Squares in Amsterdam

Local guide

Amsterdam has an enormous diversity of squares, each of which has something different to offer in its own way. Local guides and residents of Amsterdam know most of them. You can call them via the live video call function of TheONE and ask them anything you want to know.

The 7 nicest squares of Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a small city and therefore still quiet and cosy. Especially in the summer days there is something to do on almost every square. Below are the 7 nicest squares of Amsterdam.

1. The Nieuwmarkt

On the Nieuwmarkt in Amsterdam is the Waag. This 15th century building is the oldest non religious building in Amsterdam. As part of the Amsterdam city wall, the cargoes collected by the ships from all over the world were weighed here. Later it became a fire station, a museum, a theatre and much more, but nowadays it is a cozy and good restaurant with a nice outdoor terrace.

2. The Rembrandtplein

On this old square, which dates from around 1650, you will find life-size statues that together represent the famous painting The Night Watch by Rembrandt van Rijn. You can stand in the middle of the Night Watch and take a picture.

In 1650 the square served as a market for the farmers who lived outside the city gate and sold their local products. Nowadays it is an entertainment centre with many bars, restaurants and discotheques.

Within walking distance there is the Tuschinski Theatre at Reguliersbreestraat 26-34. Inside and outside a beautiful building from 1921 that is now a cinema.

3. Max Euweplein

In 1935 and 1937 Max Euwe was world chess champion. The square is named after him. That is why there is also a life-size chessboard where residents and tourists can play chess together. Originally, this square was the airspace for one of the prisons in Amsterdam.

After the renovation and conversion into a cozy square with restaurants and bars, the first catering establishments did not want to become profitable. Only after years did the first entrepreneurs manage to make a profit, while the square is located in the middle of the centre of Amsterdam. Rumour has it that there are ghosts wandering around, chasing the guests away. It is now a busy square with the Lido Casino and a nice Comedy club.

4. The Leidseplein

When the Leidseplein was finished in 1660, it was given this name because if you drove through the Leiden gate that was there at the time, you ended up in Leiden. At the end of 1900 the square became a place for so-called young intellectuals who visited the still existing pubs Eijlders and Reynders. Many of these youngsters later became famous writers or artists.

On the Leidseplein there is also Cafe De Bulldog. One of the most famous cafes where you can legally buy joints and smoke. For locals, the square is also known for its cinemas, but it attracts most residents and tourists through the Milky Way and the Paradiso.

In the Milky Way - Melk Weg in Dutch there are continuous concerts and the Paradiso is known for very famous performances. The Paradiso has been - and still is - used by world-famous artists such as The Rolling Stones and others as try out theatre before going on a world tour.

5. The Stadium Square

In 1928 the summer Olympics were held in Amsterdam. Especially for this purpose a stadium and a square were built. It served as a stadium for national and international matches for many years until the Arena Stadium - better known as the Johan Cruijff Stadium - was built.

Ironically, the municipality first decided, after his death in 2016, to rename the Stadionplein the Johan Cruijff Stadium. Due to protests from the residents this was not the case.

6. The Dam

Within walking distance of the central station is De Dam. On this square you will find the Statue of Liberty and the Royal Palace of mid-1600. There is also the New Church which regularly has impressive exhibitions. On the 4th of May the remembrance of all the victims of the second world war will take place here. With great regularity there are performances or there is a fair with several attractions.

7. The Museumplein

The museum square is surrounded by three large museums. The Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum. In the summer people sit on the grass and the square is more of a park.

On the corner of the square is a building that was used as a fire station until the end of 1900. These kinds of buildings can be found all over the city because Amsterdam - as the first city in the Netherlands - already had a professional fire brigade consisting of 144 full-time employees in 1874.

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