City Escapes Europe Netherlands

How to see Amsterdam by foot

Westerkerk Church, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Hello Kaptain Kenny readers,

This time I’d like to take you on a tour through Amsterdam by foot.

Now admittedly I’ve been to Amsterdam around 10 times, but strangely enough, I’d never tried to see it ‘from above’ which is why I’m excited to show you what it looks like from up high!

For those who are more interested in finding out where to eat in Amsterdam, click on my previous article: Where to eat and drink in Amsterdam; Holland: The Netherlands

So last week I was in AMS with friends for my birthday but one of them had broken her leg and was on crutches. The first few days we did the usual sightseeing stuff i.e. Vondelpark for some fresh air and drinks at the Blue Tea House, The 9 Streets for shopping, Jordaan to get a good feel for the city, a canal boat tour with Lovers Canal Cruises and finally dinner at my all-time favourite restaurant Morgan and Mees. (Thanks for that recommendation Daniel!)

Upon bidding my friends adieu and realising I now had some more ‘freedom’ in the sense that I wasn’t on crutches (sorry Kirsty!), I was able to roam freely. I suddenly had this brilliant idea to climb as high as I could and see a different side to Amsterdam. What a great idea that was!

I now present my discovery to you:

Hendrick de Keyser (1565-1621) was the architect of Westerkerk. Commissioned by the Amsterdam City Council, the church was built between 1620 and 1631.

The Westerkerk Church!

I googled ‘highest spot in Amsterdam’ and besides finding out where to buy weed, this was one of the entries. I happened to be very close to the Anne Frank House which was right next to the church. As soon as I arrived, I learned there were guided tours every half an hour for a maximum of 7 people. I bought their last tour spot and was guided up.

“Probably the best panorama of central Amsterdam is climbing up the Westerkerk Toren – the Westerkerk Church Bell Tower.

At 40m high, the viewing platform is around half-way up the tower and gives a breathtaking view of Amsterdam.”

Have a look at the view and see for yourself if it’s worth the incredibly steep 40 metres worth of steep stairs.

If you have any questions or comments, leave a message for me 🙂

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Ciao for now!


A fantastic view of Amsterdam from the church’s viewing platform.


Standing underneath the church, right next to the Anne Frank House, you will be treated to lovely views on the ground too.


The world’s only floating flower market – the Bloemenmarkt.


I never find graffiti ugly – it just adds to the appeal of a place.


The Bloemenmarkt is central and a must-see for first time visitors to Amsterdam.


If you want that classic tourist shot of IAMSTERDAM (the big red sign) then you need to make your way to the front of the Rijksmuseum.


A trip to AMS is never complete without a lovely stroll through Vondelpark.


The back of the Rijksmuseum.


My poor friend Kirsty, crutching her way through Amsterdam, even on those cobblestone streets! Impressive….


These are the original bells and were cast in the 17th century.


Yay I made it to the top!


On each level on your way up to the platform, your guide will give you historical information about the church and the rulers at that time.


It was really refreshing to see Amsterdam from such a different perspective!


I’ve decided to learn Dutch next. It looks like a funny mixture of English and German 🙂


See that blue boxed building bottom right? That’s the Anne Frank Museum and right next door is her house.


A group of Westerkerk volunteers still ring these bells by hand each day.


Oh Amsterdam – you cutie. I must say though, each of the 10 times I’ve gone, it’s had grey skies.


When you are traveling solo, it’s always amazing if someone offers to take a photo for you – you know, so you can prove you were there and didn’t just rip the photos from the Internet.


Standing at the Westerkerk viewing platform.


Climb these hectic and steep stairs at your own risk! The winding concrete staircase was a real beauty, I couldn’t even photograph that as it was so dark.


Back to the ground now and marvelling at the local houseboats.


This is the church you will be looking for on the ground. It’s the corner of Prinsengracht and Rozengracht.

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  • Reply
    June 8, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    Love it! Wish I knew about that for when I was there. Next time maybe!

    • Reply
      June 8, 2016 at 6:07 pm

      Hahah well don’t worry there will be another chance! Also, it took me 10 visits to work that out 🙁

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