The historic Beurs van Berlage building has recently opened its tower to the public.
At around 40m high, the tower affords excellent 360° views around the centre of Amsterdam, particularly over Damrak and Beursplein.
The building was opened in 1903 and is named after its designer, Hendrik Petrus Berlage (1856-1934), a prominent and influential Dutch architect. It was a commodity and stock exchange right up to the 1980s - today it used for various exhibitions, concerts and private functions.
Entry to the tower is now by guided tour only (reservation needed). This is run by a company called Artifex every Saturday at 1030 and costs €14.50. Tour guides speak both Dutch and English. The walk-in tower admission which was only €3.50 has been discontinued.
The starting point is at the Beurs van Berlage Café on Beursplein where you are first served a coffee and cake. At 1100, the guide arrives and the hour-long tour starts with a focus on the building's architecture and art history.
Your visit will include admittance to various rooms including the concert hall (photo, above right) and concludes with an ascent of the bell tower.
Like most other Amsterdam towers there is no lift to the top - you will have to climb up some very steep ladder-like steps, so you must be reasonably fit and mobile.
At the top of the tower there are excellent views over the city centre. Looking north you follow the bustling Damrak all the way up to central station. Note also the large glass roof of the Berlage building which provides good natural lighting inside the exhibition hall.
Looking south over Beursplein square you can see the current stock exchange building (Beursplein 5) on the left side, the Bijenkorf department store and into Dam Square. Unfortunately the view further to the south-west is blighted somewhat by the 1960s C&A building on Damrak.
The nearby Oudekerk tower can also be climbed.
Beurs van Berlage Toren Essential Info
Opening Times: 1030 on Saturdays.
Admission (2013): €14.50 for a tour including coffee and cake. Reservations are essential - contact Beurs van Berlage on +31(0)20 530 4141.
Getting There: Beurs van Berlage is on Damrak close to central station. The café entrance is from the Beursplein square opposite the Bijenkorf store.
Our Panorama Rating:
van Berlage, Damrak 277, Amsterdam