Eastern Dock and the Waterfront Information
Oosterdok (Eastern Dock), just to the east of Central Station is a great area to walk around and there are lots of things to see as you go. The Eastern Dock has had a hugely important role in shaping the history and success of Amsterdam. The city was once a fishing village that grew into one of Europe’s most prominent and busy ports with ships travelling to the Americas and the Far East.
As you walk through the Eastern Dock from Central Station along the Prins Hendrikkade you see two interesting towers; the Schreierstoren (Tower of Tears) named because of the tears shed by the families of departing sailors and Montelbaanstoren, which marks where the original defensive wall of Amsterdam was placed. The Arcam (Amsterdam Architecture Centre) is free and worth a look. Then you have the Scheepvaartmuseum an impressive building and one of the top Amsterdam museums and while at the museum you can explore De Amsterdam, a huge replica ship of the Dutch East India Company.
You can then walk back through the inner harbor of the Eastern Dock. The huge green building that looks like the front of a ship is actually the NEMO Science Center, a top attraction for adults and children. On the right of the NEMO you have a display of beautiful old Dutch boats and barges. Carry on walking along the walkway and you will see the floating chinese restaurant and Amsterdam Bilbliotheek (Library) where you should take the elevator up to the 7th floor for one of the best views of the city.
Finally if you walk along from the back of central station along the waterfront you have some great views of Het IJ and the boats using this river to come into the city. You could take a free ferry to the nearby Oostelijke Eilanden (Easterly Islands) or over to Amsterdam North. Here along the waterfront you also have the Muziekgebouw aan’t IJ (Music Building) and you might be able to see a cruise ship arriving at the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam.
Virtual Tour of the Easten Dock and the Waterfront:
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"Not all those who wander are lost" - J. R. R. Tolkien