Opened as a town hall in 1655, this building became a palace in the 19th century. The interiors gleam, especially the marble work – at its best in a floor inlaid with maps of the world in the great burgerzaal (citizens’ hall), which occupies the heart of the building. Pick up a free audio tour at the desk after you enter; it will explain everything you see in vivid detail. King Willem-Alexander uses the palace only for ceremonies; check the website for periodic closures.
The building’s architect, Jacob van Campen, spared no expense to display Amsterdam's wealth in a way that rivalled the grandest European buildings of the day. The result is opulence on a monumental scale. Most of the palace’s rooms spread over the 1st floor, which is awash in chandeliers (51 shiners in total), damasks, gilded clocks, and rich paintings by Ferdinand Bol and Jacob de Wit.