The main ones are Dam Square, Leides Square (Leidesplein), Nieuwmarkt Square, Rembrandt Square (Rembrandtplein), Waterloo Square (Waterlooplein) and Noodermarkt.
Brief History of Nieuwmarkt and the Waag.
The Nieuwmarkt Square (New Market) is dominated by a very large romantic castle with gates and turrets known as De Waag - the Weighing House. The building is the former St. Anthony's Gate, which lost its defensive purpose when the city tore down its medieval walls around 1400.
The gate was subsequently used as a weighing house and as a guild-guildhall for bricklayers, painters and surgeons. The doctors built a theatre inside for the public dissection of human corpses. In later years, the building housed the Amsterdam Historical Museum and the Jewish Historical Museum. The open space around the Waag has always been a market, especially for the trade in herbs and spices. The market now is on Saturdays only and sells all naturally produced products.
Sunday has a Brik a Brak market and other bits and bob's April to October
A complete list of Nieuwmarkt business and reviews of each.
1. Friendship cafe - Local cafe, full of locals. Not many tourists.
3. Cafe Cuba - A great cafe, playing great music and always full of people also pool table.
5.Cotton Club bar- another great bar also very popular. Has a pool table also.
7.ATM. Rabo bank operates an ATM from this building.
9.Cafe Bern - a popular bar selling great food. famous for the fondue. Must book in advance as they only have a few tables.
13.Cafe Fontayn.- very popular bar also sells light meal / snacks
15-23 Fleasmans old folks home - a Large building full to the brim with old people on sticks and in chairs.
25. Villa Nieuwmarkt cafe. Small cafe / bar and sells good food also. Summer months they have some of there terrace tables with their legs in kids paddling pools so you can sit and eat (with your shoes and socks off) with your feet in lovely cool water.
27. Oriental Chinese Supermarket. Large Chinese supermarket packed with Chinese and Dutch people and 1000's of products from China. This places shifts over 2 truck fulls of stuff daily. Amazing operation with only one checkout in operation (properly owner or family)
Other side of square.
4.Hill street blues coffeeshop. Good coffeeshop selling good smoke and more. Irish staff seem to run the show here.
12. Rockit coffee shop- Not sure if owners can spell Rocket or it's intentional but I do not really like this place. But seems to be always busy. Totally renovated in early 2007.
8-10. Chao Phraha -One of the best Thai meals you will get anywhere in Amsterdam. Always full. The space between tables is about 2 inches so any privacy is impossible. Great food but the service has a lot to be desired.
6.Alexander's Kass shop / (Cheese shop) Shop for cheese lovers, makes lovely rolls hot from the oven.
4. Jolly Joker Coffeeshop. A very famous Amsterdam coffeeshop. Famous for it's ice hash and others. Nice shop with huge windows which are great to sit and watch the world go by.
Makes a lousy cup of coffee.
This place stands on it's own at the top of Geldersekade & Zeedijk.
2. Cafe De Zon. Large but not very friendly bar. Excellent coffee and a Wurlitzer juke box. I once tried to buy cigarettes from the machine without the purchase of a drink and the owner shouted at me.
From the corner of Kloveniersburgwal to Nieuwmarkt square.
40. Ice cream and Waffles. A small store selling lots of nice goodies.
38.Tokyo Joyce. Takeaway Indonesian food. Some lovely snacks to eat in (standing only) or to take away. (English & Dutch)
32-34. Loosje Bar, Dutch bar full of mostly Dutch people. Packed most nights.
30. Ice cream and Waffles during summer and hot snacks in the winter months.
28. Cafe Del Mondo. One of the last remaining Cafe/Coffeeshops in Amsterdam.
Very soon this too will also have to decide if it's a bar or a coffeeshop. New law says it cannot be both. English & Dutch menu. (August 2006 It is now only a bar, no drugs allowed)
26. Small American Diner style cafe and burger joint.
24.Poco Loco. Mexican Restaurant.
20-22. Bank & ATM machine. Another ATM on the other side of square also.
18 Albert Heijn Supermarket. This place is one of the worst places you will ever shop in. Old, dirty and run down but has the coolest air-conditioning in Amsterdam. great to pop in on a hot day. If buying anything ALWAYS check the date as a lot of items are out of date but are left for unsuspecting people and tourists to buy.
16.Bar.Genaght. Small bar with great decor. large screen TV. Run by a gay couple but not a gay bar. Very popular with football fans.
And that's once around Nieuwmarkt square.
Off Nieuwmarkt are a number of lanes which bring you into the red light district and China town which is located on Zeedik and Dam Square and Central station are only a short walk away.
There are some great bars and cafes on this canal, an Italian ice cream parlour, Amsterdam's oldest chemist shop, A micro brewery and a few Thai restaurants.
There are also a number of head shops selling fresh magic mushrooms, millions of water pipes, weighing scales and everything you can possibly imagine to do with smoking weed.
There is also two book shops selling English books and Coffee shop Goa is located here which is world famous for its hash cake (so they say. Number 62 Kloveniersburgwal is BasJoes coffee shop (Our favourite) (See Coffeeshops) was run by two brothers Leonardo (who died Aug 2010) and James. Great smoke, great music (most of the time) and great vibe in the place. James has now sold the shop so the "real" BasjOes is no more.