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.
The tower itself was completed in 1638 and is 85m tall - and still remains the tallest structure in the inner city. The top half of the tower above the platform is actually constructed from wood and covered by either sandstone or lead.
Note that entry is by guided tour only - these run every 30 minutes. The platform can only be reached by climbing up a spiral staircase and then some very steep ladder-like steps. There is no lift here so you must be reasonably fit and mobile to do the climb - the view however will reward your efforts. The knowledgeable guides are local university students and they speak very good English.
Particularly good views are seen along the Prinsengracht canal and out towards the Jordaan area. The following panorama (below) looks north-west along the Prinsengracht - at the bottom right hand corner can be seen part of the Anne Frank House (white coloured building).
Westerkerk Toren Essential Info
Opening Times: Open April to October, Mon-Sat, closed Sun. April-Sep: 1000-2000; Oct: 1000-1800. Last tour starts 30 minutes before closing.
Admission (2016): €7.50 for a tour, minimum age 6 years. Private group tours (6 people maximum) are also available from €87.50, telephone in advance to arrange.
Getting There: Westerkerk is a 5-10 minute walk west from Dam Square. Trams 13, 14 and 17 stop at Westermarkt.
Our Panorama Rating:
Tower, Prinsengracht 281, Amsterdam