Hotel Amsterdam Centre
Photo: Minke Wagenaar

The best lookout towers for a great view over Amsterdam

No country is as flat as the Netherlands and no city is as flat as Amsterdam. That’s not so surprising cause Amsterdam is on average only 2 meters above sea level. In Amsterdam there’s no difference in height. Therefore you’ll have to climb a building for a panoramic view over the city. Fortunately there are various great options which we’ve listed below.

Amsterdam can be viewed from a high altitude at various locations in the city. A great option is the roof terrace of the Nemo Science Museum which you can visit for free. There are also several church towers open to the public and in various buildings a restaurant is located at high altitude. Finally, there are also exclusive possibilities such as the REM Eiland and A’DAM Lookout.

A’DAM Lookout

Photo: Marie-Charlotte Pezé

A’DAM Lookout is a new observation deck in the A’DAM Toiwer opposite the Central Station. This former head office of Royal Dutch Shell was completely renovated in 2016. Now it’s home to a mix of offices, cafes, restaurants, a hotel, a revolving restaurant and A’DAM Lookout. From here you have a great panoramic view of Amsterdam, the historic centre, the harbors and the unique Dutch polder landscape. The observation deck also offers a unique attraction: you can swing at high altitudes.

Rooftop Nemo Science Museum

Photo: Mingo Hagen

This is a great free option for a view of Amsterdam. The 22 meter high roof of the Nemo Science Museum offers a great view of the city center and it’s canals. The roof has been designed as the highest city square in the Netherlands. You will find an outdoor exhibition, an outdoor terrace and a restaurant. You can reach the roof terrace for free from the street with a long staircase and possibly by elevator from the museum. You can go here daily from 10 am to 6.30 pm.

Tower Westerkerk

Photo: Minke Wagenaar

With 85 meters the Westertoren is the highest church tower in Amsterdam. The tower is part of the Westerkerk, which is located on the Prinsengracht in the heart of the city. Tours take place from April to October. You can climb the Westertoren to the first balcony. From here you have a great view of the city centre and the outlying districts. You can go to the Westertoren every day from 10 am to 8 pm (except Sundays). The last tour starts at 7.30 pm.

Tower Oude Kerk

Photo: Guilhem Vellut

The Oude Kerk (Old Church) is the oldest existing building in Amsterdam and dates back to 1213. The beautiful historic church with its 70 meters high tower is on the edge of the Red Light District which gives a special contrast. From April to October you can visit the 50-meter-high observation deck. Guided tours start daily from 1 am to 6.30 pm, except on Sundays.

REM Eiland

In this special building you can dine at a height of 22 meters above the water. The REM Eiland is a former pirate radio and television station that was located 9 kilometers off the Dutch coast. Today it’s in the New Houthaven in Amsterdam. A fully equipped bar is located on the spectacular rooftop bar. High above the water you can enjoy an almost 360 degree view. REM Eiland is open daily from 12 am.


Photo: Koen Smilde

On the seventeenth floor of the Ramada Apollo Amsterdam Center, you will find this skybar at an altitude of 85 meters. Both summer and winter Floor17 is the place that brings you to a higher plane, with an amazing view over Amsterdam. The sky bar is located west of the city centre. You can enjoy an extensive champagne and cocktail menu and a DJ plays on Friday evening. The opening hours depend on the weather conditions.

Tower Zuiderkerk

Photo: Johan Wieland

The Zuiderkerk is a historic church from 1611 with a 68 meter high tower. You’ll find the building in the former Jewish quarter in the heart of the city. The tower of the Zuiderkerk kanvan April to October climbed accompanied by a guide. From the first balcony you have a beautiful view over the city centre and the distant districts. The church is currently being renovated so please check before you visit the Zuiderkerk whether it’s open to the public.


Photo: Koen Smilde

Located on the seventh floor of the lively Volkshotel, Canvas is a place for every occasion. Just outside the busy city center, it offers a restaurant and the club is open at weekends. The wide view of the city and the intimate lighting make it the ultimate place. You can go to the restaurant every day from 7 am to 1 am. The club is open on Friday and Saturday from 11 pm.

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