Amsterdam Sights


a square in the old centre dominated by a mediaeval city gate

Nieuwmarkt is a square in the old centre of Amsterdam. The surrounding area is known as the Nieuwmarktbuurt (Nieuwmarkt district). It is located next to the De Wallen which are also known as the Red Light District. In the middle of the square is a building known as De Waag, which used to be the building where you would enter the city, and pay your taxes.

nieuwmarkt Daily market on the Nieuwmarkt with De Waag in the background

The square is surrounded by historic buildings, over 20 cafés, restaurants and coffeeshops, a police station, a supermarket and housing complex for the elderly.

De Waag (the Weighhouse)

De Waag was built in the 15th century and is surrounded by 17th and 18th century facades and many nice cafés and restaurants. In summer the square is transformed into a big outdoor café where you can see all of colourful Amsterdam pass by.

Chinese street signs

The square is also adjacent to Chinatown. Since Nieuwmarktbuurt, especially on Zeedijk, has many Chinese residents and businesses, street signs in the area are in both in Dutch and Chinese characters.

Shop at the Farmers Market

There is a daily market on the square, as well as an organic food market on Saturdays and a market for antiques and books on Sundays during the summer months.

Shopping at farmers markets that feature locally grown products is a fun, easy way to increase the amount of local foods you purchase and eat.


The square has emerged in 1614 when the canals around Sint Anthoniespoort (St Anthony Gate, now De Waag) were overvaulted. By urban expansion (construction of Lastage) the city boundaries shifted further to Montelbaanstoren and Oude Schans canal.

Sint Anthoniespoort then lost its defensive function and became a weighhouse. The square became a marketplace where fish and oriental products were sold, and corporal punishments were carried out in public.

Nieuwmarkt was in the former Jewish quarter. More than 25,000 Jews used to live between Centraal Station, Kloveniersburgwal, Waterlooplein, Valkenburgerstraat and Prins Hendrikkade. During World War II Nieuwmarkt was used by the Germans as a gathering place for the deportation of Jewish residents.

At the beginning of the 1990s, the square got its present appearance when it lost its function as parking space for cars.

How to get there?

De Waag is located right in the city centre, at walking distance from Centraal Station.

metro51, 53, 54 - stop Nieuwmarkt
parkingQ-Park de Bijenkorf

Nieuwmarkt/Lastage neighborhood

Photo Tour (7)

Old City Centre of Amsterdam

De Wallen

Amsterdam's famous Red Light District in the Old Centre is a top tourist attraction


nearby Attractions

Chinatown   neighborhood with authentic Chinese restaurants, shops & markets
De Waag   old city gate
East India House   former headquarters of the Dutch VOC
Montelbaanstoren   old fortification tower from 1512
Museum Our Lord in the Attic   hidden Catholic church
Oude Kerk   Old Church
Rembrandt House   the house in which Rembrandt lived and worked
Zuiderkerk   Southern Church

nearby Hotels

Radisson Blu *****
Winston Hotel ***
Misc **

more hotels in the old city

nearby Lunch spots

De Koffieschenkerij   €
Mata Hari   €€

nearby Restaurants

Mata Hari   €€
In de Waag   €€
Nam Kee   €
Restaurant Looks   €€
Hemelse Modder   €€
Anna   €€
New King   €€

more restaurants in centrum

⟩ more neigborhoods