Amsterdam Damrak

Traveling to Amsterdam anytime soon, and are you wondering how to start your visit? Your first step will likely take place at the Damrak. In a prime location where once the Amstel River stood, today you will find the beating heart of Amsterdam: the busy Damrak street leading to the famous Dam Square. The Damrak thoroughfare stretches from the central railway station to the Dam Square in the center of the city. This is why the Damrak is referred to as the “Red Carpet of Amsterdam” – as the majority of visitors set their first steps here once they leave the central station. Damrak and the nearby Rokin street used to dissect the city into two parts, the old side and the new side. These days Damrak is packed with tourist shops, hotels and some attractions like the Beurs van Berlage (the former stock exchange) and the big and very popular department store the Bijenkorf. A little bit before the Stock Exchange, you can see some very picturesque gabled houses next to the water. From this water, many Amsterdam canal cruises start their tours of the city center.

Get to know the Damrak area in Amsterdam

When you step out of the Central Station, take a minute to enjoy the beautiful views of the gabled houses and their reflections on the water. Then cross the street and start walking on the Damrak, directing Dam Square. The Dam Square was created in the 13th century. A dam was built around the river Amstel, so the South Sea (Zuiderzee) couldn’t flood the city and cause damage to buildings and endanger citizens. Nowadays the Dam is the site of events and demonstrations of all kinds. It is surrounded by historical buildings like the Royal Palace, the luxurious Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky and the New Church – that is actually not new at all, but dates from the 14th century. Other sites of interest that you can find here, in the heart of Amsterdam, are the National Monument which was erected in honor of the victims that fell in the second world war, and the Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. No trip to Amsterdam is complete without a visit to the Damrak and Dam Square!

Check the rest of our travel video guides for more tips about things to do in Amsterdam and watch our special video guide on the Dam Square to get to know the attractions in the Dam area better!


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