Prosperous congregants had themselves buried in the church. Graves near the high altar were in especially high demand, but only the very wealthy could afford them. On the grave slabs in and around the chancel, we find the names of well-known Amsterdammers such as the writers and poets P.C. Hooft, Joost van den Vondel, and Isaäc da Costa, as well as the surgeon/burgomaster Nicolaes Tulp, whose anatomy lesson was immortalised by Rembrandt. An estimated 10,000 bodies lie buried permanently in De Nieuwe Kerk. Since 1866, burial in a church has been illegal in Amsterdam. The last burial in an Amsterdam church took place on 30 December 1865 in De Nieuwe Kerk.
Very few gravestones are still in their original places, because slabs were often re-used and the parts of the floor were restored after subsidence.