Once upon a time, this site was a dam on the Amstel River. In the 19th century, the area was filled in with concrete and fashioned into a square. Today, the city’s most important sites sit on the square, including the Royal Palace, the neo-Gothic New Church (Nieuwe Kerk), the National Monument memorializing the Dutch victims of World War II, the upscale department store De Bijenkorf, and the Beurs van Berlage concert hall.
Amsterdam city tours generally all stop at Dam Square along with other major sights like the Rembrandt House Museum, the Anne Frank House, and the Red Light District. You can also see the square on specialized tours that focus on the city’s history or local foods and drinks.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The sights and buildings around the square each have their own opening hours.
- There are a variety of restaurants, bars, and cafés around Dam Square.
- Dam Square is paved with rough cobblestones and can be difficult to navigate for travelers in wheelchairs.
How to Get There
Dam Square is a five minute walk from Amsterdam Central Station down the Damrak, Amsterdam’s main drag. To reach the area, take trams number 4, 9, 16, 24 or 25 and exit at the stop across from the Bijenkorf warehouse.
When to Get There
Dam Square is open all day, year round. National Tulip Day—when the square is filled with 200,000 tulips—is on the third Saturday of January. Amsterdam’s high season is in the summer; for fewer tourists and lovely, mild temperatures, visit between April and May or September and November.
The Damrak is a bustling thoroughfare that runs through the center of Amsterdam, from the central railway station to Dam Square. The street is lined with souvenir shops, hotels, restaurants, and bars. The Damarak was originally a canal, but it was filled in with concrete in the 19th century. The body of water at the stock exchange is all that remains of the original harbor.
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- National Monument (Nationaal Monument op de Dam)
- New Church (Nieuwe Kerk)
- Ripley's Believe It or Not! Amsterdam
- Madame Tussauds Amsterdam
- Body Worlds Amsterdam
- Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum
- Royal Palace Amsterdam (Koninklijk Paleis Amsterdam)
- Old Church (Oude Kerk)
- Red Light Secrets (Museum of Prostitution)
- Museum of Medieval Torture Instruments
- Museum Our Lord in the Attic (Ons' Lieve Heer op Solder)
- Amsterdam Dungeon
- New Market Square (Nieuwmarkt)
- Singel Canal