Amsterdam Sights

Centraal Station (Central Station)

  • Stationsplein 9 Map It
  • Centrum
  • Transportation Site (Airport, Bus, Ferry, Train)

Published 11/18/2015

Fodor's Review

The main train station of the Dutch capital was designed as an architectural statement by P.J.H. Cuypers. 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. (Cuypers also designed Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum.) The building of the station required the creation of three artificial islands and 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 Queen's Waiting Room. You can't go in unless it's Heritage 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 recently renovated IJ side.

Sight Information


Stationsplein 9, Amsterdam, North Holland, 1012 AB, Netherlands

Map It


/0900–9292-for public transport info

Sight Details:

  • Free

Published 11/18/2015


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