention, as well as a visit to the enchanting courtyard of Begijnhof- a place of quiet sanctuary in the heart of Amsterdam. To finish this epic tour you will get the chance to take some absolutely stunning photos of Magere Burg, the “Skinny Bridge” lit up beautifully at night.

We built this tour because 
Amsterdam is packed with culture and history, therefore a full-day walking tour is the ideal form of exploring the capital. 
Private Walking Half Day Tour of Amsterdam's Highlights
On your private half day tour of Amsterdam, trace the city’s fascinating history, delving into backstreets to discover mementoes of its Golden Age (1585-1672).

  • Enjoy a fascinating, immersive tour of Amsterdam’s central sights and landmarks
  • Gain insight into historic past and modern present of this absorbing city 
  • Learn the layout of Amsterdam around four concentric semicircles of canals
  • Explore Dam Square, home to the iconic Koninklijk Palace, a royal residence
  • Discover the Dutch love affair with pedal power in a city of 513km cycle paths
  • See Torensluis Bridge, Anne Frank’s house, Westerkerk and bustling Nine Street 
From its humble beginnings as a fishing village by the Amstel river, Amsterdam has enjoyed a rich and storied history. By the 17th century, it had grown into a lively port town, attracting wealthy merchants and artisans from all over the globe to enjoy the highlife in one of the world’s most prosperous cities. Today Amsterdam is characterised by pretty centuries-old canals, painted houseboats, and streets filled with cyclists. World-class museums and galleries boast highly-prized art collections, while elegant spire-topped churches gaze down on an extraordinary number of stone bridges - more than 500 at last count.

Begin this fantastic half day tour exploring Dam Square, once the mouth of the Amstel River; marvel at the ornate grandeur of the cupola-topped Koninklijk Palace, one of a trio of Dutch royal residences. Admire the stunning facade of the 800 year old Nieuwe Kerk, which is such a part of the Dutch identity and is considered “Amsterdam’s living room”. Stroll Torensluis Bridge and pass by the house of Jewish wartime diarist Anne Frank before stopping to admire 17th century’s Westerkerk’s soaring tower. In atmospheric Nine Street, yield to the bustle of pavement cafes, florists and boutiques before marveling at the rainbow of vivid fragrant blooms in Amsterdam’s famous flower market. Next you’re on to  Spui Square, where booksellers and street artists vie for attention (on Fridays) close to the leafy courtyard of Begijnhof, a haven of quietude in the city’s buzz and bustle.
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