NAP Visitors Centre


This fascinating display was closed for repairs at the time of research, but shows the ins and outs of Normaal Amsterdams Peil (NAP; Normal Amsterdam Level). Established in the 17th century as the average high-water mark of the Zuiderzee, it still forms the zero reference for elevation countrywide and is now used throughout the EU as the European Vertical Reference System (EVRS).

Water columns here represent different sea levels, as well as disastrous flood levels in 1953 (4.55m above NAP). Information sheets and a touchscreen explain the details.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Amsterdam attractions

1. Stopera

0.02 MILES

This curved waterside building is called Stopera because it houses both the stadhuis (city hall) and the opera and ballet hall, aka Muziektheater. It…

2. Blauwbrug


Built in 1884, this highly decorated stone bridge replaced an old, blue (hence the name) wooden crossing that had connected these shores of the Amstel…

3. Museum het Rembrandthuis

0.13 MILES

Housed in Rembrandt's former home on lively Jodenbreestraat, this evocative museum provides an unparalleled insight into one of the Netherlands’ greatest…

4. Pintohuis

0.16 MILES

St Antoniesbreestraat was once a busy street, but it lost many of its old buildings during the metro's construction. The Pintohuis remains, however. It…

5. Joods Historisch Museum

0.16 MILES

In this beautifully restored complex of four Ashkenazic synagogues from the 17th and 18th centuries, displays show the history of Jews in the Netherlands,…

6. Museum Willet-Holthuysen

0.16 MILES

This exquisite canal house was built in 1687 for Amsterdam mayor Jacob Hop, then remodelled in 1739. It's named after Louisa Willet-Holthuysen, who…

7. Gijsbert Dommer Huis

0.17 MILES

This handsome greystone house is known dramatically as the 'House with the Blood Stains'. Six-time mayor and diplomat Coenraad van Beuningen lost his…

8. Zuiderkerk

0.18 MILES

Famed Dutch Renaissance architect Hendrick de Keyser built the 'Southern Church' in 1611. This was the first custom-built Protestant church in Amsterdam –…