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Amsterdam on screen

There’s always a sense of excitement when you’re watching a movie or TV show and somewhere familiar pops up. And as Amsterdam is such a unique and visually recognisable landscape, it’s no surprise that the city has made its fair share of cinematic appearances over the years. Listed below are just some of the most famous films and television series shot or set in the Dutch capital.

Anne+ – 2018-?

This highly relatable and touchingly honest depiction of dating in your twenties has taken the Netherlands and wider world by storm. Anne+ started out as a Netflix series (2018 -) of seriously binge-able 10-minute episodes. We follow Anne, played by the sparkling Hanna van Vliet, as she tackles complex friendships, overbearing employers, emotionally-avoidant parents and romantic adventures in the LGBTQI+ community. The subsequent film (2021) has brought the character's escapades into the mainstream and is a beautifully written love letter to the city.

Key locations:

Dirty Lines – 2022

The talented Joy Delima takes the lead role in this beautifully-shot period TV drama that brings us back to 1980s Amsterdam and all the sex, smut and exuberance that era brought with it. Based on Fred Saueressig’s book 06 CowboysDirty Lines follows the entrepreneuring Stigter brothers on their quest to set up a telephone sex line, roping in Marly Salomon (Delima) on their journey towards fistfuls of cash. Expect great hairstyles and great music with Amsterdam on the brink of a cultural revolution as the backdrop.

Key locations:

  • Javastraat
  • Drieharingenbrug (Brug 320)
  • Singel 465

My Best Friend Anne Frank – 2022

This moving film is based on the real-life relationship between Anne Frank (Aiko Beemsterboer) and Hannah Goslar (Josephine Arendsen) - her admiring friend and neighbour who also chronicled their early-teen years in her journal. The movie opens in Nazi-occupied Amsterdam as the two rebellious and playful girls navigate fancying cute boys, tormenting teachers and dodging German soldiers. After they are deported to separate sections of the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, a harrowing final sequence sees the pair reunited.

Key locations:

  • Peperstraat

The Goldfinch – 2019

This adaptation of Donna Tartt’s bestselling novel follows the story of Theo Decker, a young boy whose mother is killed in a terrorist bombing at the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art, on a journey that takes him from New York and Las Vegas to Amsterdam.

Key locations:

  • An artist’s waterfront apartment in the Canal Ring
  • Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
  • Along Reguliersgracht canal

The Dinner – 2017

Based on writer Herman Koch's Dutch novel of the same name, this thrilling drama mystery takes a look at how far two couples are willing to go to protect their criminal teenage sons. The film – starring Richard Gere, Steve Coogan and Laura Linney – mainly takes place in a “fashionable Amsterdam restaurant.”

The Hitman's Bodyguard – 2017

Expect canal-side car chases in this action comedy starring Ryan Reynolds as Michael Bryce, an elite bodyguard hired to protect Darius Kincaid (played by Samuel L. Jackson), one of the world's most notorious hit men, as they travel from Manchester to the Hague where Kincaid is scheduled to testify in International Criminal Court.

Key locations:

  • Rijksmuseum
  • Nieuwe Achtergracht
  • Lijnbaansgracht
  • Plantage Kerklaan

The Fault in Our Stars – 2014

Amsterdam provided several romantic backdrops for this tear-jerking story of two terminally ill teenagers. In one of the most poignant scenes, Augustus and Hazel profess their love for each other on a bench overlooking Leidsegracht. The couple walk hand in hand through the arches of the Rijksmuseum and explore popular attractions such as the Anne Frank House. Interestingly, the iconic bench was stolen shortly after the film's release, but has since been replaced. 

Key locations:

Saint (Sint) - 2010

Still succeeding at shocking audiences with his films, Dick Maas decided to take the story of St. Nicholas (Sinterklaas) and turn it into a seasonal screamer about a bishop who returns from the dead to kidnap and murder children.

Key locations:

  • Much of the green screen effects for the film were filmed on rooftops within the Canal Ring

Black Book (Zwartboek) - 2006

In the Nazi-occupied Netherlands during World War II, a Jewish singer infiltrates the regional Gestapo headquarters for the Dutch resistance. Carice van Houten stars in this internationally acclaimed Paul Verhoeven film.

Key locations:

Deuce Bigalow: European gigolo - 2005

This ludicrous American comedy about a former male sex worker from Amsterdam and a series of gigolo murders wastes no time in packing in plenty of clichés about the city and its Red Light District.

Key locations: 

  • The Brouwersgracht (from Oranjebrug to Brouwersgracht 127) was transformed into the Red Light District
  • Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal

Ocean’s Twelve - 2004

Ocean’s Eleven

Key locations:

  • The bar of the Pulitzer Hotel on the Prinsengracht
  • Koningsplein
  • Dampkring Coffeeshop
  • Kalverstraat
  • Heiligeweg
  • The ‘golden bend’ of the Herengracht canal

Layer Cake - 2004

An indirect Bond reference this time, as Daniel Craig (who went on to play Bond) starred in this acclaimed drug smuggling thriller. Although primarily filmed in and around London, Amsterdam does make an appearance.

Girl with a Pearl Earring – 2003

The majority of this film about Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer and his iconic work Girl with a Pearl Earring, is set in Delft, the real-life home of the artist, but you’ll see some classic Amsterdam scenery pop up as well, including The Royal Palace Amsterdam on Dam Square.

Key location:

Anne Frank: The Whole Story - 2001

While the story of Anne Frank has been documented in a number of films and television recordings, one of the most memorable has been this 2001 production starring Ben Kingsley as Anne’s father.

Amsterdamned - 1988

This Dick Maas classic is about a murderer who hides in the Amsterdam canals before climbing out to make his gruesome kills.

Key locations:

  • Staalstraat 9
  • The corner of Groenburgwal to Groenburgwal 69
  • Rijksmuseum, room of The Night Watch
  • Oudezijds Voorburgwal (the old city hall)
  • IJ harbour, with a view of Prins Hendrikkade
  • City Hall at Waterlooplein (at the time unfinished)
  • Oosterdokskade by Prins Hendrikkade (where the boat explodes)

Turkish Delight (Turks Fruit) - 1973

One of the most watched Dutch films of all time, based on a novel by Jan Wolkers. Something of a turbulent love story, it features a young Rutger Hauer as an artist.

Key locations:

  • Tweede Nassaustraat 8 (his art studio)
  • Van Beuningenplein 25 (his house)
  • Dam and Damrak
  • Rokin
  • Oudezijds Voorburgwal (the old city hall)
  • MacBike Centraal Station
  • Vondelpark

Diamonds Are Forever - 1971

Despite being an international globetrotter, James Bond has only paid one notable visit to Amsterdam. This was back in 1971, with Sean Connery still in the lead role and Charles Gray as Blofeld. 

Key locations:

  • Bond gets around the Canal Ring a fair bit, but there’s a notable scene by the Magere Brug (Skinny Bridge), where a dead body is pulled from the water.
  • Reguliersgracht 36 is the canal-side apartment of Bond girl Tiffany Case (Jill St. John).