Bollywood in Amsterdam

While in the past the Netherlands was not a real destination for the Indian, in 1981 all of that changed when Silsila was shot in the Keukenhof Flower Garden. Millions and Millions saw Amit and Chandni walking, dancing and singing between the tulips. Since then, the Netherlands has got a place in the hearts of all Indians. While mentioning the movie Silsila, most Indian travellers get a smile on their faces.

 Tulips in the Netherlands only bloom in March, April and May. 

Tulips in the Netherlands only bloom in March, April and May. 

Besides tulips, the Netherlands also has one of the most romantic backdrops for love-stories: Amsterdam. The capital of the Netherlands, or Holland, as most non-Dutch call it, with it’s cobblestone streets, crooked and tilted houses, tiny canals and many bridges is considered an ideal shooting site for Bollywood film directors. Movies like Queen, Hum Tum and recent Blockbuster Jab Harry met Sejal have had their major scenes shot in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam has proven to be such a beautiful scenery to shoot movies, that even some Paris scenes and songs were shot in Amsterdam, while making the crowd think it was Paris. One example is Chak De: In the movie it is supposed to be in Paris, but the actual area is Museum Square in Amsterdam. The lovely classic buildings surrounding are Rijksmuseum and the Concertgebouw (Concert Building).

 Museum Square facing the Rijksmuseum, with the IAMSTERDAM Sign up front.

Museum Square facing the Rijksmuseum, with the IAMSTERDAM Sign up front.

To follow in the footsteps of Shah Rukh Khan, Kangana Ranaut or Saif Ali Khan, you of course need to know both the city and the movies. For a Dutch person watching these movies, it’s a festival of recognition and afterwards it raised my interest in Bollywood movies as well! Because of the knowledge on both sides (Knowing the movies and knowing the city of Amsterdam by heart), we managed to set up a Bollywood based walking tour. We will go past the restaurant where Sejal got engaged, on the square where Karan taught Rhea to smoke, the hostel where Rani stayed after being stood up at the altar, and many, many more sights.

Besides these tours, Damrep has recently opened a webshop where you can see and check what’s there to do in Amsterdam, but also Brussels and Paris. For any tours in Paris, Amsterdam or Brussels, simply check out our ticket shop and we hope to see you in Amsterdam, Maybe even on our Bollywood tours!

Wouter de VriesDamrep