The Royal Palace (Koninklijk Paleis)
The Royal Palace © Robert Scarth
Although the Royal Palace is the official royal residence, it's mainly used for functions and is but one of the royal family's three palaces. Visitors should check the calendar on the official website to ensure it isn't closed for an event during their time in the Netherlands. It's open most days, though. The building dates back to 1648 and was originally designed for use as Amsterdam's City Hall. A large collection of furniture from this period adorns its magnificent interiors and there is also some valuable art on display. The palace is comparatively small by European standards and only part of it is open to visitors. That said, exploring it is still a fantastic experience, enhanced by an excellent free audio guide. Guided tours are offered to visitors (although they must be booked two weeks in advance) and they are conducted by qualified art historians or art history students in Dutch, English, German, French and Spanish. Official tours take about an hour, but those who are exploring alone with the audio guide may take up to three hours if they linger and listen to all the information provided. Photography is permitted in the palace, but not flash photography.
Address: Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal 147, Dam Square
Telephone: +31 20 522 6161
Opening times: Open most days between 10am and 5pm, but closed for royal events.
Admission: €10 (adults), under 18s free. Concessions available.