15+ Best Photo Spots in Amsterdam and Where to Find Them

Looking for the best photo spots in Amsterdam? I’m sure you’ve seen a bunch of cinematographic pictures in Amsterdam, and now you’re wondering where you can take them yourself. Well, I understand you. The good thing is: the whole city is fairly photogenic, but I still have pinned down the 20 best locations for you.

In this guide, you’ll learn about these so-called Instagrammable spots in Amsterdam. I don’t like this term because I think Instagram is negatively changing the way people travel. But when used with moderation, I don’t see a problem in it.

Anyway, I’ve put together a list with the respective city photos, a map where I included all the locations mentioned in this article and some more Amsterdam photos to inspire you. Enjoy!

Best Photo Spots in Amsterdam

1. Amsterdam Central Station

First things, first. The central station is a highly detailed building designed by Pierre Cuypers. He is the same person who created the Rijksmuseum, by the way. This is a photo hotspot in Amsterdam because there are many possibilities of angles here, and of course, the neo-renaissance building has the typical long windows of Amsterdam (and a vivid orange color), which makes a perfect contrast with a (hopefully) blue sky.

Photo spot: take close up shots of the details, clock, windows. Also, take some shots of the whole building, although it might not look so beautiful because people are passing by the entire day. Walk inside the station as the platforms and halls are exciting spots.

Entrance fee: Free

Best time to photograph: early in the morning when there aren’t many people or late in the afternoon, when the sunlight isn’t so bright anymore. Don’t forget your tripod to “fade away” the few people who might be there (aka taking a long exposure shot).

2. Eye Film Museum and A’DAM Tower

Behind the train station, near the ferry, you’ll find the next location. The Eye Film Museum and the A’DAM Tower together make for a neat shot when the sky is clear.

Photo hotspots: take close up shots of some elements as well as the whole scene.

Entrance fee: Free

Best time to photograph: in the blue and golden hour. Don’t forget your tripod to “fade away” the possible clouds.

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3. A’DAM Lookout Tower

Looking for a shot of Amsterdam from above? Then head to the top floor of the A’DAM Lookout Tower. From up there you can see the city “being guarded” by the Central Station.

Photo hotspot: top floor.

Entrance fee: €12.50. To get there take the free ferry behind the Central Station towards the Eye Museum.

Best time to photograph: I slightly prefer the view during the blue hour, it might be tricky to set up your tripod there though.

Amsterdam train station seen from above from the A'DAM Tower.
Amsterdam seen from the A’DAM Tower

4. NDSM Area

Every city has its underground/ alternative area, and with Amsterdam, this is no different. The NDSM area has exciting sites that are worth photographing.

Photo hotspots:

Anne Frank Graffiti – Let me be myself is one of the most beautiful arts by Kobra, Brazilian artist;

Crane Hotel – An exclusive and high-tier hotel in a crane worth putting in a shot.

NDSM-Plein – the whole area has a lot of graffitis and an industrial setting.

Entrance fee: Free. To get there take the free ferry behind the Central Station towards NDSM-Werf.

Best time to photograph: During the day.

5. Damrak

Why? Because you can photograph the sophisticated, narrow houses on the side of the water. They’re quite high for Amsterdam, around 5 floors, covered in windows, and have different roof shapes. It certainly gives you the best scenario to describe Amsterdam in one photo.

Photo hotspot: wait until the boats have passed and try to take a shot with three layers (sky, houses, and water). Also, focus on the rooftops to give some more details.

Entrance fee: Free

Best time to photograph: well, this will depend on the season, but wait until the afternoon when the sun is shining on them (rather than from behind the houses). Otherwise, they get too dark. Also, come back at the blue hour to take some night shots with your tripod. The lights lit up the scene, and it gives you a beautiful night shot. This is seriously one of the best places for photography in Amsterdam.

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6. Dam Square

The Royal Palace and the surrounding buildings make the Dam Square an iconic place in Amsterdam. The palace alone is very charming with its classicist and highly detailed facade. The gothic church right next to it, the New Church, complete the scene. These constructions date back to the Dutch Golden Age, around the 17th-century.

Photo hotspots: There are many details to capture around the palace, so walk around and try different angles and focal length ranges.

Entrance fee: Free

Best time to photograph: in the blue hour and the morning.

7. Zevenlandenhuizen – Houses Of The Seven Countries

The next stop is on the Zevenlandenhuizen. Wow, what a word! What is that? These are seven houses in a row decorated in different architectural styles aiming to represent different European countries. The meaning behind it is that these seven houses consecutively show the contribution of seven States to the history of architecture.

No. 20 is Germany – It shows the romantic German architecture with pointed arch windows;
No. 22 is France – The style of a Loire castle influences the house;
No. 24 is Spain – The Moorish architectural style in Granada inspires this villa (see the horizontal stripes);
No. 26 is Italy – It reminds an Italian palace;
No. 28 is Russia – It resembles a cathedral with an onion-shaped dome;
No. 30 is the Netherlands – A characteristic residence in the Renaissance style as you have seen throughout the city;
No. 30 is England – This building was built in the typical English cottage style.

Photo hotspots: Take photos of the houses separately and as a whole, from across the street.

Entrance fee: Free

Best time to photograph: during the day.

Houses Of The Seven Countries - Russia building
Russia building

8. Rijksmuseum And Museum’s Library

Like the central station, the Rijksmuseum is a neo-renaissance building highly detailed. Take your time to walk around its facade because the garden can also offer interest shots as well as the tunnel where the entrance is. Unlike the Van Gogh Museum, you’re allowed to take pictures inside, so you can find cool spots to photograph inside it too, including the library.

Three floors of walls covered with books give a feeling that you just entered a dusty old school library. You can almost smell the books.

Photo hotspots: right behind the Iamsterdam sign, so you can photograph the building without anything in front of it. Also, take some close-ups to capture details. Inside, head to the library and take some photos from upstairs. A classic shot and almost cliche is from Rembrandt’s the Night Watch with people staring at it (without letting their faces recognizable).

Entrance fee: €17.50

Best time to photograph: early in the morning and preferably during the week.

9. Groenburgwal

If there’s such a thing as an Amsterdamer shot, we can include this one on the list. Why? Because this photo is taken from a bridge while you capture the canal flowing smoothly towards a church tower, the Zuiderkerk. Very sweet!

Photo hotspot: stand here while you photograph the bridge, canal, houses, and tower.

Entrance fee: Free

Best time to photograph: in the blue and golden hour. Don’t forget your tripod.

Houses and boats on both sides of a canal and the Zuiderkerk's tower in Amsterdam.
Zuiderkerk Tower

10. Sint Olofssteeg – Red Light District Corner

This was my very first shot of Amsterdam, and I honestly love this corner. Here you’ll have the perfect example of how the Dutch deal with water: They just build on and in it, and life goes on. Anyway, the windows are very close to the water, and like any Dutch house, there are plenty of them.

Note that this spot is on the beginning of the infamous Red Light District, so be careful when pointing your camera there. Do NOT photograph the girls, that’s forbidden, and they have security. If they think you’re taking photos of them, you’ll get yourself into some serious problems.

Photo hotspot: Capture the house sinking in the water and the two canals meeting in front of you.

Entrance fee: Free

Best time to photograph: somewhere in the afternoon when the sun is shining on these houses and at night.

11. Seven Bridges (Reguliersgracht)

As the name suggests, you’re able to see seven bridges emerging after each other. Moreover, this sweet spot gives you the chance to photograph the crooked houses on the corner together with the sparkling bridge next to it. The seven bridges sparkle like a Christmas tree at night. I honestly think this is one of the best canal pictures of Amsterdam.

Photo hotspot: Stand between the bikes parked next to the canal and sit on the floor to capture the bridges from below the first arch as well as the house on the corner with the sparkling bridge next to it. Alternatively, you can rent a pedal boat/ boat and photograph it from the water level.

Entrance fee: Free

Best time to photograph: golden hour, so the houses and the bridged are lit up.

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Seven Bridges

12. Amstel River

The featured image on this post was captured here. You’ll see many photo spots along the river, but I have a few favorite locations to share with you.

Photo hotspot:

Magere Brug – the featured photo was taken on this bridge (completely Instagram worthy);

Blauwbrug – you can take a perfect shot from the National Opera Ballet from this spot;

A little before the Herengracht Brug – from here you can photograph the Walter Suskindbrug across the river;

Other places: at sunset, shoot a picture of the houses on the Eastern side of the river.

Entrance fee: Free

Best time to photograph: in the afternoon and the golden hour.

13. Nemo Science Museum

Not only the museum offers a beautiful photo spot by itself, but you can also go onto it to take an aerial photograph of its surroundings.

Photo hotspots:

MR JJ van der Veldebrug – standing in the bridge, take a shot of its extension at sunset;

Prins Hendrikkade – from here you can take a photo of the Nemo Museum and the Bridge together (and possibly from the boats that are around);

On the rooftop of Nemo Museum – point the camera at the city center and enjoy.

Entrance fee: Free

Best time to photograph: in the afternoon and the golden hour.

14. Jordaan Neighborhood

Narrow streets full of hip eateries and shops make this neighborhood one of the most charming ones. The houses, canals, literally everything here is photogenic. Start at the Papiermolensluis and walk down the area to find more sweet spots.

Photo hotspots:

Eerste Leliedwars Straat – frame the tower of the Western Kerk with the houses on both sides of the street;

The facade of the brick houses – choose a diagonal angle.

Entrance fee: Free

Best time to photograph: in the afternoon and the golden hour.

15. Begijnhof

A hidden spot in the city center, but not so secret is the Begijnhof. This beguinage has a calm and peaceful courtyard full of the typical houses of Amsterdam. Be sure to don’t make loud noises and to respect the ladies that still live here.

Photo hotspots: Across the grass, you can photograph the statue and the houses in one shot.

Entrance fee: Free

Best time to photograph: in the afternoon and the golden hour.

16. Corner of Keizersgracht and Leidsegracht

Stop by one souvenir shop and look for their postcards. You’ll see this spot in at least a couple of them. Of course, as you walk down the canals, you’ll find many views worth photographing. Especially the ones in the Canal Belt Area, a UNESCO Heritage Site. This location has a unique look of Amsterdam.

Photo hotspots: The house on the corner and the two canals meeting below.

Entrance fee: Free

Best time to photograph: in the afternoon and the golden hour.

Houses, bridges and canals in Amsterdam.
Keizersgracht corner

17. Flower Market

Well, Netherlands’ symbol is a tulip (together with clogs and windmills). So, it sounds natural to me that you will also photograph its symbol. Unfortunately, the Keukenhof Gardens aren’t in Amsterdam. Otherwise, I’d have added it to this list (but you can quickly go on a day trip to this tulip park).

Anyway, wander around the flower market to photograph some interesting angles. This is one of the few floating markets in the world. The market is settled on boats parallel to the street. Maybe you can even buy your Dutch souvenir here.

Photo hotspots: Take some close-up shots of the real and wooden tulips.

Entrance fee: Free

Best time to photograph: during the day.

18. Wake Me Up When I’m Famous Wall Art

It’s just a mural, nothing special around it. But still, I love the simplicity of it. The “Wake me up when I’m famous” Mural is a walk distance of the Rijksmuseum, and there’s even a bench in front of it to be a model (if you have a travel buddy with you).

Photo hotspots: There might be cars parked in front of the mural, so you can either take a shot from a diagonal angle or while standing right next to the car if your camera allows it.

Entrance fee: Free

Best time to photograph: during the day.

Pop place for pictures in Amsterdam - Wake me up when I'm famous wall art
Pop place for pictures in Amsterdam – Wake me up when I’m famous wall art

Other Photographs Of Amsterdam To Inspire You

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Amsterdam City Photos Tips

  • It’s no secret that Amsterdam is an extremely touristy city, so be sure to be at your location early or late in the day to avoid crowds.
  • When I mention blue and golden hour, it’s implicit you need a tripod if you’re using a DSLR.
  • The city has lots of elements everywhere: boats, bikes, cars, ducks…use them in your favor. Be creative when choosing your angle.
  • About the cars and bikes: while taking a photo, be sure you’re not on the bike path nor in the middle of the street – it can be dangerous.
  • Amsterdam’s weather isn’t the best. Google it in advance and case it’s going to be a dull day, learn some Lightroom to give those photos a dramatic look.
  • You might want to rent a bike to follow the map below because it’s a ~6.2 mi/ 10 km walk.

Amsterdam Photography Map

So, how do you like these photos? Tell me which one is your favorite in the comments!

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