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Fun Facts about Amsterdam

Light up your day with these collections of super interesting facts about Amsterdam. Whether you are a tourist looking to discover things about Amsterdam’s culture, history, landscape, etc or you are just interested in having more knowledge about this tourist city.

Do you know that it is illegal to ride your bicycle without a light and a bell in Amsterdam? I am convinced that these facts some of which may be surprising to you will expose the important and fascinating details about this beautiful island nation. Do you know that residents of Amsterdam do not pay income tax? Fasten your seat belt because it is going to be a fun exploration ride of the playground for the rich and famous.

1. The city of Amsterdam was established in the 13th century as a small fishing village and its name is derived from the Amstel River.

2. There are more than 200 coffee shops in Amsterdam and those below the age of 18 are not allowed into these coffee shops.

3. Amsterdam lies below sea level and the city has more museums per square meter than any other city in the world.

Photo: holland.com

4. One of the immoral Occupations that is legalized in Amsterdam is prostitution and prostitutes are expected to pay taxes just like any other profession.

5. Unless you are a pregnant woman, urinating in any of the canals in Amsterdam can land you in severe punishment backed by the law.

6. Amsterdam has the most famous Red Light District in the world and here when a room is lit with blue or purple light, it means the woman is transgender.

7. Amsterdam is known to be involved in making controversial laws, same-sex marriage was legalized in both the city and Netherlands in the year 2001.

8. Even though you are able to buy cannabis in coffee shops in Amsterdam it is completely illegal to buy and sell tobacco as it was banned in 2008.

9. Purchasing fireworks in Amsterdam is illegal and the only time people are free to make use of it is during the three days leading up to New Year’s Eve.

10. Because of the fact that the laws of Amsterdam and the whole Netherlands favor them, the city is home to many LGBTQ communities. The Amsterdam Gay Pride is hosted here every year.

11. The first time the Jewish received permission to practice their religion in Amsterdam was in 1603 and the first synagogue was established in 1639.

12. Amsterdam is one of the few cities in the world that has so many canals. The city has about 165 canals but they are not deep, reaching only about 2 to 3 meters deep.

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13. Amsterdam makes provision for the poor people living in the city as they are allowed to take their pets to the veterinary for them to be sterilized and treated.

14. Another geographical characteristic of Amsterdam is its bridges, Amsterdam has the second most number of bridges in the world with about 1281 bridges.

15. In Amsterdam, you can ride your bicycle without wearing your helmet and you won’t be stopped by the police. But it is illegal to ride your bicycle without a light and bell.

16. There is around 515 km of dedicated cycle lanes in Amsterdam and the city is the most bike-friendly city in the world after Copenhagen, Denmark.

17. The only place that is legal for someone to buy cannabis in Amsterdam is in the coffee shops but you are not allowed to buy or carry more than 5 grams of cannabis.

18. The first time Amsterdam recorded mass immigration in the city was from Indonesia, and they came to Amsterdam after the independence of the Dutch East Indies.

19. Tulips were imported from the Ottoman empire to Amsterdam in the seventeenth century and it has grown to make the Netherlands the biggest exporter of Tulips in the world.

20. During the revolt against Spanish rule in Amsterdam in 1578, the majority of the people that joined in the revolt were Catholics who were later converted to Protestants after the revolt.

21. The most expensive street in Amsterdam is the P.C. Hooftstraat which is where you will see brands like Chanel, Gucci, and Dolce & Gabbana in one place.

22. Despite the fact that this part of Amsterdam is one of the immoral places to visit, the Red Light District is one of the safest areas in Amsterdam.

23. Because of the different monuments in the city, Amsterdam gets millions of tourists every year and will have about 10 million tourists in 2019.

Photo: economist.com

24. The first coffee shop in Amsterdam was Mellow Yellow which opened in 1972 and coffee shops are not allowed to advertise anything.

25. The smallest house in Europe is located in Amsterdam and is only about 2.02 meters wide and five meters deep.

26. If you are a tourist visiting Amsterdam for the first time, keep some money aside for parking as parking cars here is expensive, sometimes up to 7.50 euros per hour.

27. Amsterdam’s most popular attraction is the Rijksmuseum which attracted more than 2,5 million visitors in 2019 alone.

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28. It is really expensive to pay for rent in Amsterdam as the average price of rent in Amsterdam is € 21,76 per square meter.

29. One of the most popular beer brands globally, Heineken, was founded in Amsterdam in 1864.

30. The Albert Cuypmarkt which is located in Amsterdam is the largest outdoor market in Europe.

31. The number of bicycles in Amsterdam is higher than the number of people living there with close to a million bicycles. Also, more than 100,000 bicycles are stolen every year.

32. A lot of tall people are known to be in Amsterdam with the average height of Dutchmen as 6 ft and women at 5 ft 6 inch.

33. Despite the fact that the colors of the official Dutch flag are red, white, and blue, Amsterdam is known to be characterized by orange color.

34. The port of Amsterdam is the 3rd largest cruise port in Europe and it brings in approximately 140 sea cruise ships and 1,500 river cruise ships every year.

35. Because of the fact that prostitution is legalized in Amsterdam, you can also get into trouble by trying to photograph prostitutes.

36. To provide additional housing for the ever-growing population of Amsterdam, more than 10 islands in Amsterdam are artificial.

37. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) in 2012, Amsterdam was the second-best city in the world to live in.

38. One of the oldest botanical gardens in the world is located in Amsterdam and is known as Amsterdam’s Hortus Botanicus, founded in the early 17th century.

39. One of the most interesting facts about Amsterdam is that the city is built on poles. This is because the city is below sea level and this is done to prevent flooding.

40. Amsterdam makes provision for those who died but don’t have a family. A poet is provided for a dead person to write a poem and recite it during the dead person’s funeral.

41. Most of the bridges in the Netherlands were built in the 1600s and the oldest and wisest of them all is the De Torensluis bridge which was built in 1648.

Photo: insider.com

42. Amsterdam has a floating market and it has been existing since 1862 and has grown into one of the most famous flower markets in the country.

43. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is one of the few airports in the whole world that has a museum inside and entry is free.

44. The oldest house in Amsterdam can be found at the Begijnhof, made of a wooden facade and was built around 1475.

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45. The city that has the most carillons in the world is Amsterdam, which is around eight, with most of them dating back to the golden age.

46. The motto that is found under the sign of Amsterdam (three crosses) means determined, merciful, and heroic.

47. Amsterdam became one of the most important ports in the world during the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century after being previously known as a fishing village.

48. The stock exchange considered the oldest “modern” securities market stock exchange in the world is the Amsterdam Stock Exchange.

49. According to the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) study group, Amsterdam is considered an alpha world city because of its numerous trade and financial centers.

50. Amsterdam was the city that hosted the Summer Olympics of 1928 and also hosted the World Gymnaestrada in 1991.

51. In the whole of Amsterdam, there are only two universities and including Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam and the University of Amsterdam.

52. The oldest part of the city of Amsterdam which dates back to the ninth century is known as Sloten.

53. Some of the world’s famous companies have their European headquarters in Amsterdam and including Tesla, Netflix, and Uber.

54. Despite the fact that Amsterdam has always been known as the capital of the Netherlands, the majority of the government offices are not located in the city.

55. Before World War 2 started, about ten percent of the population of Amsterdam were Jews, but this number reduced by more than 80% after World War 2.

56. According to a study carried out in 2015, the largest religion in Amsterdam was Christianity at 28%, followed by Islam.

57. Apart from the United Kingdom, the oldest English-language church congregation in the world is located in Amsterdam at Begijnhof.

58. One of the world’s largest documentary and research institutions concerning social history is located in Amsterdam known as Amsterdam’s International Institute of Social History.

59. According to Savills Tech Cities 2019 report, Amsterdam was ranked 4th place globally and second in Europe as the top tech hub.

60. Amsterdam is known to be very accommodating because it has at least 177 nationalities represented in the city.

61. Amsterdam ranks fifth among the European cities where you can locate an international business according to the 2007 European Cities Monitor (ECM).

Hope you enjoyed the ride, please tell us your view in the comment section below. What to know more about tourist cities? Check out 61 Interesting Facts about Casablanca or 61 Interesting And Fun Facts About Miami


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