Dam Square is a popular square in Amsterdam where many events and important activities take place. This square, which has important buildings around it, got its name from a dam built in the 13th century. Dam, as the name suggests, means dam in English. The river where the dam was built was the Amstel River.
Amsterdam Dam Square is constantly in motion. There is a constant enthusiasm and movement. Dam Square is an address where many roads intersect, a constant flow of cyclists, a square where street artists lose themselves, and a wonderful platform that hosts world-famous buildings. At some times of the year, the amusement park with its huge Ferris wheel is also one of the events you can come across if you are lucky.
What to see in Dam Square?
Located in the center of Amsterdam, Dam Square is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions. The square is home to a number of important landmarks, including the Royal Palace, the Nieuwe Kerk and the National Monument. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of shopping and dining options in the area.
Visit Madame Tussauds Museum if you can. Take free city tours. Watch the square and its historical buildings from the four corners of the square. Watch street performers playing music, standing as statues or displaying other talents in Dam Square.
Nieuwe Kerk is a church located next to the Royal Palace on Dam Square. Built in the 15th century, the building is now used as an exhibition space where various artifacts are exhibited instead of serving as a church.
The building, which is open to visitors between 10:00 – 18:00 every day, also houses the grave of Dutch Admiral Michiel de Ruyter, who lost his life in a naval battle in France. You can also watch the movie Admiral, based on the life of this admiral. Entrance to the church is €8 and free for Museumcard and I Amsterdam City Card holders.
The construction of the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, one of the important historical buildings located in Dam Square, was started by Jacob van Campen in 1648, completed and opened in 1655 and took its place among the most important buildings in the world.
The building, which was previously used as the City Hall, was turned into a palace by Louis Napoleon, the brother of the French Emperor Napoleon, when he served as the King of the Netherlands. Today, this building hosts the official ceremonies of the Dutch Royal Family on some days of the year. The 30-meter-high hall, the largest of the palace’s rooms, creates a wonderful atmosphere with the sunlight.
The most important sculpture in the building, which hosts various exhibitions from time to time, is the statue of Atlas carrying the firmament on his shoulder. You can also see dozens of collections left by Louis Napoleon in the Royal Palace. You can see not only Napoleon’s artifacts but also the artifacts obtained during the reigns of Dutch kings William I and William II.
Although it is in official use, it is open to visitors most of the year. The Royal Palace can be visited between 10:00 – 17:00 every day. However, before visiting, you should visit their website and check the Royal Palace Visiting Hours.
You can make your program accordingly as the days of official ceremonies are indicated on the site. You can enter the Royal Palace for free if you have a Museum Card. If you want to visit the inside of the palace online and see what is inside, I am adding the link here.
Behind the Royal Palace, be sure to see the shopping center known as Magna Plaza from the outside. Built in 1899, it was listed in the top 100 of the Dutch heritage list in 1974.
Madame Tussauds Museum
The most popular museum on Dam Square is the Madame Tussauds Museum. Madame Tussauds is a beautiful museum where you can spend a few hours. It is the only place we visited in Dam Square and although it is expensive, it is a must-see museum.
There must be something that dozens of people in front of it know. Here, very realistic wax sculptures of famous people that most of us know are exhibited. If we say realistic, very realistic.
National Monument to Freedom
On the east side of Dam Square is a national memorial. Erected in 1956 for those who lost their lives in the armed conflicts of World War II, the 22-meter high monument was designed by architect Jacobus Johannes Pieter Oud.
In the late 1960s, a large number of hippies, who saw the monument as a symbol of freedom, started sleeping around the monument and in 1970 the government banned sleeping around the monument.
Where is Amsterdam Dam Square? How to get there?
Dam Square, which is used as a meeting point by tourists, is easily accessible from many parts of the city. It is 800 meters from Amsterdam Centraal train station, the heart of Amsterdam. Since Dam Square is located at a central point, it has a wide range of transportation options. Trams numbered 4, 9, 14 and 16 and buses numbered 755, 757, 759, 761 and 763 pass through Dam station, which is the closest stop to the square.
Dam Square is also the meeting place for those who want to join the Free Walking Tour, which are known as city tours in Amsterdam for a few hours. With these small tours you can have detailed information about the area. These tours are very informative and free of charge. Mostly students volunteer as tour guides and you can leave a tip if you wish.