The Royal Palace in Amsterdam - Magnificent Paleis Op de Dam at a Glance
Located in the heart of the city, the Royal Palace is one of the most important sights of Amsterdam. We reveal what it looks like inside, whether the royal couple really lives there, and what you should definitely keep in mind during your visit.
Opulent facade of the Royal Palace in Amsterdam (Paleis op de Dam)
Built as a town hall in the Dutch Golden Age, the palace, now open to visitors, boasts magnificent furnishings and a lively history.
Tip - Buy tickets in advance and skip the line
The line in front of the Royal Palace is almost always very long. 1 hour waiting time is not uncommon. It is the least crowded between 9:00 and 11:00 in the morning and after 3 pm. In any case: buy tickets online and skip the line.
In fact, the Paleis op de Dam is one of the three palaces that the Dutch royal family still uses today - not as a residence, however, but exclusively for ceremonial purposes.
- » The Royal Palace at a glance - Opening hours, prices and tickets
- » 5 interesting facts - Architecture and turbulent history
- » How to get to the Royal Palace - Directions with map
- » Our conclusion - Is a visit to the Royal Palace worth it?
On official occasions, like state receptions, the royal family stays in the Royal Palace. The palace is then closed to visitors. Most of the time, however, it is open to the public and can be visited. In the next part you will learn what you should know about tickets and opening hours.
Your Tour Recommendations
Tickets and Opening Hours - The Royal Palace at a Glance
Unfortunately, the palace does not offer its own guided tours. Nevertheless, we have good news: the tickets are cheap and with the free audio guide you can explore the magnificent building on your own.
Huge Statue in the civic hall - Atlas with globe - Photo: © Kit Leong
Adults pay 10 euros for admission, children under 18 can visit the palace for free. Students are charged a reduced price of 9 euros. A free audio guide is included with admission - of course, the guide is also available in English.
Tipp - Book ticket in advance and skip the line
Free cancellation, fast entry and reasonable prices: Through our partner Get Your Guide you can easily book your ticket for the Royal Palace online.
For children, there is a free children's audio guide so they too can learn the history of Amsterdam's Royal Palace. Note that you can't buy tickets on site. Before your visit, you must buy tickets online for yourself and also for children.
Opening hours of the Royal Palace in Amsterdam
The palace can be visited all year round from 11 am to 5 pm. During events of the royal family it is closed for visitors. Before the visit you must book a time slot of 15 minutes in which you will enter the Royal Palace. This ensures that there are not too many visitors in the building at once.
How much time should I plan for a visit to the Royal Palace?
You should plan at least one hour for the visit. Since only the most important rooms on the second floor of the palace are accessible to visitors, the visit usually lasts no more than one and a half hours.
Stay tuned - in the next part you will learn everything about the fascinating history of the palace. We'll also reveal 5 exciting facts.
5 Fascinating Facts About Architecture and History
The neoclassical Paleis op de Dam was built in the middle of the Golden Age from 1648 to 1665 according to the designs of Dutch architect Jacob van Campen. We have compiled the most interesting facts for you.
Atlas is also enthroned on the roof with a 1,000-kilogram globe
Originally, the building was intended as a town hall (Stadhuis) to showcase the wealth of the city of Amsterdam and serve as a residence for the mayor, the magistrate and the municipal court.
An orgy of marble and crystal symbolizes the wealth of Amsterdam
It was not until 1808 that the building was used as a royal palace (Koninklijk Paleis), after Napoleon appointed his brother Louis Bonaparte as King of Holland following the French Revolution.
Fabulously beautiful - The Royal Palace from the inside - Photo: © Kit Leong
In 1939, the Dutch royal family of Orange-Nassau bought the palace from the city. To this day, the royal palace is owned by the royals.
- The Civic Hall is the most important room in the palace - It represents the universe: On the marble floor you can see maps of the western and eastern hemispheres and the starry sky of the northern hemisphere.
- Something is missing, isn't it? - Actually, the ceiling of the hall was supposed to represent the southern starry sky, but this plan was never realized.
- The palace is considered an architectural masterpiece - It was built on 13,659 wooden piles driven into the marshy ground.
- A gigantic project - When construction was completed in 1665, the City Hall was the largest public building in Europe at that time.
- Priceless antiques - The old furniture, which can be seen today in the palace, consists of about 2,000 pieces.
In the next section, you'll learn how to get to the Royal Palace and whether it's worth a visit.
How to Get to the Royal Palace? Map With Directions
Located on the edge of the central Dam Square, the Royal Palace with its 20-meter-high tower is hard to miss. Surrounded by the pulsating city life, streetcar traffic and carnies, the magnificent building inevitably stands out.
City life on the Dam Square - Photo: © Harry Beugelink
The address of the Amsterdam Royal Palace is: Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 147, 1012 RJ Amsterdam, Netherlands.
Map - Royal Palace Amsterdam (Paleis op de Dam) - Tap to activate
The Royal Palace is very easy to reach from anywhere in Amsterdam: Most bus and streetcar lines stop directly at the Dam stop or the other stops around Dam Square. From the Central Station the palace is only about 10 minutes walk away.
Tip - Exciting sights in the surrounding area
Read on. In the next chapter, we'll tell you what we liked and what we didn't like about the Royal Palace.
Conclusion - Is the Royal Palace worth a visit?
If you are interested in the history of the Netherlands, the Paleis op de Dam is a must-see. The visit is entertaining and interesting, so you can stop by even if you don't have much time in Amsterdam.
The chambers of the royal family - Photo: © Kit Leong
It is very cool that you can also see where King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima stay when they are in the Paleis.
We didn't like that so much:
Since the Royal Palace Amsterdam was originally built as a city hall, you should not expect - at least from the outside - a magnificent castle as you might know it from other European countries. Especially children who expect a fairy tale castle might be disappointed.
Before the visit, you should also be aware that the audio guide is the only way to learn the background of the palace. For example, there are no info boards that provide information about the rooms.
We liked that a lot:
As unusual as the building's exterior may be for a palace, however, its interior is extremely stunning. Sculptures, works of art and magnificent pieces of furniture decorated with gold bring visitors impressively closer to the royal history of the palace.
We were blown away by the beautiful interior
The audio guide is really detailed, so that you get a in-depth insight into the palace in a short time. It is also great that there is a separate audio guide for children, so that they can dive into the history of the palace in a child-friendly way.
The Royal Palace is an oasis in the big city
A quiet oasis in the hectic city of Amsterdam, the Royal Palace, which you will inevitably pass during your visit, is definitely worth a visit.
By the way, every summer there is a different exhibition about the turbulent history of the Royal Palace. Have you already been to the Royal Palace and have tips for other visitors? Do you have any questions? Then write a comment.