Whenever there is talk of Amsterdam, people instantly jump to think about cannabis and coffee shops. However, there is much more to Amsterdam than what you see or hear on social media. From the history, culture, and landmarks, here are some fun facts about Amsterdam that show the different aspects this beautiful place has to offer.
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- 🚩 Top Tour Activity: Evening Canal Cruise
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Historical Facts About Amsterdam
Amsterdam’s history is interesting because it has been of importance since the Golden Age. Today, it remains a key destination that the Netherlands is known for. Here is some historical information about Amsterdam to know.
Bloemenmarkt Is In Amsterdam Since The 1800s
Bloemenmarkt is a floating flower market in Amsterdam and the only one of its kind in the world. However, as you roam around this market, you will not notice that you are floating because the shops are within the fixed barges. The market is open six days a week, and you can visit it anytime you like.
The Smallest House In Amsterdam Was Built In The 1700s
If you pass by the Oude Hoogstraat 22, you will find the smallest house in Amsterdam that was built during the 18th century. Many people also call it the smallest house in all of Europe. That is because it is only 6 feet and 8 inches wide and 16 feet and 5 inches deep.
It Was An Important City During The Dutch Golden Age
The Dutch Golden Age was an important period because it included a lot of power and success for the country. Many famous artists were around during this time, including Rembrandt. In addition, Amsterdam was a powerful economic and maritime hub during this time period.
Cultural Facts About Amsterdam
The culture of Amsterdam is friendly and humbling, as people love to mingle with one another. Here are some of the most interesting Amsterdam facts about its heritage.
The Biking Culture Is Widespread
If there is one thing you will notice in Amsterdam, it is that bikes are everywhere you go. Sustainability and environmental friendliness are important components of the culture. Whenever you visit, make sure that you also bike around the city to get the best views and take in the fresh air.
You Have To Try The Stroopwafels
Amsterdam is famous for the stroopwafels you will find throughout the city. These are two thin and crispy waffles that are glued together using special caramel syrup. While they might look simple, these are sooo good! It’s a personal favorite Dutch food, so beware as you might get addicted to them.
You Need To Know The Difference Between A Coffee Shop And Café
In the Dutch capital, a coffee shop is not the same as a cafe; although the terms are used interchangeably in most parts of the world.
A coffee shop in Amsterdam has cannabis products where you can also smoke. On the other hand, a café is where you will find Dutch pastries, coffee, and tea. It is important to know this difference to land in the right place, depending on what you need.
Simple Facts About Amsterdam For Kids
Gaining knowledge of different places is crucial to opening horizons to new perspectives. There are many fun facts about Amsterdam that kids should know to gain more knowledge.
There Is A Reason Why The Houses Are Narrow
The houses are so narrow because of the planning laws that were part of the city in the fifteenth century. Taxes on the houses were charged according to the width of the front side of the house. If the house had a smaller facade, the people had to pay less tax, which led to some building these narrow houses.
There Are Thousands Of Parakeets In Vondelpark
As you roam around Vondelaprk, you will find thousands of green parakeets, and there are many myths surrounding the reason for so many of them. For example, one myth states that a truck was carrying these birds and overturned, which led them to escape and reside in Vondelpark. While we don’t know how true these myths are, the birds are a delight to watch.
You Will Find The Diary Of Anne Frank In Seventy Languages Here
Nazis once occupied the city, and this time period was when Anne Frank’s diary emerged. The diary has been translated into seventy languages, and you will find all of them in Amsterdam. There is also an Anne Frank tour you can take when you visit.
Fun Amsterdam Facts For Travelers
If you are planning on visiting Amsterdam anytime soon, here are the top fun facts about Amsterdam you should know:
You Can Travel For Sixty Miles On The Canals
There are more than 160 canals in the city, and you can travel sixty miles within the city limits. Make sure you take some of the cruises to enjoy what it offers. After all, a trip to Amsterdam would be incomplete without experiencing the canals. This is one of the most iconic and scenic activities to do in Amsterdam.
Many Cherry Blossom Festivals Take Place During The Spring Season
The cherry blossom season occurs between March and April, and cherry blossom festivals are all around. There are food stalls, cultural performances, and much more that take place. If you visit during this time, then this is something you shouldn’t miss out on. Indulge in some delicious street food in Amsterdam while you soak in the beauty all around.
There Are Museums Everywhere
Amsterdam is filled with museums because of the incredible culture of the city. Many of these are marquee landmarks and attractions in the Netherlands. You simply have to check out some of these museums during your trip. It will provide you with insight into the art, culture, and everything else that this city has to offer.
Some of the tops museums include:
- Van Gogh Museum
- Rembrandt House Museum
- Stedelijk Museum
- Moco Museum
- NEMO Science Museum
Common Facts About Amsterdam
There are some general things to know about Amsterdam to understand the city better.
The Heineken Experience Is Great For Beer Lovers
Anyone that loves beer should get tickets to the Heineken Experience, which will take you through the story of the brand in a fun and interactive manner. You will enjoy some cold beer while learning interesting history and stories about it. If you love your pint, this is definitely one activity to go on.
The Entire City Is Built On Wooden Poles
Yes, the foundation of Amsterdam is built on millions of wooden poles that support houses and buildings from sinking. The city sinks a little bit each year, but the locals are known for building one of the best flood-resistant structures. However, just building these structures costs the city billions every year, so it doesn’t sink.
It Was The First Capital Worldwide To Legalize Gay Marriages
Amsterdam is known for being ahead of the world when it comes to progressive politics, so it comes as no surprise that the city was the first place to legalize gay marriages.
It has been legal since 2001, and the idea was to bring greater equality to everyone in the region. Till now, thousands of same-sex couples have been married here.
There Is A Ban On Smoking Cigarettes In Restaurants And Cafes
While Amsterdam is famous for its liberal approach to cannabis, you will be mistaken to think laws on cigarette smoking are quite relaxed.
You can smoke cannabis inside certain licensed coffee shops, but you can’t smoke tobacco anywhere in public spaces. These include restaurants, coffee shops, and cafes. Usually, the only places you can smoke are bars that have separate smoking areas.
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Other Interesting Facts About Amsterdam
Here are some other Amsterdam fun facts that are fascinating to know.
There Are Over Two Thousand Houseboats
There are so many houseboats everywhere you go because, after WWII, there was a housing shortage. The city still had to meet the increasing demand for housing. So, houseboats began emerging, and now, you will even find a cat shelter in one of these houseboats. These can make for interesting accommodation experiences.
Once A Month, Amsterdam Tests Air-Raid Sirens
On the first Monday of every month, the Netherlands tests its public warning sirens. This means that if you are in Amsterdam on such a Monday, you will hear these sirens go off. However, it is nothing to worry about because it is just for testing purposes.
You Can Find Small Hidden Canal Houses
When you explore the streets of Amsterdam, you will find some small houses crammed between two standard-sized canal houses in the city. These are some hidden gems most people don’t even know about. Make sure you keep a lookout for them.
There Is An Airport Museum
If you get bored at Schiphol Airport, you can always visit the Rijksmuseum Schiphol. This is the first museum to open inside an airport. It is located between lounges two and three and has been open for the past two decades. The exhibitions are rotating pieces for the world-famous main Rijksmuseum.
Discovering More Fun Facts About Amsterdam
These were some of the interesting Amsterdam facts that provide an insight into the city, but it barely scratches the surface of this popular Dutch city. It is such a bucket list travel destination that the downside is probably the constant tourist crowd.
However, there is much on offer here, from the museums, canals, charming cafes, history, and much more. So be sure to check it out, and you are sure to uncover more amazing facts about Amsterdam.