Need hotel?
  • Room #1
    Adults
    Children
    Child's age
Place of stay
Check in
Check out
Guests and rooms
Number of rooms
  • Room #1
    Adults
    Children
    Child's age
Recommended hotels
Barangay B&B
Barangay B&B
BED AND BREAKFAST
TripAdvisor rating Based on 927 reviews
View more
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam
Waldorf Astoria Amsterdam
TripAdvisor rating Based on 1379 reviews
View more
Boutique Hotel View
Boutique Hotel View
BOUTIQUE
TripAdvisor rating Based on 958 reviews
View more
NH Bussum Jan Tabak
NH Bussum Jan Tabak
TripAdvisor rating Based on 71 reviews
View more
Mövenpick Amsterdam City Center
Mövenpick Amsterdam City Center
TripAdvisor rating Based on 6502 reviews
View more
More hotels
About city What to see Gallery Where to stay

Amsterdam has been the mecca of wild parties and cheerful tourists for a long time. Here, movie heroes travel to have a good time, book characters hide from worries and everyday routine, and European intellectuals always find some comfort and inspiration. But this city, situated in the European North East, is famous not only because of its loyal attitude towards marijuana, and the infamous Red Light District, but also because of the million bicycles on its streets and the world’s largest stock exchange.

Amsterdam was built around 1275. Its name comes from the nearby Amstelredamme or dam of the river Amstel. In the 15th century, Amsterdam became the largest and most important city in the Netherlands. During the Eighty Years’ War, when Spain seized Belgium’s port Antwerp, Amsterdam saw a substantial influx of merchants and craftsmen, which led to rapid economic development.

Amsterdam Cityscape
Photo taken by Swimmerguy269 - Wikimedia.org.  Amsterdam Cityscape

The capital of Netherlands is home to people from over 170 countries, while the total population count is about 760 thousand (or 2 million if suburbs were to be included).

Today Amsterdam is the sixth largest European capital. It has 2 universities, local and national museums, and the former house of Rembrandt. What’s interesting is the fact that Amsterdam sits 4 meters below sea level and was built on wooden poles, which are in turn supported by sturdy pillars and platforms dug deep into the ground. Another interesting thing is that Amsterdam has only two wooden buildings.

If global warming caused a sudden increase in sea levels, Amsterdam would be the first city to find itself under water. There’s a popular joke that Dutch people are seriously preparing for this potential catastrophe, which is why swimming is an obligatory sport in every school in the country.

The reason why Amsterdam is called the Venice of the North is its 150 water canals and over 1200 bridges. And yet, the most popular means of transportation here is cycling, rather than sailing. Bicycle paths and related road signs are painted red. The city even has special traffic lights for cyclists. Every year, around 80 thousand bikes are stolen in Amsterdam. If you go fishing in the city canals, you’re sure to catch at least one bicycle. Such scallop- and seaweed-covered contraptions can be seen on most embankments of the city.

The Amsterdam canal system is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Taking a canal cruise is every visitor's dream
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  The Amsterdam canal system is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Taking a canal cruise is every visitor's dream

One of the main tourist attractions in the city is the Red Light District. It’s a street network with around 600 one-room flats, rented out to prostitutes. They plug their services by simply appearing in the window. It is said that about a thousand new prostitutes come to Amsterdam each year, and there are close to 8,000 of them here at any one time. The district is full of sex shops, sex theatres, and even has a sex museum. By the way, taking pictures here is not allowed. It is interesting that in the Netherlands, prostitution is taxed just like any other profession. Amsterdam was also the first capital in the world to legalize same-sex marriage.

The bars and cafés of the famous Red Light District are humming with tourists at nights
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  The bars and cafés of the famous Red Light District are humming with tourists at nights

There are more than 200 specialized cafés in Amsterdam that sell marijuana and hashish to tourists. These cafés constitute a third of all cafés that sell marijuana in the Netherlands. Of the 7 million tourists that visit Amsterdam every year, around 1.5 million come here to smoke “weed”.

Marijuana candies and cookies on sale in one of Amsterdam's coffee shops
Photo taken by 123rf.com.  Marijuana candies and cookies on sale in one of Amsterdam's coffee shops

At one point, the national government had passed a law prohibiting tourists to buy marijuana, which provoked heated debate. People were worried that the ban might cause a significant rise in crimes. This eventually led the government to revoke the law.

An interesting fact about Dutch people: apparently, they are the tallest nation in Europe and the second tallest nation in the world. The average height of men here is above 180 cm, and 175 to 200 cm for women.

What to see

Where to stay

loading...