sights / Squares & plazas

Lonely Planet review

The grassy, people-filled square behind the museums entertains with its skateboard ramp, playground, ice-skating pond (in winter) and I Amsterdam sculpture (everyone’s favourite photo op). Locals toss frisbees, couples hold hands, and everyone picnics here when the weather warms up. The space is also used for public concerts and special events.

Museumplein was laid out to host the World Exhibition in 1883, but gained its lasting title only when the Rijksmuseum opened two years later. One of many facelifts raised a triangle of turf at the southern end, dubbed the 'ass's ear' for its shape; it's now a popular spot for sun worshippers. There's a large supermarket, Albert Heijn, concealed below.