Pretty much any time I am showing visitors around Amsterdam, I take them to (or tell them to visit), A’DAM Toren. If you’ve stood on the river side of Amsterdam Centraal then you’ve seen A’DAM Toren, aka Amsterdam Tower across the water, next to the white spaceship-looking building which is the EYE Film Museum. If you’ve never visited A’DAM Toren you are missing out on some of the best views of Amsterdam, as well as lots of other fun stuff. But don’t worry, because I’ve got all the details here today about how to visit and if it’s worth it (spoiler alert: it is).
About A’DAM Toren
The building now known as A’DAM Toren was originally built in 1971 by the Shell corporation. In fact, the first time I ever visited Amsterdam with Dennis back in 2013, it was still known as the Shell Tower, and looked quite different from today:
After being bought from Shell by the municipality of Amsterdam, the tower was renovated and reopened in 2016 as a combination of offices, places to go out and an observation point with a revolving restaurant. With an extra part added on top the tower also went from 80 to 100 metres high. It’s not the tallest building in Amsterdam but is (in my opinion) one of the best for views over the city centre and with plenty of fun things to do.
What to do at A’DAM Toren
Since reopening in 2016, the tower is now home to multiple private office spaces as well as attractions and businesses for the general public to enjoy. Here’s what you can do and see at A’DAM Toren.
- A’DAM Lookout: The major drawcard has got to be the observation deck on top of the tower. When entering you have the choice to get a photo (taken on a green screen) that makes you look like you’re hanging in the sky from the tower. Then you ascend in a lift with a groovy light and sound show, before arriving at the entrance to MA’DAM (more on that in a bit) and an exhibition about Amsterdam’s history. A flight of stairs then takes you out onto the fenced viewing platform where you can see panoramic views over Amsterdam, with signboards explaining what you’re looking at and plenty of photo opportunities!
- Over the Edge Swing: On the observation deck you can also find the Over the Edge Swing, apparently the highest swing in Europe! I am actually really not a fan of heights, I even feel nervous standing near the fenced edges of the observation deck so I will never ever go on the swing. But for an extra €5, you can swing out over the edge of the tower, which my friend Kirby did last time I visited.
- MA’DAM: Buying a ticket to the observation deck also gets you entry to MA’DAM, the bar and restaurant located on the 20th floor. After dark, it also becomes a nightclub and they serve some pretty delicious cocktails here as well. The views are also stunning, and can be enjoyed without worrying about the wind, rain or cold that can often be encountered on the observation deck!
- Moon: Underneath MA’DAM is the very swanky revolving restaurant Moon. I haven’t eaten here because it looks to be both very expensive (although lunch seems more affordable than dinner) and not really to my taste, but I’m sure it would be romantic for a special occasion.
- Shelter: There’s also a literal underground nightclub at A’DAM Toren, called Shelter. I also haven’t been here, but apparently it’s a cavernous space with industrial-chic decor and hosts DJs every weekend.
What to do Near A’DAM Toren
If you’ve headed across the river to A’DAM Toren anyway, and you have the time, I also recommend checking out the two other main attractions that are right next door.
- Eye Film Museum: The big white building that looks kind of like a spaceship is the Eye Film Museum. It’s quite a clever name since the river you cross is the River IJ (which sounds like eye) and you know, we use our eyes to view films! Not only is the building cool but it houses a permanent collection about the history of film (in the Netherlands and worldwide), which is free to enter. There’s also a nice restaurant with views directly onto the river.
How to Get There and Other Details
Have you visited A’DAM Toren or do you want to go? Let me know about it in the comments or pin one of these if you’d like to visit in the future!