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Top 5 Amsterdam Views

House Reflections in the Canal

Top 5 Amsterdam Views

Every canal corner has a top Amsterdam view and there are various church towers that are sometimes open that have great views. But what I’ve done here is chosen places that are always open, and tried to get a balance of street views and panoramic views. I hope you enjoy them too. Starting at street level…


Papeneiland means Popes Island, this little corner of Amsterdam was called that because when Amsterdam went Protestant in 1578, this patch stayed predominantly Catholic, albeit discretely so and was home to an illegal hidden Catholic church. If you want to find out more about those, then join our Amsterdam Walking Tour as we always talk about them.

In the cluster of buildings pictured below, on the corner is a little cafe called… Cafe Papeneiland which is well worth a pop in for a beer or a coffee and excellent Dutch apple pie. It’s an authentic old Amsterdam brown cafe/bar in a building from 1642!  If you are there on Monday morning or Saturday anytime, the Noordermarkt (Northern Market) is just further on, to the left of the buildings in the photo and also well worth a look in.

I have 2 favourite photo points here. One is where you get the name of the bridge on the railing, Papiermolensluis (Paper Windmill Lock), in the foreground.  The second is a bit to the right, from under a tree, you get both sides of the island with the buildings leaning outwards which is so wonderfully typical of Amsterdam!

These photos were taken from the corner of the Brouwersgracht and the Korte Prinsengracht. I’ve been waiting for years to get a good reflection one and went out specially early one morning to bag the main photo. As for the one taken from on the ice, well that opportunity hardly ever happens nowadays. It’s almost as if the climate is changing.


This is one of those picture postcard spots of the city, so much so that it was painted by Monet and if you stand on this draw bridge to take a photo of the church, you will be right in the middle of Monet’s painting, see below!

The Zuiderkerk was the first church that was built as a Protestant Church in Amsterdam, that was in 1614.  It was designed by Hendrick de Keyser, a very busy architect! It just happens to be around the corner is the Waterlooplein Flea market, open Monday to Saturday so definitely swing by there too while you are in the area.

You can find this bridge on Staalstraat. the two photos on the right were taken by Dawn Stella so please contact her if you wish to use them. You can use the one  on the left by Monet, he’s cool with it.


You need to cross the free ferry that crosses the Ij to Amsterdam North to get to this museum. It goes from directly behind Central Station to Buiksloterweg, this takes less than 3 minutes and ferries run 24 hours. You can’t miss the building the other side, it’s a few minutes walk from the ferry quay. It looks like a Star Wars stormtroopers helmet that had been hit int the middle and collapsed.

There is a bar & restaurant in the museum that have a spectacular view over the Ij towards Central Station. It has a kaleidoscopic quality to it that I find very soothing as barges slowly glide by.  The super modern building is made up of glass and angular white walls and no right angles and this throws up countless unusual photo opportunities, both inside and outside.


If you have crossed the Ij to see the film Museum, then you need to also go to the top of the Adam Tower. It costs €13.50 to go up in the elevator but it really is worth the view. There is an open air viewing deck with 360° views of Amsterdam and the countryside beyond. Other fun things are the swing that goes over the side, you can do this for a mere €5 extra. And another thing, they take 2 photos of you before you go up in the elevator. They do it with a green screen background. You know that photo of the workmen in New York, on a steel joist, eating sandwichhes while hundreds of metres up in the air. Well you get to sit on a joist and then they plant Amsterdam in the background. You get 2 shots, 1 just sitting normally,  and for the next you are encouraged to do something silly, like you are just about to fall off the joist. You can buy these when you go down again, or get a free email version that is sifficient quality for social media. One floor below the viewing deck is the ‘Madam Bar’ and I loved that too, the forward sloping windows made for great views of the city. I happened to be there at dusk and did a time lapse video for about 20 minutes of boats and barges passing below.


The rooftop bar of the Double Tree Hilton Hotel has the most amazing views of the old city centre.  The hotel is the glass wedge-shaped building to the east (right when facing the station) of Central Station. What I like a lot about it is that its not that high up so you’re just looking down at rooves. It’s sort of middle height so there’s some depth of view into the city and a lovely skyline.

Head through the reception to the elevator and up to the 11th floor. There’s a comfortable terrace for all those wonderful sunny days and balmy evenings. Yeah right. Inside is also very pleasant, with comfortable, varied seating and lovely views out of the floor to ceiling windows.

There’s  the usual array of cocktails, not cheap, it must be said, but then you don’t go to skylounge cocktail bars to save money, now do you?


I hope you enjoy the above views, if you find somewhere that needs to be included then pop me an email at