It’s no secret that Amsterdam is one of Europe’s most visited—and photographed—cities. It’s such a picturesque small big city, and it’ll always be our second home (read how our love story unfolded in this city).
Although you can wander around and find Instagrammable spots in Amsterdam everywhere, your Amsterdam photography will be complete when you visit these photo spots!
Amsterdam Canal Cruise
A classic Amsterdam photo is one with canals in it. What’s a better way to photograph the iconic waters than from a canal cruise?
There are many places to hop on a cruise; the most popular spot is at Damrak, close to the Central Station.
Are you with a group and looking for a unique experience? Look up the initiative Plastic Whale! We highly recommend Rederij P. Kooij at Rokin for your Amsterdam photography, where you can hop on a cruise from €12 per person.
The most famous Amsterdam photo spot of the canals, with the traditional canal houses that look like they’re about to tip over! You have the best view from the Papiermolensluis bridge.
TIP visit the canals for sunrise when water is still. It makes for great reflections and the city is so incredibly peaceful!
Recommended read: our travel guide to lesbian Amsterdam!
Damrak Traditional Canal Houses
The classic gingerbread houses are so crooked because they’re sinking! Don’t be fooled: this spot is not as peaceful as it looks because it is the Damrak, the street that connects the central station with the Dam square—where every tourist goes.
But it’s the most famous spot for Amsterdam photography.
TIP the light is best at the end of the day when the sun is setting but not quite yet!
Reguliersgracht: Seven Bridges
On any canal cruise, you’ll pass this point and have the best view, but you can also visit Thorbeckeplein (right next to Rembrandtplein) and look to the south for your Amsterdam photography.
If you place your camera on the ground at the edge of the street (don’t drop it in the canal!), you can see seven bridges in a row.
Magere Brug / Skinny Bridge
This cute white bridge across the river Amstel is one of the most famous bridges in Amsterdam.
Legend tells that two skinny sisters had a small bridge built, as each sister lived on one side of the Amstel – and the bridge was to see each other more often.
It used to be a skinny bridge, but a slightly wider bridge replaced it in 1871.
TIP if you visit this bridge with your lover, make sure to kiss on (or under, on a cruise) the bridge, it allegedly brings luck!
The Staalmeestersbrug is such a cute bridge – and a pretty street. It’s a bridge for love locks and makes for the best view of the Zuiderkerk!
TIP use props like a bicycle or flowers to make your photos EXTRA!
Other Famous Amsterdam Photo Spots
The National Museum is dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam and displays many famous paintings by Dutch masters from the 17e century, like Rembrandt, Frans Hals, and Johannes Vermeer.
The museum’s architecture is as beautiful as the masterpieces that decorate the walls inside.
The design (by Pierre Cuypers) wasn’t well-received: people considered it too medieval and not Dutch. Luckily much has changed since the official opening in 1885!
TIP on Instagram we noticed many people take pictures across the museum: there’s a cute house, which is the office of Atlas Fiscalisten.
I Amsterdam Sign
The I Amsterdam sign used to be one of the famous spots of Amsterdam photography, located at Museumplein, in front of the Rijksmuseum.
The city, however, decided to remove the letters as they attracted too many tourists in one spot. Now, a set of letters travels around the city, and one set stands at Schiphol airport!
The central station building is as gorgeous as the Rijksmuseum, which isn’t weird: as it is a design by the same Pierre Cuypers (opened a few years later, though, in 1889).
The odds are, you will already pay a visit to this station the first day you arrive! A train from Schiphol only takes 15 mins.
Chinatown & Nieuwmarkt
In Chinatown, you’ll find a beautiful temple and fantastic food. At Nieuwmarkt, you can have a couple of drinks with some delicious (Dutch) snacks! This area is crowded, but super fun to visit.
Jordaan: 9 Straatjes (9 Little Streets)
If you like shopping, this is the place to be. Forget the commercialized Kalverstraat or fancy PC Hooftstraat; you want to check out the cute boutique shops at 9 Little Streets!
Besides shopping, the Jordaan is great for drinks and photographing the cutest Amsterdam streets!
Begijnhof (Hidden Gem Amsterdam)
The Begijnhof is one of the oldest Dutch hofjes, founded in the middle ages! As the name suggests, it was a beguinage.
So it wasn’t private housing, and women of the Catholic sisterhood inhabited it. Similar to nuns, they lived more independently and free.
In 1971 the last beguine who lived there passed away. The houses are still inhabitant, though not by beguines. Please be respectful of their living space!
Amsterdam Windmill & Brewery ‘t IJ
Amsterdam has the tallest windmill in the Netherlands! No need to travel far to see this Dutch icon, take tram 14 from Central Station or the Dam to Pontanusstraat for about 15 mins.
Right next to windmill De Gooyer, you’ll find the tasting room of Amsterdam brewery ‘t IJ.
For more windmills, you have to visit the Zaanse Schans. It’s free to visit unless you enter some of the (windmill)museums.
For example, you can visit a wooden shoe museum to see how Dutchies make traditional shoes!
You can get to the Zaanse Schans by train (17 min ride, 15 min walk) or by bus 391 (40 min ride), the Industrial Heritage Line.
TIP most group tours visit the Zaanse Schans early morning, so you’ll be better off visiting later in the day!
Views of Amsterdam
OBA rooftop viewpoint
The OBA has the best FREE viewpoint of Amsterdam! Go up to the OBA’s rooftop cafe (Amsterdam’s public library) and enjoy the view.
If you’re up for some excitement – try Europe’s highest swing at the A’DAM lookout. There’s an over-the-edge swing on the 20th floor. We can say from experience: it’s scarier than it seems!
TIP do not try to fly your drone in Amsterdam for a nice overview. The city is too close to the airport!
We gotta talk about street art photography opportunities in Amsterdam! The “Wake me up when I’m famous” art in the Pijp has become super famous over the last year.
The neighborhood has many cute cafes and restaurants – make sure to wander around!
Rainbow Road Sloterdijk Station
It’s no secret we love everything rainbow. The rainbow road at Sloterdijk Station was made for us!
Again, we’re biased because this was where we lived before traveling the world. The Heesterveld Creative Community (right next to the Bullewijk subway stop) is color-heaven.
There’s also an adorable cafe Oma Ietje (grandma Ietje), that serves the best toasted sandwiches! If you wander around the area (towards the shops at De Poort), you’ll see much more street art.
Our newest favorite area! Super industrial and raw – the opposite of the cute canals, yet so cool. Lots of graffiti, sea containers and more cute cafes! Every month you can visit the biggest flea market in Europe here (IJhallen), but any time is great to wander around this area.
Amsterdam Light Festival
Every December/January, the city lights up during the Amsterdam Light Festival. It’s an open-air art exhibition throughout the city, with all kinds of light artworks.
You can do an art walk at night, but it’s a truly magical experience to hop on a canal cruise and see it from the water.
Ice Skating at Museumplein
Unfortunately, it’s not every year you can ice skate on natural ice on the canals or in the Amsterdamse Bos.
You can, however, always ice skate at the Ice*Amsterdam skating rink from mid-November until early February!
King’s Day and Amsterdam Pride
Perfect for some colorful Amsterdam photography: visit the city for King’s Day (April 27) or Amsterdam Pride (Canal Parade, first Saturday of August).
On the King’s birthday, everyone wears oranges and drinks beer on the streets!
Flowers: Tulips and Cherry Blossoms
Of course, everyone wants to see one thing in the Netherlands: tulip fields! You can only see it for a few weeks, from mid-April until mid-May (but it all depends on the weather!).
Little do people know we also have a beautiful cherry blossom (sakura) park in Amsterdam! The trees bloom in the spring, and it can be a little tricky to say when is the best time to visit, but this year, we were lucky visiting late March.
Did you know you can hire me as Amsterdam photographer? I am Amsterdam based, but available worldwide! As a queer photographer, I offer solo and couple photoshoots, wedding photography, and tailor-made photoshoots!
Best Amsterdam Instagram accounts to follow:
For more inspiration, we recommend following these outstanding Amsterdam accounts: @arden_nl @bodiek @humansofamsterdam @macenzo @iamsterdam @dutch.shooters @visitnetherlands @amsterdam.explores @amsterdam
Amsterdam Photography Map
PIN THIS ARTICLE