Where is Van der Valk filmed? Real life locations of ITV show

The backdrop for the Dutch crime drama draws just as much attention as its leading man

Where is Van der Valk filmed?
(Image credit: Courtesy of ITV/Future)

The dutch detective series, Van der Valk, returned to ITV in early August for its much anticipated second season after it was successfully rebooted back in 2020. Marc Warren, Maimie McCoy and Darrell D'Silva once again grace the screen solving mystery after mystery, and as viewers watch on, the beautiful backdrops for these gruesome murders have fans asking, 'where is Van der Valk filmed?'

The show not only caught fans attention for its harrowing storylines, but for the stunning locations in which the series is set. But it is not the only show currently on television that viewers are hungry for filming details of. The new BBC drama Marriage, the BBC's Shetland, and the historical, not entirely accurate, drama The Great all have fans wondering the same - can I go there?!

Where is Van der Valk filmed?

For both the first and second seasons, Van der Valk was filmed in Amsterdam and other parts of the Netherlands. The show features plenty of iconic Dutch landscapes, including the docklands, a famous statue of 17th-century philosopher Baruch Spinoza, and a rooftop pool at the luxury hotel W Amsterdam.

Throughout both seasons, Café Scheltema features heavily as the detectives spot for a debrief, where the team runs through the case and Van der Valk inevitably experiences numerous breakthroughs. 

The Amsterdam inner canal belt, made up of four canals, also features heavily in both season one and season two of the show. These canals are the Singel, the Herengracht, the Keizersgracht, and the Prinsengracht and the area is widely known in Dutch as the Grachtengordel.

Filming in Amsterdam without featuring the canals would be impossible as , not only are the waterways are so synonymous with the city, but the series lead lives on a canal boat. Creator Chris Murray told The I, "Amsterdam is quite difficult to film in. The canal-lined streets are quite narrow, and it’s hard to get permission to get a production crew in for long, so we look further afield to find places that are more accessible."

Outside of Amsterdam, season two has also been filmed in Utrecht and The Hague, both cities in the Netherlands. One location which can be seen in the second season is the anatomy department of Utrecht University, which also doubles as a diamond factory. 

Another spot seen at the end of episode one is Scheveningen Pier, located near The Hague. The historic pier extends into the North Sea and boasts stunning sea views which can be appreciated from the safety of the ground or from the top of the nearby ferris wheel.

Meanwhile, the wind farm seen at the end of season two's first episode was filmed at Eemshaven port, which can been found in Groningen, also on the country's north coast.

Where is Van der Valk set?

Van der Valk is set in Amsterdam. The location has become akin to a main character in the series and is vital to the show's identity. The series takes viewers on a tour of the city, with the detectives looking at crime scene clues while viewers bask in the beauty of the backdrop. 

The original series, produced for ITV between 1972 and 1977, and 1991 and 1992, was also set in Amsterdam, though not everything was filmed there. While location scenes were shot in the Dutch city, most of the filming was done in London at Thames' Teddington Studios. 

The reboot, filmed entirely in Amsterdam and it's surrounding cities, shows off the old centre as well as the more modern areas, highlighting beauty spots and hidden gems that may have otherwise remained unknown to tourists. 

In a featurette ahead of the first season, Marc Warren said that the show would let viewers experience "some very unusual locations that people wouldn't have seen before", while his costar Maimie McCoy called Amsterdam a "vibrant, really really sexy, really modern city".

When was Van der Valk season 2 filmed?

Filming for Van der Valk season two began in June 2021. After delays due to the pandemic, Van Der Valk was a full year behind in production as filming for Season 2 was initially scheduled to begin May 11, 2020. 

Actress Maimie McCoy faced some personal challenges whilst filming the second season as, because many parts of the world still in some form of lockdown, she could not return to the UK to see her family.

She told Express.com, "I guess the biggest challenge, which was very different for all six of us really, was the fact we couldn't travel back to England. So for Emma [Fielding] and I, we both have kids, that was immensely tough, so much so that I kind of questioned whether it was doable, whether it was possible."

McCoy also commented on the struggles of being 'locked down' in the city, "We couldn't really embrace the city in a way we have done before.

"When we turned up in Amsterdam it was last May, they weren't in full lockdown but there were still an awful lot of restrictions. It was different in London at the time so we kind of went [a step] back in a way, a lot of the restaurants and bars and stuff in Amsterdam were shut.

"So you couldn't really go anywhere, I realise now looking back we didn't really have much of a social life outside of work. I ended up hosting dinners for people because there was nowhere to go and get together."

Van der Valk has already started and wrapped filming for the first episode of season three, which is rumoured to air in 2023. 

News writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is a news writer for Goodtoknow, specialising in family content. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.