The Skinny Bridge – a Must-See in Amsterdam

Are you wondering what attractions to visit in Amsterdam? You definitely need to see the Skinny Bridge! Amsterdam is a city of bridges; there are about 1,200 of them.  The Skinny Bridge is renowned for its beauty...

Located between Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht, connecting Kerkstraat with Nieuwe Kerkstraat, you can find the Skinny Bridge in the city centre of Amsterdam.
From the Blauwbrug, which is just between the Waterlooplein and the Rembrandtsplein, you have a beautiful view on the Skinny Bridge! Especially in the evenings, it is very worth it to go there: the Skinny Bridge will be illuminated by 1,200 lightbulbs- which is why it’s one of the most beautiful sights in Amsterdam and also one of the most painted and photographed. Another great way to take some nice pictures of it is by taking a canal cruise. Or just have a coffee in the Eetcafé Magere Brug.

The Construction of the Skinny Bridge

The Skinny Bridge is a double-swipe (balanced) bridge. This means that, if a ship wants to pass beneath, the bridge splits in the middle. Counterweights on each side of it keep the balance during the process of opening and closing. Until 1994 this was done by hand, but nowadays it is an automatic procedure. If you want to see this little spectacle you have a good chance: most days the Skinny Bridge opens several times an hour! During the years the traffic on the river increased, and the Skinny Bridge was demolished and rebuilt three times. The current bridge is made out of painted white wood which gives it a charming appearance, and it was built in 1934.  It is only accessible for pedestrians and cyclists.

The Story of the Skinny Bridge

The Skinny Bridge was built in 1691,with 13 arches reaching from one side of the river Amstel to the other. As you might guess, this bridge was very narrow. Tradition tells that it has been built by two wealthy sisters whose wish was to meet every day for a cup of coffee and chitchat. But these sisters were also lazy. Instead of using an existing bridge, they built the Skinny Bridge as  a direct connection. But, nobody really knows why, but this bridge was so narrow that barely two people were able to pass each other. This is why people started to call it “De Magere Brug”- which translated to English means: The Skinny Bridge.



Skinny Bridge – Location


Skinny Bridge
Amstel 81
1018 EK Amsterdam


Shelter City Hostel Amsterdam - Skinny Bridge (a 15 minunte walk)

1. Go out of our Hostel and turn left.

2. Take the 3rd street on your right hand, called Sint Antoniesbreestraat.

3. After about 300m, turn right onto Zwanenburgwal. Follow the curve of the path to the left (onto Amstel). You will see the National Opera & Ballet on your left.

4. Leave the Blauwbrug at your right side and go straight. Then turn right on the Skinny Bridge.

If you’re interested, you can also join our City Walk on Saturdays and visit the Skinny Bridge with us!


Shelter Jordan Amsterdam Hostel - Skinny Bridge (a 30 minute walk)

1. Go out of our Hostel, and turn right onto Akoleienstraat.

2. Go all the way straight for about 600m, till you come to Looiersgracht.

3. Now turn left on this one and pass the bridge onto Runstraat. Go straight till Singel.

4. Turn right with the canal on your right. After 80m turn right again to stay on Singel.

5. At Muntplein you continue straight on Amstel for about 800m until the Skinny Bridge is on your left.



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