The best Instagram outdoor spots in Amsterdam
Since I love sharing city tips, photography, and being outdoors the idea came up to create an Amsterdam Instagram outdoor photo guide. This article is divided into the 5 best Amsterdam Insta-proof districts. I’ve added the address below each Insta spot (plus a straight link to Google Maps), so you definitely won’t get lost! And I couldn’t resist including a few bonus tips of picturesque sites you don’t want to miss…
How I came up with this idea? I fell in love with Amsterdam when I was about 8 years old. I remember my parents and I strolled around the historic canal belt. Some of the canal houses are over 300-years old! No wonder the canal belt is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Over the years I kept coming back to Amsterdam. This city looks absolutely stunning in all seasons and offers a wide variety of activities throughout the year.
Get your scroll button/finger ready to see LOTS of Instagrammable photo spots!
Let’s start with my all-time favorite neighborhood in Amsterdam: the Jordaan. Back in the day, this poor district was packed with small houses and lots of inhabitants. Around 1900 the population counted around 80.000 people compared to 20.000 people living in this district at the moment. Imagine all those family’s stuffed into these tiny houses! One of the most famous homes in the Jordaan is the Anne Frank House.
The Jordaan is often called the ‘Venice of the North’ and, when you wonder in these lovely streets surrounded by canals, you completely understand why! Some people think the name ‘Jordaan’ might come from the French word ‘jardin’. That would make total sense to me because it seems everyone makes an effort to decorate their homes with plants and flowers. This cozy part of town is perfect to eat, shop (check out the Lindengracht Market and Westermarket) or to visit one of the fancy galleries.
Address: Hilletjesbrug (Egelantiersgracht) in Amsterdam
The Hilletjesbrug (bridge) is perfect if you’re looking for a typical Dutch photo and here’s why: canal (check), cute canal houses (yup), boats (even more of them during spring/summer), and bikes (hell yes!). No wonder this spot is featured in the Dutch classic tv-show Baantjer Find yourself a bike (or rent one – makes exploring even easier) to serve as a prop and snap away!
Address: Eerste Leliedwarsstraat 3 in Amsterdam
This symmetric street has an awesome view of the highest church tower of Amsterdam: the Westertoren. This famous 87-meter high tower is mentioned in many Dutch ‘smartlappen‘ songs (like this one by Johnny Jordaan and Willy Alberti). It’s definitely an icon that belongs on a photo!
Fun fact: the Westerkerk (church – next to the tower) automatically plays a short tune every 15 minutes since 1658! Anne Frank, who lived in this street, wrote in her diary that she could hear the bells from her room. Gosh, I would go nuts hearing those all day I think, haha.
Address: Egelantiersgracht 13 in Amsterdam
The Egelantiersgracht is full of Insta spots. When you start at the beginning of this street (the side with the uneven numbers) you’ll come across lots of beautiful Dutch homes. All the bikes at this street make up for a classic Amsterdam pic. If you’re into making outfit photos the staircases can serve as a cute background!
Address: Egelantiersgracht 19 in Amsterdam
At this street, I was drawn to a (for now empty) store window surrounded by a pretty green ivy. Definitely, love the overall ‘jardin’ vibes at this spot. By the way, I don’t think that red bike supposed to be there, but Dutch people tend to park their park anywhere (I’m guilty of that as well, oops).
Address: Egelantiersgracht 23 in Amsterdam
Red doors alert! When Michel and I went to Amsterdam it was raining pretty much the entire time. That’s why I was happy to find pops of color that helped to add some flair. This house has got a lovely Dutch clock gable, so move all the way back to include it on your photo.
Address: Egelantiersgracht 211-213 in Amsterdam
This location combines two charming houses that both have gorgeous details. I’m a big fan of the identical staircases, elegant doors and windows. Wear a striking color if you want to stand out!
Address: Egelantiersgracht 66-68 in Amsterdam
Did I tell you Dutchies like plant and flower decoration? Here you go! This street must be even more wonderful during spring. Michel and I live in an apartment and can only dream of having a porch to ourselves. I would totally go all out with the accessories as well (sorry, Michel).
Side note: this Instagram spot is on the other side of the canal where you can find all the even numbers.
Address: Runstraat in Amsterdam
This location caught my eye for various reasons: that tall black/white building, a cool bow bridge, and a spooky bend tree. Sometimes those are just all the elements you need in a photo, right? Oh! And that little stain in the sky is a bird. PLUS this spot is very nice to watch the world famous Amsterdam Gay Pride during the summer.
2. De Pijp
De Pijp is a residential district and can be divided into two parts: de Oude Pijp and de Nieuwe Pijp. This area was previously home to the working class and built to ease the overpopulated Jordaan. Go check out the Heineken brewery (for all you beer lovers), visit the Albert Cuypmarket (eat a delicious ‘stroopwafel‘), find peace at the Sarphatipark or try out one of the trendy restaurants (my favorite is Coffee & Coconuts), cafés and bars.
Address: Daniël Stalperstraat 15-17 in Amsterdam
The street has to be one of the most colorful ones in De Pijp! Which house is your favorite? I adore the baby blue house, because it totally matches my outfit, lol. This spot is on full ‘jardin’ mode. Put on a flower dress to create a more romantic shot!
Address: Daniël Stalperstraat 15-17 in Amsterdam
Sorry, I could NOT resist another ‘I’m just casually chilling on a bench’ photo. Michel and I had to be quick (not only because I was freezing my ass off), because there was a delivery guy at the door (he’s just behind one of those blue pillars). I’m glad the residents didn’t spot me, haha.
3. De Weteringschans
In the Weteringschans is a small part of Amsterdam’s city center. This area has many famous buildings such as theater De Balie, the concert hall Paradiso, and the Barlaeus Gymnasium. If you’re into posh looking architecture check out Weteringschans 10, 16 and 24! Can’t get enough? Here you’ll find a complete list of qof all quirky monuments in the area.
Fun fact: the first tram line in Amsterdam drove over the Weteringschans in 1875 (sorry, if I remind you of your history teacher – I just love these kinds of facts).
Address: Prinsengracht 590 in Amsterdam
Did you know the most beautiful and progressive car of ALL times was made in 1955? The Citroen DS used to be called a goddess in France. In the Netherlands, this car is often referred to as garfish or flatiron which, I have to admit, sounds less appealing. Oh well, everything in French sounds way fancier anyway.
The owner of this dark red baby lives across the street, so there’s a big chance to spot the car at this street. The owner smiled and seemed pleased there’re still people out there who appreciate its beauty. Please don’t tell him I sent you though, lol!
Address: Prinsengracht 626 in Amsterdam
You might wonder if that door (on my left side) leads to the basement of the house? Nope, it’s a residential cellar. Nowadays many of the huge canal houses are divided into modern apartments. It’s funny to see an entire family dinner taking place just below ground. I don’t know why but I felt like waving at them. It looked super cozy, haha.
Address: Prinsengracht 432 in Amsterdam
Amsterdam has more than 100 kilometers of canals, about 90 islands, and 1500 bridges. The Leidsegracht (behind me in the far distance) connects three Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht, and Herengracht) of the four main canals. Walk along the Leidsegracht (also a street name) to see three canals in within 10 minutes!
4. The Red Light District
The Red Light District is notorious for various reasons, but the heart of Amsterdam is more than that! This neighborhood is the oldest part of Amsterdam and full of pubs, restaurants, and shops. Besides that, you can find lots of leaning gabled houses (I bet a marble would roll to the other side of the room if you would drop it, haha) surrounded by canals.
Go visit the lively Nieuwmarkt square, watch art and music in the gothic Oude Kerk (built around 1300 and that makes it the oldest building in Amsterdam) and go for a walk in Amsterdam’s Chinatown (also many other Asian cultures like Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand) and see the Buddhist temple.
Address: Makelaarsbruggetje in Amsterdam
If you want to change something in your life you have to be proactive. That’s also what tobacco broker Frederik Oil thought back in 1893. He wanted a shorter route between the offices of tobacco traders on the other side of the Oudezijds Voorburgwal. The solution? He and his colleagues built their own bridge! The Makelaarsbruggetje has undergone many renovations over the years but is still going strong today.
Address: Oudezijds Voorburgswal 249 in Amsterdam
The stairs I’m sitting on belong to a special 17th-century Dutch renaissance canal house called House on the three canals. The building owes its name to the fact that it’s surrounded by three canals: the Grimburgwal, Oudezijds Voorburgwal, and Oudezijds Achterburgwal. I wasn’t surprised to find out this house has been qualified as a national monument.
Address: Oudezijds Voorburgwal 302 in Amsterdam
There’s nothing more relaxing to me than sitting by the water. Amsterdam is the perfect place for that! Don’t be surprised to see people eating their lunch on the floor at one of the canals. The background may look familiar to you and you’re right. On the right side, you can spot the Makelaarsbruggetje. And the House on the three canals is on the very right side of the bridge.
5. Canal belt
Canal belt consists out of four canals: the Herengracht, the Keizersgracht, the Prinsengracht, and the Singel. This famous area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of its unique cultural and historical value. Keep your eyes open to spot all of the breathtaking canal houses from the Dutch Golden Age!
This area is a museum walhalla where you can find: the Anne Frank House, Museum Het Grachtenhuis (learn more on how Amsterdam’s Canal belt was created) Cat Cabinet (yes, a museum about cats!), Museum Willet-Holthuysen (the only fully furnished canal patrician house that’s open to the public), Amsterdam Pipe Museum (unique collection of smoking pipes), Museum Van Loon (17th-century house with its interior restored and a garden you wouldn’t normally see).
Address: Keizersgracht 596 in Amsterdam
I completely blend in at the photo above, but this site is worth mentioning because it’s cool for plane spotting. And you can’t go home without a canal/bridge/airplane photo in my opinion, haha.
Address: Prinsengracht 434 in Amsterdam
Warning! Typical cute Dutch canal houses in overload. This photo was taken from Prinsengracht 434, but you if you are looking for a close-up you need to to be on the other side of the canal (around Prinsengracht 689).
Address: Vijzelstraat (Keizersgracht) Amsterdam
Did I already mention I love airplane spotting? Check out this fantastic location! Find a proper angle and make sure to keep your shutter time short. I bet this activity is way more fun during the summer though because my hands were freezing off, haha.
Address: Vijzelstraat (Keizersgracht) in Amsterdam
Amsterdam welcomes around 5.340.000 tourists every year (hence all the tourist boats). This city is known for its diversity, tolerance and welcoming attitude. Amsterdam keeps evolving and I kept running into new bars and shops (but I behaved well, right Michel?).
Amsterdam is a city I keep coming back to because it stole a place in my heart! I hope I made you excited about this wonderful city and that my guide will help you to take awesome photos. Enjoy your time in Amsterdam.
Psssst, can’t get enough of Amsterdam?
Check out my Amsterdam Instagram story to see more of Amsterdam, different neighborhoods and nice food hotspots.
Free Adobe Preset “Winter in Amsterdam”
Find out how I edited all the photos above by using just one versatile Adobe Lightroom preset right here. Give all your photos an instant subtle winter vibe. This preset is totally FREE!