Koninklijke Wachtkamer Amsterdam Centraal – Amsterdam, Netherlands - Atlas Obscura

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Koninklijke Wachtkamer Amsterdam Centraal

Where royalty waits in the height of luxury. 


According to protocol, the royal family should never be left waiting. But sometimes waiting is unavoidable, like at a train station where it might prove impossible to reschedule all incoming trains to accommodate the royals. In such a case, the wait should be as comfortable as humanly possible. The royal waiting room of Amsterdam Central Station is the perfect example.

The entirety of the central station is designed by the architect P.J.H. Cuypers in 1881, five years after he designed Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum. The building is seen by some as his greatest work, sometimes called “the cathedral” by locals, a nickname that becomes understandable to those walking through the station. (The design of Amsterdam Centraal may have even inspired the design of Japan’s Tokyo Station.)

Beautiful as the station may be, its pièce de résistance is the royal waiting room on the east side of the station, which Cuypers designed down to the smallest detail. 

For a long time, the station was only accessible by the royal family and their guests. However, this changed in 2018 when two side doors were opened and replaced with glass to allow visitors to peer into the luxurious vestibule. At the same time tours were offered by the city at special events in a limited capacity. The station and the waiting room are the property of the Dutch railway company NS, not the royal family.

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