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Squares

Squares in Amsterdam

Dam square

Dam square was by far the favourite hippie hang out in the 1960's, the place where they met and smoked their joints. Nowadays mostly tourists visit Dam Square as it is the first large square you come across if you follow the Damrak (the old quayside) into the city from Central Station. On the right hand side stands the old city hall dating from 17 th century. It has been a royal palace since 1830 used mainly for formal receptions. On the corner of Dam Square and the Damrak stands the Bijenkorf, a major department store, and the square leads off into the Kalverstraat, the city's main shopping street. Across from the Dam Square you find the Dam Monument, where every year on May 4th the Dutch commemorate those who died in the Second World War.

Leidseplein

In the 1960's the time of the nozems (greasers) and provo's (hippies) the Leidseplein was the coolest nozem hang-out. The area has became a bit run down since then and seems to be filled with snack bars, travel agencies, and exchange offices. The square itself is pleasant enough however with its rows of bars on three sides, and a large shaded terrace in the middle. In the summer months the square comes alive with street performers, musicians, jugglers, fire eaters, percussionists, mime artists and clowns. Just off the square are two major cinemas, a theatre and two centres for pop music; the Melkweg and Paradiso.
Conclusion; the Leidseplein is a lot of fun, there are many things to do, but do bring some money because it is very commercialised and expensive.

Rembrandtplein

This square forms the nightlife centre of Amsterdam. Here you can find a lot of bars, clubs, gay bars and more. Since the often drunk crowds regularly cause problems or get into fights the city council is currently working on stricter regulations and sanctions to deal with disturbances.
During the summer all terraces are packed with locals and tourists enjoying a cold beer in the sunny afternoon.
 
Museumplein

The museumplein is bordered by the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum and the Stedelijk Museum. Across from the Rijksmuseum stands the Concertgebouw, the city's main concert hall. The square was recently renovated; what used to be an immense parking space for touring cars is now a lawn with a footpath down the middle and a parking lot and a Albert Heijn supermarket underground. On warm days the Museumplein is a lovely square to enjoy the sun.

Waterlooplein

The Waterlooplein is one of the city's oldest market squares. Every week a fleamarket for second hand clothes used furniture and other ware is held.
The new city hall is also found at the Waterlooplein, sharing the Stopera building (music theater and home base of the Dutch Opera and National Ballet).

Spui

The Spui is a square in the centre of Amsterdam, and was originally a body of water that formed the southern limit of the city until the 1420s, when the singelgracht canal was dug. In 1882 the Spui was filled in, and became the square we know today. The square was renovated in 1996 and is now almost car-free. The Spui is a Mecca for book-lovers and has a lot of bookstores in the area and there is a book market on the square every Friday. On Sundays you can visit an antique market on this square.

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