Monday, May 7, 2012

Around Amsterdam: The Public Library

In the last few weeks, I've been popping over to the seven story (!) public library here in Amsterdam to get some quiet time. Better yet, there's a cafe with tasty salads, smoothies and snacks on top...and great views of the water (sunny weather provided). 

I love going to the library to meet up with friends, study Dutch, work on my blog and peruse so many different subjects (we spent a while in the architecture section the other day!). Plus it's a free location to visit when the weather too gross for reading in the park.

The interior is lovely, with modern sculptures, art displays and funny reading pods. There's even a cinema for screening films and near by a listening station for music! There's free wifi but it only works for library members. The minimum subscription is €15, bummer. On the plus side, one of my favorite restaurants happens to be located exactly next to this bibliotheek, their pizza is zo lekker I'll share more tomorrow!


I've been debating whether or not to sign-up for a library card (especially with the advent of our new, expat book club!). Too bad all the English items are all jumbled along with the Dutch ones, which made browsing genres very confusing. Maybe next time I'll try searching a specific title?

Do you have a library card here in Holland? I'm really curious if it's worth the €40 subscription- as in are there actually enough English books and movies for loan??

Amsterdam Public Library
Oosterdokseiland 143
(only a few minutes walk from Central Station)


  1. So non-members of the library are allowed to visit and use the cafe? I'll be in Amsterdam in June so this is good to know :)

    1. Hey Rachel! Yes, anyone can visit the library, read books, eat at the cafe (La Place is a popular chain here) and do work. But, you need a subscription for the wifi. Let me know when you're here, we can try to (finally) meet up! :)

    2. This librarian is quite jealous :) I don't have a library card over there, but make sure you ask about how many items you get out at a time. The Hague library has a maximum of 7 or 9 items out at a time I think.

      Amsterdam Library really saved us - they had a ton of freely available computers (more than it looks like on the first floor, by the way) which was great when my boyfriend's phone unexpected died while we were waiting to meet someone in Amsterdam after they got off work.

      When I was at the Amsterdam Library I didn't really check if they had a separate English section or not.

  2. That last picture you took is absolutely gorgeous!!