Dam Square

Dam Square, the entrance to the racket

  • From the moment you leave Central Station, the first beautiful building you’ll see in Amsterdam if you come by train from the airport, you are in the city centre, immersed in that hectic yet friendly atmosphere that reigns in the capital of the Netherlands. However, you will get that feeling of being right at the centre shortly after, when you arrive to Dam Square, the mouth of all the noise, racket and life that characterises the city of Amsterdam.
    Dam Square is nowadays one of the tourist centres of Amsterdam, but it has quite the history behind it. It was built as an actual dam to the Amstel river in 1270, the same dam that would give the city its name, and it represented one of the very first constructions along the river. Little by little, Dam Square would be completed with the two squares, and the city would be built around it. It served as a market square as well, and it has witnessed the history of the Venice of the North, year after year. A magical place, even if hidden behind the mask of tourism.
  • Dam Square is located in the historical centre of the city of Amsterdam, in a place that is nowadays pretty much ruled by tourists. If you decide to stay in one of our apartments near Dam Square, your neighbours will be mostly tourists, since not many Dutch people live in such a busy place. Not even the Dutch royal family lives there anymore, although the Royal Palace is still used to host certain receptions and ceremonies, like the Royal Awards for Painting and New Year’s. You can arrive to Dam Square straight from Central Station walking along Damrak, and you can keep going straight and leave it by taking Rokin: These two streets draw the original course of the Amstel river.
  • Are you in the mood for some shopping? Well, you’re in luck, because there are tons of stores surrounding our apartments near Dam Square. It is the very start of the city centre, and one of the biggest shopping areas in the city. And there are lots of options! Right behind Dam Square, next to that huge Albert Heijn supermarket, you will find the shopping centre Magna Plaza, where you will find many fashion and jewellery brands like Swarovski, and you will also be able to find sophisticated gifts for your loved ones, in shops like Typical Dutch. If you prefer a bit of an open air shopping, don’t worry, because Dam Square is right next to a huge shopping area in the city. If you go down Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal or Kalverstraat, you will find stores of the major fashion brands. And once you’re almost at the canal, you will come across Spui, where there are many interesting book stores.
  • The best means of transportation in Amsterdam is for sure a bike: The city is built for them, and cycling is actually faster and more convenient than taking the tram. It is what the locals prefer as means of transportation, and they know what they’re doing, right? However, Dam Square and its surroundings may be a tad too much to start: The place is crowded with pedestrians and bikers, there are also cars and trams – and that may be overwhelming, especially if you’re not used to riding a bike in the city. This is why the best way to go from Dam Square to other parts of the city is walking! Amsterdam isn’t too big, and, besides, it is a beautiful city to see as you walk through it.
  • When you visit Amsterdam, you will find that it is quite a reachable city, and that it is possible to see many things in a short period of time. Many of those points of interests and landmarks are located around Dam Square, and there is a great and affordable way of not missing any of them: by doing a free tour! There are several companies that do them, and all of them are a good deal: A walking tour that lasts around 2 and a half hours and that will take you to the main buildings and monuments of the area. Besides, they will explain many interesting things about the history of the city. They are available in several languages and you will just have to give a tip to your tour guide once it’s over. Give them a nice one, since that is how they make a living! The meet-up point is usually by the National Monument.
    Once you’ve done your free tour, there are plenty of other options right at Dam Square. You can see the Royal Palace, the controversial National Monument and the beautiful Nieuwe Kerk. You can take Radhuistraat, the street behind the palace, and go see the three most beautiful canals of the city, Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht. And, if your travelling with children, right at Dam Square you will find the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. The options are never-ending!
  • Dam Square is right at the city centre: it is crowded and hectic, and it may be difficult to find a good place to eat. If you want to try Dutch cuisine, you can try the Van Kerkwijk, but there are also great options of international cuisine around. Restaurant Mandarijn offers some of the best Chinese food in town, and Koh-i-Noor is great for Indian.
    There are also other options if you don’t have the time to sit to eat. For instance, you will find some fast food restaurants along Damrak, the street that connects Dam Square with the beautiful Central Station. These can work great if you’re travelling with children and need something fast. Besides, right behind the Dam Square, in front of the Royal Palace, you will find a huge Albert Heijn, the top supermarket in Amsterdam. They have a section with fresh juices and sandwiches, which you can buy and enjoy next to Dam Square’s national monument.
  • Amsterdam is a very lively city during the night, and there are tons of things to do. If you’re staying in one of our apartments near Dam Square, you will just have to walk for a little while in some of the little streets, and you will find many small coffee shops and little burs with dozens of different kinds of beer. For instance, in Spuistraat you will find The Doors, an enormous coffee shop with music memories all over its walls, reminiscent of a squat house. If you prefer a bar, there are plenty of great options around as well, such as The Minds, a rock and punk bar with a picturesque atmosphere as well. And, of course, you will be very close to the Red Light District, where there are plenty of bars and coffee shops. The atmosphere there can be a bit sketchy sometimes, but you won’t really know Amsterdam if you haven’t seen it.

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