Reading the best books about Amsterdam is one of the greatest ways to prepare for a visit to this magical city or to relive your adventures in Amsterdam. Finding amazing books about Amsterdam – both fiction and nonfiction – is the best way to learn more about the city and be transported into an Amsterdam mindset.
There are plenty of books about Amsterdam that are famous and bestsellers and well worth a read. But there are also some lesser-known hidden gems that will enchant you from start to finish. Take a look at this list of the 20 best books about Amsterdam and start feeding your Amsterdam wanderlust.
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20 Best Books About Amsterdam
In This Post
Books About Amsterdam: Fiction
The miniaturist is a great novel about a young woman in 17th century Amsterdam. It is a wonderful historical fiction book that has also been made into a television mini-series. It will bring you back in time and have you feeling like you are living in Amsterdam past.
Tulip Fever is a novel set in Seventeenth-century Amsterdam when the city is basking in the wealth the tulip trade has brought them. The story follows the life of a wealthy merchant and his wife which takes a turn. It is a story of love, art, beauty, lust, and tragedy that expertly captures this era in Amsterdam.
A Cold Death in Amsterdam
If you are a fan of murder mystery novels this is the perfect Amsterdam-based book for you. The story follows a detective in Amsterdam who seeks to solve a 10-year-old murder case where her father is the suspect. She must fight against time to find the true murderer before she is discovered.
Amsterdam: A Novel
Amsterdam is a novel that shows the dark side of humans and how this can seep into a fragile friendship. It tells the story of two men’s personal and professional breakdowns in a twisted horror story that has a climax in the city of Amsterdam.
The Fault in Our Stars
The Fault in Our Stars tells the story of two teens with Cancer, Hazel, and Augustus, who meet and embarking on a journey to meet the author of their special novel in Amsterdam. Although most of the book takes place in America, they do make the journey to Amsterdam and enjoy the magical city together.
The Dinner is a Dutch novel written by Dutch author Herman Koch that has been translated into English. The story follows two families making one of the hardest decisions of their life over dinner.
The Light of Amsterdam: A Novel
The Light of Amsterdam is a story of a weekend away in Amsterdam that is anything but ordinary. The novel takes place during the winter season in Amsterdam and follows a number of unhappy characters in one of the most tempting cities in the world. This story is one of compassion and rare dignity.
Outsider in Amsterdam (Amsterdam Cops)
Outside in Amsterdam is a darker novel that takes place in Downtown Amsterdam. A body is found that looks like a suicide but the cops are immediately suspicious. This novel showcases the darker side of Amsterdam’s free drug culture in a thought-provoking way.
Books About Amsterdam: Non-Fiction
The Diary of Anne Frank
The Diary of Anne Frank is the number one book everyone must read when visiting Amsterdam. It follows the vivid diary entries of Anne Frank a young Jewish girl hiding in Amsterdam during World War 2. Her accounts are humorous, thoughtful, and provoking and tell the story of a girl whose life was ended too soon.
The best thing about this book is that once you read it you can experience it too. Amsterdam has the Anne Frank House which is a museum in the exact attic she hid in throughout her diary. Here you can see and experience her time in real-time. It is one of the best books about Amsterdam for this reason.
Anne Frank’s Tales from the Secret Annex
Anne Frank’s Tales from the Secret Annex is home to Anne Franks’s lesser-known writings like short stories, personal stories, fables, and more that weren’t in her diary. It also includes an unfinished novel from a talented young writer.
My ‘Dam Life: Three Years in Holland
My ‘Dam Life is the witty and humorous story of his expat experience living three years in Amsterdam. He tells his story in a self-deprecating way while he tells about navigating laziness in the Venice of the North. It is a great read for anyone starting a new life abroad who is looking for a more humous tone.
Amsterdam: A History of the World’s Most Liberal City
This novel delves deeper into Amsterdam’s history and shows why it is one o f the most fascinating places on earth. The story is beyond engaging and shows how Amsterdam is on the front of liberalism and paints a picture of what makes Amsterdam so unique.
Why the Dutch are Different
Why the Dutch are Different explores what makes the tiny country of the Netherlands so unique. The story investigates what makes Dutch people, Dutch people in an entertaining and unique travelogue.
The Letters of Vincent van Gogh
Vincent Van Gogh was an artist capable of intense depth and his letters showcase this clearly. His letters reveal his true self showing his struggles with mental health, religion, a search for love, and more. More so, it shows his personal process of creation in a unique way.
Streets of Amsterdam (Photography)
Streets of Amsterdam takes a contemporary take on a photo book that showcases the streets of Amsterdam in all their beauty. It is the perfect quick read to get you excited to visit Amsterdam or to have as a coffee table book to relive your adventures in the city.
Amsterdam: A brief life of the city
An expert recount of early life in Amsterdam. This novel is part history and part travel guide that delves into the soul of the city of Amsterdam and explores the city in depth.
This list of the best books about Amsterdam is not an exhaustive list but a great place to start. With these fiction and non fiction books you can be transported to Amsterdam over and over again to enjoy the beauty and magic the city holds.
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