In the center of Amsterdam, the Royal Palace (Koninklijk Paleis) is the official state palace of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands. It is used for state visits and gala dinners and is often open to the public for tours of its lavish rooms. The Basics
The Royal Palace in central Dam Square was built in the mid-17th century in classical style by architect Jacob van Campen. It rests on about 13,500 wooden piles to counteract the city’s unstable sandy terrain. Originally the city’s town hall, the building became a royal palace in 1808 when Napoleon installed his brother Louis as king. After the French left, the Dutch royal family put the palace to use for ceremonies and state receptions.
Inside the Royal Palace, you find grand interiors that highlight the wealth the city enjoyed in its Golden Age, including a central hall filled with marble carvings. A sculpture of Atlas holding up the world is a highlight. The palace is a popular stop on walking tours of the city and skip-the-line tickets can be prebooked. Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Entry to the Royal Palace is via paid ticket and includes an audio guide.
- The palace is wheelchair accessible.
- The palace is closed whenever there is a state function or other event.
The Royal Palace is located in Dam Square in the center of Amsterdam. It’s within walking distance from Central Station. It’s accessible on foot, by bike, and as part of many guided tours of the city. When to Get There
People typically spend up to two hours visiting the palace. It’s a good choice to visit on one of Amsterdam’s frequent rainy days. Check that it’s open before you go as the palace is closed whenever there is a state function or event.Visit the Hermitage Amsterdam
For history through the lens of art visit the Hermitage Amsterdam, a branch of the famous St. Petersburg Hermitage Museum. The museum displays works of art and sculpture from around the world, often with a focus on Russian works. The museum—along the Amstel riverfront—is housed in a former residence for the elderly, and the building’s original kitchens can still be visited.