The Netherlands is a beautiful country and churches, especially Gothic-styled ones are in no short supply. Almost every Dutch city has a “Nieuwe Kerk” (New Church), so Amsterdam is no exception. The only difference is that the one in Amsterdam has a very special meaning in the history of the country. It is the church where all Dutch princes and princesses, since King William I in 1814, are inaugurated when they ascend the throne (in 2013 also King Willem-Alexander). The Nieuwe Kerk also contains the tombs of important figures from Dutch history, such as the naval hero Admiral Michiel de Ruyter and the poet Joost van den Vondel (Vondelpark).
Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam (New Church)
The Nieuwe Kerk is world famous for its beautiful architecture, the spectacular exhibitions and its special bond with the Dutch royal family. The historical church which is more than six centuries old is always a must-visit for all tourists coming into the Netherlands. Don’t miss out on a chance to enjoy some of the many exhibitions that are hosted inside the church.
Inside the Nieuwe Kerk
Although the Protestant days of the Netherlands are behind us now, the country can still boast of a lot of beautiful and breathtaking churches. While the name Nieuwe Kerk (New Church) may sound a bit strange for a building from the fifteenth century, it had to be used to distinguish the thirteenth-century ‘Oude Kerk’ (Old Church) in the same bustling and formerly religious city of Amsterdam. The city expanded rapidly and that church on the ‘old side’ of the Damrak could no longer cope with the growing stream of churchgoers. The construction of a second parish church on the ‘new side’ became a necessity. A prominent citizen, Willem Eggert, donated his orchard as a building plot. In 1408 the New Church received episcopal approval and a year later it was dedicated to St. Catherine.
The Nieuwe Kerk has been a multifunctional building for centuries. It wasn’t just a church to the Amsterdam residents of that time, it also played the role of a cemetery, temporarily venue for fairs, music hall where concerts were given or auditorium where prize and diploma ceremonies took place. The Nieuwe Kerk offered for all those occasions a large, representative space in the heart of the city. It meant something to different sorts of people and wasn’t solely a space for the religious.
On February 2, 2002, De Nieuwe Kerk was the venue for the church wedding blessing of the Prince of Orange Willem-Alexander and Máxima Zorreguieta. Millions of television viewers at home and abroad followed this fairytale event. On April 30, 2013, Willem-Alexander was officially inaugurated as king.
Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam Opening hours
The Nieuwe Kerk is open daily from 10 am – 17 pm. The ticket booth opens at 10 am and closes at 4:30 pm.
On Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, the church is only open during organ concerts (14.30-16.00). Make sure you check the website for real-time information.
|Monday till Sunday||10:00 – 17:00|
|Christmas Day & New Year’s Day||14:30 – 16:00|
The Nieuwe Kerk Ticket Prices
The church sells tickets for different kinds of exhibitions that are hosted within its walls.
There are also group tours of the church. Visitors can also enjoy a tour of the church with one of its professional guides. In the 60-minute tour, the current exhibition is of course discussed with the visitors. The tour is available in several languages: Dutch, French, German, English, Italian, Spanish, Turkish, Moroccan/Arabic, and Russian. The cost for this guided tour is € 90, – excluding admission to the exhibition and a maximum of 15 persons per group.
Note: Groups are also allowed to bring their own guides.
The Nieuwe Kerk FAQ
What happens if I arrive too late for a concert in the church?
Latecomers aren’t allowed to enter the halls after the start of a concert as this can be quite disruptive and also not that fun for other visitors. It is advisable to be on time.
Are guide dogs for the blind allowed in the building?
Officially trained guide dogs for the blind are allowed in the halls. Please notify (+31(0)20 6268168) the museum if you’re going to visit with a guide dog.
Am I allowed to enter the Nieuwe Kerk during the day to have a look around?
This is unfortunately not possible. There are group tours available but mostly, the tickets are for specific concerts and not for looking around.
Is there a specific dress code for the Nieuwe Kerk?
No, the Nieuwe Kerk does not have a dress code.
Are pets allowed in the Nieuwe Kerk?
No, pets are not allowed in the Nieuwe Kerk.
Can I buy souvenirs or collectables in the Nieuwe Kerk?
Yes, the Nieuwe Kerk has a museum where visitors can find a wide range of literature and products concerning the current exhibition. These are all for sale at affordable prices.
Is the Nieuwe Kerk wheel-chair accessible?
Yes, the Nieuwe Kerk is wheel-chair accessible.
The Nieuwe Kerk Amsterdam
Public transport to the Nieuwe Kerk
The Nieuwe Kerk is located on Dam Square, Amsterdam. It is a 10-minute walk from Central Station. Almost all trams to and from Central Station stop at Dam Square. The Dam Square is one of the busiest parts of Amsterdam. It’s where you can find the Royal Palace, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum and just a bit further is the Amsterdam Dungeon.
From Amsterdam Central Station to the Nieuwe Kerk:
- Tram 2
- Tram 5
- Tram 24
- Tram 11
From the Museumplein (van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum, Concertgebouw) and Leidseplein, visitors can take the Trams 1 and 2 and stop at Dam Square. From there, it’s only a 4-minute walk to the Nieuwe Kerk.
Parking near the Nieuwe Kerk:
There are three public car parks close to De Nieuwe Kerk: De Bijenkorf (department store), Central Station and Nieuwezijds Kolk. Parking Centrum Oosterdok is the cheapest option for parking if you’re visiting the city centre of Amsterdam. Park your car right next to Central Station. At the Parking Center in Oosterdok long-term parkers always get a discount. When visitors park longer than 5 and less than 24 hours, they pay only € 20, which is rather cheap considering that an hour parking in the city centre costs between € 4 – €5. Parking Center Oosterdok is the cheapest parking in the city centre.
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