Badass Tours

This bustling plaza has been the heart of Amsterdam since it was a tiny dam in a fisher’s village. It may feel modern, but it’s displaying layers of Amsterdam’s history. In front of you is the 17th-century city hall that’s become a royal palace. To the right is a major medieval church. To your left is the Kalverstraat, whose stores may have changed over the years but whose function as a commercial center is almost as old as the city itself. Turn around and you’ll see the National Monument, a huge column erected to honor people who died in World War II. Behind it, you’ll see a 19th-century grand hotel. The effusion of stores and cafes surrounding the plaza includes the red-brick Amsterdam art deco of Gassan Jewelers, a remnant of the time when Amsterdam was known as the Diamond City.