Amsterdam Sights

Centraal Station (Central Station)

  • Stationsplein 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 wind 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 Lake. Another controversy arose from its Gothic detailing, which was considered by uptight Protestants as a tad too Catholic—like Cuypers himself—and hence earned the building the nickname the "French Convent." (Similarly, the Rijksmuseum became the "Bishop's Castle.") Amsterdam's bus station is on the IJ side of the building. 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, but if you scan the QR code at the entrance with your smart phone you can get a 360-degree virtual tour.)

Sight Information


Stationsplein, Amsterdam, North Holland, 1012 AB, Netherlands

Map It


/0900–9292-for public transport info

Published 11/18/2015


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