The Old Centre

the oldest city part of Amsterdam

Amsterdam's historic city is one of the largest and best-preserved in Europe. Elegant gables and delicate spires, not high-rise blocks, make up the skyline in the old city centre.

oude kerk

Oude Kerk, view from Oudezijds Voorburgwal. Photo: Aleks Varnica

Medieval Amsterdam

In the oldest part of Amsterdam you can still browse through medieval streets. The city of Amsterdam was built around the Oude Kerk, Amsterdam's oldest building dating from 1300. In this part of Amsterdam every stone tells a story!

It's home to the main downtown shopping areas and attractions such as the Royal Palace, Old Church, Amsterdam Museum, Madame Tussauds, and many canal-boat piers. This makes the Old Centre, right in the heart of the city, an attractive place to stay. On the other hand it can be very busy, filled with traffic, noise, and entertainment venues. If you seek tranquility, the Old Centre is not the place to find it.

The neighborhoods of De Wallen (Red Light District), Dam, Spui and Nieuwmarkt are all located in the historical centre of Amsterdam. On the Nieuwendijk (new dike) - nowadays a busy, modern shopping street - along the west bank of the former part of River Amstel the oldest known (wooden) houses of Amsterdam rose around 1225.

Neighbourhoods in the Old City Centre of Amsterdam


paleis op de dam

Dam Square, one of the busiest places in town, is dominated by the Royal Palace



Zeedijk, one of the oldest streets in Amsterdam

nearby accommodation and restaurants
more impressions

Old City Centre

Photo tour of Amsterdam's
oldest city part (7)


The 22m high National Monument on Dam Square   1956

de lommerd

Stadsbank van Lening

Municipal pawnshop with the coat of arms of Amsterdam and a saying by Joost van den Vondel above the entrance.

Oudezijds Voorburgwal 300



De Koffieschenkerij

Small café in the sacristy of De Oude Kerk with picturesque, monastery garden terrace.



Map of the old city centre

Click on image to enlarge map
nieuwe kerk

De Nieuwe Kerk

exhibitions about art, photography, inspiring individuals and cultures



a busy shopping street

allard pierson

Allard Pierson Museum

archeological museum

de waag

De Waag

mediaeval city gate on Nieuwmarkt sq.


Cafe Internationaal

Hotel bar with typical Bruincafé interior in one of the oldest streets of Amsterdam


Lokaal 't Loosje

Cosy Old-Dutch café with outdoor terrace, perfect for watching passing people; oven baked omelet; billiard table