Churches in Amsterdam
Though Amsterdam is a very liberal city these days, known for freedom and tolerance, it has a very Christian past. There are numerous beautiful (hidden) churches in Amsterdam. They are definitely worth a visit during your time in Amsterdam. Are you in for a moment of quietness and reflection in this busy city? Join our activities or visit one of the beautiful churches in Amsterdam below!
Churches in Amsterdam worth visiting
Churches in Amsterdam #1: Nicolaas church
In the Netherlands we know Saint Nicolaas mainly as a saint who brings presents for children every year in the beginning of december (like some kind of Santa). This ‘Sint’ helped poor families by throwing little bags of money through the windows. He also saved sailors in need through a storm. That is why he is the patron of many port cities. Do you see him standing between the two towers of the Nicolaas church?
The Nicolaaskerk is a basilica. That is an honorary title for special Roman Catholic churches. You can see that from the shield above the entrance. There is a statement by Saint Nicholas: “Navigantibus domum cum benedictione” or “Go home with my blessing.” Every day the church is open and every day there is a service. The unique abbey liturgy “creates a space in which God and man can meet. A space in which we can experience the mystique of what we may not always understand exactly in our relationship with God, but we can experience it.”
Jim Schilder, chaplain of this church: “Christ and I, with respect, are almost neighbors. I live next to the church and that is in the most literal sense a house of worship for Catholics: Christ lives there, permanently. Being a priest so close to God day and night makes me feel like a privileged person.”
Churches in Amsterdam #2: Nieuwe kerk at Dam Square
Right next to the Palace at Dam Square you find the Nieuwe Kerk. The Nieuwe Kerk is definitely worth a visit. There are changing exhibitions and a lunch concert almost daily in summer. Check out the website for current events: www.nieuwekerk.nl.
Churches in Amsterdam #3: The Old Church
The oldest building in Amsterdam stands boldly and stately above the Red Light District. The tower is like a finger that reminds you to look above the street level. From the thirteenth century people gather here for silence, repentance, redemption. You enter the building and stop. Emptiness and light radiate towards you. Thousands of people are buried underneath you. The wooden vaults above you are silent witnesses to the words spoken in the church and the tears that have flowed. Guided tours to the tower run every half hour from 1 PM to 7 PM from April to November.
#4: Hidden church in Amsterdam ‘Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder’
Amsterdam is known as the freest city in the world. But it hasn’t always been like this. After Amsterdam became a Protestant in 1578, Roman Catholics lost part of their freedom. They were “tolerated” and gathered in “secret churches”. The Ons’ Lieve Heer op Solder church is an example of this. This museum tells the old but current story of freedom and tolerance, back in the early days and now. Because freedom still does not apply to everyone on earth. Even in a “free” city like Amsterdam, there is not freedom for everyone. Just think of the women who are forced into prostitution. One person’s freedom can be a disaster for another. Learn more about Dutch history, culture, freedom in this beautiful museum near the Red Light District.
#5: Hidden church in the middle of Amsterdams biggest shopping street
Before you enter: just stand still for a minute in the portal. A fashionable woman – as if she had just walked through the shopping street Kalverstraat – sits at the feet of Jesus. He extends his hand – if you look again you see that it is Mary Magdalene – invitingly. You will be surprised by the size of the church behind this narrow front portal. Mass is celebrated here daily at 10.30 a.m. Available every day for anyone tired of shopping.
International church services in Amsterdam
Would you like to visit a local church service during your time here in Amsterdam? Below you can find a little list of churches in Amsterdam we would recommend! If you don’t want to go by yourself, ask one of our staff members if you can join them! We won’t bite!
#1 Crossroads Church
Crossroads Church is an interdenominational Church that meets regularly in Amsterdam. Consisting of people from all backgrounds and cultures, attending Crossroads is a great way to get a sense of Amsterdam’s internationality. If you don’t belong to a particular denomination and want to experience a vibrant Church, why not try out Crossroads?
Service times: 10:00am and 12:00pm every Sunday
Address: Amstelveen College, Sportlaan 27, 1185 TB in Amstelveen.
#2 Hillsong Church Amsterdam
Hillsong Amsterdam is a charismatic and evangelical Church, with a fairly young congregation. This Church is ideal for young people, as the services tend to have very lively worship that could almost be described as a concert. However, if you would no longer class yourself as young and this sounds appealing to you, go ahead and join the party as this church is for everyone! As a non-denominational Church, it appeals to people from all walks of life and backgrounds. Why not try something new and visit Hillsong Amsterdam?
Language: English (but also Dutch translation.)
Service times: 10:00am, 12:00pm and 4:00pm every Sunday
Address: Theater Amsterdam, Danzigerkade, Amsterdam
#3 Vineyard Amsterdam
If the size and character of Hillsong sounds too overwhelming for you, why not try out Vineyard Church. With a much smaller congregation and multiple pastors, this Church is ideal for those looking for a more personal welcome. This Church is also non-denominational and hosts a variety of cultures, however, the worship is much quieter, allowing a time of reflection. If you would like to meet some locals and hear a good message, then go and try out Vineyard!
Language: Dutch and English.
Service times: 11:00am every Sunday
Address: Zuiderkerk, Amsterdam
#4 Christ Church Amsterdam
Christ Church is an English speaking Anglican Church that greets people of all nationalities. If you prefer more structured services or belong to the Church of England, this Church would suit you. Communion is often taken here and the Creed read aloud by the congregation. Therefore, if you are a fan of traditional worship and old style services, why not try out Christ Church?
Service times: 10:00am every Sunday
Address: Groenburgwal 42, Amsterdam
#5 Liberty Church
If you don’t belong to a specific denomination and want to experience a relaxed international Church, why not head to Liberty. While most churches here pride themselves on being international also, Liberty is a great place to meet and connect with other Christians. The service breaks midway to allow for a short tea break, making it the perfect church for those who love to socialise and prefer a less structured service. Come and join us at Liberty Church!
Service times: 10:30am every Sunday
Address: Vondelkerk, Vondelstraat 120, 1054 GS, Amsterdam