The Amstel River is perhaps the most important natural landmark the city. When perched on the Blauwbrug (Blue Bridge) you can take a photo of yourself and your companion(s), backdropped by Amstel in all its glory. Stand in the middle of the bridge with the grandiose Hermitage Museum and the gorgeous Dutch National Ballet and Opera house adjacent to you. Further in the distance you will see the iconic Magere brug (the Skinny Bridge). Really, from all perspectives, you have a great frame.
There's a 17th century swashbuckler in the centre of Rembrandtplein just waiting to be your photo mate. In the heart of the square, Rembrandt's famous painting 'The Night Watch' is reinterpreted with life-size sculptures. Chances are that you will encounter these bronze characters during the day, when you are enjoying the a drink on a terrace, or by night when you are going out in one of the several clubs or bars that are located on the square.
If you're looking for a different spin on a food photo, FEBO is the place to venture. All you have to do is pop one or two euros into the machine, press a button, and you'll be treated to a piping hot, meaty treat or a cheesy, deep fried delight. It’s likely that you don’t often encounter fresh food items in vending machines (except perhaps pizza slices in Naples), making this a great sight to share with your friends from around the globe.
Abundant vistas of water surrounded by traditional architecture and ancient bridges make the canal rings one of the most frequent Amsterdam views on Instagram. When positioned on the Brouwersgracht, you can photograph three of the canals (Herengracht, Keizergracht and Prinsengracht) from one location. Once night falls, the scene is transformed by fairy lights that trace the bridges' curvature.
Follow these instructions for a breathtaking shot: 1) Walk along Staalstraat 2) cross an old wooden draw-bridge over the Groenburgwal 3) look north, and align the tower of the Zuiderkerk (the South Church) as your focal point. French impressionist painter Claude Monet captured this very scene in his work, 'The Zuiderkerk, Amsterdam (Looking up the Groenburgwal)' in 1874.
One of the most popular positions for a canal house shot is the Damrak. This could be because it is one of the first canal views that you get when you are walking from Central Station toward Dam Square. Here, the colourful buildings appear as if they are miraculously floating atop a glassy sheet of water. Stand on Damrak proper for a straight on view, or on Prins Hendrikkade for a vantage facing south.
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Eye Film Institute
While historical architecture is often coveted in Amsterdam, the Eye Film Institute is one of the city’s modern architectural jewels. Perched on the water in Amsterdam North and visible from Central Station, this building is a great photo opportunity both from far off, and up close. The dimensions of the museum are truly exceptional, and depending on your perspective, you can detect the figure of an eye. The building itself draws you in with its unique interaction with gravity and geometry.
From Oosterdok, you get a great view of The National Maritime Museum and the ‘Amsterdam’; a replica of the three masted VOC, (Far East Company) ship moored in the old city harbour. On Oosterdok you can also access the stairs leading up to the roof deck of the NEMO Science Museum, which gives you a bit of elevation, and a wider view of Amsterdam.
Brouwerij ‘t IJ
This is the perfect place to take a pic of you and your friends enjoying locally crafted beer next to one of Amsterdam’s most famous windmills, De Gooyer. The brewery produces several organic beers that quench your thirst and tingle your palette. The brewery is located in Amsterdam East between the Lozingskanaal and the Nieuwevaart, and thanks to the height of the windmill, it's very easy to find.
'I amsterdam' letters
Many people document their arrival in the Netherlands on Instagram with a photo in front of the infamous I amsterdam letters at Schiphol airport, and even more people climb, jump and play on the letters in Museumplein. In this case, the city is quite literally your playground.
Seeking even more photo ops? See our list of photographic hotspots in the city.