Fodor's Expert Review Amsterdam Centraal Station

Centrum Transportation Site (Airport, Bus, Ferry, Train)

The main train station of the Dutch capital–-there are 10 others–-was designed as an architectural statement by P.J.H. Cuypers, who was also famously associated with Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum. Although it has many Gothic motifs (including a unique weather vane disguised as a clock in its left tower), it's now considered a landmark of Dutch Neo-Renaissance style. Its construction required the creation of three artificial islands and over 8,600 wooden piles to support it. Completed in 1889, it represented a psychological break with the city's seafaring past, as its erection slowly blocked the view to the IJ River. Another controversy arose from its Gothic detailing, which was considered by uptight Protestants as a tad too Catholic—like Cuypers himself—and earned it the nickname "the French Convent." (Similarly, the Rijksmuseum became "the Bishop's Castle.") If you're visiting the 1e Klas restaurant on Platform 2b, wander down to look at the magnificent golden gate of the Royal Waiting... READ MORE

The main train station of the Dutch capital–-there are 10 others–-was designed as an architectural statement by P.J.H. Cuypers, who was also famously associated with Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum. Although it has many Gothic motifs (including a unique weather vane disguised as a clock in its left tower), it's now considered a landmark of Dutch Neo-Renaissance style. Its construction required the creation of three artificial islands and over 8,600 wooden piles to support it. Completed in 1889, it represented a psychological break with the city's seafaring past, as its erection slowly blocked the view to the IJ River. Another controversy arose from its Gothic detailing, which was considered by uptight Protestants as a tad too Catholic—like Cuypers himself—and earned it the nickname "the French Convent." (Similarly, the Rijksmuseum became "the Bishop's Castle.") If you're visiting the 1e Klas restaurant on Platform 2b, wander down to look at the magnificent golden gate of the Royal Waiting Room. You can't go in unless it's Open Monuments Day (second weekend in September), but if you scan the QR code at the entrance with your smart phone you can get a 360-degree virtual tour. Amsterdam's main bus station, as well as a host of shops and restaurants, are on the IJ side, in an extension completed in 2017.

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Transportation Site (Airport, Bus, Ferry, Train) Historical

Quick Facts

Stationsplein 9
Amsterdam, North Holland  1012 AB, Netherlands

-0900–9292-for public transport info

Sight Details:
Rate Includes: Free

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