The most romantic bridges in Amsterdam
8 February 2021
The Dutch capital is known throughout the world for it's canals, often even dubbed the 'Venice of the north'. The city has over 100 kilometres in waterways and because the national mode of transport is the bike and not a boat, Amsterdam also has a lot of bridges.
Over 1900 of them in fact and while many have names, they all have a number, counting from the city centre to the suburbs of the city. To make a list of the top bridges in the city is nearly impossible but this are some the most romantic.
As possibly the best known and most photographed, the Skinny Bridge, or Magere Brug, is a good place to start. Only pedestrians and cyclist can use this crossing spanning the Amstel river between the Kerkstraat and the Nieuwe Kerkstraat.
Counted as number 242, this wooden, double draw bridge has a rich history dating back to the late 17th century. It's earliest iteration had 13 arches, whereas today there are 9 arches. The middle arch is used by canal boats and other river traffic to pass underneath.
According to local legend a kiss between lovers while on or passing under this bridge will ensure that they will be in love forever. When the bridge is lit up at night with 1200 light bulbs, the legend is easy to believe.
From eternal love it is easy to jump to one of the smallest bridges in the city, which is often used for wedding proposals and wedding photoshoots. The Liefdesbruggetje, number 172, spans across a the drainage system in Sarphatipark. No boats pass underneath it but plenty of people cross it on foot.
Surrounded by greenery, standing on this wooden foot bridge gives you an unobstructed view over a large part of the park, while looking at the crossing from the park you can see a glacial erratic beneath it.
This short canal, a little over 500 metres is connects the Herengracht to the Lijnbaansgracht, crossing across the Keizersgracht and the Prinsengracht along the way. The canal is crossed by seven bridges (#31, 39, 40, 72, 73, 74 and 81) which can best be seen from a canal boat as you can see all seven at the same time if you know when to look.
All seven are single arch bridges and at night they are lit up, which adds to their romantic and almost magical character. A cruise along this canal often sees a hidden kiss or even wedding proposal underneath a bridge.
This classic Dutch draw bridge (nr. 227) crosses the romantic Groenburgwal canal. Up to 2015 many lovers hung locks on the bridge's guy-wires, sadly the locks damaged what had become known as the Dutch Pont des Arts and were removed by the city. Today the city regularly removes newly hung love locks.
Standing on the Staalmeesterbrug, looking down the tree lined canal you have an amazing view of the Zuiderkerk, a 17th century Protestant church. Many great artists have painted this view, including Claude Monet.