Amsterdam Sights

Magere Brug

famous skinny bridge across the Amstel river in Amsterdam

The Magere Brug (Skinny Bridge) is a traditional double leaf Dutch bascule bridge connecting sides of the river Amstel. The original bridge was built in 1691.

During the day the bridge is opened about every 20 minutes by the bridgemaster in order to let through river traffic. The boats used for sightseeing tours are low enough to pass underneath the bridge when closed.

Magere Brug
Amsterdam's most famous bridge: the Magere Brug across the Amstel river

Because this bridge was very small, the locals called it Magere Brug, which means small or skinny bridge. The bridge used to be so narrow that two people could barely cross at the same time. As traffic along the river Amstel increased, the bridge was replaced by a wider one in 1871 and the name 'Skinny' was not quite so appropriate as it was.

In 1934 the city decided to replace it with a new bridge that looked the same as the previous, only slightly bigger. Until 1994 the bridge was opened by hand, but now is opened automatically. Use of the bridge has been limited to pedestrians and cyclists since 2003.

Several other bridges of this type are found in Amsterdam at the Staalstraat/Grimburgwal, Nieuwe Herengracht, Rapenburg, Prinseneiland and Bickerseiland.

magere brug magere brug

Illumination at night

The Skinny Bridge is far not skinny anymore, but still one of the most beautiful bridges of Amsterdam. The bridge is decorated with 1200 light bulbs that are illuminated at night. It's a very special experience to pass underneath the bridge during a candlelight tour in the evening.

How to get there?

The bridge is situated on Amstel, between Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht, and opposite of the Royal Theatre Carré.
By tram: 6, 7, 10 or 20 stop Weesperplein
By metro: 51, 53 or 54 stop Waterlooplein
By car: nearest car park Stadhuis-Muziektheater

magere brug Aerial view of the Amstel River, with the Skinny Bridge (in the middle) and the Amstel Locks (in the background)

 click on image to enlarge map

Magere Brug

Amstel 81
Amsterdam (Plantage)

Nearby sights

Amsterdam Hermitage
dependency of the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg

Royal Theatre Carré
beautiful building along the Amstel river, built as a circus theatre in 1866

IceBar XtraCold
The Coolest Attraction of Amsterdam!