OBA: Centrale Bibliotheek Amsterdam


This being Amsterdam, it has one of the coolest libraries you can imagine, built in 2007 and spread over multiple light, bright floors. The basement is devoted to kids, and has a wigwam, a huge polar bear and the magical, marvellous Mouse Mansion, with 100 beautifully detailed rooms, the work of artist Karina Content. On the 7th floor is the reasonably priced food court, where an outdoor terrace offers thrilling panoramic views across the water to Amsterdam's old town.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Amsterdam attractions

1. NEMO Science Museum

0.19 MILES

Perched atop the entrance to the IJ Tunnel is this unmissable green-copper building with a slanted roof, designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano and…

2. Scheepvaarthuis


Now the five-star Grand Hotel Amrath, the grand 1916 Scheepvaarthuis is a neo-Gothic art deco beauty, the first and finest example of the expressionist…

3. Schreierstoren

0.26 MILES

Built around 1480 as part of the city’s defences, this tower is where Henry Hudson set sail for the New World in 1609; a plaque outside marks the spot. It…

4. Vereniging Museumhaven

0.26 MILES

In the port area between the NEMO Science Museum and the Het Scheepvaartmuseum, you'll find an open-air museum of around 20 historical ships docked,…

5. Montelbaanstoren

0.27 MILES

This graceful tower looks monumental rather than functional, but it was originally built to strengthen Amsterdam's eastern defences in 1512. Positioned on…

6. Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ

0.27 MILES

Even if you don't catch a performance here, the cool contemporary architecture makes the magnificent 'Music Building on the IJ' worth swinging by for a…

7. St Nicolaaskerk

0.28 MILES

In plain view from Centraal Station, the magnificent cupola and neo-Renaissance towers belong to the city's main Catholic church, the first to be built …

8. Zeedijk

0.35 MILES

This is one of Amsterdam's oldest streets. Initially a shipping district, it was a respectable place to be until the 17th century. Then the rich folk…