Amsterdam’s Skinny Bridge (Magere Brug) crosses the River Amstel in the city center. The wooden drawbridge features low arches and nighttime illumination. The bridge’s history reaches as far back as 1691, when the original structure was completed in a classic Dutch style that also influenced later renovations.
Pass directly beneath the bridge’s low arches on a cruise, opting for an evening tour to see the light display, with some cruises including drinks or dinner for laid-back sightseeing. Alternatively, spend time studying the drawbridge on a city tour, choosing between Segway, coach, or hop-on hop-off transfer for a seamless sightseeing experience. City tours offer stop at multiple locations and may include skip-the-line entry to other top attractions.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Remember your raincoat and comfy shoes when exploring the city’s outdoor attractions, especially in fall and winter.
- Optimize your time by seeing the bridge as part of a wider sightseeing tour.
- The bridge is popular with photographers, especially around sunset.
- Skinny Bridge is accessible for wheelchair users.
How to Get There
The Skinny Bridge connects Kerkstraat with Neuer Kerkstraat and is a short walk from Waterlooplein, which is served by lines 51, 53, and 54. For ease, take advantage of tours that offer round-trip transfer for hassle-free sightseeing, whether by water or land.
When to Get There
The bridge’s 1,200 lights are turned on at dusk, so opt for a late afternoon or evening excursion for the most romantic vistas. See decorated ships pass beneath during the annual Amsterdam Light Festival in December and January, come in summer for Grachtenfestival classical music festival or Pride, or ring in the new year on the bridge for the best views of the city’s firework show.
A Bridge by Any Other Name ...
The origins of the bridge’s name are debated. Some believe the name Skinny Bridge or Magere Brug derives from the difficulty pedestrians had passing one another on the narrow 17th-century structure. Another legend claims that two sisters, who lived on opposite sides of the river, built a small bridge to visit one another. Or perhaps it was named by sailors who had to navigate its low-hanging arches. Ask your guide or other locals for their tales.