Seven Bridges in Amsterdam

The bridges you must see in Amsterdam

25 June, 2024 in Blog by Tanya

Did you know that there are more bridges in Amsterdam than there are in Venice (over 1500 versus 472)? And that the oldest bridge in the city was built way back in 1648? Amsterdam bridges are picturesque, architecturally beautiful and steeped in history. They’re worth a visit – whether by bike or on foot, from a canal cruise or posing for an iconic Amsterdam photo. 

Here, we explore the six bridges you must see in Amsterdam, regarded for their history, design or cultural significance. Enjoy the Amsterdam bridges any time of day, but our best advice is to watch out for bikes when you’re taking pictures or admiring the canal views.

The most famous Amsterdam bridges

Skinny Bridge Amsterdam

1. Skinny Bridge/Magere Brug (Bridge 242)

The Skinny Bridge connects the banks of the river at Kerkstraat, between Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht. Built in 1670, it is an Old Dutch design wooden bridge known as a double-swipe (balanced) bridge and is painted white. It was renovated and widened in 1934. 

Just as its name suggests, it is indeed narrow, around 2.5m wide. There’s an old legend that the bridge was built by two sisters, who lived on opposite ends of the Amstel River. They had the bridge built to make it easier to visit each other. However, because of budget restrictions, they could only afford a narrow bridge, which wasn’t wide enough for two pedestrians to comfortably pass each other. Nowadays, only pedestrians and cyclists are allowed on the bridge. 

Tip: The best time to see the bridge is after sunset, when it’s illuminated by hundreds of lights, creating a beautiful reflection in the river.

Address: 1018 EK Amsterdam

Staalmeesterbrug in Amsterdam

2. Staalmeestersbrug (Bridge 227)

Also known as the love bridge, the Staalmeestersbrug spans the Groenburgwal canal. It has a beautiful backdrop of Zuiderkerk, and you’ll likely have seen it on postcards, paintings and photos. The bridge has a low arch and white railings, and is close to historical and cultural sites such as Rembrandt House Museum and the Waterlooplein area. 

Address: 1011 JK Amsterdam

Torensluis bridge in Amsterdam

3. Torensluis (Bridge 9)

The Torensluis (tower lock) is one of the city’s oldest and widest bridges, with a breadth of 42 metres. Built in 1648, it spans the Singel canal and is unusually wide because it was built on the site of a former medieval gate, the Jan Roodenpoort.

There are still old dungeons underneath the bridge which were once used as prisons, which you can visit too. Another of the bridge’s attractions is a statue of Dutch writer Multatuli, whose pen name was Eduard Douwes Dekker.

Tip: If you want to admire the bridge and surrounds from the comfort of a restaurant with a borrel (drink) and a typical Dutch meal, then head to Café van Zuylen.

Address: 1015 AW Amsterdam

Blue Bridge Amsterdam

4. Blauwbrug (Bridge 236)

The Blauwbrug or the Blue Bridge connects the Rembrandplein and Waterlooplein areas, and despite its name, is not actually blue. Built in the 1600s, the originally blue wooden bridge was rebuilt in 1883, as part of Amsterdam’s significant urbanisation and beautification project. 

The Blauwbrug has an ornate design, inspired by the architecture of Parisian bridges, especially the Pont Alexandre III. The bridge has elaborate lamp posts, richly decorated arches and sculptures. The bridge is also decorated with symbols of Amsterdam, such as ships’ prows, and the city’s coats of arms. These embellishments reflect Amsterdam’s maritime history and its significance during the Dutch Golden Age.

Address: 1011 PT Amsterdam

Python Bridge in Amsterdam

5. Python Bridge (Bridge 1988)

The striking 90 metre-long Python Bridge (Pythonbrug) is also known as the High Bridge (Hoge Brug). It’s  part of the urban renewal development in the Eastern Docklands (Oostelijk Havengebied), and spans the canal between Sporenburg and Borneo Island.

A symbol of modern Dutch design and engineering, the pedestrian-only 9 metre-high red and curvy snake-like bridge was built in 2001 and won the International Footbridge Award a year later. 

Address: 1019 TA Amsterdam

6. Aluminium Bridge (Bridge 222)

The Aluminium Bridge (Aluminiumbrug) is a pedestrian and bicycle bridge in Amsterdam’s Eastern Docklands, spanning the Kloveniersburgwal canal to connect Nieuwe Doelenstraat with Staalstraat.

Originally built in 1896, it was renamed in 1956 following the addition of an aluminum deck. This bridge exemplifies modern Dutch design and has been crucial in facilitating movement between the residential islands of the now vibrant Docklands area.

Fun fact: A scene from Ocean’s 12 was shot on the Aluminium Bridge. In the scene, Danny (George Clooney) and Rusty (Brad Pritt) take a walk to plan their next heist. The bridge mechanics give Rusty the idea of how to successfully pull off their heist.

Address: 1012 CP Amsterdam

The best spots to see Amsterdam bridges

Want epic pictures and a memorable view of the canal belt? Then head to Fifteen Bridges and Seven Bridges, which are best seen from a canal cruise with Lovers, for instance. They’re not the names of bridges per se but are popular spots from which to see the bridges all together.

15 Bridges in Amsterdam

Fifteen Bridges

This is a picturesque and well-known view from the intersection of the Reguliersgracht and Herengracht canals where you can see six bridges across Reguliersgracht align with nine bridges along Herengracht. It’s beautiful during the day, and also at night when the bridges are lit up.
Seven Bridges in Amsterdam

Seven bridges

You can see a straight line of seven bridges over Reguliersgracht, and is best seen from the intersection of Reguliersgracht and Herengracht, facing the east. As with the Fifteen Bridges, the Seven Bridges are magnificent at night when they’re lit up.

FAQ about Amsterdam bridges

Can I jump off bridges in Amsterdam?

You’re not allowed to jump off bridges in Amsterdam, and you face a fine of up to 140 euros if you do (some locals and tourists ignore this rule though). 

Are there love-lock bridges in Amsterdam?

If you had the romantic idea of attaching a love lock, a padlock symbolising your love for your partner, on an Amsterdam bridge, you might be disappointed to know that these padlock bridges in Amsterdam don’t exist any more.

Amsterdam might be a romantic city, but placing padlocks on the bridges is strongly discouraged to prevent damage, and they are routinely removed if found. In the past though, love locks were commonly placed on the Skinny Bridge and the Staalmeestersbrug. 

Does it cost money to go over the bridges?

No, walking or riding on Amsterdam’s bridges is totally free, or gratis, as they say in Dutch!

Where is “the love bridge”?

The Love Bridge or Liefdesbruggetje in Sarphatipark in de Pijp is an unofficial pedestrian “love bridge” where you can look out over the pretty park and its pond. You’ll often spot men on bended knee proposing to their partners, or couples posing for their wedding pictures. 

Address: 1073 CP Amsterdam

Liefdesbruggetje in Sarphatipark

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