The Best Movies About Amsterdam

Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley star in ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ (2014)
Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley star in ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ (2014) | © James Bridges / Temple Hill / Kobal / REX / Shutterstock
Tom Coggins

The historic city of Amsterdam has appeared in many famous films over the years, and lots of directors have been drawn to its picturesque city centre, iconic canals and industrial periphery. Here’s a roundup of the best films set in the city.

Loved by over 40s

‘Amsterdamned’ (1988)

Amsterdamned is a classic Dutch horror film from the late 1980s that turns Amsterdam’s usually serene canal belt into a hellish nightmare. After several corpses are found floating on the city’s waterways, a hard-boiled detective is called in to investigate and discovers that there is something horribly sinister lurking beneath the surface of the canals.

Huub Stapel in ‘Amsterdamned’ (1988)

‘Riphagen’ (2016)

During the German occupation of Amsterdam, the criminal Dries Riphagen collaborated with the Nazis for his own personal gain and worked against Dutch resistance groups. Pieter Kuijpers’ film deals with Riphagen’s exploits and his eventual downfall.

‘Riphagen’ (2016)

‘Diamonds Are Forever’ (1971)

Diamonds Are Forever is the sixth and final (official) James Bond film to star Sean Connery. In this outing, Bond infiltrates a diamond smuggling ring and discovers that his old nemesis Blofeld is plotting to hold the world to ransom with an orbital laser weapon. The first part of the film takes place in Amsterdam and includes shots of the Skinny Bridge on the river Amstel.

Sean Connery in ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ (1971)

‘Ciske the Rat’ (1984)

Ciske the Rat is based on the classic Dutch novel by Piet Bakker that follows a lonely street urchin as he tries to make ends meet in 1930s Amsterdam. Large parts of the film were shot on location, and several scenes from Ciske the Rat capture Amsterdam’s industrial past. Its opening song was a massive hit in the Netherlands, and the film was awarded the UNICEF prize at the Berlin International Film Festival in 1984.

‘Ciske the Rat’ (1984)

‘Black Book’ (2006)

Black Book is the story of Rachel Stein, a Jewish woman who returns to Amsterdam during the Nazi occupation to infiltrate the inner circles of the Gestapo. Renowned Hollywood director Paul Verhoeven returned to his native soil to film this big-budget World War II thriller and shot several pivotal scenes in Amsterdam.

‘Black Book’ (2006)

‘The Fault in Our Stars’ (2014)

After reading an unfinished novel, two terminally ill teenagers decide to track down its author in order to learn its ending. This journey takes them to Amsterdam, where they meet up with the mysterious novelist and discover that life rarely follows a set narrative. The movie is based on John Green’s bestselling novel, and Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort star in its leading roles.

Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley in ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ (2014)

‘Kidnapping Mr Heineken’ (2015)

In 1983, a group of criminals managed to kidnap one the richest men in the Netherlands – beer tycoon Freddy Heineken. After abducting their target, these men demand a massive ransom and begin to negotiate with the police. Due to their inexperience and personal grievances, their plans start to fall apart, leading to their inevitable downfall. The film was based on a true story and depicts several real-life Dutch criminals.

Thomas Cocquerel in ‘Kidnapping Mr Heineken’ (2015)

‘Alice in the Cities’ (1974)

Alice in the Cities is the first chapter of Wim Wenders’ acclaimed road movie trilogy, a series of low-budget films that are united by their depiction of aimless drifters travelling around Northern Europe. The film follows a German writer as he tries to return a young girl called Alice to her family. The pair start their journey together at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport after Alice’s mother unexpectedly disappears.

‘The Sensualist’ (1974)

The Sensualist (also known as Turkish Delight) was Paul Verhoeven’s breakthrough feature and stars an extremely youthful Rutger Hauer. Like most of Verhoeven’s work, The Sensualist doesn’t shy away from graphic content and contains many sexually explicit scenes shared between Hauer and his on-screen lovers. The actor plays a talented Dutch artist based in Amsterdam who begins a passionate love affair with an alluring girl from Alkmaar.

Monique van de Ven in ‘The Sensualist’ (1973)

‘Het Diner’ (2013)

Het Diner is based on a bestselling novel by Dutch author Herman Koch and is set inside a luxurious restaurant in Amsterdam. Over the course of a lavish meal, four family members discuss their offspring’s violent misdeeds and form a secret plot to prevent justice being done.

‘Het Diner’ (2013)

Additional reporting by Cassam Looch.

culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.