Probably the best panorama of central Amsterdam is climbing up the Westerkerk Toren – the Westerkerk Church Bell Tower. Note, the Westertoren is closed for a long-term restoration.
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).
There is a storage cupboard where you can leave your luggage during the tour.
Other church towers which can be climbed in Amsterdam are Oude Kerk tower and Zuiderkerk tower.
Westerkerk Tower Essential Info
|Opening Times||April to October, Mon-Sat 0900-2000, closed Sun. Note, closes at 1800 during October. Last tour starts 30 minutes before closing. Closed for long-term restoration.|
|Admission Prices (2020)||€9 for a tour, minimum age 6 years. Private group tours (6 people maximum) are also available from €99, book at least 2 weeks in advance.|
|Getting There||The Westerkerk can be reached on foot from Central Station in 15-20 minutes. From Dam Square head west along Raadhuisstraat towards Westermarkt. Trams 13 and 17 stop at Westermarkt.|
Westerkerk Tower, Prinsengracht 281, 1016 GW Amsterdam
T: +31(0)20 689 2565