Looking for the best pieces of architecture in Amsterdam? Then keep reading for a list of 20 must-see wonders in Amsterdam that you must add to your Amsterdam travel itinerary!
The city of Amsterdam is filled with astonishing places, from the magnificence of modern masterpieces to historical buildings that make use of the Amsterdam School style. If one of your favorite parts of traveling is discovering and viewing the old architecture that’s stood throughout the years, then Amsterdam is the city for you. With all the architectural wonders the city of Amsterdam offers you, adding Amsterdam to your Europe travel bucket list is a must.
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20 Best Pieces of Architecture in Amsterdam
Below is a list of the most impressive places and buildings in Amsterdam. Here you will find some of the most magnificent and magical places Amsterdam has to offer.
Make sure you bring a camera when you’re discovering Amsterdam because you’ll walk by a lot of cozy parks, historic monuments, and other architectural landmarks where it’s easy to create a unique photograph.
- Address: Overhoeksplein 1, 1031 KS Amsterdam
The A’dam Tower is one of the highest towers in Amsterdam at a height of 80 meters. The tower is mostly used as a nightlife venue, but there’s also the possibility to eat or drink something in one of the restaurants or bars. The name A’dam comes from “Amsterdam Dance and Music” and therefore this building is mostly linked with the earlier mentioned “nightlife venue”.
The tower was built in 1971 and was first known as the Shell tower because it actually was built by the order of the Royal Dutch Shell, but in 2016 the tower was renamed the A’dam Tower and it is a good example of a more modern architecture style.
Tip: If you want a panoramic view of the whole city of Amsterdam, I suggest you take a meal in the revolving restaurant on the 19th floor.
- Address: De Boelelaan 1109, 1081 HV Amsterdam
The OZW building is a 52 meters high building and is named after the educational institute for care and welfare (Opleidingsinstituut voor Zorg en Welzijn). The building is also called the red squeaker. This is mainly due to the shape of the building, which is what makes it such an amazing piece of architecture in Amsterdam.
The building itself opened in 2006 and is mainly used as office space and for educational purposes. Furthermore, the style of the building looks very similar to the Amsterdam School style because of its soft shape of the round bricks.
Read more: Amsterdam Budget Travel Guide
- Address: Museumstraat 1, 1071 XX Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Rijksmuseum is one of the most amazing pieces of architecture in Amsterdam. It is also one of Amsterdams most famous museums! This museum was built by the same architect who made Central station and you can see the similarities very clearly. From the outside, the Rijksmuseum is huge and impressive and one of the best pieces of architecture in Amsterdam.
Its orange bricks and huge spires make it a treat for the eyes. A visit here to view it from the outside is a must. Even better, you can pack a picnic and sit on the green space behind it and stare for hours!
Borneo-Sporenburg is a housing complex situated in Amsterdam. During the 90’s it was the most compact housing district in the Netherlands. The area where the Borneo Sporenburg is situated in a former harbor area. The architect of the building tried to develop the area just as “De Jordaan” in the west part of Amsterdam more into an old fashioned neighborhood
Unfortunately, this building is a private place and thus not available to visit the inside but a look at the outside will still be impressive.
- Address: Ookmeerweg, 1069 AH Amsterdam
Wozoco is an apartment complex created in 1997 by a group of young architects. The complex creates 100 living units and is created for people above the age of 50. This complex was built because there’s already a lot of loss in the green environment of Amsterdam as a result of the large increases in density in the city.
The unique thing about this building is that the building firstly existed out of 87 apartments but the problem was that the creators of the building wanted to have 100 without taking up any more space. The solution was that instead of building the extra apartments on the ground, they built them on the sides of the complex.
- Address: Amstelveenseweg 500, 1081 KL Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Infinity, formerly called ING house, is a 48 meters high office building with 10 floors and has a surface of about 20,000 m2. It opened in 2002 and is used as an office building but was originally built as the main building of the Dutch Multinational group ING Group. Since 2014, ING left the building but it still is the owner. The building is now called Infinity.
Something special about this building is that it looks like a table on 16 angled steel legs. This technique can also be found in the building of bridges.
Read More: Free Things to do in Amsterdam
NEMO Science Museum
- Address: Oosterdok 2, 1011 VX Amsterdam
The Nemo Science Museum is a Museum situated in Amsterdam that is mainly focused on Science and Technology. In 2019, the museum had about 670,000 visitors.
This museum has a wide collection of 17,000 different objects that are mainly focused on the Scientific and Technological aspects of our society such as lighting, power generation, and much more. The building itself was built in 1997 and is situated close to the Central Station of Amsterdam, making it a perfect stop while viewing all the best pieces of architecture in Amsterdam.
The Sarphatistraat is a street in the center of the city. The street runs along the Amstel river and is the connection between de “Oostelijke Eilanden” and the “Grachtengordel”. It has a length of about 2 kilometers and it’s the only street in the city which has the same name on both sides of the river.
Furthermore, it is also interesting to know that this street is mainly used as a bicycle lane nowadays. It’s still possible to enter this street with a car but at a maximum speed of 30km/h. So if you want to take a ride with a bicycle make sure to pass through this famous street.
In the Sarpathistraat there are a lot of buildings that are being protected because of their cultural status. One of these buildings is the Oranje-Nassau Kazerne. It’s a former military barracks situated in the Sarpathistaat and was built in the 19th century in classicist style. Since 1970, the building is designated as a government building
Read More: One Day in Amsterdam
Hotel nhow Amsterdam RAI
- Address: Europaboulevard 2b, 1078 RV Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hotel nhow is a hotel near Amsterdam RAI that is also one of the most unique and interesting pieces of architecture in Amsterdam. It is a more modern and contemporary piece of architecture which is rare in Amsterdam. The unique stacking of floors is what draws the attention to this building and what makes it a must-visit piece of architecture in Amsterdam.
The Silodam is a dam and is situated on the Western side of the port of Amsterdam. Next to the Silodam, 2 grain silos are located that actually serve as apartments. The dam was constructed at the end of the 19th century and it has a mechanic parking garage in which about 214 cars can park.
The apartment complex stands in the water on concrete columns. Various facade claddings have been applied to the building. It varies from wood to bricks and when you see the apartment complex, it makes you think of a container ship.
Oude Kerk, Amsterdam
- Address: Oudekerksplein 23, 1012 GX Amsterdam
The Oude Kerk (Old Church) of Amsterdam is the oldest building in the city that is still intact. It is situated in the center of the city. The church was consecrated in 1306 and is more than 700 years old. In addition to its religious function, the church also serves as a museum of contemporary art with occasional exhibitions.
The church is an example of the Dutch Gothic architecture style and is a building you should definitely visit when coming to Amsterdam just because of the history that this building has gone through. It’s a breathtaking piece of art.
Read More: Amsterdam Bucket List
- Address: Prinsengracht 279, 1016 GW Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Westerkerk is the second most famous church in Amsterdam and one of the most photographed pieces of architecture in Amsterdam. It’s situated at the “Prinsengracht” on the edge of the “Jordaan”. The Westerkerk was built between the years of 1620 and 1631 in Renaissance style.
Next to that, it has a tower that is 87 meters high which makes it the highest tower in Amsterdam. This is the church where Queen Beatrix and Claus van Amsberg have married. This church is definitely worth a look if you like historic buildings.
- Address: Vijzelstraat 15, 1017 HD Amsterdam
Pathé is a very modern cinema located in Amsterdam. Besides the cinema in Amsterdam, this company also has branches in Rotterdam, Eindhoven, and The Hague. The cinema opened in 2000 and has 13 theatres. A visit here is ideal if you want to see the latest movies with the choice of a lot of different genres.
Next to the Pathé de Munt cinema in the center of Amsterdam, there’s also a Theater Tuschinski in the city. This is one of the 30 other cinemas from Pathé. This Theater opened in 1921 and was built in different styles (Amsterdam School, Jugendstil, and Art déco). In this building, there are 6 different movie Theatres with a capacity of 1431 people. Together with Pathé de Munt and Pathé Arena, Tuschinski is responsible for 10% of the turnover.
Read More: 2 Days in Amsterdam
Museum Het Schip
- Address: Oostzaanstraat 45, 1013 WG Amsterdam
Het Schip is a building situated on the western side of Amsterdam. It was built in the architectural style of the Amsterdam School of Expressionist architecture. The building looks like a ship from the outside and was built between 1914 and 1921.
In 2001, the building was renovated into a Museum. The museum mainly consists of the old post office, a house that should give you an idea of how people lived in 1920, and a museum space with information about the Amsterdam School.
When visiting Amsterdam, you should certainly visit “Het Schip” where you will learn a lot about the history of the city and the history of how people lived back then in 1920. A ticket for this museum costs 15 euros.
- Address: IJpromenade 1, 1031 KT Amsterdam
The Eye Filmmuseum is a modern library that is known for its large collection of movies. It’s the largest movie library in the Netherlands and has a collection of 46,000 movies, 500,000 pictures, and many other things. If you are a movie addict, you better visit this museum.
The building opened in 2012 and has 4 different movie theatres and a space of 1200 m2. This can be used to exhibit different things. You also have the possibility to eat or drink something in the museum. Every year the museum organizes various activities and events such as an open-air performance, festivals, etc.
The Royal Palace of Amsterdam
- Address: Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 147, 1012 RJ Amsterdam
The Royal Palace of Amsterdam, also called “Paleis op de Dam”, is a Palace situated in the downtown of the city. It’s mainly used by the Royal house as a place to welcome people to tour and explore and is also used for exhibitions. It is one of the most popular pieces of architecture in Amsterdam that everyone stumbles across while walking around Amsterdam’s city center.
It opened in 1655 and is one of the oldest buildings in the city. It is known for its Dutch Classicism and is considered most important historical and cultural monuments of the Dutch Golden age (~17th-century ~)
- Address: Pontsteiger 1013 AH Amsterdam, Netherlands
Pontsteiger is a stunning modern building the lines the IJ River. It is located in Houthaven which is an up and coming area in Amsterdam perfect for exploring. A visit here to see the huge abstractly shaped architecture in Amsterdam is a must.
Read More: Amsterdam Night Guide
Beurs van Berlage
- Address: Damrak 243, 1012 ZJ Amsterdam
The Beurs van Berlage is a national monument situated in the center of Amsterdam. It opened in 1903 and is mostly used for congresses, expositions, and other meetings. It has 4 floors and can also be used as a theater.
Something special about this building is that it’s one of the top 100 listed buildings of the National Heritage Agency from 1990. It is inspired by Romanesque and Renaissance architecture.
Amsterdam Centraal Station
- Address: Stationsplein, 1012 AB Amsterdam
Amsterdam Centraal station is the largest railway in the city of Amsterdam. It opened in 1889 and has 6 different platforms with 15 tracks. Every day, there are about 160,000 travelers who pass by at the railway station which makes it the second biggest railway station after Utrecht Centraal.
From Amsterdam Centraal, you have the possibility to travel abroad when using the Thalys or Eurostar to international places such as London, Paris, Marseille, etc. Viewing it from the outside allows you to marvel at the beautiful exterior of this famous piece of architecture in Amsterdam.
- Address: Prins Hendrikkade 600, 1011 VX Amsterdam
The ARCAM is a center that is mainly used to host exhibitions and expositions on architecture, urban planning, and landscape architecture in Amsterdam and the surrounding area.
The building itself is a compact, sculptural building coated with a layer of aluminum. At the waterside, the facade consists of glass.
Read More: Amsterdam Weekend Guide
Where to stay in Amsterdam
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Best Time to Visit Amsterdam
The best time to visit Amsterdam depends on your travel wishes. Winter is cheaper with less people, but much colder. Fall and spring offer nice weather and prices are not as high as the summer. Summer has the nicest weather but prices are usually inflated. Below are some monthly guides:
- Amsterdam in May
- Amsterdam in February
- Amsterdam in December
- Amsterdam in October
- Amsterdam in April
- Amsterdam Winter Guide
As you can see there is a plethora of stunning architecture in Amsterdam just waiting to be discovered. You better start adding some of these wonderful places to your Amsterdam bucket list and get your camera ready!
The next best place to visit after Amsterdam is Belgium!
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