Top 5 Photography Ideas For Amsterdam

Amsterdam in top 5's

best photography ideas for Amsterdam

Here are our top 5 tips for making the best photos while visiting Amsterdam

Are you looking for the best way to capture stunning photos and make your Amsterdam trip one to remember?

Look no further – this guide outlines a few helpful tips for catching unforgettable photos in the Dutch city.

One of the great features of Amsterdam is that it is a year-round city and provides a variety of photographic opportunities. Whether you visit in spring, summer, autumn, or winter, you’ll be able to capture all sorts of unique photos of the city, from bright green tulips to frozen canals – the choice is yours! Depending on the season you visit, aim to showcase the city through its distinct characteristics to create one-off scenic shots.

The first and most important tip for taking quality pictures in Amsterdam is to scout out some of the best photo locations in the city. From the scenic cobblestones of Dam Square to the colorful row of houses at the Magere Brug, travelers and photographers alike will find plenty of photo opportunities in the city.

In this blog Historical Amsterdam Tours has curated some of the most iconic spots, as well as several snappy ideas to capture this vibrant old city. Below we have added a list of google maps coordinates for you to find the spots mentioned in this article.


Get Off the Beaten Path

While the high-traffic tourist areas of Amsterdam are great for memorable shots, don’t neglect the more tucked away parts of town. Look for the interesting doorways and alleyways of the city – they make great backdrops for your pictures.

Suggested locations:
Check - for example - the ‘Zevenlandenhuizen’ in the Roemer Visscherstraat. The architecture of these seven houses each represent a different country. A funny hidden gem to take away. On the east end of the city center sits an iconic windmill, ‘De Gooyer’. This majestic monument tells the story of Amsterdam’s industrial heritage and completes a classic picture of The Netherlands.


Spin the Clock

Plan your photo session based on the time of day. The morning light can give a great warm filter to your photos, while the early evening can bring out the twinkling lights of the city streets. Midday might be too harsh and midday sun’s glare, so find a good spot in the shade for some great pictures.

Suggested locations:
Try to capture the corner buildings on the canals at dusk. Make the most of this ‘golden hour’ late in the day at ‘Cafe Papeneiland’ from Korte Prinsengracht, the corner of Leidsegracht and Keizersgracht or at the junction of the Oudezijds- en Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, from the terrace of the ‘Rede van Texel’.


Embrace Different Angles

Whenever you’re shooting in a new city, it’s important to take photos from different angles to capture its charm. Shoot from the street-level, from the middle of the canal, or even from a bridge overlooking the city—all of these different angles will help you create more dynamic photos.

Get creative with perspectives: Incorporate creative perspectives and unusual angles into your shots to add visual interest to your photos. Tilt the camera to capture a wider view while still maintaining the context, use zoom lens to capture details, or shoot from low to the ground. Look for elevated positions, particularly on the city’s many bridges, to add a unique perspective to your photo.

Suggested locations:
The best high vantage viewpoints to capture iconic Amsterdam photos includes the Westertoren, which offers a beautiful bird’s eye view of the city. This also counts for the Skylounge bar at Hilton Doubletree to overview the old city from up close or the A’DAM Lookout, which offers a spectacular view of the harbor area.

On the low end we recommend taking a boat to catch the ‘seven bridges’ on the Reguliersgracht. From the low waterside angle they make a wonderful tunnel of arches. At dark these arches make a 1001 fairytale.

Take the steps down at the Singel at the ‘Torensluis’ to snap a close-up of the city’s oldest canal bridge.

The ‘Staalmeestersbrug’ is probably better known as the ‘love-lock-bridge’. Claude Monet already recognized the potential of this picturesque view on the Zuiderkerk in 1874. When will it be your turn to eternalize this perspective?


Archetypical architecture

Amsterdam is blessed with a rich variety of architectural hotspots. You can of course opt for one of the many striking official monuments. As capital of The Netherlands there’s no shortage of magnificent buildings towering above the city’s skyline.

The trick here is to keep it exciting. Try an original angle, something odd in the foreground, play with your shutter speed and the light of the day to stand out with your picture. Amsterdam however is designed by its citizens. Why not bring an ode to the many intriguing residential and pre-industrial buildings?

Suggested locations:
The usual suspects like the Royal Palace, the Rijksmuseum (with or without the pond in the foreground), the Westerkerk or the Magere Brug. The more burgerman's look on the city could include snapping the ‘swimming houses’ along the Damrak, the ‘dancing houses’ at the river Amstel or the ‘leaning houses’ at Sint Olofsteeg.


Document the Ordinary

You’ll certainly want to capture the iconic scenes of Amsterdam, but don’t overlook the more common, everyday sights. The mundane street corners, the small boats on the canal, the bikers passing by and the stray cats sleeping in the sun – all of these can tell a unique story about Amsterdam. So get out there, shoot some great photos and make your own memories in Amsterdam!

Suggested locations:
Catch saints and sinners at the ‘Oude Kerk’ with the red light windows right next door. Do make sure you don’t take photos of the people behind the windows. Reach your camera up in the air at the ‘Damrak’ on a regular Saturday afternoon. With the right focus adjustments you’ll surely snap the city’s busiest spot.

Get low angles and color at the many markets. Try the flower market in the morning in order to avoid the crowds. On the multi-culti ‘Dapper market’ and foodies paradise ‘Albert Cuyp market’ one can truly get a local vibe in the frame. On sunny days the ‘Vondelpark’ can top off the day with relaxing picnic shots.

Needless to say, but still: keep a sharp eye and lens for the bustling bicycle traffic. The commuter’s mayhem at the ‘ferry jetty’ behind the central station or the ‘Bicycle garage’ in front of the station offer a splendid perspective on urban traffic. Not to forget the many colorful ‘Flowerbikes’ offered to you by the legendary Flowerbikeman. These are located on various spots in the center.

One thing’s for sure – Amsterdam is an inspiring city to photograph, and there are plenty of opportunities to capture memorable snaps.

So, think outside the box and use this guide as your ultimate checklist for taking the best photos in Amsterdam. Unleash your photography skills, get stuck in and you’re bound to go home with a fantastic collection of photographs that demonstrate just how stunning Amsterdam can be.


On Key

Related Posts

Private Guide in Amsterdam

Why a Private tour guide?

Are you planning a trip to Amsterdam and wondering how to make the most of your time in the city? One option to consider is booking a private guide.

Visit a canal house

Visit a canal house Exclusive offer during the Canal Ring Architecture Walk Book this tour You’re invited Historical Amsterdam Tours and cultural heritage foundation Hendrick

Top 5 videos of quiet Amsterdam

Professional photographers and filmmakers saw a unique opportunity: to capture the capital during its most quiet times in history. Videos of quiet Amsterdam.