Beginning of main content
Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
Trip Type
Flight 1
Flight 2
Flight 3
Flight 4
Flight 5

Search over 1 million properties and 550 airlines worldwide

Members save 10% more on select hotels, cars, activities and holiday rentals. Sign up.

Free cancellation on most hotels. Because flexibility matters.

National Monument

Once a camping spot for hippies, the huge monument in Dam Square commemorating those who have fallen in war is now Amsterdam’s center of the annual Remembrance Day.

As you emerge from the Red Light District or Chinatown onto the eastern side of Dam Square, notice the huge National Monument. Unveiled in 1956 by Queen Juliana of the Netherlands, the multi-faceted monument is dedicated to those that died in World War II.

The monument’s main pillar features emotive representations of Dutch Resistance members, the working class and intelligentsia. Take a closer look at the monument’s wall and you’ll see the 12 urns which contain soil from execution grounds, burial sites of war dead and Indonesia (formerly the Dutch East Indies). Lions, the symbol of the Netherlands found on everything from flags to banking logos, flank the wall.

If you’re visiting the Netherlands in May, head to Dam Square to participate in Remembrance Day on May 4, when the king lays a wreath at the monument. This event commemorates not only those who fell during World War II but also Dutch nationals lost in other conflicts and peacekeeping missions. Liberation Day, the following day, marks the end of Nazi occupation in the Netherlands.

In the 1970s, the monument, a sign of liberty and freedom, became a hangout for hippies, who occupied the square and slept beneath the huge sculpture. It happened so regularly that the term “Damslapen” (Dam-sleepers) was used to refer to the squatters, who were eventually moved out by local authorities. This little quirk in the history of the Dam was captured incidentally in the 1971 film Puppet on a Chain as a character walks through the crowd of hippies. Rent the movie before you visit Amsterdam to look for familiar spots.

These days the National Monument is frequently occupied by hundreds of multicolored bicycles of local residents and tourists visiting the Palace, Madame Tussauds Wax Museum, the Nieuwe Kerk and famous shopping streets around the Dam. Enjoy the busy square and view the monument from the many sidewalk cafés and restaurants. In an alley behind the monument you’ll find Wynand Fockink, one of the city’s historic distilleries and bars where you can try the fruit liqueurs and aged jenever, also known as Dutch gin.


Guide to Exploring National Monument


Top Hotel Deals

See all 2,010 properties near National Monument
Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam Rs10,412
Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam

Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam

Damrak 1-5, Amsterdam
     
    4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Amsterdam City Centre, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of St. Nicholas Church, National Monument and Madame Tussauds. Amsterdam Central Station is only a 2-minute walk and Amsterdam Central Metro Station is 4 minutes.

    Hotel Estheréa Rs8,664
    Hotel Estheréa

    Hotel Estheréa

    Singel 303-309, Amsterdam
       
      4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Amsterdam City Centre, this historic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Madame Tussauds, Dam Square and Anne Frank House. Leidseplein and Vondelpark are also within 1 mi (2 km). Spui Stop is only a 3-minute walk and Koningsplein Stop is 5 minutes.

      ibis Amsterdam Centre Rs6,854
      ibis Amsterdam Centre

      ibis Amsterdam Centre

      Stationsplein 49, Amsterdam
         
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Amsterdam City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Herengracht Canal and Body Worlds. Dam Square and Royal Palace are also within 15 minutes. Amsterdam Central Station is only a 4-minute walk and Amsterdam Central Metro Station is 6 minutes.

        The Hendrick's Hotel Rs8,568
        The Hendrick's Hotel

        The Hendrick's Hotel

        Prins Hendrikkade 139, Amsterdam
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Located in Amsterdam City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Nieuwmarkt Square, Nemo Science Museum and Rembrandt House Museum. Dam Square and Madame Tussauds are also within 15 minutes. Amsterdam Central Metro Station is 6 minutes by foot and Nieuwmarkt Station is 7 minutes.

          Hotel Mercier Rs6,546
          Hotel Mercier

          Hotel Mercier

          Rozenstraat 12, Amsterdam, Noord Holland
             
            4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Amsterdam City Centre, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of The 9 Streets and Anne Frank House. Madame Tussauds and Royal Palace are also within 15 minutes. Westermarkt Stop is only a 2-minute walk and Rozengracht Stop is 6 minutes.

            Monet Garden Hotel Amsterdam Rs6,169
            Monet Garden Hotel Amsterdam

            Monet Garden Hotel Amsterdam

            Valkenburgerstraat 76, Amsterdam
               
              4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Located in Amsterdam City Centre, this boutique hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Jewish Historical Museum, Nemo Science Museum, and Rembrandt House Museum. National Maritime Museum and Hermitage Amsterdam are also within 10 minutes. Mr. Visserplein Stop is only a 4-minute walk and Waterlooplein Station is 7 minutes.

              Hotel Mai Amsterdam Rs6,200
              Hotel Mai Amsterdam

              Hotel Mai Amsterdam

              30 Geldersekade, Amsterdam, NH
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Amsterdam City Centre, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Amsterdam Chinatown, Body Worlds and Rembrandt House Museum. Dam Square and Madame Tussauds are also within 15 minutes. Amsterdam Central Metro Station and Amsterdam Central Station are within a 5-minute walk.

                NH Collection Amsterdam Barbizon Palace Rs11,470
                NH Collection Amsterdam Barbizon Palace

                NH Collection Amsterdam Barbizon Palace

                Prins Hendrikkade 59-72, Amsterdam
                   
                  5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Amsterdam City Centre, this luxury hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Amsterdam Chinatown, Dam Square, and Madame Tussauds. Body Worlds and National Monument are also within 10 minutes. Amsterdam Central Metro Station is only a 2-minute walk and Amsterdam Central Station is 4 minutes.