An evening walk is one of my favourite things to do in Amsterdam. When the crowds have gone and the lights come on, the Amsterdam city centre transforms into an absolutely magical place (if you avoid the busy nightlife areas). The still water of the canals become a glassy mirror, reflecting the beautiful houses and bridges. It’s simply a wonderfully romantic experience to walk along the canals just to see the lights and the reflections in the water. I recommend starting just after sunset – you’ll be able to see the warm glow of the sun’s last rays reflected off the houses, followed by a gorgeous twilight, which in the summer, can last a while. The magic continues when darkness falls and the canals are lit. For photographers, it’s the perfect time of day to capture absolutely enchanting images of Amsterdam.

Amsterdam evening walk in photos

One evening, I decided to go for a stroll around the city centre and take photos of various photogenic spots. Follow me on my evening walk, one of the best things to do in Amsterdam:


I started off at the Central Station. Just across from the station, along the Damrak avenue, is one of the few places in Amsterdam with a row of houses that directly front the canal (most have a road that separates the houses from the canal). This row of houses has quickly become one of the most iconic canal scenes in Amsterdam, primarily due to the quirky (leaning) façades and the amazing reflections in the water.

The row of houses across the street from the Amsterdam Central Station.
They look just like doll-houses don’t they?
Several canal cruise lines depart from this area.

Dam Square

From here, I continued along the Damrak to the Dam Square, where the Royal Palace is located.

The Damrak leads from the Central Station to the Dam Square.
The Royal Palace at the Dam Square.

Red Light District

From here, I backtracked a bit and headed towards the Red Light District. Normally a buzzing place in the evenings, the district was absolutely serene during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under normal circumstances, I would usually avoid this area at night due to the (boisterous) crowds. Haha!

The Oude Kerk (Old Church) along the Oudezijds Voorburgwal canal, lies in the heart of the Red Light District.
Quiet streets in the Red Light District.


I walked right through the district and reached one of my favourite squares: Nieuwmarkt. This square, with its markets, restaurants and cafés, is also normally a lively place.

De Waag (or Weighing House) sits in the middle of the Nieuwmarkt Square.


From here, I continued on my Amsterdam evening walk to the pretty Oudeschans canal. Near the top of the canal is the Montelbaanstoren, a 16th century tower that used to form part of the city’s defenses.

The Oudeschans canal, with the 16th century Montelbaans tower.

Amstel River

My next stop was the Amstel River, just a short walk away. From the Blauwbrug (Blue Bridge), I had some gorgeous views of the river and historic monuments, like the Hermitage Museum, Carré Theatre and Skinny Bridge.

The Amstel River, with the historic Magere Brug (Skinny Bridge) in the background.

I continued along the river to another photogenic spot on a bridge near the Muntplein (Munt square).

Lots of quirky and beautiful gables to look at here.
The view towards the Munt square, with its beautiful tower, and the iconic Hotel De L’Europe (on the right).

Rembrandt Square

My next stop was the famous Rembrandt Square. 

In the middle of the square is this collection of statues, a 3D depiction of Rembrandt’s most famous painting: the Night Watch.


From the square, I crossed the adjacent Thorbeckeplein to the Herengracht canal and followed the Reguliersgracht to the Keizersgracht canal.

The Herengracht canal just off Rembrandtplein.

At the Keizersgracht, I turned right and followed the canal towards Leidsestraat. There are lots of stately canal houses along this canal.

amsterdam evening walk
Keizergracht canal houses

I soon arrived at the Leidsestraat, which was just shimmering after a light shower.

amsterdam by night

I crossed the Leidsestraat and continued along Keizersgracht until I arrived at one of the most photogenic spots in Amsterdam: the intersection of the Leidsegracht and Keizersgracht.

evening in amsterdam
The intersection of the Keizersgracht and Leidsegracht.

I’ve taken countless photos of this spot across all seasons, both day and night – I’ll never tire of gazing at this view! I ended my walk at a nearby pub before heading home. If you’d like to experience a romantic side of Amsterdam, go on an evening stroll around the canals!

Map of my Amsterdam evening walk

Looking to explore places near Amsterdam? Check out my recommendations for places to visit as a day trip from Amsterdam.

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