Head to Muntplein to see the Renaissance-style clock tower, the Munttoren (Mint Tower), which is the centerpiece of the square. Take in the historic sight, learn about Delfts Blauw porcelain, and stroll around the canals, floating flower stalls and shops.
The lower level of this National Monument with guard house was part of a gate in the medieval city wall, built in the late 1400s. A 1618 fire destroyed the surrounding wall. In the 17th century the clock tower with carillon was added to the remaining structure. The word “munt” is Dutch for mint and coins were briefly produced here during the late 17th century.
Every 15 minutes you can hear the 38-bell carillon play a tune. Since 1885, the old guard house under the tower has been a Delfts Blauw shop. Admire the white porcelain with blue decorations of landscapes, mills and milk maids that are so typically Dutch. The Royal Delft Experience Amsterdam below the shop is a multimedia tour that explains the history and production of Delfts Blauw.
Stroll northwest alongside Singel, the canal with the floating stalls of the Flower Market. It wouldn’t be Amsterdam if there wasn’t an unusual museum around, and an example here is the Torture Museum. You can also walk in the opposite direction along the Amstel River to take a photo of the famous Magere Brug, which is lit up at night.
Relax and have a drink at one of the many cafés or pubs on nearby Rembrandtplein. On your way there, check out the ornate 1921 Tuschinski movie theater or the modern cinema Pathé de Munt. Most English-spoken movies, except cartoons, have Dutch subtitles and aren’t dubbed.
To get to Muntplein walk along Kalverstraat, the city’s longest shopping street, from Dam Square. Or, take a tram or bus from Central Station. While taking photos or crossing, watch out for trams: they always have right of way. If you are driving, consider leaving your car at one of the park-and-ride lots at the edge of the city and then use public transport to get around. There are parking lots in the city center, but spaces are limited.