Find all you need to know about visiting the Royal Palace on Amsterdam's Dam Square. The King of the Netherlands doesn't live in this palace—one of three Dutch royal palaces—but this is his official home away from home in the city.
The palace is located in Dam Square in Amsterdam's Old Centrum area and is typically open daily but closes occasionally for royal events. Check the palace's website for current hours and ticket prices. Admission includes an audio tour. Free admission with Museumkaart, but not with the I Amsterdam City Card.
Plans for what is today called the Koninklijk Paleis, or Royal Palace, date to 1648, when the city government of Amsterdam commissioned architect Jacob van Campen to design a new town hall to reflect the power and status of the Dutch Golden Age of prosperity. Completed in 1665, the building would serve as Stadhuis (Town Hall) until 1808, when Louis Napoleon—brother of French Emperor Napoleon—declared it his personal residence during his brief reign as King of the Netherlands.
In 1813, Prince William of Orange, later King William I, returned the palace to the city of Amsterdam but maintained the right to use it as a royal residence and hosting space when in the capital.
The Royal Palace Today
Today, the Royal Palace is used for state visits, the Dutch Royal House's New Year receptions and other official functions, including the annual presentations of the Erasmus Prize, the Royal Awards for Painting, the Zilver Anjer Awards and the Prince Claus Prize. When not in use by the King or members of the Royal House, the palace is open to the public and features exhibitions throughout the year.
From October 2005 to June 2009, the Royal Palace remained closed for extensive renovations. The reopened building features a meticulously refurbished interior that highlights the best of the palace's centuries-long history.
What's to See
The Royal Palace houses one of the world's most complete and well-preserved collections of Empire-style furniture and decorative arts (about 2,000 pieces), which includes wooden and upholstered furniture, bronze chandeliers and original wall hangings. About half the collection was left behind by Louis Napoleon (see above). The restored grouping also includes pieces acquired during the later reigns of Dutch Kings William I and II.
Visitors may visit 17 rooms, halls, and galleries that feature the Empire collection, as well as hand-painted ceilings, grand marble floors and epic sculptures and paintings from the 17th and 18th centuries.