The Royal Palace on the Dam Square is still in use as an official palace by the Dutch royal family, who mainly employ it for royal receptions, ceremonies and other official occasions.
No Dutch royals live in the palace, and most of the time large parts of the building are open to the general public as a museum. There are regular guided tours or free audio tours available to visitors.
History of the Royal Palace Amsterdam
The Royal Palace was originally built in the Dutch Golden Age - the seventeenth century - as a prestigious new city hall. Its lavish architecture was meant to be expressive of the wealth and success the ruling social elites of Amsterdam who financed its construction. Many of the sculptures and large oil paintings that can be viewed in the palace are representative of this period in Amsterdam's history. At the time it was built, the new city hall of Amsterdam was the largest non-religious building in Europe.
The building functioned as Amsterdam's city hall until 1808, when it was first designated a royal palace by Luigi Napoleone Buonaparte, who was formally made king of the Netherlands in that year by his brother, the famous French conqueror. Just two years later the Royal Palace would even be Imperial Palace for a short period, when the Netherlands were formally annexed by Napoleon's French empire. The French period in the history of the palace is still very visible in the interior decoration, mainly in the large collection of classical French furniture that can be admired there.
After Napoleon's definitive defeat at Waterloo, the Amsterdam city council decided to offer the palace to the Dutch Royal family, who have been it's proprietors ever since.