A bustling focal point in the middle of Amsterdam city that serves as the town square.
Dam Square: the beating heart of Amsterdam's city life
Royal Palace of Amsterdam
As the largest administrative building in Europe, this magnificent landmark offers a truly breath-taking panorama to those who visit it. Originally meant as a functional town hall, it was changed into a royal palace by King Louis Napoleon and used by the Dutch Royal House later. The 120 foot-long main hall of the palace has both the Western and Eastern hemisphere map of the world engraved into its marble floor. The Royal Palace is also known as the Koninklijk Paleis de Amsterdam or Paleis op de Dam in Dutch. Currently, the palace is often used for official receptions and functions, such as the Royal House's wedding and the transfer of sovereignty over Indonesia in 1949, represented by Queen Juliana and Indonesian vice-president Mohammad Hatta.
This beautifully crafted monument was built as a memorial for those who fought in World War II. In 1945, after the Axis lost the war to the Allied, a liberty pole was erected in the Dam Square to commemorate the event. Since then, initiative to make a permanent monument was begun and many architects, designers, and other parties consolidated plans and designs for the monument. Finally, the Dutch government officially announced the inauguration of the National Monument in 1956. Many visitors from all over the country flocked to admire this majestic landmark. Every 4 May, a ceremony is held at the monument to remember the Dutch people who fought in World War II.
Much like Harrods in London, a visit to this flagship store of a high-end department store chain is a must when you are visiting Amsterdam, even if you don't plan on buying anything. The name De Bijenkorf translates into The Beehive in English, and the store started as a small shop that sells sewing kits and equipment in 1870.
Niuwe Kerk & Oude Kerk
Another interesting option to visit in the Dam Square is these two famed churches. Niuwe Kerk and Oude Kerk translate into New Church and Old Church, respectively. The Oude Kerk is considered as the oldest building in Amsterdam, being built in 1213 and consecrated in 1306 with Saint Nicholas as its patron saint. As the town of Amsterdam grew in population, it needs a bigger church capacity to support the local populace. The Niuwe Kerk was constructed to fulfil that necessity. The construction was begun in 1380 and it took 28 years to complete. Both churches are an architectural marvel to behold and it attracts many architects and designers from all over the world to study their design and construction.
Red Light Disctrict
Netherland is famed as having a less restrictive rules and much more liberal than the rest of the world. There are plenty of things that were considered illegal in most countries but are legal in here. For instance, the adult entertainment, which can be considered as a taboo in many other countries, is legal in here. Amsterdam has a place called the Red Light District near the Dam Square where one can find numerous adult-related entertainment and stuff. However, please remember that we are not encouraging you to do things that are against your belief and restrictions. Other than the sexual-related activities, visitors can find many interesting things with adult-related theme like souvenirs or trinkets here that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.
Other interesting places
Other than the above-mentioned spots, the Dam Square still has plenty of interesting places nearby. Among these attractions are: Singel 7, the narrowest house in Amsterdam with a structure that is only a meter wide; Madame Tussauds, the world renowned wax emporium filled with wax statues of popular figures of the world; and the Museum Het Rembrandthuis, former private residence of the master painter Rembrandt where he crafted the majority of his works; and Magna Plaza, a former Amsterdam Post Office turned into a shopping mall with a Neo-Gothic and Neo-Renaissance style that is considered as one of the top Dutch heritage sites.
How to Get Tickets?
The Dam Square is free for any visitors. However, some of the attractions nearby, such as Madame Tussauds, will require you to buy a ticket before you can enter. Please check accordingly with which attractions that you want to visit and book their tickets online to avoid queueing in the ticket box.
How To Get Around?
Transportation is not an issue when getting around the Dam Square. Aside from the common electric trains, cars, and bikes, you may also encounter classic transportation such as horse-drawn carriages and pedicabs. It is a common sight since the Dam Square is a popular tourist spot that is always jam-packed with tourists.
What Should I Wear?
There is no specific dress-code that is required to visit the Dam Square. However, avoid revealing clothes if you are visiting places like the Nieuw Kerk or Oude Kerk as it is a church and it might be considered offensive if you wear such clothes to that kind of place. You might want to dress accordingly with the season as well.
Best Time to Visit
The Dam Square is the beating heart of Amsterdam, and as such, expect a heavy influx of tourists all year long. For a less-crowded visiting experience, you might want to avoid the peak holiday season such as summer holiday, etc.
How To Get There?
As the Dam Square is located at the centre of the city, it is reachable within a walking distance from a lot of stations and bus stops. If you use tram as your choice of transportation, you can take the tram number 4, 9, 14, 16, or 24 to reach the Dam Square. Alternatively, you can hop on one of the buses numbered 355, 357, 359, 361, or 36 and then hop off at the Dam stop.
Sometimes, the Dam Square is converted to a large fairground complete with a giant Ferris wheel during certain times such as Easter, New Year, and other special holidays. You can plan your visit during these times for a more memorable experience, but be prepared for a larger crowd than usual as well.