Dam Square is the pulsating heart of Amsterdam and an ideal spot for social, political, and cultural activities. The square is surrounded by heritage-listed facades that recite stories of the city's rich history. It had a turbulent history and has been a site of various protests and demonstrations. The square was born out of a fusion of two smaller squares; an adjacent plaza, 'Plaetse,' and the actual Dam, ‘Middeldam’. In the 13th century, a dam was built in this spot on the River Amstel, which was later transformed into the official city centre. It was replaced by the Royal Palace, King Willem-Alexander's official reception palace. In 1956 the National Memorial Statue was constructed on the site to honour the Dutch soldiers who died in the second world war.
Today, Dam Square has become a cultural and recreational hub where locals and tourists come to hang out, play, and connect. It is the seat of the Amsterdam Royal Palace and houses trendy Bijenkorf en Magna Plaza. The main attractions of Dam Square include Madame Tussauds, the New Church, and Beurs van Berlage. The square is a gastronomic haven dotted with tantalizing food stalls and some of the best cafes and restaurants. It comes alive during the summers with street performances and world-class events. Dam Square Amsterdam functions as a meeting place, an ideal shopping destination, and an excellent event venue.
Experience the elegance of Dutch royalty by heading to Royal Palace, King Willem-Alexander's official reception palace. It is the largest building from the Dutch Golden Age, renowned for its exquisite sculptures, beautiful wall hangings, and grand chandeliers. Follow in the footsteps of royal guests as you tread through the imposing rooms and halls of the palace.
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Get up close with sporting giants, A-list celebrities, and political and historical icons at Madame Tussauds Amesterdam. This world-renowned wax museum contains a huge collection of wax figures of some of the most famous celebrities. Take a seat on Princess Beatrix's throne, create your own art pieces in Herman Brood's studio, pose for a picture with Angelina Jolie and dress up like secret agent James Bond.
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End your search for one of the best things to do in Amsterdam by taking a tour of the Red Light District. The area has some of the best museums and the city's oldest building, the Old Church. It also has some of the oldest coffee shops where you can enjoy a brewing cup of coffee, soups, sandwiches, and cakes.
Board a cruise and capture the breathtaking beauty of Amsterdam's famous canals from the water. During the canal cruise, you'll pass through iconic destinations like The Jordaan, the Old Harbour, the Magere Burg, the Maritime Museum, the Golden Bend, and the 9 Streets. Learn about the rich history and culture of Amsterdam from the knowledgeable staff on board the cruise.
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Hop on your bike and take a tour of Amsterdam's quaint bridges, picturesque canals, and cobblestoned streets. Amsterdam is dotted with traffic-free cycle paths that allow you to go for a long scenic ride. Feel the crisp autumn breeze in your hair as you tread through the iconic routes where even cars can't go. Discover local communities and spot the most famous attractions during the ride.
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Get transported into a world beyond imagination by visiting Ripley's Believe It or Not. It is a world-class entertainment destination where you can play interactive games, see pop-culture memorabilia, and experience unforgettable oddities that are hard to believe. You can also savour lip-smacking Dutch and American specialties in the lounge area.
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One of the best things to do in Dam Square is visiting the National Monument that was built in remembrance of the war casualties of the Netherlands. It was designed by Dutch architect J.J.P. Oud stands twenty-two metres high. The main pillar has a sculpture entitled 'Peace' symbolising new life, suffering, and loyalty.
Appreciate the sense of calm that is induced by the New Church, a 15th-century Renaissance-style building. It serves as a cultural centre and is used for inaugurations and royal weddings. The main highlights of the church include the grand brass choir screen, the Great Organ from 1655, hundreds of grave slabs on the floor, and the tomb of Dutch admiral Michiel De Ruyter.
Satiate your hunger pangs by opting for a food tour that will take you to the top-notch eateries of Amsterdam's red-light district. Don't miss out on traditional Dutch foods like Korket, stroopwafel, and Dutch cheese. Meet the restaurant owners and chefs and learn about the Dutch food culture.
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De Bijenkorf is Amsterdam's flagship store that offers everything under the sun ranging from cosmetics, clothes, and footwear to accessories. This six floors high department store also boasts a restaurant, an art gallery, a coffee bar, and a hairdresser.
Location: Dam 1,1012 JS Amsterdam
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Magna Plaza is a world-class shopping centre situated in a historical building behind the Royal Palace. It is renowned for its neo-Gothic architecture, splendid interiors, and exhibition spaces. You'll find here high-end brands like Mango, Swarovski, Lacoste, H&M, and Versace.
Location: Nieuwezijdse Voorburgwal 182, behind the Royal Palace of Amsterdam
If you're looking for retail therapy, you won't find a place better than Kalvertoren, one of the best shopping centres in Amsterdam. It has a departmental store, several high-end fashion stores, boutiques, cosmetics shops, and music stores. Some of the fashion brands that you'll find here include Dockers, Hugo Boss, Timberland, Marlboro, and Levi's.Location: It is Located within a triangle formed by Kalverstraat, Heiligeweg, and Shingle.
Whether you're a vintage lover, fashionista, or looking for something quirky for your home, Hudson's Bay can cater to all your needs. It is the biggest departmental store in Amsterdam where you can have a budget-friendly shopping experience. This department store has four buildings; the men's store, the women's store, the kid's store, and the home store.
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Looking for when to go? Discover the best time to visit Amsterdam and plan your adventure, whether it's during the vibrant tulip-filled spring or the pleasant summer days by the charming canals.
How to Reach
Looking for how to reach Amsterdam? Find the best ways to travel to this vibrant city and embark on your adventure, whether by air, train, or road, to experience the beauty and charm it has to offer.
What is Dam Square famous for?
Dam Square houses some of the most iconic buildings like Madame Tussauds, the New Church, and Beurs van Berlage. It is located in the centre of Amsterdam and is very well connected with the famous streets of the city such as Kalverstraat, Damstraat and Nieuwendijk street.
What does the Dam in Amsterdam mean?
Dam in Amsterdam was built in 1270 AD on the river Amstel. It became quite popular over the years because of its political and commercial activities. Later after the urbanisation around the Dam, the entire city was built. The name "Amsterdam" has been derived from there only.
What are the famous attractions near Dam Square?
The famous attractions near the Dam Square are Royal Palace, Body Worlds, Madame Tussauds, Anne Frank House, National Monument and Oude Church. The dam square is home to some of the most famous attractions of the city and allows the visitors to get a cultural and historical experience of Amsterdam.
What area is Dam Square in?
Dam Square Amsterdam is located in the heart of Amsterdam, close to Amsterdam Central station. This is the original location where the dam was built in 1270 AD.
How far is Dam Square from Central Station in Amsterdam?
Dam Square Amsterdam is around 4.3 km away from Amsterdam Central Station. It takes around 15 minutes to cover the distance with a bus, taxi or tram.
Is 2 days enough in Amsterdam?
Yes, 2 days are enough to see the main attractions of Amsterdam, like the Van Gough museum, Royal Palace, Dam Square, and Rijksmuseum. But if you want to explore the city deeply, you'll need at least 6-7 days.