Koninklijk Paleis (Royal Palace of Amsterdam), Amsterdam

Koninklijk Paleis (Royal Palace of Amsterdam), Amsterdam (must see)

The Royal Palace, positioned on the western side of Dam Square, stands as the city's most impressive edifice, a commanding sandstone structure erected during a time when Amsterdam held peak prominence and was asserting its municipal strength. Constructed in the mid-17th century, Amsterdam was then a leading Dutch town that had recently thwarted William of Orange's attempts to subdue it. Inevitably, the city council sought a residence that would symbolize Amsterdam's municipal authority and pride, leading them to embrace a remarkably forward-thinking design—a Dutch interpretation of the classical principles revived during the Italian Renaissance.

The interior of the palace mirrors the pride and confidence of the Golden Age, notably in the opulent Citizens' Hall, an exceptionally beautiful, arcaded marble chamber where the enthroned figure of Amsterdam presides over the earthly and celestial realms. Three circular, inlaid marble maps, depicting the eastern and western hemispheres as well as the northern sky, lie at her feet. Other allegorical figures reinforce the municipal message: Wisdom and Strength flank "Amsterdam" on her left and right, while the reliefs on either side of the central group portray the principles of good governance. On the left, the god Amphion plays his lyre, persuading stones to form a wall, and on the right, Mercury seeks to lull Argos to sleep, emphasizing the importance of vigilance.

In many respects, this historical and architectural landmark serves as a microcosm of the Netherlands' evolution as a nation. As a town hall, it underscores the significance of democracy in Dutch life, while its transition into a royal property reflects a period of transformation in Holland's history. Today, the Royal Palace embodies the Netherlands' position in the world: a captivating, culturally rich nation that appeals to many as a destination to explore and call home.

Why You Should Visit:
If you have an appreciation for opulence, extravagant chandeliers, and intricate ceiling adornments, this palace will certainly impress. It offers affordable admission for families, with free entry for those under 18 and discounts available for seniors and students.

Tip:
Before your visit, be sure to check online for opening hours, as the palace may occasionally close for royal events.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Amsterdam. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Koninklijk Paleis (Royal Palace of Amsterdam) on Map

Sight Name: Koninklijk Paleis (Royal Palace of Amsterdam)
Sight Location: Amsterdam, Netherlands (See walking tours in Amsterdam)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Amsterdam, Netherlands

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Creating your own self-guided walk in Amsterdam is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Amsterdam's Historical Churches Walking Tour

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Amsterdam's food scene is a delightful fusion of local traditions and global influences. Making your way through the interlocking canals, pretty bridges, and a maze of streets laden with diverse eateries and bars may easily render you hankering for a bite to eat and/or a drink to wash it down with.

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
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Jewish Quarter Walking Tour

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The Jodenbuurt (Jewish Quarter) of Amsterdam had been the center of the Dutch Jewish community from the 16th century up until the Second World War. The neighborhood is best known as the birthplace of Baruch Spinoza, the home of Rembrandt, and the Jewish ghetto under the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands.

Once crowded with open-air stalls, smoking factories and tenement buildings, the Old...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.0 Km or 1.2 Miles
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The inner-most borough and historic heart of Amsterdam, known locally as Centrum, is a tightly woven network of canals and overlapping micro-neighborhoods, each bursting with their own unique vibe and history. Formerly a working-class area, this district is reputed for its traditional community spirit, radical politics and historic brown bars.

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.3 Km or 1.4 Miles
Southern Canal Belt Walking Tour

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The Canal District, known as Grachtengordel in Dutch, is a globally renowned example of urban planning and architectural excellence within Amsterdam. This area has remained remarkably well-preserved for over four centuries, celebrated for its charming small bridges, canal crossings, and 17th-century residences. Encircling the Old City Centre in a horseshoe shape, the Canal Ring encompasses three...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.1 Km or 1.9 Miles
Red Light District Walking Tour

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Amsterdam's Rosse Buurt (Red Light District) has been the subject of much fascination for centuries. The medieval part of it, also the largest, known as De Wallen (or De Walletjes), is particularly famous for its fantastic juxtaposition of age-old architecture, leaning canal houses, narrow alleys lined with old-school bars, quaint shops and late-night pursuits. Of course, the main draw here...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles

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