A far cry from its origins as a butter and dairy market, Rembrandt Square (Rembrandtplein) is now one of Amsterdam’s busiest and liveliest squares, sandwiched between the Mint Tower and the Amstel River. Named after the city’s most famous baroque painter and printmaker, Rembrandt van Rijn, a cast-iron statue of its namesake, sculpted by Royer, has stood proud in the heart of the square since 1876.
With both the plaza and its surrounding streets crammed with cafés, music clubs and bars, Rembrandt Square comes alive in the evening hours, as locals and tourists cram onto the rooftop terraces to admire the glittering skyline and party into the early hours. Club rain and Escape are two of the square’s most popular institutions, while De Duivel is the go-to venue for hip-hop and the nearby Reguliersdwarsstraat is the central hub of the city’s renowned gay scene. Dutch café culture is alive and well here too, with many opening their stages in the evening hours to local folk singers. Uniquely, Rembrandt Square is also home to Europe’s largest interactive video screen, a 15-meter wide display that allows passersby to post messages and access interactive features via Bluetooth.
Don’t just wait until the sun has set to visit though, as Rembrandt Square is home to some landmark architecture, including the dramatic Art-Deco inspired building that houses the modern Pathe Tuschinski cinema and the late 18th-century De Kleine Komedie, Amsterdam’s oldest theater. Throughout the summer months, café-seating spills out onto the square, making it the perfect spot for people watching, coffee drinking and soaking up the atmosphere of Amsterdam’s most happening hotspot.