Amsterdam is a city with a fascinating history. Today, it is a very important destination that the Netherlands is known for.
Also, the culture of this city is humbling and friendly. It is a beautiful city in the Netherlands and is famous as the Venice of the North.
The name of this city reminds many people of coffee shops and cannabis. However, there is much more to this fantastic city than what people know.
So, here, let us discuss some very interesting facts about the city of Amsterdam.
Fascinating Amsterdam Facts Discover the Enchanting Secrets of the Dutch Capital
The smallest house here was built in the 1700s
If you pass by the famous Oude Hoogstraat 22, you will get to see the smallest house in the city of Amsterdam. The house was built during the 18th century.
Many people believe it to be the smallest house in all of Europe because it is only 16 feet and 5 inches deep and 6 feet and 8 inches wide.
It is a city built on ropes
Another interesting fact about Amsterdam city is that it is built on wooden poles. The city is actually placed a meter or so below sea level; hence, the train station of Amsterdam Centraal alone requires 9000 poles to be supported, while a normal house requires only 10.
These wooden poles are about 15-20 meters and are placed in a sandy layer that is almost 11 meters in depth.
Though the city sinks a little bit per year, the locals are still famous for building one of the best flood-resistant structures. However, just building these structures costs the city billions per year.
Bloemenmarkt is in the city since the 1800s
Bloemenmarkt has been Amsterdam’s floating flower market and is the only one of its kind around the globe that has existed since 1862.
However, if you roam around this flower market, you do not notice that you are floating because the shops here are within the fixed barges. You can visit this beautiful market whenever you want to, as it is open six days a week.
Amsterdam was a vital city during the Dutch Golden Age
The Dutch Golden Age was a crucial period, as it included great power and success for the nation.
During this time period, many well-known artists were around, including Rembrandt. Moreover, the city of Amsterdam was a powerful maritime and economic hub during this time period.
Here, you must know the difference between a café and a coffee shop
In the Dutch capital, a café is not the same as a coffee shop, although these two terms are utilized interchangeably in most parts of the globe.
A café in Amsterdam is the place where you will be able to find coffee, tea, and delicious Dutch pastries. On the other hand, a coffee shop has cannabis products where people can also smoke. It is vital to know this subtle difference if you wish to visit Amsterdam.
Since 1983, Amsterdam has been the capital of the Netherlands
Amsterdam has been the official capital city of the Netherlands since 1983. Prior to that, people saw the city as the capital; however, it wasn’t mentioned in the constitution for quite some time.
The reason is when the first king of Holland, King Louis Napoleon, arrived, de decided to make Amsterdam the capital, and two years later, he moved here.
In 1810, the nation was then added to French emperor Napoleon’s empire, who announced Amsterdam as the third capital of his empire.
However, some events changed the situation, and Amsterdam failed to be the capital of the Netherlands officially till 1983.
Here, you must try the stroopwafels
The city of Amsterdam is well-known for the stroopwafels that you will find out throughout the city. These are two crispy and thin waffles that are glued together with special caramel syrup.
Though these waffles might look simple, they are really delicious. It is a famous Dutch food you must taste while on your trip to the country.
The biking culture is widespread here
Another very important thing that you might see in the city of Amsterdam is that bikes are everywhere. Environmental friendliness and sustainability are two vital components of the culture of the Netherlands.
If you plan to visit Amsterdam, you must ensure that you can bike around the city to enjoy the best views and breathe in the fresh air.
There are hundreds of Parakeets in Vondelpark
As you walk around Vondelaprk, you will see hundreds or even thousands of green parakeets and listen to many myths regarding the reason behind their large number.
For instance, according to one myth, a truck was carrying these birds and overturned, and hence, these birds escaped and started residing in Vondelaprk.
Though people are not certain if these myths are actually true or not, those birds are, no doubt, a delight to watch.
Here the houses are narrow: The reason behind it
Here, the houses are so narrow that you will be really amazed. The main reason behind this is that the planning laws were part of the city in the fifteenth century.
Taxes on these houses were charged as per the width of the front part of the house.
If a house has a smaller façade, the residents must pay less tax, which resulted in some people building these narrow houses.
Here, people can travel for sixty miles on the canals
In the city of Amsterdam, there are more than 160 canals, and one can travel about sixty miles within the city limits.
You must ensure to take some of the cruises to enjoy what it offers because a trip to Amsterdam will not be complete without exploring the canals. In this way, visitors can enjoy some iconic and scenic activities to do here.
You will see the Diary of Anne Frank in almost seventy languages
The city was once occupied by the Nazis, and this time period was when the Diary of Anne Frank emerged.
Anne Frank’s diary has been translated into around seventy languages, and you will be able to see all of them in the city of Amsterdam. Also, there is an Anne Frank tour that you can enjoy here.
Also, the cutting of the Anne Frank tree in the city has been sent to several cities around the globe, including New York and Den Haag.
In Amsterdam, there are museums everywhere
The city is filled with interesting museums because of the incredible culture of the city. Many of these are regarded as essential attractions and landmarks in the Netherlands.
You just have to check out several of these attractive museums during your trip to the Netherlands. It offers you some fascinating insight into the culture, art, and everything else that the city of Amsterdam has to offer.
Several cherry blossom festivals take place here during spring
The season of cherry blossom takes place between the months of March and April. Hence, during those months, there are many cherry blossom festivals all around.
There are many cultural performances, food stalls, and many other exciting things.
If you visit the country during this time, you must enjoy a few festivals. You can even indulge in some mouth-watering street foods while exploring the beauties of Amsterdam.
Here, beer lovers can enjoy the Heineken Experience
Anyone who is a beer lover should get tickets to the famous Heineken Experience, as this will take through the tale of this famous brand in an exciting and fun way.
Moreover, you will get to enjoy some cold beer while knowing exciting stories and history about it.
There is a ban on smoking cigarettes in cafes and restaurants
While the city of Amsterdam is well-known for its liberal approach to cannabis, one will be mistaken to believe laws on cigarette smoking here are quite relaxed.
One may smoke cannabis inside particular licensed coffee shops, but he/she cannot smoke tobacco anywhere in public places.
These places include cafes, coffee shops, and restaurants. Generally, the only areas you can enjoy smoking are bars with separate smoking areas.
It was the world’s first capital to legalize gay marriages
The city of Amsterdam is famous for being ahead of the globe when it comes to progressive politics, so it is not surprising that the city was the first place to legalize gay marriage.
Since 2001, it has ben legal, and the idea was to bring greater equality to everyone in the area. Till now, hundreds of same-sex couples have been married here.
There is a cat boat in Amsterdam
In Amsterdam, there is a catboat. So, if you are a cat lover, you can visit the Poezenboot. It is an exciting animal shelter where you will see over fifty cats.
Also, here you will see De Torenaluis Bridge, which is the most comprehensive and oldest bridge in Amsterdam.
There are almost 1281 bridges in Amsterdam
In Amsterdam, you will see about 1281 bridges, and 80 of them can be seen within the canal ring. The most well-known bridge is the Skinny Bridge or Magere Brug.
While standing on the corner of the Reguliersgracht and Herengracht, you will see 15 bridges simultaneously.
You need to stand on the side of the non-even numbers and then count the bridge where you are actually standing.
Kalverstraat is the main shopping street in Amsterdam
The main and most visited shopping street in the city of Amsterdam is known as the Kalverstraat, and it has existed for over 600 years. There was even a market to sell calves, cows, and oxen until 1629, which refers to the name.
The literal meaning of Kalveren is calves, so it actually means the calves’ street.
So, Amsterdam is a very beautiful city with its unique history, beautiful landscapes, interesting laws, attractive practices, delicious foods, and many more.
At the end of this article, we learned 20 interesting facts from which we can get a clear picture of this unique city known as Amsterdam. You can see our website if you want to know some additional facts.
I’m a former teacher with a background in child development and a passion for creating engaging and educational activities for children. I strongly understand child development and know how to create activities to help children learn and grow. Spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, and volunteering in my community.