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Authored by Phoenix Hutton

The capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is a beautiful city with an amazing variety of things to see and do. And if you love travel photography, getting the perfect shot will most likely be at the top of your list.

From it’s seventeenth-century buildings and canals, to impressive museums and joint-smoking alien sculptures, few cities meld history with modern urban flair like Amsterdam, and this is a fantastic place to travel as a photographer.

Best known as the home of Anne Frank, Amsterdam’s friendly residents invite you to visit the city that takes its name from its famous canals built on the Amstel River. The following are great photography locations for shooting throughout Amsterdam. Head here if you’re looking to travel like a photographer and not a tourist.

The Best Places to Take Amazing Photos in Amsterdam

De Krijtberg

De Krijtberg is a Roman Catholic church in Amsterdam, located at the Singel. While you’ll need to check the opening hours, the beautiful St. Francis Xavier is a spectacular place to photograph.

Visitors should plan their trip to capture the gorgeous stain-glass windows from inside this chapel constructed between 1880 and 1883. The brightest stain-glass windows were installed in this neo-Gothic chapel during the 1930s.

De Krijtberg

Begijnhof

In 1346, the Catholic Church established Begijnhof, where women could live while caring for the city’s poorest residents. The area which is built around a central court is the oldest residential area in Amsterdam.

Most of the homes are now privately owned. This neighborhood features the oldest wooden house in Amsterdam which was constructed in 1528.

Begijnhof

Canals

Most houses and Amsterdam hotels have a canal very close to them. One of the most photogenic is the Keizersgracht, which translates to the Emperor’s Canal.

Iconic photos can be captured at Leidsegracht. Take advantage of the golden hour to capture great pictures of this location that was constructed in the late 1700s.

Alternatively, head to Keizersgracht at Reguliersgrach where you can capture seven bridges in one image. Do not overlook the nearby buildings where many famous people have stayed including Peter the Great, President John Adams, and Daniel Fahrenheit.

Keizersgracht

Central Station

First opened in 1889, this Gothic/Renaissance Revival station serves over 260,000 people each day. Try to get to the top of the building where visitors find a metal platform providing a great place to see the city.

Stop at the white wooden coffeehouse in front of the building that serves as a tourist information stop to see amazing handicrafts created by local artists.

Central Station

Rijksmuseum

Since 1885, the Rijksmuseum has been welcoming visitors wanting to learn about the country’s arts and crafts. Works by Rembrandt, Johannes Vermeer, and Frans Hals.

The fragmented building sitting just south of the main museum contains many excellent examples of Dutch art that were collected from various older buildings in the Netherlands.

Rijksmuseum

Bloemenmarkt

The first flowers sold in Amsterdam came from floating boats in 1862. Today, visitors find 15 florists on barges that are permanently moored near Singel Street.

Book an Amsterdam taxi to take you there early in the day because the market gets very busy later. Visitors can even find tulip bulbs that can be shipped overseas.

Bloemenmarkt

A’dam Lookout

Located very near Central Station, the A’dam Lookout observation deck offers unobstructed views of this historical city. The tower also offers a 328-foot swing, the highest in Europe, allowing visitors to swing over the edge of the building.

Visitors can also dine in the beautiful revolving restaurant located on the 19th floor. The building’s elevator whisks guests up 20 floors in 20 seconds.

Royal Palace

The poet Contantijn Huygens described the Royal Palace, which is still used by Dutch royalty, as the eighth wonder of the world. When builders built it between 1648 and 1655, builders used 13,659 wooden piles to make sure that it did not sink in the sand.

Visitors can enter the palace when royalty is not present. Once inside, guests can view an Atlas statue weighing more than 2,200 pounds.

The Royal Palace, Amsterdam

Anne Frank House (Exterior)

When people visit Amsterdam, one place that everyone must stop is the Anne Frank House where she hid out during World War II. It was in this home that she penned her famous novel.

While photography inside the house is prohibited (for many visitors, a visit to the Anne Frank House is an emotional experience, which could be disturbed by photography and filming, and this could also be harmful to the sometimes fragile original artifacts), you can take great aerial photographs of the building from tower of Westerkirk church, or straight on from across the canal. The area surrounding the house lends itself to a beautiful canal scene.

Note that Guests need to purchase their tickets online or plan their visits very late in the day. The house contains a lot of information about her life, which will immerse you in her inspiring story.

Viewed from tower of Westerkirk churck in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Hortus Botanicus

This lovely garden was established in 1638 so that doctors could get the important herbs and plants that they needed to get people well from the plague.

Today, the garden contains over 6,000 species of plants including a 2,000 years old agave cactus and a 300-year-old Eastern Kape giant cycad. Visitors can also stroll through three hothouses representing three different tropical zones on the earth.

OUR FAVORITE AMSTERDAM CITY GUIDES: CLICK TO LOOK INSIDE↓

Amsterdam Travel Guide

Lonely Planet Amsterdam

Amsterdam Travel Guide

Rick Steves’ Pocket Amsterdam

Amsterdam Travel GuideHistory of the World’s Most Liberal City

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Phoenix Hutton is a traveler and photography enthusiast. For the last few years, she has found a way to combine both of her passions – working as a freelance photographer enabled her to take over the globe.

Phoenix likes to share her insights with other adventure-seekers. You can read more of her articles on Luxury Travel.

Photo credits: Featured photo by Moyan Brenn. De Krijtberg by Jorge Láscar. Begijnhof by Bert KaufmannKeizersgracht by Massimo Catarinella. Central Station by Kyle Hasegawa. Rijksmuseum by Elyktra. Bloemenmarkt by yeowatzup. The Royal Palace by Marek & Ewa Wojciechowscy. Anne Frank House by Bogdan Migulski. Pinterest images by Moyan Brenn.

    30 Comments

  1. You do realize it’s not permitted to take photographs inside the Anne Frank house? It’s one of the go to places for sure, but not for photography.

    • Hi Paul, thanks for reaching out. We included Anne Frank house because being a site of such historic importance, people usually hope to head back with a photo of the building itself. And because the area surrounding the house lends itself to a beautiful canal scene.

      Thanks for the heads up that we’ve not made the distinction between taking photos inside v out. Have edited the post to clarify that you may not take photos inside. Have added a note that you can take great aerial photographs of the building from tower of Westerkirk church, or straight on from across the canal.

      Appreciate your help making the article better :)

  2. All places are really beautiful for photography and Bloemenmarket is really looks like heaver.

    • Bloemenmarket is definitely a beautiful scene!

  3. Beautiful photos, I did not realize everything that Amsterdam has to offer. The stained glass in the Begijnhof is stunning. And, of course, the tulip shot is a must!

    • Thanks Jen! Highly recommend Amsterdam if you’re looking for somewhere in Europe – many hidden gems!

  4. It’s so cool that most houses and hotels in Amsterdam have a canal very close to them. I visited the Venice canals (in LA) and although it was a tiny canal it made me wish more neighborhoods were like this. It’s beautiful and makes walking around so enjoyable.

    • Amsterdam is known throughout Europe as the Venice of the North – very beautiful and can highly recommend a trip!

  5. These definitely look like photogenic spots. I’ve not been to Amsterdam, even though I’d love to visit. I would love the Bloemenmarkt. I love flowers so much and the idea of strolling on some boats to pick out my flowers sounds pretty dreamy! Plus, tulips are my favorite flowers.

    • You should consider booking a vacation on National Tulip Day (the 3rd Saturday of January). It’s a festive event in Dam Square where they showcase 200K+ tulips and you can choose your own free tulips.

  6. I was in Amsterdam for only a few hours on a layover so I would love to go back. The history and the architecture of Begijnhof are so interesting! I can see how Bloemenmarkt would be a great place for pics – with all those colorful flowers!

    • Hope you have the chance to head back for some more time soon :)

  7. Your photos are really beautiful! I was in Amsterdam in the summer, but I didn’t get to all of these places. I’ve been to a Begijnhof in Bruges, but not in Amsterdam. My favorite photo is the one of the tulips!

    • Glad you enjoyed the post Stella :) Sounds like you have the perfect excuse to plan a return trip sometime :D

  8. The amazing photographs just supported your article in the best way possible. It is a paradise for photographers. The lights angles, scenery and architecture everything is so spectacular that even an amateur would not be able to stop from clicking pictures!

    • Absolutely – Amsterdam is a wonderful playground for anyone with a camera whether you’re a beginner or pro :)

  9. Amsterdam just looks so…epic. I hope to be able to visit someday! I’m headed to Europe in a few months but won’t be able to swing Holland this time around. Loving the pics!!

    • Epic is a good word to describe the city! Have a wonderful trip to Europe Laura, and hopefully you can include the Netherlands on the next one :) Happy travels!

  10. beautiful places to visit and photography in Amsterdam. really love this. thanks for Sharing This Article

    • Glad you enjoyed the post :) Happy travels!

  11. I am from Holland and practically live in Amsterdam. It’s funny we travel the world, but take our own place for granted. Next time I am heading to the center of Amsterdam I will look with a slightly different perspective. The places you mentioned are indeed some of the best in Amsterdam.

    • Always! I think that’s the same for everyone, we never see our home town through the eyes of a tourist, so it’s fun sometimes to play tourist in our own town! Glad we could inspire you to look with a new perspective! Amsterdam is one of my favorite cities :)

  12. Amsterdam is an amazing city! There are so many wonderful things to do and places to see! I’m so happy I discovered this list with wonderful places to take great photos in Amsterdam – I didn’t know some of them ;)

    • Glad we could give you some more ideas Loredana! Hope you’re enjoying Amsterdam!

  13. Great suggestions! It’s been ages since I’ve been to Amsterdam and you’re making me yearn to go back. You should add all of these suggestions into a Tripidee trip so your readers can find these spots on the go!

  14. Thank you for your great suggestion.

    • Glad the post was helpful Gaurav :) Have a wonderful time in Amsterdam :)

  15. Amsterdam is not the capital of The Netherlands!!

    • Hi Chris – Assuming that you’re referencing the Amsterdam vs Hague debate, even though Government may sit in the Hague, Amsterdam is the only constitutionally recognized capital (and the most widely agreed between the two).

      Thanks :)

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