Description of Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the capital of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Amsterdam is multicultural and very open. Characteristic of Amsterdam are the many Grachten (canals), which surround the city center in a so-called belt. Since August 1, 2010, the ring of canals - Herengracht, Keizersgracht and Prinsengracht - has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Amsterdam means dam in the Amstel. Earlier spellings of Amsterdam are Aemstelredam, Aemstelredamme, Amestelledamme, Amstelredam, Amstelredamme and Amsteldam.

The history of Amsterdam begins around the year 1000. At that time, this swamp area called Aemestelle was gradually cultivated from Utrecht. As the drained bog began to subside, dikes had to be built to protect the now lower land from the water. Today one also speaks of the "Venice of the North".

In the 13th century this led to the building of dykes along the Zuiderzee and one of its arms, the IJ. The mouth of the Amstel was blocked off with a dam, which gave the small settlement its name. The dam (and the goods that now had to be transshipped here in order to be able to be transported further on the water) was the basis of the later trading town. The water between the dam and the IJ, the Damrak, was the beginning of the port of Amsterdam. The water on the other side of the dam was called the Rokin. At the beginning of the 20th century, remains of the dam between the National Monument and the department store "De Bijenkorf" were found.
Amsterdam was first mentioned in a document dated October 27, 1275, in which the Dutch Count Floris V granted the residents exemption from customs duties. However, it is not known exactly when Amsterdam received city rights. It must have been just after 1300.
Shortly thereafter, the duty on beer was introduced and the trade in Hamburg beer was the stepping stone to the Baltic Sea trade. By the 15th century, Amsterdam had already become Holland's most important trading city. The city grew. The growth of the city also gave it its typical shape: with each expansion of the city, a new moat was dug, the excavated material was used for ramparts, and to ensure drainage, the foundations of the houses were placed on wooden poles.

The city leaders were not at the forefront of the uprising against the Spaniards, but they eventually joined the Protestant Geuses in 1578, mainly to keep trade with the surrounding towns at bay. The property of the Catholic Church, especially the many monasteries, was confiscated and handed over to municipal institutions. From 1585, after the capture of Antwerp by the Spanish, many Antwerpers came to Amsterdam with their trade network. They and the Sephardic Jews who fled the Spanish-ruled areas played an important role in the "Golden Century" of Amsterdam and Holland.

The population of Amsterdam increased rapidly at that time. Around 1570 Amsterdam had fewer than 30,000 inhabitants, but by 1622 this number had risen to around 100,000. Towards the end of the 17th century, the number of inhabitants even exceeded 200,000. Only London, Naples and Paris had a comparable population at that time. This population growth required a large-scale urban expansion, which today is due to the unique, concentric ring of canals with its merchant houses and warehouses.

After that, growth began to stagnate. Around 1683 the building activities were stopped. So much land was left free on the east side of the Amstel that it was made available to charities and the plantation was turned into a park. From the middle of the 18th century, the number of inhabitants fell again, only to reach a low point in 1815 with around 140,000 inhabitants.

A slow recovery began in the 19th century. In 1825 the newly dug Noordholland Canal to Den Helder was opened, and in 1839 the first railway ran from Amsterdam to Haarlem. It was not until around 1850 that the first 17th-century residential buildings were built outside the Singelgracht. Since 1876 there has been a direct connection between the port of Amsterdam and the locks at Ijmuiden on the North Sea with the Noordzeekanaal. At that point the industrial revolution swept through the Netherlands and a new period of expansion began. Trade and industry flourished and brought about an increase in population, which was absorbed in the 19th century residential areas (Oud-West, Oud-Zuid, Oost). The number of inhabitants doubled from around 250,000 around 1850 to 510,000 in 1900.

The social ills associated with the industrial revolution made Amsterdam a center of Dutch social democracy and led to large-scale urban expansions in the 20th century (Plan Zuid, Plan West and Algemeen Uitbreidingsplan).

Before World War II, Amsterdam had a large Jewish community. Most of them (75,000 Amsterdam Jews) did not survive the terror of the occupation.

At the end of the 20th century, Amsterdam received a new boost with the development of the compacte stad. The city flourished again and became a center of tolerance and emancipation, new media and science, cultural, economic and ethnic diversity.



Inner city
The city center is the oldest part of Amsterdam and dates back to the late Middle Ages. It is the most visited part of Amsterdam, for its famous canals, shops, markets and coffee shops. Dam Square can be considered the ultimate center of Amsterdam, but Nieuwmarkt and Spui are also interesting squares. The Red Light District is also part of the city centre.

Canal Belt
The Canal Belt was developed in the Golden Age (the seventeenth century) to house prosperous merchants. It is still one of the most affluent neighborhoods in the Netherlands where many famous Dutch people live. There are countless hip shops and restaurants. Leidseplein and Rembrandtsplein are also considered part of the Canal Belt here.

Jordaan and Haarlemmerbuurt
The Jordaan is one of the most famous neighborhoods in Amsterdam; this former working-class neighborhood has been transformed over the years into a more hip and expensive neighborhood. There are many art galleries, boutiques and restaurants. The Haarlemmerbuurt and the Western Islands also fall under this.

The Plantage was an extension of the Canal Belt, but a lack of demand for real estate has given this district a green character. There are many trees, botanical gardens and of course Artis. The Weesperbuurt and the Eastern Islands are also treated here.

An important district of Amsterdam and especially interesting for tourists because of the Museum Quarter and the Museum Square. The Vondelpark is the northern border of this district, where it is nice to relax with a glass of wine in the summer. The PC Hooftstraat, De Pijp, the Albert Cuypmarkt and the Zuidas are all part of Amsterdam South.

West and New West
The west includes a large suburb of Amsterdam. Oud-West is a beautiful neighborhood with buildings dating from the nineteenth century. The Westerpark and De Baarsjes can also be interesting for tourists. Nieuw-West was developed after the Second World War.

The north is a modern suburb that lies on the other side of the IJ; it can be visited by a free ferry ride. The NDSM site can be interesting, but most tourists leave the city to explore the countryside east of the A10 by bicycle. This traditional Dutch polder area is part of the Waterland and is culturally protected.

Amsterdam East is a large and diverse suburb. The Eastern Docklands has beautiful modern architecture and the new IJburg district, which is built entirely on artificial islands, is also impressive.

An exclave of Amsterdam, Southeast, has had a special history. This area originally belonged to the municipalities of Bijlmermeer and Weesperkarspel. In the 1970s, this area was developed with large flats with large areas of green underneath. Since then, the neighborhood has fallen into disrepair. While it's now largely safe to visit, it's mostly adventurous tourists (and football fans) who go there.



The majority of the top sights are in the center of Amsterdam, the historic core of the city criss-crossed by canals. For a more extensive range of sights in the centrum see Amsterdam/Centrum.


Churches, synagogues, mosques, temples

The majority of Amsterdam's famous and worth seeing places of worship are located in Amsterdam/Centrum. Particularly worth seeing are the Oude Kerk, the Nieuwe Kerk and the Westerkerk, all three with valuable historical organs. A visit to the following addresses is also worthwhile:

1 Vondelkerk, Vondelstraat 120A, 1054 GS Amsterdam . The former church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the Vondelkerk, was built in two phases. The chancel and apse were consecrated in 1873 and the church was completed around 1880 with the capital raised by a raffle. The construction of the interior took many years. In 1890 the organ was installed and in 1893 the windows were attached. The architect P.J.H. Cuypers considered it his most successful church building. The tower burned down in 1904 and was rebuilt by Cuypers' son. In 1977 the church lost its religious function and was closed due to dilapidation. After years of standing empty, neglected and an object of speculation, the church was restored. Offices were added to the earlier chapels, and the central nave was rented out. Nothing remains of the original inventory.
Raw Aaron Schuster Sjoel, Heinzestraat 1-3/Jacob Obrechtplein.
ynagoge Lekstraat (Lekstraats Synagogue), Lekstraat 61-63, ​Lekstraat 63 .
Djame Masdjied Taibah, Kraaiennest 125. Tel: (0)20-6982526. The only mosque building in Amsterdam-Zuidoost looks like a fairytale castle, but it is right next to a metro station. On the roof is an onion-shaped dome with four minarets. The Taibah Mosque closely resembles the mosques and palaces of India and Pakistan.
Vrijmetselaarsloge, Vondelstraat 39-41. The first Masonic lodge in the Netherlands was founded in 1734. This lodge building with club room and caretaker's apartment is the headquarters of the Amsterdam Freemasons. The current appearance of the buildings dates back to 1910. The Blue and Red Temples are located in the Lodge building. At the beginning of the German occupation, Freemasonry was banned and the house was confiscated, the inventory was expanded and sold. After the war, the damage was gradually repaired. In 1946 the polished diamond was installed in lead glazing in the large rosette of the lodge building. Freemasons are a secret society. Your building can therefore only be visited in exceptional cases, e.g. on Open Monument Day.



Many buildings that are extremely worth seeing, including the Tuschinski Theater, can be found in Amsterdam/Centrum. Here are a few more that are outside of downtown:

Muiderpoort . At the end of the Plantage Middenlaan, opposite the Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen (Tropical Museum) is the Muiderpoort (Muidener Tor, Amsterdam-Oost district). It stands between the Lijnbaans and the Singelgracht, which served as the inner and outer canals of the city wall (17th century). The Muiderpoort is the last remaining of the seven city gates that were built in the 17th and 18th centuries. gave access to the city. It was built in 1770 after its predecessor suddenly collapsed the year before.
The Muiderpoort is one of the few monumental city gates built in the Netherlands in the second half of the 18th century. Were built. The care taken in the design of the classical building emphasizes the role of the city gate as a transition between city and country. Defense had become less important, but the gate retained its role as the center for the city's toll and tax collection.
City traffic has been flowing around the gate since 1903, and it has stood in a small park ever since. In 1963 offices were set up in the old city gate. Today the Library of the Tax Office (Belastingdienst) is located here.
Rijksmuseum , Jan Luijkenstraat 1 (facade = Stadhouderskade 42), district Amsterdam Oud-Zuid, ​Museumstraat 1. Tel.: +31 (0)20 674 73 52, fax: +31 (0)20 674 70 01 . In 1876 P.J.H. Cuypers his plans for the new Rijksmuseum (Reichsmuseum or Nationalmuseum) to be built. On October 1st of the same year, the first pole was rammed into the ground and on July 13th, 1886 the museum was officially opened. Cuypers carried out his design in the style of the Dutch Renaissance of the late 16th century. out of. Critics saw the result as too much gothic traits. They considered this medieval Catholic architectural style unsuitable for such a “national” building in the “Protestant nation” of the Netherlands. At the opening of the museum, the "consecration of the episcopal palace, called the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam" was mocked. Feature: free WiFi. Price: 20€, free (up to 18 years), free. Payment methods accepted: cash, debit card, VISA, Mastercard, American Express, Museumkaart.
The floor plan of the large, symmetrical building, which is completely free in a park, shows a rectangle with an inner courtyard surrounded by three wings on either side of the central axis. Brick, granite, limestone and sandstone were mainly used as building materials. The central axis has a wide passage on the ground floor - a requirement of the city, which connects the Stadhouderskade with the Museumplein and the quarter beyond. The whole is strongly accentuated by the central part with the towers, the passage and the corner towers. The facade is richly decorated with motifs from Dutch history. Later, numerous outbuildings were added to the original design.
Extensive renovations began in 2003 and during this time it was only possible to visit to a limited extent. This conversion was completed in 2013 and the museum reopened in full on April 13, 2013.

Concertgebouw (Het Koninklijk Concertgebouw N.V.), Concertgebouwplein 2-6 (Amsterdam Oud-Zuid district). Tel: +31 20 5730573 . The Concertgebouw is a three-hall concert building in Amsterdam. Together with the Symphony Hall in Boston and the Musikvereinssaal in Vienna, it is one of the best halls for the performance of symphonic music due to its exceptionally good acoustics.
Around 1850, the doctor Samuel Sarphati from Amsterdam wanted to create a modern European city. For this he designed a city expansion plan, after which hotels, restaurants and cafes were built. Cultural life also flourished, which was symbolized by the construction of the Concertgebouw. In 1881, some citizens got together and asked Pierre Cuypers, the architect of the Rijksmuseum, which was under construction, for help. The architect A. L. Van Gendt realized the ideas of the committee in 1886. The new concert building was opened in 1888 after a two-year delay. Van Gendt mainly used brick for the construction, but he used sandstone for the entrance facade. Above the main entrance there are six columns ending in a triangular tympanum decorated with a relief depicting the Muses. The gable was closed off by a golden lyre, which is still the logo of the Concertgebouw and refers to Apollo as the patron saint of music. The "New Gewandhaus" in Leipzig served as a model for the interior design (flowing lines and rounded corners). Between 1985 and 1988 the building was expanded with a modern glass extension that is (almost) not conspicuous. The outside of the Concertgebouw was renovated in 1992 and the inside in 1995.

Station Amsterdam Amstel Julianaplein 1 (district Amsterdam-Oost). Opened in 1939, Amstelstation was the first station in the Netherlands to function as a hub for different modes of transport and flows. The then new principle of "optimal accessibility for different forms of transport" is achieved with differences in height, (fore)courts and tunnels. The station, designed in a functionalist style, was designed by the architect H.G.J. Schelling. The high and transparent glass, steel and concrete structure of the station hall connects the railway with the city traffic and stands longitudinally to the tracks. The wall decorations on the narrow sides of the hall come from P. Atsma and embody the "dynamics of the railway". The paintings by T. van Reijn, a bronze relief on the east pediment and the gray limestone sculpture of a half-seated woman in the hall symbolize “activity” and “passivity”. In the passageway to the tracks is another work of art by Alma, a tiled tableau from 1968 that hung in the now demolished Marnixbad until 2003.

Amsterdam Arena (Amsterdam Zuidoost district) The stadium of Ajax Amsterdam, where guided tours take place every hour on non-match days from 11 am. In the arena area around the stadium, music events take place in the evenings in the Heineken Music Hall, Grolsch Music Hall or Pepsi Stage.



There are quite a few historic mills in Amsterdam, only one of which - De Gooyer - is located in the city centre. For all the others you have to drive more or less far into the suburbs:

Riekermolen, De Borcht 10, (Buitenveldert). Tel: +31 (0)20 6445368 (J Rademaker) . The mill is not open to the public! → Amsterdam-Zuid.
De 1100 Roe, Herman Bonpad 6, Amsterdam-Nieuw-West, ​Herman Bonpad 6, 1067SN Amsterdam. Tel.: +31 (0)20 6117261 (P.G. Hoogendoorn) . The mill is not open to the public! → Amsterdam-Nieuw West.
De 1200 Roe, Haarlemmerweg 701, Amsterdam-Nieuw-West. Mobile: +31 (0)6 1987 8412 (R.R. Arler) . The mill is not open to the public! → Amsterdam-Nieuw West.
De Otter, Gillis van Ledenberchstraat 78A. → Amsterdam West.
Molen van Sloten, Akersluis 10. Tel.: +31 (0)20 6690412 . → Amsterdam-Nieuw West.
De Bloem, Haarlemmerweg 465. Tel.: +31 (0)20 6823004 (Dr. H. Schuurman) . The mill can be visited by appointment. → Amsterdam West.
D'Admiraal (D'Admiraal), Noordhollandschkanaaldijk 21 (Buiksloot). Tel: +31 (0)20 4920820, Mobile: +31 (0)6 5123 6908 (Dr. H.Y. Hilberdink) . → Amsterdam North.



There are almost a hundred museums in Amsterdam. The largest museums are located on the Museumplein; these are the Van Gogh Museum, the Rijksmuseum and the Stedelijk Museum. In addition, there are, for example, the Scheepvaartmuseum, the Tropenmuseum, the Amsterdam Museum, the Jewish Historical Museum and the palace on Dam Square. Other small, famous museums are the Anne Frank House and the Rembrandt House.

There are many works of art in public space in Amsterdam. See the list of statues in Amsterdam Center, Amsterdam New West, Amsterdam North, Amsterdam East, Amsterdam West, Westpoort, Amsterdam South and Amsterdam South East.


Film, theater and music

There are various theaters and theaters for drama in Amsterdam, including the Royal Theater Carré, the DeLaMar, the Stadsschouwburg and the Compagnietheater. The Nieuwe de la Mar Theater was demolished in 2005, after which a newly built theater under the name DeLaMar was opened in 2012. Three well-known cabaret theaters in the city are De Kleine Komedie, Boom Chicago and Toomler.

The city also has two large concert halls, namely the modern Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ and the classical Concertgebouw on Van Baerlestraat. The world-famous Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, among others, plays in the Concertgebouw. The Stopera also houses the Muziektheater, the home base of De Nederlandse Opera and Het Nationale Ballet.

Large (pop) performances are often held in the AFAS Live (formerly the Heineken Music Hall), the Johan Cruijff ArenA and Ziggo Dome. In addition, the well-known pop temples Paradiso and Melkweg are also located near Leidseplein, as well as De Balie and the City Theater. The latter was closed from 2007 to 2012 due to a major renovation.

At the beginning of the 21st century, a new culture park arose on the site of the old Westergasfabriek, where many exhibitions and performances take place today.

There are several movie theaters and cinemas in Amsterdam, including the Theater Tuschinski, Pathé de Munt, Rialto, Filmtheater de Uitkijk, The Movies, the Filmhallen and EYE Film Institute Netherlands.



Amsterdam has a varied and busy nightlife. The most important entertainment squares with terraces and catering establishments for both Amsterdammers and tourists are Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein. The most famous clubs are also located in this area: Jimmy Woo, Supperclub, Escape, Sugar Factory and Club AIR. In addition, there are Bitterzoet, ClubNL and Panama elsewhere in the city. Since 2015, the A'DAM Toren and Radion and De School in the West district, among others, have had a 24-hour permit, which came at the initiative of the Amsterdam night mayor.

The city has the most pubs in the Netherlands, although the number has decreased from 1410 in 2000 to 1021 in 2012. At the same time, old-fashioned brown neighborhood pubs are making way for coffee bars, beer cafés, cocktail bars and other hip establishments with a younger audience. The oldest cafes in Amsterdam are De Drie Fleschjes, Karpershoek, De Dokter, De Druif and Café Chris. Other well-known cafes are Café Hoppe, Café Américain, Bodega Keijzer, Schiller, Reynders, Mulligans Irish Music Bar, De Jaren and The Three Sisters.

In contrast to the declining number of cafés, there has been a sharp increase in the number of restaurants since 2010, not only in the center but also in the surrounding districts, often aimed at a younger audience (such as hipsters) and with a higher quality of food. In addition, many restaurants remain focused on (the increasing number of) tourists and Amsterdam has the most establishments that have been awarded Michelin stars, such as Yamazato, &samhoud places, Ciel Bleu and Librije's Zusje. New forms of eating out are a food market such as in De Hallen and a festival such as Rollende Kitchens.

Amsterdam has had a relatively large number of gay nightlife venues since the 1950s. Although their number has decreased sharply since 2010, they are still concentrated in and around Reguliersdwarsstraat, Kerkstraat, Amstel, Spuistraat and Zeedijk. Bars for gay men with a leather fetish were traditionally mainly found in the Warmoesstraat and since 2004 there has been a circuit party under the name Rapido. A well-known café for lesbian women was Vivelavie and café Saarein still is after more than 40 years.

Amsterdam is known for its many coffee shops, although their number has decreased considerably: from around 400 in 1995 to 187 in 2014. In 2015 another 70 coffee shops would be closed, which Mayor Van der Laan had agreed with Minister Opstelten to prevent that the weed pass would be introduced in Amsterdam. Some well-known coffee shops are Mellow Yellow, The Bulldog, Abraxas and De Dampkring.


Streets and squares

Most of the streets and squares worth seeing are in the city centre. Here's an exception:

Albert Cuypstraat Between the Ferdinand Bolstraat (tram 16, 24, 26) and the Van Woustraat (tram 4) in the De Pijp district, there is a large goods market on the Albert Cuyp every day except Sunday. Its offer ranges from traditional vegetables, fruit and fish to textiles and cameras. The market is the best known and busiest in the country and the largest day market in Europe.

Parks, zoos and botanical gardens
Amsterdam Zoo and Botanical Gardens are located in the city center.



The only park in the center is the small Wertheim Park opposite the Hortus Botasnicus.

Right around the center:
1 Vondelpark . at the Leidseplein, the first city park in Amsterdam. In the 1970s it was a meeting point for the hippie scene, which also stayed there. Thoughts of the hippie scene still linger here. Couples are officially allowed to have open-air sex in the popular city park. There are only a few restrictions. Public sex is only allowed after dark. In addition, the couples are not allowed to have sex near playgrounds and have to take any rubbish with them.
2 Ooster Park . at the Tropical Museum.
3 Rietland Park . in the eastern port area.
4 Sarphati Park . in De Pijp.
5 Westerpark . at the Haarlemmerpoort.

In the outskirts:
6 Rembrandtpark (along the A10 in Oud-West) .
7 Sloterpark (west of the Slozerplas, district of Slotermeer in Nieuw-West) .
8 Beatrixpark (to the west behind the mRAI exhibition center in Zuid) .
Amstelpark (Lino Sima Ekua Avomo; south of the A10 along the Amstel in the Buitenveldert district in Zuid) . Created as part of the 1972 Floriade.
9 Nelson Mandelapark (formerly Bijlmerpark; in the Bijlmermeer district in South East) .
10 Gaasperpark (around the Gaasperplas in the Gaasperdam district in Zuidoost) . Created as part of the 1982
11 Flevopark (at the Nieuwe Diep in East) .
W.H. Vliegenbos (in North).
12 Florapark (on the west bank of the Noordhollandsch Kanaal in Noord)


What to do

Amsterdam is a city with a remarkable cultural offer. For 37 years, Amsterdammers have been answering the question of "Where to tonight?" after a look at the Uitkrant. The program booklet, which is published monthly (11 times a year), offers a complete overview of all cultural activities in the city. It is available from the larger cultural institutions, from the VVV and in the town hall. The uitkrant is free. Text partly also in English.



De Mirandabad, De Mirandalaan 9 (Tram 25 or Station Rai). Tel.: +31 (0)20 5464444. Indoor swimming pool: 25 m pool, wave pool, solarium, 90 m long slide. Outdoor pool: 50 m pool, play pool, squash. Open: Mon–Sun (outdoor pool May 1–August 31). Times change, please inform in advance. Price: adults € 3.60 (Sun 4.00); Seniors (65+) € 2.90 (Sun 3.20).
Het Marnix, Marnixplein 1 (tram 3 and 10). Tel: +31 (0)20 5246000. Two swimming pools, one of which is on the same level as the adjacent canal, so you can imagine yourself among the boats and ducks. Massage jet, less chlorinated water, sauna, roof terrace, Grand Café, bicycle storage room with repair workshop. The Marnix is used a lot by schools and clubs, so inform yourself beforehand. Open: Mon-Sun. Price: adults €3.70; children (-4) €2.20; Seniors (65+) €2.70.
Sloterparkbad, resident Allendelaan 3 (tram 7 and 14 - terminus). Tel.: +31 (0)20 5063506. One of the largest swimming pools in the Netherlands. The bath, opened in 2001, has i.a. a 50 m competition pool, a diving pool, a target group pool and a multi-purpose pool. Open: Wed 13:00-18:30, Fri 15:30-18:30, Sat 9:00-12:00, Sun 9:00-13:00 (family swim), 13:00-16:00. During the holiday months, the times may vary, please inform in advance. Price: adults (from 3 years) € 4.30; Family day ticket € 15.00.
Flevoparkbad, Insulindeweg 1002 (tram 7 and 14 - terminus). Tel.: +31 (0)20 6925030, +31 (0)20 6080711. This outdoor pool has a large heated deep and shallow pool with a play island, toddler pool and sunbathing areas with play equipment. In addition, a sandbox with a play village, a large table football table, table tennis and an air trampoline. Open: late April to early September. Price: adults (16-64) €2.65; Children (3-16) €2.50; children (0-2) free; Seniors (65+) €2.
Bijlmerbad, Anton de Komplein 157 (near Bijlmer station). Tel.: +31 (0)20 6973220. Typical swimming pool with two pools, part of the Bijlmersportcentrum. Open: Mon–Sun “Recreative Swimming” Sat 1:00 p.m.–5:00 p.m.; Sun 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Price: adults €3.40; Children (-15)/seniors (65+) €3.10.
Zuiderbad, Hobbemastraat 26 (tram 2 and 5 (Hobbemastraat), tram 3 and 12 (Concertgebouw), tram 7 and 10 (Spiegelgracht)). Tel.: +31 (0)20 6781390. The "Südbad" has been located in the Art Nouveau building from 1897 (originally a cycling school) since 1912. In the bath, which was restored in proper style shortly before the turn of the millennium, you can swim your "lengths" very well. 25 m pool, shallow children's pool, whirlpool, steam bath. Open: Mon-Sun at irregular times. Please inform in advance. Price: adults €3.10; Seniors (65+) €1.95; children (5-12) €2.75; (1-4) €1.85.
Strandbad Blijburg, IJburg (at the bridge between IJburg and Muiden). Amsterdam has had a real bathing beach since 2001, although it is only a few kilometers away from the sea. In the new development area IJburg, which is currently being created in the IJmeer between Amsterdam and Flevoland, a strip of undeveloped but covered with fine sand shore developed into a lido. First of all illegal, of course, but in the meantime the city is taking care of proper equipment with boundaries, outhouses and beach attendants. The bathers calmly accept that behind their backs the bulldozers with heavy building materials are coming and going. You can lie here, bathe, even swim properly - and all for free. Incidentally, it has already attracted the corresponding restaurants. Open: between spring and autumn.



Artis, Plantation Kerklaan 38-40. Tel: +31 (0)900 2784796 (25 cents/min) . Website also D. Behind the strange name Artis hides the Amsterdam Zoo. Artis is the short version for the Koninklijk Zoölogisch Genootschap Natura Artis Magistra (in English: Royal Zoological Society "Nature is the teacher of the arts"), published in 1838 by G.F. Westerman, J.W.H. Werlemann and J.J. Wijsmuller was founded. The aim of this oldest zoo in the country was to bring nature closer to the population, both in living and non-living form. In addition to the animal park, Artis now includes a geological museum and a planetarium. There are still some buildings from the 19th century. and these give the zoo a charm and historical dimension that modern and new zoos lack. Like most older zoos located in a city, Artis has had to remodel extensively to bring the zoo up to date with modern notions of animal welfare. In 1997 the aquarium was completely redesigned with a coral reef, an Amazonian mangrove forest and the fauna of an Amsterdam canal. Since that year, the zoo has also been able to expand on the Doklaan plantation with a replica of an African savannah landscape. Open: Nov-Mar: Mon-Sun 9am-5pm; Apr-Oct: Mon-Sun 9am-6pm (Sat June-August until sundown). 24.12., 31.12. 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.; 1.1. 10:00 - 17:00. Price: Admission: adults €19.95; Children (3-9) €16.50. Seniors (65+) €17. In September and daily from 3:30 p.m. (except long Saturdays in summer) there is a reduced rate: adults €13.50, seniors €12.50; Children 11€.


Consume drugs

While purchasing marijuana is illegal, it is tolerated. Up to 5 grams may be carried without penalty. There are so-called coffee shops all over the city where you can buy and consume soft drugs. But only there - buying drugs on the street is not only extremely reckless, but also forbidden. In the dark alleys of Amsterdam, the careless tourist is not only given crap, it can also happen that he is relieved of his belongings.

A map of many coffee shops in Amsterdam can be found here.


Ross Buurt

This is the red light district of Amsterdam. Originally limited to the Oudezijds Voorburgwal and Oudezijds Achterburgwal canals north of the Oude Hoogstraat. The district is therefore also called De Walletjes. Prostitution has only been legal in the Netherlands for a few years, but in Amsterdam it has at least been gedoogd (tolerated) since the 1960s. Meanwhile, the red neon lights of raamprostitutie (window prostitution) have spread to other parts of the city.

If you prefer to see the beautiful old houses in this district - after all, it is the oldest part of the city - you should avoid Sunday mornings, because then the ladies are free. Incidentally, it is historically interesting that the small houses around the Oude Kerk were rented out to prostitutes as early as the Middle Ages by the Schout, the police chief at the time. In Amsterdam it was better to have such trades under control than "wild" in the open air. That hasn't changed to this day. The "free" street prostitution has now been outsourced to the western port area.



In 2007, more than 140 events were organized in Amsterdam. Some well-known local events are the religious Stille Omgang in March, the Holland Festival of the Arts in June, the Pride Amsterdam, an LGBTIQ event in August, which includes the famous boat parade through the canals. In 2016, this event coincided with the EuroPride, which was also held in Amsterdam in 1994. Later in August there is the Amsterdam Grachtenfestival (of which the Prinsengracht concert is one of more than 250 concerts) and the three-day Uitmarkt.

Also in August, Sail Amsterdam takes place every five years (the next in 2025). Over het IJ Festival is an annual event, starting on the first Thursday in July. In mid-October, the Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE), the largest festival for electronic music in the world, will take place. In November Sinterklaas will be welcomed and there will be the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA). In December there is the Amsterdam Light Festival with illuminated objects along the canals.

King's Day is celebrated exuberantly in Amsterdam, with a fair on Dam Square (until 2017) and a large free market. During the National Remembrance Day on May 4, wreaths are laid at the National Monument on Dam Square and many other memorial monuments in the city.

Also very popular are the various music festivals that are held at many locations in the city: their number rose from 69 in 2012 to 91 in 2013. In 2016, Amsterdam had a total of 195 festivals, of which 125 were music festivals. The number of food festivals, which are mainly held in the summer around all kinds of food and drinks, had risen to 28 within three years. In addition, there were 42 film festivals in 2016, which are especially popular in spring and autumn and about half of which are not older than 5 years. Partly due to complaints from local residents, less suitable locations and stricter regulations, the number of music festivals fell from 133 in 2016 to 100 in 2018. The number of food festivals fell from 32 to 24.


How to get here

Amsterdam can be reached in various ways.

By plane
The international airport of the Netherlands, the third largest in Europe, Schiphol, or Amsterdam Airport (IATA: AMS) (ICAO: EHAM), receives flights from all over the world. View the official website with arrival and departure times of all flights and other information at Schiphol.

From Schiphol Airport there is a train to Amsterdam Central 6 times an hour. There are also very frequent connections with the Zuidas (Amsterdam Zuid WTC and Amsterdam Rai stations) and with Amsterdam Southeast (Bijlmer/ArenA station).

Since the 2000s, a number of other airports have emerged as a low-cost alternative. Because a number of airlines fly to these airports at much lower rates, it is often still cheaper to fly via these airports, including the costs for the train or bus. Some of these airports are Eindhoven Airport, Rotterdam The Hague Airport and Maastricht Aachen Airport.

By train
For distances less than 500 km, the railways are still recommended, check the website of the NS train connections, especially now that more high-speed trains are being used. Trains run to Amsterdam from all over the Netherlands. From Flanders (Belgium) and France (Paris) it is interesting to consider the Thalys over the regular train. The cheapest Thalys fare (Smilys) is not only about 20 euros cheaper, it is also ten minutes faster. The disadvantage is that you have to be sure of your departure times. But the youth rate is also affordable and the Benelux Weekend Return (40%).

There are also several fast train connections from Germany (including a direct ICE high-speed train from Frankfurt am Main and Cologne to Amsterdam.

There are also special combination tickets (rail + air) for when you arrive at/depart from the airport in Brussels by plane (KLM) and travel from/to Amsterdam by train. See the official website of the Dutch Railways (NS) for all train connections.

By car
Amsterdam is easily accessible by car, if you avoid rush hours. The ring road around Amsterdam is the A10. It is connected in the north with the A8 towards Zaanstad, in the east with the A1 towards Amersfoort, in the south with the A2 towards Utrecht and in the west with the A4 towards The Hague.

From the extreme south, the A2 motorway runs directly from Maastricht, which is located right on the Belgian border just above Liège, directly to Amsterdam. But you can also reach Amsterdam from the south via Antwerp: (A1) / E19 / A16 towards Breda, E312 / A58-A65 towards Utrecht, E311 / A27 towards Utrecht, E35 / A2 towards Amsterdam. The third option is from the south you drive via Limburg (Belgium), then you drive in the direction of: (A21) / E34 / A2 towards Eindhoven and then Den Bosch and further E35 / A2 towards Amsterdam.

There are also countless ways to cross the border from Germany and continue to Amsterdam.

Due to the high parking fees and the many traffic jams, in combination with an illogical one-way street in the eyes of outsiders, it is not advisable to enter the city center of Amsterdam by car. It is better to park your car at one of the P+R areas (including Sloterdijk NS, Bijlmer/Arena, Zeeburgereiland and Noord) and continue into the city by public transport (train, metro or tram).

By bus
There are several ways to get to Amsterdam by bus. Buses run frequently to and from Amsterdam from the places around Amsterdam. The bus company Eurolines maintains cheap and regular scheduled services from abroad. The Eurolines bus station is located at the Amsterdam Amstel train station and can be reached from the center of Amsterdam by tram, metro or train.

By boat
Although Amsterdam has traditionally been an important port city (home to, among others, the Dutch East India Company (VOC) until around the 18th century), there are currently only a few scheduled services to and from Amsterdam. There are/were ferry-boat connections with Scandinavia (Denmark, Sweden and Norway). At the moment there are still (ir)regular cruise ship lines that call at Amsterdam from, for example, America or from the Mediterranean and dock at the Passengers Terminal Amsterdam (PTA). This is more than 100 per year.

There are also ferries from IJmuiden to Great Britain. IJmuiden and Amsterdam are connected with a regular bus service including bus 82 and also with a very fast ferry service (with hydrofoils) from Conexxion. See also the Dutch Public Transport site. For the hydrofoil, see the Connexxion site.


Transport around city

There is an extensive public transport network operated by the municipal transport company GVB: by tram (16 lines), bus (including night buses), underground and ferries. Most tram connections are located at the main train station. There are also canal taxis (not from the GVB).

Route map Amsterdam (PDF)

The backbone of public transport in the core area of the city is the tram. Eleven of the 16 lines connect the main station CS with the suburbs (1, 2, 4, 5, 9, 13, 16, 17, 24, 25, 26), the other five are (3, 7, 10, 12, 14). Radial lines, one (14) of which crosses the center in an east-west direction. If you are not afraid of a full tram and do not necessarily want to sit in a sightseeing bus, you can take line 2 (tram 2). It departs from the main train station past the palace, canals and museums. In one hour and 15 minutes you can see everything an (American) tourist needs to be able to say: I was in Amsterdam. The handling of the "OV-chipkaart" is explained below. It should still be possible to pay "in cash", but this is not so popular.

The Amsterdam Metro was built after sometimes very violent protests from the mid-1970s. First the two southeast lines 53 and 54 were built. It was only many years later that the network was supplemented with the then Sneltram 51 to Amstelveen (now converted into an express tram) and in the 1990s with the (fast) ring line 50. Up until 2018, the North-South Line (Line 52) tunnel was under construction, causing some downtown chaos and some budget overruns.

50 Isolatorweg (Westpoort) - Station Sloterdijk - Station Zuid - Station Bijlmer ArenA - Gein (Zuidoost)
51 Isolatorweg (Westpoort) - Station Sloterdijk - Station Zuid - Amstelstation - CS
52 North - CS - Vijzelgracht - Station Zuid
53 CS - Amstelstation - Van der Madeweg - Gaasperplas (Zuidoost)
54 CS - Amstel station - Van der Madeweg - Station Bijlmer ArenA - Gein (Zuidoost)

There are only a few city bus lines (18, 21 and 22) in the city centre, which connect the CS with West/Staatsliedenbuurt/Spaarndammerbuurt and Oost/Indische buurt. Lines 32, 33, 34, 35 connect the city center with North. The other 30 line numbers also run beyond the IJ in the north of the city. Lines 42 and 43 connect the new development area in the eastern port areas with the CS. The other bus lines are access lines between the districts.

Regional buses (streekbussen) depart from various central points.

north from Central Station
south and west from Streekbusstation Marnixstraat near Leidseplein
to the east from the Amstel station.

night buses
In the hours between the end of normal service and the start of operation, night buses operate in Amsterdam and the surrounding area. In the city itself there are 12 lines of the GVB. During the week (Mon-Thurs) they run every hour. Every 30 minutes on weekends (Fri-Sun). The night buses to the surrounding area are operated by the relevant streekbus companies.

It is important to know that the night buses have a different fare than regular public transport. As it is not sponsored by the state, it is higher than the normal tariff. The corresponding tickets are sold by the bus driver. One way € 3.50; Twelve-journey ticket € 25.00. The card entitles you to change trains within 90 minutes (GVB network). A night network card is also sold, which is also valid for journeys to the surrounding areas (Amstelveen, Zaandam, Purmerend, Edam and Volendam). It costs € 6.00 and is valid for two hours after it has been stamped.

All night tickets can be loaded onto the OV-chipkaart as a "travel product".

Pedestrians and cyclists who want to get to the north of Amsterdam via the IJ are dependent on the GVB ferry connections. All ferries therefore operate exclusively for pedestrians and cyclists and are free of charge.

Buiksloterwegveer CS - Buiksloterweg, operates all year round, Mon-Sun, 0-24.
IJpleinveer CS - IJplein, Mon-Sun 6.20-23.50. So shorter cycle times.
NDSM-werfveer, CS - NDSM-werf, Mon-Thu 6.45-23.45; 6.45-0.45; Sat 9.15am-0.45am: Sun 9.15am-11.45pm.
Distelwegveer Tasmanstraat - Distelweg, Mon-Fri 6.30am-7.30pm.
Houthavenveer Tasmanstraat - NDSM-werf, Mon-Fri 6.45-23.55M Sat+Sun 9.00-23.40.

Tickets are available on buses and trams from the driver or from an attendant in a booth at the back of the carriage. You can change trains in the city center as often as you like within the given time, provided you have checked out when you exit a tram or bus. As a tourist, you will usually choose a season ticket.

The GVB Ticket & Info office is located on the Stationsplein opposite Central Station (CS = Centraal Station) for information, travel tickets, city maps etc. Tickets are also available at the Tourist Office (VVV) and from machines in Bahn stations and Metro available.

The OV-chipkaart (public transport chip card) was developed as a national travel document for all local and long-distance passenger transport throughout the Netherlands. It is the only valid ticket in the Amsterdam city region (municipality of Amsterdam, Amstelveen, Haarlemmermeer, Aalsmeer, Uithoorn, Ouder-Amstel, Diemen, Zaanstad, Oostzaan, Landsmeer, Waterland, Edam/Volendam, Purmerend, Wormerland, Beemster, Zeevang).

The OV-chipkaart looks like a check card. It contains a chip (not visible) and is recognizable by the national pink logo. The card must be loaded with a reissaldo or reisproduct. The balance is an amount in euros that can be used to travel to all areas where the OV-chipkaart is valid. A travel product is, for example, a subscription, a single journey or a return ticket.

Check in and check out
If the OV-chipkaart is loaded with a travel product or a sufficient balance, you can check in. At the start of the journey you hold your OV-chipkaart against the screen of the access gate or a card reader bearing the logo. Access then opens or the card reader gives a confirmation signal. At the end of the journey, you check out in the same way: you hold the card against the screen of the exit gate or the card reader.

Difference between travel credit and travel product
The OV-chipkaart can be loaded with a credit of up to €30. The OV-chipkaart can be topped up with an annual or monthly subscription and with the NS also with a single journey or a return ticket. When checking in and checking out, the card reader checks whether a valid travel product is on the card.

Where can I use the OV-chipkaart
The OV-chipkaart can be used wherever the logo is visible: entrance and exit gates, mobile card readers, top-up stations, balance readers, at counters and/or other points of sale.

How charging works
The OV-chipkaart can be topped up at the counters of the transport companies or at special vending machines.

card types
There are three types of card: a personal card (€7.50), an impersonal card (€4) and a disposable card. The first two types are valid for five years and can e.g. B. be loaded with subscriptions or discounts, but require a certain processing time. They are therefore usually not worthwhile for a limited stay. Tourists will mostly resort to impersonal or one-way tickets.

Peculiarities of the NS
When traveling on credit, a boarding fare is deducted from the balance upon check-in. When checking out, this amount will be offset against the number of kilometers driven. If you “forget” to check out, you pay the entire boarding fee. The boarding fare on the train is €20. If the credit on the card is insufficient, it is not possible to travel. Alternatively, it is still possible to travel with ordinary paper tickets.

Other regulations
There is always a basic rate of €0.75 (€0.50 with discount). If you change within 35 minutes after leaving a means of transport, this basic tariff does not have to be paid again.

Further information English site of the transport company (also in English)

Water taxis and buses
The idea of using the city's many waterways to transport people again came up in the 1970s. However, it was not realized until the 1990s. There are different models:

Yellow Cab Water Taxi Stationsplein 8, Tel: 020-5356363.
Grachtenbus Three fixed lines, but the passenger can get on and off at the piers. Tel: 020 6239886
Canal sloop With these electrically operated sloops, the waterways can be explored individually. Up to eight people fit inside. It gets wet when it rains, because the little boats don't have a roof. Tel: 020 6239886
Canal Bike At Canal Bike, 100 water bikes (pedal boats) can be rented at four docks. You can ride off one dock and leave the bike at another dock. There is also a protective roof in case of drizzle. There is a plan with five routes. Tel: 020 6239886.

rental boats
In Amsterdam it is also possible to go boating yourself. This is even allowed without a boat license. All self-drive rental boats are eco-friendly electric boats. The following providers are recommended:

Boaty. The boat rental has its pier in the southern center, next to the Hotel Okura. Here you can rent open motor boats, some of which are covered with solar panels, for a three or four-hour boat trip. Tel:
Boats4rent boat rental is located at Westerpark and rents out small electric motor boats for a maximum of six people. Tel: 06-26326420.
Canal Cruise Amsterdam offers a complete overview of all types of rental boats in Amsterdam: pedal boats, small electric boats, saloon boats, large sloops and large dinner boats.

According to newspaper reports, it is currently (July 2009) not advisable to take a taxi in Amsterdam. Apart from the fact that taxi rides in the city are outrageously expensive, the large number of freelance taxi drivers makes any kind of quality control impossible. Taxi customers, the city and some taxi companies say that "passengers are insulted, short trips are denied, tourists are intimidated; many drivers hardly know their way and some are almost unable to speak Dutch or English." (Trouw, 7/7/09) The city of Amsterdam is trying to remedy the situation, but this may take some time. Until then, taxis should only be used in extreme emergencies.

bicycle - fiets
Amsterdam is a city of bicycles. Next to Copenhagen, Amsterdam is known worldwide as "the" bicycle metropolis. 30% of the distances are covered by bike. With millions invested in high-quality and safe cycling infrastructure, this share is to be increased even further. Due to the narrow city center with its many canals, it is difficult to get to the center of Amsterdam by car anyway. Therefore, many Amsterdammers use their bikes ("Fiets") or some also use scooters ("Bromfiets") on a daily basis. Everyday riders usually do not wear a bicycle helmet. Only cyclists can be found with helmets. The cycling climate in the Netherlands is generally much more relaxed. Anyone who obeys the traffic rules feels significantly safer and more accepted on a bike in the Netherlands than in many German cities. In the Netherlands, parked cars on cycle paths are e.g. B. No problem: In principle, they almost do not exist. Wrong parking on cycle paths or sidewalks costs €90 (in Germany, a warning fine of €20 or more is still a common "small crime" for many, logically). By the way, parking your car wrongly in the second row in the Netherlands costs €220.

Many cycle paths ("Fietspad") along main roads are shared by bicycles and scooters (then there is a corresponding sign). One-way bike paths are usually 2m wide. So overtaking is no problem: if you drive slowly, keep to the right, if you drive faster, you drive in the second row on the left. As a visitor, you probably drive rather slowly and therefore just turn right. Otherwise, be sure to give the hand signal when turning, swerving and overtaking, etc.! (Many cyclists forget that in Germany...). It is also very useful in a group with strangers to hold up your hand as a signal before braking when you stop individually. Two-way cycle paths always have a white central marking in the middle. If this middle marking is missing, it is usually a one-way cycle path that may only be used in the direction of road traffic.

At the bicycle traffic lights, you simply join the queue for bicycles. As a rule, you can still get over with the first traffic light phase. Then just swim with the crowd when there is a lot of bike traffic. Due to the good cycling infrastructure, you can also get there at moderate speed from e.g. around 15km/h quite quickly through the city. Some bicycle traffic lights are equipped with "count-down counters". This is very convenient. So you know e.g. B. whether there is still enough time to quickly take a sip from the drinking bottle or to take a look at the city map.

Pedestrians should be careful not to walk on bicycle lanes. If this is the case, the cyclists request priority by ringing the bell. Cycle paths are usually structurally clearly separated from footpaths by curbs. Or at least there is a clear separation in terms of the topping. Cycle traffic areas are usually equipped with rust-red asphalt or, more rarely, with reddish pavement.

Many green spaces such as B. the attractive Vondelpark may be cycled. In the Vondelpark, the asphalt paths are open for cycling. The smaller, gravel paths are reserved for pedestrians. But the main paved paths are 6 to 8 m wide! In addition, there are still gravel areas to the left and right of the tree-lined avenues in Vondelpark, which are then reserved for pedestrians. Due to the generous amount of space available, the Vondelpark is quite relaxed despite the enormously high density of bicycle and pedestrian traffic.

Video guide to cycling in Amsterdam: The Bike Instructor's guide to cycling in Amsterdam - official video of the "I amsterdam" campaign.

lend a bicycle
In many places in the city you can rent a bike for just under €10 per day.

bike parking
The city of Amsterdam does not like it when bicycles are tied to municipal property (lamp posts, traffic signs, bridge railings, etc.). After a warning (orange stickers), the bike is mercilessly removed and taken to the distant Fietsdepot (Bornhout 8, West Port area, Tel: 020 334 4522). There it can be picked up again for a fee of €10 (identity card + proof of ownership!).

The same happens to the bike if it is parked at the major train stations (Centraal, Zuid, Amstel and Muiderpoort) for more than 14 days or at the Leidseplein for more than 7 days.

Bikes brought to the Fietsdepot are kept for a maximum of three months, after which they are auctioned off!

You can safely park your bike in parking spaces that are available on every street corner and in larger and smaller shops, pubs and other facilities, as well as in the guarded stables. The stalls set up by the city are free for the first 24 hours, private stalls cost something (50 to 100 cents).

Train station Amstel, Julianaplein 1, Tel. 020-6923584 Open: Mon-Fri 5.15am-1.30am, Sat 5.30am-1.30am, 7am-1.30am (workshop Mon-Fri 7am-6pm, Sat 8am-6pm). Mopeds (brommers) are also kept.
BG-terrein (Centrum), Binnengasthuisstraat 9, Tel: 020-5891980. Open: Mon-Fri 8am-10pm, Sat 8am-7pm, workshop same opening times.
Paradiso (Centrum), Weteringschans 4a, Tel: 020-5891980. Open: Mon-Sun 0-24 h. Workshop 7-18 h.
Pathé De Munt (centrum), Reguliersdwarsstraat 97H, Tel: 020-5891980. Open: Sun-Fri 8am-0.30am, Sat 8am-2am,
Station Zuid, Zuidplein, Tel: 020-6618123 . Open: Mon-Sun 0-24 h.
Train station RAI (Zuid), Europaboulevard 4 A, Tel: 020-6618123. Open: Sun-Thu 5-1.30, Fri-Sat 5-2.30. Workshop Mon-Fri 9am-5pm.


To learn

People's University Amsterdam. The Volksuniversiteit Amsterdam regularly offers Dutch language courses for other speakers. The program also offers other courses. But for this it makes sense to master the Dutch language.
Universiteit van Amsterdam, Spui 21. Postal address: Postbus 19268, 1000 GG Amsterdam. Tel: (0)20-525 9111 (switchboard). The University of Amsterdam emerged from the Athenaeum Illustre (1632) and, with around 30,000 students, almost 5,000 employees and an annual budget of almost 500 million euros, is one of the largest universities in Europe for general research. The UvA has the following faculties: economics and business studies, humanities, medicine (AMC-UvA), social and behavioral sciences, natural sciences, mathematics and computer science, law, dentistry. The UvA is spread over several locations, mainly in the city center.
Vrije Universiteit, Hoofdgebouw VU, De Boelelaan 1105, 1081 HV Amsterdam. Tel: (0)20-5989898 (switchboard). In 1880 the "Free University" was founded as a private university on a Calvinist-Protestant basis. Up until the 1960s, its focus was largely determined by the "Reformed Association for Higher Education". After being put on par with other universities in the country (and funded by the state) in 1970, it grew into one of the great universities in the country. Today around 20,000 people study here at 13 faculties. VU is mainly based in Buitenveldert on the southern city limits.


To work

If you are looking for temporary work in Amsterdam, you can register with one of the many employment agencies.

Persons with the nationality of one of the so-called "Schengen" countries may work in the Netherlands without further formalities. However, they are subject to tax and must register in the Municipal Personal Records Database.


To buy

Amsterdam is a first class market town. Various general goods markets, which take place every day (except Sundays), as well as numerous special markets in the city center make shopping really exciting.

1 Albert Cuyp Markt, Albert Cuypstraat (tram 16, 24, 25 via Ferd. Bolstraat and line 4 via Van Woustraat). Daily general goods market with a very wide range. Around 260 stands. Open: Mon-Sat 9-18.
Amstelveld. Flower and plant market around the Amstelkerk. Mon 9-14.30.
Organic Markets:
2 Bio Haarlemmerplein. General goods market with exclusively organically produced products. Open: Wed from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Nieuwmarkt. Sat from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Part of the general goods market around the old Waag is reserved for daily fresh organic products.
Noordermarkt. Sat 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. First organic market in the country (1987).
3 Flower market on the Singel. Between Munt and Koningsplein. Open: Mon-Sat, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Boekenmarkt. Oude Manhuispoort (passage between Oudezijds Achterburgwal and Kloveniersburgwal) Mon-Sat 9-17. Predominantly antiquarian books (not only in Dutch!), historical engravings, sheets of music are negotiated in the vaults.
Boekenmarkt: Spui, Fri 9.30am-6pm. Here you can find what the Oudemanhuispoort doesn't offer: new books.

dapper market. Dapperstraat (tram 3, 12, bus 22, station Muiderpoort), Mon-Sat 9-18. This general commodity market is as multicultural as the neighborhood in which it is located. Especially Sa a lot of rush.
Jordaan Markets:
Lime tree market. Lindengracht (north of the Noorderkerk), sat 9-17. General Commodity Market.
4 Noordermarkt, around the Noorderkerk, Mon 9:00-14:00. Trendy flea market with a funky, colorful crowd.
Sa 9:00-16:00 organic market.
western market Westerstraat (south of the Noorderkerk), Mon 9:00-13:00. Cloths and rags market (160 stalls).
In the Jordaan there are many cozy and inexpensive restaurants and cafes.
Postzegel and Muntenmarkt. Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal (trams 1, 2, 5, 13, 17 - Dam), Wed, Sat 9:00-16:00. The market for philatelists and numismatists.
5 Nieuwmarkt (Metro 51, 53, 54), Mon-Sat 9:00-18:00. Smaller general goods market at the foot of the Vah. This is also where the Zeedijk begins and with it Amsterdam's Chinatown with a corresponding range of goods.
Sun 9am-5pm (May to October). Art, antique, antiquarian and flea market.
6 Waterlooplein Waterlooplein (Metro 51, 53, 54, Tram 9, 14). Flea and curio market around the Stopera.
There are other markets in parts of the city that are further away from the city center. These are listed with the relevant city districts.

Shopping centers
7 De Bijnkorf, Dam 1. "The Beehive" - the equivalent of KaDeWe in Berlin. Open: Mon 11:00 - 19:00, Tue 9:30 - 19:00, Wed 9:30 - 19:00, Thu - Fri 9:30 - 21:00, Sat 9:30 - 18:00, Sun 12:00 - 18:00.
8 Magna Plaza, on the corner of Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal, Raadhuisstraat and Spuistraat (located right next to the Dam). Open: Mon–Wed 10:00–19:00, Thu 10:00–21:00, Fri–Sat 10:00–19:00, Sun 12:00–19:00.


To eat

Anubis Pharaonic Restaurant, Martelaarsgracht 7 - 9. Tel.: +31 (0)20 4896262. Reservation required. Open: from 5 p.m.

Real Chinese cuisine abounds in many restaurants around the Zeedijk and the Nieuwmarkt. Don't be put off by the sometimes very sober inventory.
Dim Sum Court, Zeedijk 109. Tel: +31 (0)20 6381249. The interior is not very cosy, but the food is decent. Open: daily 12.00 p.m. – 11.00 p.m. Price: You can eat from the buffet in this restaurant for 60 minutes for €8.50.
1 Nam Kee, Zeedijk 111. Tel: +31 (0)20 6243470. Perfect food in authentic Chinese surroundings. Open: Kitchen: daily 12.00 p.m. – 11.00 p.m. Price: minimum price menu € 5.00, average price € 11.50.
2 Oriental City, O.Z.Voorburgwal 177 - 179. Tel.: +31 (0)20 6268352. Open: Kitchen: daily 11.30 a.m. - 10.30 p.m. Price: menu/minimum price €13.00, average price €25.00.
3 Tea Corner Di Shue Fang, Zeedijk 118. Tel: +31 (0)20 4202357. Vegetarian restaurant belonging to the neighboring Chinese temple.
4 Wing Kee, Zeedijk 76hs. Tel: +31 (0)20 6235683. One of the best Chinese-Cantonese restaurants in the country. The furnishing is of captivating sobriety. The priority here is good food, the rest is secondary. Alcoholic drinks are not available, but tea is included in the price. Open: Kitchen: daily 12.00 p.m. – 10.00 p.m. Price: Average menu price: €11.

5 Het Karbeel, Warmoesstraat 16 (centrum. 5 minutes walk from the train station; one street east of the Damrak.). Tel: +31 20 6274995. International breakfast from croisant to sandwiches to English breakfast. Free WiFi. Cheese fondue in the evening.

6 Bojo, Lange Leidsedwaarsstraat 49/51. Tel.: +31 (0)20 6268990. Price: Rice boards from €12.
7 Bunga Mawar, Zeedijk 41. Tel: +31 (0)20 6203472. Small family business serving excellent Indonesian cuisine. Nasi rames and saté kambing are particularly recommended. Open: Kitchen: Tue – Thu 5 p.m. – 10.30 p.m. Price: Menus from €9.
8 Café Kadijk, Kadijksplein 5. Tel.: +31 (0)20 17744411. Excellent cuisine in an authentic interior. Is a bit off the tourist track. Open: kitchen winter season: daily 4 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Summer season: Mon 4 p.m. – 10 p.m., Tue – Sun 12 p.m. – 10 p.m. Price: Lunch: rolls € 4.50 - 8.00; Tosti € 2.50 - 3.50; satay € 6.50 - 10.50; soups € 4.50 - 6.50; appetizers € 2.00 - 8.50; Desserts 2.70 - 4.50. Dinner: soups, saté see above; Appetizers/side dishes € 2.00 - 8.50; main courses € 9.50 - 18.50; Desserts see above
9 Kantjil & De Tijger, Spuistraat 291 (South-west end of Centrum. South end of Spuistraat, Spui tram stop (lines 1, 2 and 5).). Tel.: +31 20 6200994. Rice table. High price level. Popular.

Soeterijn, LinnaeHazenstraat 58usstraat 2. Tel: +31 (0)20 5688392. This café-restaurant is located in the basement of the Tropenmuseum (to the left of the entrance). Open: Tue – Fri 12.00pm – 10.00pm (kitchen: lunch 12.00pm – 2.00pm, dinner 5.30pm – 8.30pm), Sat 4.30pm – 10.00pm (kitchen until 8.30pm).

10 Café Papeneiland, Prinsengracht 2. Tel.: +31 (0)20 6241989. The "Papeneiland" is actually a cozy pub. But at noon you can also get lunch here. Open: Mon – Fri 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., Sat + Sun 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
11 De keuken van 1870, Spuistraat 4. Tel.: +31 (0)20 6204018. Eat like at mother's - simple, without any frills. This applies to the food as well as the design of the restaurant or the service. But it's affordable. Open: Kitchen: Mon – Sat 4 p.m. – 10.30 p.m.
12 De Silveren Spiegel, Kattengat 4-6. Tel.: +31 (0)20 6246589. Website also in English. Here, too, Dutch cuisine is of a high standard, both in terms of quality and price. Open: Kitchen: Mon – Sat 5.30 p.m. – 10.30 p.m. Price: Menus €39.50 (3 courses), €45.00 (4 G), €52.50 (5 G).
13 Greetje, Peperstraat 23. Tel.: +31 (0)20 7797450. Traditional ingredients excellently combined and prepared. However, this has its price. Open: Kitchen: Tue – Sun 6 p.m. – 10 p.m.; Sat 6:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m. Price: Starters: €9.50-14.50; main courses € 21.50-25.50; Desserts € 9.00-9.50.
14 Letting, Prinsenstraat 3. Tel.: +31 (0)20 6279393. Excellent quality lunch and tea room. The goods are fresh and tasty. Open: Thu – Mon 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
15 Moeders, Rozengracht 251. Tel: +31 (0)20 6267957. "Mothers" is the name of this restaurant on the edge of the Jordaan, which mainly serves traditional dishes such as Stamppot or Suddervlees. Stuff you normally only get at people's homes, not at restaurants. The quality is decent, as are the prices. Open: Mon – Sun 5 p.m. – 1 a.m.; Kitchen until 10.30 p.m. Price: lunch € 10.00; Menus (3 courses) € 26.00-30.00. Starters €8.00, soups €4.50; main courses € 15.00-19.00; Desserts € 6.00.
116 Proeflokaal De Admiraal, Herengracht 319. Tel.: +31 (0)20 6254334. Tasting room of the Van Wees distillery, the only still traditional distillery. Liqueurs, Jenever and other typical Dutch drinks such as Advocaat, Fladderack or Huppelolie can be tasted here, and there are also simple dishes as a background.
17 Smits Hollands Koffiehuis, Stationsplein 10. Tel.: +31 (0)20 6233777. Menu also in German. Café/Restaurant directly opposite the Central Station. The building also houses the VVV tourist office and the GVB ticket office. Popular meeting point, therefore sometimes quite full. Medium price level.
18 Het Stuivertje, Hazenstraat 58. Tel.: +31 (0)20 6231349. Tasteful and small restaurant in the heart of the Jordaan. Nice menu with daily and seasonal dishes. Selection of traditional Amsterdam liqueurs. Open: Kitchen: Mon – Sun 5.30 p.m. – 10.00 p.m.
19 't Zwaantje, Berenstraat 12. Tel.: +31 (0)20 6232373. Typical Amsterdam eetcafé with equally typical traditional Dutch cuisine. Friendly atmosphere. Open: Kitchen: Mon – Sun 4.30 p.m. – 11 p.m.
20 Vlaamsch Broodhuys, Haarlemmerstraat 108. Tel.: +31 (0)20 5286430. Bakery and lunchroom. Open: Mon – Fri 8.30am – 6.30pm; Sat 8.30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

The Pancake Bakery, Prinsengracht 19. Tel.: +31 (0)20 6251333. Classic pancake house with an extensive menu. Open: daily 12.00 p.m. – 9.30 p.m. Price: Pancakes from €5.50. Most copies cost between €8.00 and €10.00.
21 Upstairs, Grimburgwal 2. Tel.: +31 (0)20 6265603. In a typical Dutch house, the narrowest restaurant in Europe.

Around the Albert Cuyp there are many Surinamese restaurants or snack bars and bread stalls. The size of the restaurant doesn't necessarily say anything about the quality of the food, the crowd all the more.

22 Moksi, Ferdinand Bolstraat 21. Tel.: +31 (0)20 6768264. →Amsterdam/South.
23 Warung Spang Makandra, Gerard Doustraat 39. Tel.: +31 (0)20 6705081. →Amsterdam/South.

Go Freshshop, Vijzelstraat 135. Tel: +31 (0)20 5286985. This is a fast food chain that also offers vegetarian dishes. The dishes are mainly delivered.



1 Paradiso, Weteringschans 5-9. Phone: +31 20-6264521. In 1968 the prot. Founded the "Cosmic Relaxation Center Paradiso" in the Free Community. Since then it has become an internationally renowned podium.
2 Bourbon Street Blues Club. Phone: +31 (0)20-6233440.
3 Dansen by Jansen, Handboogstraat 11. Tel.: (0)20-6201779 . Opened in 1977 as the first student discotheque in Amsterdam. Even more than thirty years later, it is still the most important student disco in the city.



There are hotels scattered all over the city, but the largest choice can be found in the canal belt and the Museum Quarter. In Amsterdam there are also many small apartment hotels, sometimes with only 2 or 3 apartments. The capital is of course also home to some of the most luxurious hotels in the Netherlands. In addition, there are also many bed and breakfasts, which are often cheaper and smaller. Amsterdam is currently struggling with a hotel shortage. It is therefore advisable to reserve a room in time or to consider renting a temporary apartment.

Aspen Hotel Raadhuisstraat 31, 1016 DC Amsterdam, 1 star. Hotel Aspen is located in the center of Amsterdam, between the Palace on Dam Square and the Anne Frank house. All tourist attractions, museums and shopping streets are within walking distance of Hotel Aspen.
Poet Hotel Amsterdam, Jan Luijkenstraat 44, 1071 CR Amsterdam, Tel: +31 20 662 0526, A new, very central Boutique Hotel in Amsterdam, close to all major museums such as the Rijksmuseum and the famous PC Hooftstraat. for local accommodations at the home of real Amsterdammers. Rent a room or apartment in the district of your choice.
Gay Hotel The Golden Bear Kerkstraat 37, 1017 GB Amsterdam, 1 star. This nice gay hotel is located between the Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht in the middle of the Unesco World Heritage area. It is housed in 2 historic buildings from 1737 and therefore still has the famous Amsterdam spiral staircases. No room is the same, so no endless boring uniform corridors like in the larger hotels. It is the oldest gay hotel in Amsterdam. Here they still know the guests by name. The breakfast room is a cozy place to meet other gays and lesbians from other countries. Of course, the main tourist attractions are almost around the corner and when you walk out the door, you are immediately in the Leidsestraat with its many shops. The flower market is 2 minutes away. It is also interesting that the well-known club Church with special theme evenings, sex shop the Bronx and the famous sauna Thermos are also not far away. Don't forget the Spijkerbar, also in the Kerkstraat. The other clubs are all within walking distance. Of course, gay-friendly guests are also welcome. Book directly via to be assured of the lowest price.

NH Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky. The hotel is located right on Dam Square, in the bustling heart of the old center of Amsterdam, close to the Anne Frank House, the Red Light District, the Van Gogh Museum and the Heineken Brewery. NH Hotels has 13 hotels in Amsterdam
Ambassade Hotel, Herengracht 341, 1016 AZ, 4 stars. The Ambassade Hotel consists of 10 originally separate 17th century buildings on the Herengracht. The hotel now has 59 rooms and suites, all stylishly decorated with classic furniture and modern art.
Hotel Estherea, Singel 303 - 309, 1012 WJ , 4 stars. Hotel Estheréa is ideally located on one of the most beautiful and quiet canals in the city centre, only 300 meters away from Dam Square and the Palace.
Bilderberg Garden Hotel, Dijsselhofplantsoen 7, ☎ +31 20 570 5600, fax: +31 20 570 5654, e-mail: Bilderberg Garden Hotel is an intimate 5 star hotel located in Amsterdam South, near the Apollolaan and only a few steps from the center.
De Vliegende Kok (Culinary bed and breakfast), Transvaalkade 26, 1092JL Amsterdam (Tram 9 stop Pretoriusstraat), ☎ +31 20 468 6508, e-mail: Check-in: 4:00 PM, Check-out: 11:00 AM. In a mansion from 1895 on a canal in Watergraafsmeer you will find 2 Art Deco-furnished rooms. Close to Artis, Resistance Museum, Artis. Within 10 minutes with tram 9 in Hermitage. €90.
City Center Bed and Breakfast Amsterdam, Sint Jacobsstraat 21, ☎ +31 6 4516 0078, e-mail: Check-in: 4:00 PM, Check-out: 11:00 AM. City Center Bed and Breakfast is located in the old center of Amsterdam, only 300 meters from Dam Square and Central Station. to process
Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam, Damrak 1-5, 1012 LG Amsterdam. Park Plaza Victoria Amsterdam is a beautiful 4 star hotel located in the heart of the city, opposite Amsterdam central station. The hotel has an ideal location and the sights of Amsterdam can be reached quickly and easily from the hotel.
Park Plaza Vondelpark, Amsterdam, Koninginneweg 34-36, 1074 CZ Amsterdam. Park Plaza Vondelpark is a modern hotel located in the city center of Amsterdam. The Hotel has a breathtaking view over the Vondelpark. Leidseplein as well as the city's tourist attractions, including the Rijksmuseum, are within walking distance of the hotel.
Hotel Nicolaas Witsen Amsterdam center, Nicolaas Witsenstraat 4, ☎ +31 20 626 6546, fax: +31 20 620 5113, e-mail: Check-in: 2:00 PM, Check-out: 11:00 AM. Hotel Nicolaas Witsen is located in a quiet street in the center of Amsterdam. The hotel is very central to many attractions. €79 - €198.
Dorint Airport-Hotel Amsterdam, Sloterweg 299, 1171 VB Badhoevedorp, ☎ +31 20 658 8111, e-mail: The hotel has 222 rooms & suites. from 99 € per room/night.

Sofitel The Grand , Oudezijds Voorburgwal 197, 5 stars. Sofitel The Grand Amsterdam is a luxurious 5-star hotel located a few minutes from Dam Square, surrounded by two canals that connect the harbor with the river Amstel.
Amstel Inter-Continental, Professor Tulpplein 1, 5 stars. Located on the Amstel. Near the Carré Theater and the Hermitage Museum. 1500 m from Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum and the P.C. Hooftstraat. Opened in 1867 as Amstelhotel and one of the most beautiful hotels in the Netherlands.
Amsterdam Hilton, Apollolaan 136-138, 5 stars. Located in Amsterdam South, but with good tram connections (lines 5,16 and 24) to the center.
Hotel Okura Amsterdam, Ferdinand Bolstraat 333, 5 stars. Best known for the 2-star restaurant Ciel Bleu.
Grand Hotel Amrâth Amsterdam, Prins Hendrikkade 108. Five Star Deluxe Hotel located in the monumental Scheepvaarthuis in the center of Amsterdam.



To make telephone contact from outside the region with one of the companies mentioned or someone else in Amsterdam, the area code 020 must first be dialed.

There are four different mobile networks available, of which the former state monopoly KPN currently has the best underground coverage in tunnels and metros. Most foreign mobile phones automatically switch to the best accessible network.

In the center you can also check your e-mail at one of the many internet cafes such as

Internet Café Freeworld, Nieuwendijk 30; 1012ML, Tel. +31 20 620 0902.

Wireless hotspots
Many cafes, restaurants and hotels offer their visitors wireless internet. The prices vary between € 3 p/h to free. Look at the different neighborhoods for addresses.



In general, Amsterdam is a fairly safe city. However, the pickpockets guild is also active in Amsterdam. They operate in the familiar places such as the stations, markets, crowded trams and every place where pedestrian congestion can occur. And those are quite a few places with those narrow sidewalks in Amsterdam. Motorists should always be prepared for a break-in in their parked car. Not only valuables, but also some sweets can be a reason to smash a car window.



Furthermore, traffic can appear somewhat chaotic to outsiders. There are separate cycle paths almost everywhere, recognizable by the red pavement, but that is not enough for the Amsterdam cyclist. If possible, it also takes over the roadway, the sidewalk, or the left side of the road. And cyclists believe they have priority everywhere, so caution is advised as a pedestrian as well as a motorist. Cyclists are ubiquitous and drive (very) fast; as a pedestrian you better watch out when you change direction (look left, right and behind you...) To make it even more complicated, cyclists and pedestrians do not pay attention to traffic lights. In addition, there are many tourists who explore Amsterdam by bicycle but have absolutely no idea of the behavior of "local" cyclists and pedestrians, which often leads to dangerous traffic situations. Trams have right of way everywhere and these make even bigger dents. So be careful!



In the Netherlands, a distinction is made between hard drugs and soft drugs, the latter are tolerated in small quantities and for personal use.

Amsterdam has the reputation, but beware! NEVER, NEVER buy drugs from the street. There is a good chance that it is cut or fake, or worse, that it is dangerous. If you absolutely want to smoke a joint (soft drugs), go inside one of the many so-called coffee shops. These can usually be recognized by the rasta colors, the cannabis leaves or the reggae music, otherwise it is immediately noticeable inside by the smell. (N.B. It is sometimes jokingly said: in a coffee shop you can get everything except coffee. And in a cafe you can get everything except drugs.)

If you are new to cannabis smoking, make sure you are in familiar company and close to your hotel. Hashish and weed (Nederwiet!) in the Netherlands often have a higher THC content due to better cultivation methods than in other countries.

A newer option that has presented itself in recent years are: smart shops, shops where eco-drugs and magic mushrooms (mind-expanding mushrooms) are mainly available, and Growshops, where information and accessories are available to grow and cultivate hashish and cannabis plants at home .



Municipal Health Service The Municipal Medical and Health Service (GGD), the oldest in the country (1902), is particularly concerned with STDs, traveler information and vaccinations, infectious disease prevention and control, pest control, youth health care, social and mental health services (e.g . for drug addicts) and first aid and patient transport.
Normally, of course, you can just go to the doctor or the hospital.

Academic Medical Center. Largest hospital in Amsterdam and connected to the Universiteit van Amsterdam. The AMC is located directly at the Holendrecht train and metro station (lines 50 and 54). It is also served by buses 45, 46 and 47.
VU medical center, De Boelelaan. Free University Medical Center. The hospital specializes in oncology, neurology (Alzheimer's and MS), vital medicine (cardiovascular system, metabolism) as well as extramural and intramural medicine and movement as a research focus.
Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis, Oosterpark 9. Tel.: +31 (0)20 5999111. Website also UK. Large former Catholic hospital in the east of the city specializing in heart disease, AIDS treatment; it has a Level III Intensive Care Unit, a busy emergency department and a specialized orthopedic department.
Slotervaartziekenhuis, Louwesweg 6. Tel.: +31 (0)20 5129333.
1 Sint Lucas Andreas Ziekenhuis, Jan Tooropstraat 164. Tel.: +31 (0)20 5108911.
2 BovenIJ-Ziekenhuis, Statenjachtstraat 1. Tel.: +31 (0)20 6346346. The smallest of Amsterdam's hospitals, a regional clinic specializing in simpler operations.


Language and other information

Almost all Dutch people speak English, and although German is widespread, it is not always spoken with pleasure (less because of any resentment, but because it is a very complicated language for Dutch people). Younger people in particular prefer to speak English more easily. A few words of Dutch are always appreciated and at least rewarded with a friendly smile. Sometimes it's just a matter of courtesy.

The tourist information uses the saying "I am Amsterdam", whereby the words merge with each other. The website offers a comprehensive information portal on all things Amsterdam in Dutch, German, English, French, Italian and Spanish. In addition to the website, social media such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are also used professionally. Wherever this symbol appears, there are corresponding contact points, e.g. B. at Schipol Airport, at the central train station or in the city districts, with all the information for tourists:
Iamsterdam (Tourism Information), 1001 AC Amsterdam, Postbus 3331 (Visiting address: 1013 AA Amsterdam, De Ruyterkade 5, 4th floor). Tel.: +31 20 5305090, email:

The main tourist information offices (one phone number +31 20 7026000 for everyone) are:
Stationsplein 10 (opposite Central Station): Noord-Zuid Hollands Koffiehuis, opening hours: Mon-Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 10am-5pm
Holland Tourist Information at Schiphol Airport, Arrivals Level 2 in Schiphol Plaza, open daily 7am-10pm
Ticketshop Leidseplein 26, 1017 PT Amsterdam, open daily 10:00-17:00

Toilet: If you feel an urgent need for one, the easiest way is to ask in a restaurant or in a café, use is often permitted for free, sometimes a fee of 50 cents is expected. Even at night, not every tourist will like the old green cast-iron “juicers”, which were made in 1915 according to a design by the architect Jan van der Mey and can still be found on a number of streets, but are increasingly being replaced by open plastic ones.



The history of settlement in Amsterdam begins more than 4600 years ago at the end of the New Stone Age. Excavations from the period 2005-2009 under Damrak and Rokin brought to light utensils and bones of productive animals from that period.

Around the year 1000, the swampy area, then called Aemestelle, was reclaimed from the Utrecht region. From various existing peat streams, drainage ditches were dug on both sides and a farming community of land reclamators arose, as elsewhere in the peat area between the Gooi and the Dutch dunes. When the peat started to settle as a result of drainage, dykes had to be built to protect the now lower-lying land against the water.

In the 13th century, this led to the construction of dikes along the Zuiderzee and the IJ, such as the Spaarndammerdijk and Diemerzeedijk. In the mouth of the Amstel, probably shortly after the floods of 1170 and 1173, the dam from which Amsterdam derives its name was constructed. Part of the Amstel could have been dug. The part of the river offshore, the Damrak, was the beginning of the Amsterdam port. The river on the other side of the Dam became, partly drained, the Rokin. At the beginning of the 20th century, remnants of that dam were found on the spot between the National Monument and the building of De Bijenkorf.

The oldest mention of Amsterdam is in a document dated October 27, 1275, in which Count Floris V grants the residents freedom from tolls. There is uncertainty about the exact date on which Amsterdam obtained city rights. One of the possibilities is that the Utrecht bishop Guy van Avesnes granted the place city rights in 1300-1301, because in a charter from that time he speaks of 'onsen poiteren van Aemstelredamme' (Our burghers of Amsterdam). He explicitly calls the citizens 'burghers', which indicates that city rights had been granted. But little more can be said about the exact time of the grant, other than that the time is around or shortly after 1300. In 1342, Amsterdam received a new city charter from the Dutch Count William IV.

Soon after, the toll on beer followed. The beer trade contacts with Hamburg were the springboard for the Baltic Sea trade and the beginning of Amsterdam as a trading city. In the 15th century, Amsterdam had grown into the most important trading city in Holland. When the city was expanded, ring-shaped canals were dug for defense and for water management. The houses were built on a foundation of long wooden piles that rested on the sand layer under the marshy soil layer. The use of wood as a building material made the city vulnerable to city fires during the Middle Ages. In 1421 a third and in 1452 even three quarters of the city was destroyed. In 1597 and 1679, some smaller fires took place in Amsterdam.

The city quickly acquired a tradition of civil administration, with an important role for the vroedschap: a board of prominent citizens who appointed most of the administrators.

The city council joined the revolt against Spain (Alteratie) in 1578, mainly because of trade interests. After the capture of Antwerp by the Spaniards in 1585, many inhabitants of the Southern Netherlands, with their trade network, came to Amsterdam. Among many other factors, their arrival and that of Portuguese Jews played an important role in what has been called the Golden Age of Amsterdam and Holland.

The population of Amsterdam increased rapidly in that period due to an explosive influx of foreigners. Around 1570 Amsterdam had less than 30,000 inhabitants, in 1622 their number had grown to over 100,000. By the end of the 17th century, the population exceeded 200,000 and Amsterdam, together with London, Naples and Paris, was one of the largest cities in Europe. The population growth necessitated a large-scale expansion of the city, to which the concentric canal belt with its merchant houses and warehouses is due.

After that, the growth of the city slowed down and construction activities came to an end around 1680. There was an abundance of ready-to-build land on the east side of the Amstel. Lots were given to charities and the Plantage was designated as a walking park. From the middle of the 18th century, the population fell again, reaching a low point around 1815 with approximately 140,000 inhabitants.

In the 19th century there was a slow recovery and after 1850 Amsterdam started to expand beyond the 17th century Singelgracht. The water connection with Den Helder was established in 1825 with the newly dug Noordhollandsch Kanaal. In 1839 the Amsterdam – Haarlem route was opened as the first railway in the Netherlands. Since 1876, the North Sea Canal has been the direct connection between the port of Amsterdam and the locks at IJmuiden that provide access to the North Sea.

With the dawn of the industrial revolution, a new period of expansion began. Renewal of trade, new industry and a population explosion that was absorbed in the 19th century belt. The population doubled from about 250,000 around 1850 to 510,000 in 1900.

The social abuses associated with the industrial revolution turned Amsterdam into a center of Dutch social democracy and led to large-scale urban expansions (Plan South, Plan West and AUP). During the Great Depression in the 1930s, the Amsterdamse Bos (Boschplan) was built by the unemployed. The reduction in unemployment benefits for the unemployed in 1934 led to the Jordan riot, in which five people were killed.

The Second World War cost the lives of approximately 110,000 Amsterdammers. Of the sizeable Jewish community, the majority, about 75,000 Jews, did not survive the occupation. The resistance movement was extensive in Amsterdam, and spawned groups such as Vrij Nederland and the artists' resistance with Gerrit van der Veen. Anne Frank went into hiding in the city and wrote her world-famous diary there. The Hunger Winter also took a high toll in the city, as it did in the whole of the western Netherlands. The physical war damage ultimately remained limited compared to cities such as Rotterdam and The Hague. Most of the damage was caused in 1943 by the Allied bombing of Amsterdam-Noord, in which more than 200 people died.

After the war, the General Expansion Plan was largely implemented, so the Western Garden Cities and Buitenveldert arose. Amsterdam-Noord also underwent a major expansion. The Westelijk Havengebied was also constructed as part of the AUP. The existing city also changed: urban development plans in the 1960s and 1970s included the construction of a metro line and the demolition of large parts of the old Jewish neighborhoods and new construction. In 1966 mayor Ivo Samkalden drove the first pile into the ground for the construction of 5,000 homes in the Bijlmermeer polder.

The social face of the city also changed in the decades after the Second World War. In the 1950s, a liberal stance of the city council had enabled an early rise of gay nightlife, which was later followed by the social emancipation of gay people, making Amsterdam the gay capital of Europe for several decades.

The large number of protests and social movements in the city regularly led to riots and uprisings. In the wake of the Parisian student uprisings in the 1960s, the artistic anarchist Provo movement arose in Amsterdam, which fought against the authorities with playful actions, such as happenings around Het Lieverdje (Spui), but also with the setting off of a smoke bomb during the wedding of Princess Beatrix and Prince Claus in March 1966. In June of the same year a construction workers revolt took place. In these so-called Telegraaf riots, one person was killed and dozens injured, after which the mayor and the chief of police had to resign. Riots also broke out on August 25, 1970 when the sleeping ban at the National Monument on Dam Square took effect. For three days it was restless in the city with riots here and there, injuries and destruction, during which a group of marines acted illegally against mainly alternative, long-haired youths. Later, the young people and hippies would no longer spend the night on Dam Square, but in Vondelpark. Citizens and local residents protested on a large scale against municipal plans for the demolition of the former Jewish neighborhoods with replacement new construction above the new metro line to be built. A large demonstration in 1975 resulted in the Nieuwmarkt riots.

In the 1970s and 1980s, many, especially young, new Amsterdammers from the middle classes protested against the great shortage of affordable housing, the high vacancy rate, the neglect of housing blocks and the impoverishment of 19th-century neighbourhoods. As a protest and as a practical solution, they occupied vacant buildings, refurbished them and moved in. From the early 1980s, there were repeated demonstrations and broad opposition to evictions. Many local residents sympathized with the squatters. In March 1980, tanks rolled through the city to break down barricades against an evacuation of a building in the Vondelstraat. Another climax was the Coronation Riot on 30 April 1980 ("No home, no coronation") surrounding the ceremonies for the inauguration of Princess Beatrix as the new Queen of the Netherlands in the Nieuwe Kerk on Dam Square. There were burning barricades, especially on and around the Rokin, and there was fighting between the Mobile Unit and demonstrators, in which at least 400 people were injured. In the following years there were also regular squatters' riots, but on a smaller scale. Peaceful was the large peace demonstration against cruise missiles on 21 November 1981 with 400,000 participants. However, there were victims in a fire in Hotel Polen on the Rokin in May 1977, in which 33 people died. The building of the De Slegte bookshop next door also went up in flames, causing the loss of a large number of valuable antiquarian books.

In the 1970s and 1980s, urban renewal began in the city center and both families and businesses moved out of the city center in search of more space. The arrival of highly educated and well-earning young people in their place strengthened the support for catering and all kinds of other service activities. From 1984 the number of inhabitants increased again after twenty years.

Since the 1990s, the edges of the city have also been transformed and expanded. In the Bijlmermeer, which has become notorious as an underprivileged neighborhood and as the location of a plane crash in 1992, the characteristic honeycomb flats made way for renovation to improve the living environment. Another renewal operation is the transformation of the Eastern Docklands from a dilapidated port area into a modern residential area. At the same time, the city expanded outwards again, with for example the construction of the new neighborhoods De Aker and Nieuw Sloten in the southwest of the city and, since 2000, the development of the IJburg neighborhood on a number of artificial islands in the IJmeer. With the start of the construction of the Zuidas business district, the city has also started an important economic urban expansion.




Amsterdam is located in the province of North Holland, in the west of the Netherlands. It is located on the Amstel and the IJ. The port of Amsterdam is connected to the North Sea via the North Sea Canal. The water-rich city has many canals, the city center is divided into about 90 'islands'. There are 31 numbered locks. Of the 1,943 numbered bridges and viaducts in the municipality, 252 are located in the city centre. Of these, 902 have a name. The city center is about one meter above sea level and, like the surrounding area, has a very flat (polder) landscape, which in some cases, such as the Haarlemmermeer, Watergraafsmeer and the Beemster, was created by the reclamation of former lakes.



Amsterdam is located in an area with a temperate maritime climate (Cfb), with weather patterns strongly influenced by the proximity of the North Sea to the west and the associated westerly-oriented winds and storms. Winter temperatures are mild; on average above zero, although frost is not uncommon during periods of easterly or northeasterly winds from the European interior, such as from Scandinavia and Russia, deep into Siberia. Summers are warm, but rarely hot.

Days of heavy precipitation are regularly observed, but the annual precipitation does not exceed 800 mm. Most precipitation falls as sustained drizzle or light rain. A large amount of precipitation can be supplied in one go, for example during a storm, after which the pumps around the city must be used to transfer the water to higher grounds and the sea. The presence of many water basins means that cloudy and humid days are common, especially in the cooler months from October to March.



The city center of Amsterdam is located south of the IJ. The oldest area of the city is the area around Dam Square and the Red Light District, which is considered a prostitution area. The canal belt developed around the oldest core until the 17th century. On August 1, 2010, the canal belt was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. The city center has several protected cityscapes: Within the Singelgracht and the Nieuwmarktbuurt.

Outside the historic center and the Canal Belt are the former working-class neighborhoods of the Jordaan and the Eastern Islands, built in the 17th century, and the former working-class neighborhoods Spaarndammerbuurt, Staatsliedenbuurt, Kinkerbuurt, Pijp and Dapperbuurt, built in the 19th century. Well-known places in the city are Dam Square, Museum Square, Vondelpark, Waterloo Square and Artis Zoo.

Major urban expansions were the expansion of Amsterdam in the 17th century, with the city growing explosively in four phases; the 19th-century belt of workers' houses based on Jan Kalff's 1877 expansion plan; the expansions Plan Zuid and Plan West in the Amsterdam School architectural style after the plans of H.P. Berlage in the 1920s. Parts of the Spaarndammerbuurt are also built in the style of the Amsterdam School.

Cornelis van Eesteren's General Expansion Plan from the 1930s was the basis for large-scale expansions in a westerly and southern direction. This expansion plan gave Amsterdam its lobe or wedge structure, in which the built-up parts protrude in the shape of a finger, interspersed with green areas (green wedges).

North of the IJ lies the Amsterdam-Noord district, which is connected to the rest of the city by the IJ ferries (for cyclists and pedestrians), the North/South line and three tunnels and a bridge for car traffic. Part of it consists of the peat meadow area Landelijk Noord with villages such as Durgerdam, Holysloot, Ransdorp and Zunderdorp.

Green areas make up 12% of the surface of Amsterdam and the city has approximately 400,000 trees. Well-known parks are Vondelpark and Oosterpark. Southwest of the city lies the more than 1,000 hectare[18] Amsterdamse Bos, created from 1934 to provide work during the crisis of the 1930s.



The population data of Amsterdam is determined for the entire municipality. The older data concerned the data of the city at that time.

According to a press release from July 2008, the population of Amsterdam would increase by 12.6% until 2025. Based on that, Amsterdam would have about 845,000 inhabitants in that year. However, the population grew faster than expected. According to a study by the Bureau of Research and Statistics of the municipality of Amsterdam in 2016, the municipality would have approximately 906,000 inhabitants in 2025 and the number of 1 million inhabitants is expected around 2031.

On November 30, 2019, Amsterdam broke a population record. The city had 873,200 inhabitants that day, more than the previous peak in 1959. After that, there was a decline. The lowest point was reached in 1985, when there were still 675,570 residents, after which growth started again. Since 2008, Amsterdam has grown by about ten thousand inhabitants per year. In 2020, there was contraction again for the first time since 1985. In the first six months, the number of inhabitants shrank to 870,373 (June 2020). Causes are the increasing number of Amsterdammers who move elsewhere and the reduced arrival of expats, which led to strong growth in the previous years.

As of March 24, 2022, the municipality of Weesp was added to Amsterdam. With Weesp added, the number of inhabitants has grown to over 900,000.


Population composition

At the beginning of 2022, Amsterdam had 881,933 inhabitants. 43% of the population had two parents born in the Netherlands, while 57% had at least one parent born abroad (75% and 25% in the Netherlands, respectively, in 2022). 36.1% of the population consists of people with a non-western migration background; this is 13.7% throughout the Netherlands. In 2007, a worldwide record number of 177 different nationalities lived in the city. By December 2015, this number had risen to 180.

Amsterdam has traditionally had a population that is constantly taking in new groups of migrants and integrating them into a new indigenous unity. People from many countries came to the capital for various reasons: French (Huguenots), (Protestant) Flemings, Brabanders, Spanish-Portuguese and Eastern European Jews. They sought the tolerance of the city, Amsterdam knew freedom of religion from an early age. Many also came to work: other people from the Netherlands, Germans and Scandinavians. From the 15th to the 19th century, inhabitants from the German Empire were the largest group of immigrants in Amsterdam. In 2010, most of those newly settled came from Britain, the United States and India.

When China became a republic in 1911, many Chinese emigrated abroad, including a small group to the Netherlands. Chinese sailors settled in the Bantammerbuurt, now Amsterdam's Chinatown. Some Chinese still live in this (small) Chinese neighbourhood. The descendants of this first Chinese generation are of mixed descent and often live outside the Chinese neighbourhood.

From 1960, Dutch companies actively recruited young men in poor areas in Italy, Yugoslavia, later in Turkey and Morocco to come to the Netherlands as guest workers. Some came to work in Amsterdam.

In the run-up to Suriname's independence, Surinamese were given the right to move to the Netherlands and retain their Dutch citizenship. Many took advantage of this, many of whom settled in Amsterdam: in the new Bijlmermeer district, because there was a lot of space there, in the Pijp and in East.

From the 1980s, the city changed demographically. Because many more women started working in a short time, people married later and fewer children were born, more single people and more elderly people came. Rising rents in the city, better wages, increased housing requirements and affordable new construction in surrounding municipalities have attracted many Amsterdammers with young children to neighboring cities such as Almere, Amstelveen, Haarlemmermeer, Purmerend and Zaanstad. At the same time, a relatively large group of migrants, mainly from Turkey and Morocco, settled in a few old neighborhoods in a relatively short period of time. These quickly changed in character.

In 2010, more than half of the children under the age of 18 had at least one parent who was born abroad. Less than half (44 percent) of Amsterdam residents were born in the capital in 2006, according to figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS). A third Amsterdammer was born in the inner city. In 2006, most of the original Amsterdammers could be found in the garden villages of Oostzaan, Nieuwendam and Buiksloot.


Social division

The last groups of entrants have not brought about major changes in segregation. Well-to-do citizens and intelligentsia have traditionally dominated the Canal Belt and, since its construction, the Zuid district. Since the 1980s, they have flowed to the Jordaan and the islands, where urban renewal and rent increases had driven out the original, less well-to-do residents.

People with lower incomes per family member can be found in Bos en Lommer, Overtoomse Veld, the Bijlmer and Amsterdam-Noord, among others. Middle groups have been living in the Plantage, Rivierenbuurt, Watergraafsmeer, Buitenveldert, the Eastern Docklands and IJburg since construction, and since the 1990s also in Oud-West, the Baarsjes, Oost and the Staatsliedenbuurt. The city changes along with its population structure. Former simple neighborhoods with small and poor housing such as Jordaan, Nieuwmarktbuurt, Weesperbuurt, Staatsliedenbuurt and De Pijp went through a phase of gentrification. From 2008, East and the Indische Buurt are experiencing the same development.



In 1578, relatively late compared to other cities in the province of Holland, the Catholic city government was deposed in Amsterdam and the city joined the other Dutch cities in the Revolt against Spain. The churches and chapels fell into Protestant hands and anyone who did not adhere to the "Gereformeerde" (Reformed) religion (Roman Catholics, Lutherans, Remonstrants, Anabaptists) had to take refuge in hidden churches or fled the city, temporarily or permanently. At the end of the 16th century and in the 17th century, the city received many immigrants who brought other faiths, such as Sephardic Jews, Huguenots and Protestants from the Southern Netherlands. Well-known Sephardim are rabbi and writer Menasseh Ben Israel (1604-1657) and philosopher Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677). Their prosperity was expressed, among other things, in the construction of the Portuguese Synagogue. Until the twentieth century, Amsterdam had a large number of Jews, but the Second World War cost a large number of their lives: 75,000 Jews did not survive the war. It is ironic that the name Mokum was originally given to the city by the Jews. Later in the twentieth century, the arrival of immigrants from Suriname and African countries, among others, introduced new religions, such as Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism.

Amsterdam is still an important place of pilgrimage for Roman Catholics. Every year in the weekend after March 12, an average of about 5,000 pilgrims come to the Spui and the Begijnhof, where the current Holy Stede for the Miracle of Amsterdam is located. From the Spui, most of them then start around midnight on a Silent Procession through the city center in honor of that Miracle. Amsterdam is also the only place in the Netherlands with 'recognised' Marian apparitions: the one to Ida Peerdeman. They took place between 1945 and 1959. The bishop of Haarlem-Amsterdam recognized the cult in 2002. However, both the apparitions and the episcopal recognition are controversial; the Vatican still unequivocally rejects the apparitions and associated messages. Nevertheless, every year on or around May 31, a few thousand Marian worshipers gather in Amsterdam.

A majority of Amsterdammers, 56%, stated in a survey in 2000 that they "didn't feel related" to a denomination or religious or ideological movement. The religions with the most followers are Christianity (17%) and Islam (14%). The municipal survey concerned identification and "sense of kinship". A study by the Amsterdam Bureau for Research and Statistics expressed the expectation that Islam would be the largest religion within a few years due to the growth of the population with a Moroccan or Turkish migration background. According to a survey conducted in 2010-2014 by the Central Bureau of Statistics, 37.7% of the population of the municipality of Amsterdam considered themselves to belong to a religious denomination or a philosophical group, while 62.3% of the population was non-confessional. Most religious persons belonged to the Catholic Church and Islam (each separately 11.4%), followed by the Dutch Reformed Church (2.9%), the PKN (2.4%), Hinduism and Buddhism (each 1 %), Judaism and the Reformed Church (0.8% each), while 6.1% considered themselves to belong to another religious group.

The majority of Amsterdam's schools are non-confessional (ie for public or general special education), although the difference with religious education (56% versus 44%) is limited.


Politics and administration

Capital – National administration

Amsterdam has been the capital of the Netherlands since the time of Louis Napoleon's administration of the Netherlands, which was given to him by his elder brother Napoleon I in 1806. He chose Amsterdam as the capital of the new kingdom and after a festive entry into the city, he received he handed over the city keys on April 20, 1808. This day is seen as the first day of Amsterdam as the capital of the Netherlands. In 1908, the centenary was celebrated with a week-long party. In 2008, no attention was paid to it.

Amsterdam has been the constitutional capital since 1983, when the constitution was revised. After the departure of the French, the national administration was moved back to The Hague, where the parliament and the government are located.

The board of the province of North Holland is located in Haarlem.


Municipal administration

Since the reorganization of the city from 1 May 2010, the municipality of Amsterdam has been divided into seven districts. Before that there were fourteen boroughs, three remained unchanged, while the others merged into four new boroughs. Until March 19, 2014, the city districts were organized as municipalities and were also largely autonomous bodies. Contrary to the municipal model, the districts had a 'mayor' elected by the Council. The Westpoort port area is centrally administered by the municipality. Until January 1, 2015, Amsterdam was part of the plus region Stadsregio Amsterdam, which has 16 municipalities and over 1.3 million inhabitants. In addition, the municipalities work together with the other municipalities in the North Wing of the Randstad in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area.

Where the city was ruled by Groote Heeren in the Golden Age, Amsterdam can be labeled as a left-wing city since the concept of the left emerged, ever since liberals such as Willem Treub were on the board. From the beginning, social democracy has played an important role in the municipal council with names such as Wibaut, De Miranda and Schaefer and mayors such as d'Ailly, Van Hall, Polak and Van Thijn. There are also relatively many voters on the left of the SDAP and PvdA, divided over several parties, and the anarchist ideology (Domela around 1900, Provo in the 1960s) is also usually represented. The city council sometimes steers a quirky course in relation to the rest of the Netherlands, which has led to the expression 'Republic of Amsterdam'.

Amsterdam has a tradition of tolerance. This is rooted in the need to admit new inhabitants from the countryside, from other cities and other countries in order to be assured of sufficient labour, knowledge, innovation, money, etc. In the 17th and 18th centuries, for example, the regents allowed Catholics, Lutherans and other Protestants, Jews and free thinkers an unprecedented space for that time, with an associated freedom of the press. Waves of immigrants have settled in Amsterdam, partly for this reason.



The coat of arms of Amsterdam consists of three St Andrew's crosses, which are vertically below each other. The same can be found on the Amsterdam flag, but then horizontally. The flag used to be known as the "Tricross Red". The coat of arms of the Persijn family is mentioned by historians as the origin of the coat of arms of Amsterdam. Jan Persijn was lord of 'Amstelledamme' from 1280 to 1282. After the Second World War, as a tribute to the resistance of Amsterdammers, the motto 'Heldhaftig, Vastberaden, Barmhart' was added to the coat of arms, with royal permission from then Queen Wilhelmina in 1946 .



The city council of Amsterdam can award deserving persons and organizations the following awards, among others:
The Medal of the City of Amsterdam is the highest award and has three degrees: gold, silver and bronze.
The Frans Banninck Cocqpenning is awarded to Amsterdammers who have made a special contribution to the city for at least ten years. This token was instituted on October 29, 1996 and is named after the 17th-century mayor Frans Banninck Cocq. It has been awarded to Frank de Boer, Jos Brink, Drs. P, André van Duin, Herman van Veen, Jeroen Krabbé, Coos Huijsen and Liesbeth List.
The Andreas Medal can be awarded to people who have made achievements for the city with a national reputation in the fields of sports, science, journalism, art, politics, economics, media, education or museums. The medal can also be awarded to persons who have volunteered for at least ten years for a foundation or association with a social purpose.
The Jubilee Medal of the city can be awarded when an Amsterdam association, foundation or other organization celebrates an anniversary (from 50 years).
The Honorary Sign of Merit of the City of Amsterdam is an award that is presented to people who have committed themselves for 25 years to an Amsterdam association, foundation or institution.


Neighboring municipalities (and places)

Zaanstad (Zaandam)
Waterland (Het Schouw, Broek in Waterland and Uitdam)
Almere (IJmeer)
Gooise Lakes (Muiden and Naarden)
Stichtse Fight (Nigtevecht)
Wijdemeren (Hinderdam and Ankeveen)
Hilversum (Hilversum Meent)
The Round Fens (Abcoude)
Ouder-Amstel (Duivendrecht and Ouderkerk aan de Amstel)
Haarlemmermeer (Badhoevedorp, Lijnden, Zwanenburg (Ringvaart), Halfweg and Haarlemmerliede and Spaarnwoude)


Economy and work


The general image that applies to Amsterdam is that of a trading city. Even in the Golden Age, this was not possible without industry (shipbuilding, beer brewery, rope maker, sawmill), business services (stock exchange, insurance, banking), communication (publishers, printers), science (Atheneum Illustre, knowledge institutes) and occasional services (pubs, theaters and restaurants).

It is this economic diversity in particular that has been the economic strength of Amsterdam for centuries. The receptiveness to novelties (economic and cultural climate) has ensured that Amsterdam has not missed the boat of new technology and is now one of the world capitals of the ICT economy. Fittingly in the Amsterdam context, this is more about 'application' than about 'technique'.

The creative class plays an important role in the continuous renewal of the Amsterdam economy. It would not be able to do this without the support of occasional services and surrounding traditional services.

In 2008, Amsterdam was the sixth most important business city in Europe, after London, Paris, Frankfurt, Brussels and Barcelona. In the ranking of the most expensive cities in the world, Amsterdam was ranked 25th in 2008 according to the annual Cost of Living Survey conducted by Mercer Human Resource Consulting, the same position as in 2007.

The city benefited greatly from the flight of large companies from London due to Brexit. This led to a sharp increase in transactions on the Amsterdam exchanges, so that they could exceed activity in London (9.2 billion euros in January 2021, compared to 8.6 billion in London).

Economic activities in Amsterdam are concentrated in the city center, where more than 80,000 people have a job. Law firms and banks in particular have offices in the canal belt or in Amsterdam South. There is a noticeable trend of a shift of companies to peripheral locations such as the vicinity of Sloterdijk station, the vicinity of the Johan Cruijff ArenA, near the Amstel station and the Zuidas. These areas are characterized by high-rise buildings. The Zuidas must develop into the second center of the city and the new business face of the Netherlands.



Many people come to Amsterdam to shop, especially in the center of Amsterdam with the famous Kalverstraat, Nieuwendijk, Leidsestraat, Utrechtsestraat, Magna Plaza and the Nine Streets. There are also several shopping centers scattered throughout the city.

Shopping in the Kalverstraat is a popular outing for people from outside Amsterdam. The influx is particularly large on the weekly shopping Sunday in the city centre. More than 900,000 people pass through the Kalverstraat every week. This makes it the busiest street in the Netherlands. The street is characterized by the popular retail chains. The high rents ensure that in 2007 the city was ranked 21st among the most expensive shopping streets in the world (shared with the Karl Johan Gate in Oslo).

The P.C. is located in Oud-Zuid. Hooftstraat, known as one of the most expensive shopping streets in the Netherlands. Dozens of world brands can be found in the expensive boutiques such as Louis Vuitton, Cartier, Chanel and Gucci. There is continued interest from other foreign luxury brands to come to Amsterdam, but many of them insist on this relatively short street, which has created a 'waiting list'. It can be observed, however, that the development of the environment of the P.C. Hoofstraat is on the rise.

There are 33 weekly markets in Amsterdam. There are also a few daily markets, such as the Albert Cuypmarkt, the Dappermarkt, the Waterloopleinmarkt, the Noordermarkt and the Bloemenmarkt on the Singel. The famous free market takes place on King's Day.



Tourism in Amsterdam is important to the city; with 5 million visitors (2015) it is the fifth most visited city in Europe. Every year, some 16 million day trippers come to Amsterdam. In 2016, this number rose to 17 million.

There is also growth for the Amsterdam museums. After a decade in which various museums were (partially) closed due to renovations, all major museums have been open to the public again since the spring of 2013. This has an impact on the number of visitors. In 2014, Amsterdam received more than half a million more museum visitors than the year before, a total of about 12 million. This is double compared to ten years before. In 2016, the Rijksmuseum received 2.2 million visitors, the Van Gogh Museum 2.1 million visitors and the Anne Frank House approximately 1.3 million visitors. These are also the three most visited museums in the Netherlands. Other well-visited museums are the EYE Film Museum (711 thousand visitors), the Stedelijk Museum (650 thousand), NEMO (620 thousand), the Hermitage (more than 470 thousand), the Scheepvaartmuseum (292 thousand), the Amsterdam Museum (495 thousand ) and the Jewish Historical Museum (325 thousand).

Other tourist attractions remain popular. The city's most visited attraction remains a tour by boat through the Amsterdam canal belt. Tour boats attracted 3.2 million visitors in 2007, ranking second on the list of the most visited attractions in the Netherlands. The Efteling was in first place, with only 35,000 more visitors. The many other museums, coffee shops, restaurants and window prostitution in the Wallen ('Red Light District') are also popular among tourists.

Finally, Amsterdam benefits from the rise of other tourist groups. For example, the city is doing well as a cruise destination. This sector is growing rapidly. Tourism to the capital as a whole is growing steadily at a few percent per year in economically favorable times. Since 2000, the flow of tourists to Amsterdam has mainly consisted of British, Chinese, Germans, Americans and Japanese. Around 2014, a trend can be observed in the share of South European tourists. At various places and times, the tourist crowds have now reached the limits of the absorption capacity of the city centre.

The hotel market in Amsterdam is growing steadily. In 2004, more than 18,000 hotel rooms with 45,000 beds were available. There are more than 21,000 hotel rooms in the region. Until 2016, there was a need for 13,000 more hotel rooms in the region. The construction of mainly large hotels is an attempt to eliminate the room shortage in the capital. In 2014, these numbers had risen to 413 hotels with more than 25,000 rooms and approximately 55,000 beds. In the Amsterdam metropolitan region these numbers are: 625, 36,000 and 77,000. In 2017, Amsterdam had 479 hotels with a total capacity of 32,602 rooms and 71,879 beds.

According to critics, the large influx of tourists and day trippers has turned the center of Amsterdam into an 'open-air amusement park'. This is not considered desirable by drivers and has led to action plans on several occasions to limit the worst nuisance. For example, tourists should be lured to other locations in the city, such as De Pijp, the Southeast Center Area and, in the long term, to the Zuidas. The municipality aims to attract a larger group of cultural tourists and lovers of (modern) architecture. The 'Wallen-related' attractions should therefore be concentrated as much as possible. For example, a popular strip café on Damrak was closed under pressure from the municipality and almost all larger sex shops have been moved outside the Red Light District. Beer bikes were also banned in large parts of the city center in 2017.



Amsterdam has a number of large sports clubs. The best known is the football club AFC Ajax, which has won 36 national titles and four European Cups 1 to its name. The home base of the Eredivisie club is the Johan Cruijff ArenA, which replaced stadium De Meer in 1996 and with a capacity of 55,500 is the largest stadium in the Netherlands. With this stadium, Amsterdam was the host city for the 2000 and 2020 European Football Championships (played in 2021). The ice hockey team Amstel Tijgers, the baseball team Amsterdam Pirates, the basketball team BC Apollo and the hockey teams Amsterdamsche H&BC and Pinoké also compete at the highest level within their sport, as do the American football teams Amsterdam Crusaders and Amsterdam Panthers. American football team Amsterdam Admirals participated in NFL Europe from its foundation in 1995, but ceased to exist when that competition was discontinued in 2007.

Amsterdam hosted the 1928 Summer Olympics, the only edition of the Olympic Games ever to take place in the Netherlands. The Olympic Stadium, which was built for these Games, was restored in 2000 and serves, among other things, as the start and finish of the Amsterdam Marathon, which is organized annually in October. Other recurring sporting events are the Dam tot Damloop, the Rowing Race Head of the River Amstel and the Six Days of Amsterdam for track cyclists. The city was the starting point of the Tour de France in 1954 and the starting point of the Tour of Italy in 2010. In 1998 the fifth edition of the Gay Games took place in Amsterdam.



Het Parool, founded during the Second World War as a resistance newspaper, is a national daily newspaper, but with an emphasis on Amsterdam; the circulation in 2016 was between 60,000 and 80,000. In 2020, Het Parool had a printed circulation of approximately 45,000 copies on weekdays and 95,000 on Saturdays. The website was visited about 300,000 times a day.

De Telegraaf is an Amsterdam newspaper with (according to HOI, Institute for Media Auditing) a total paid targeted circulation of 353,000 copies (2018). At the beginning of this century, the circulation was just over 800,000.

De Volkskrant is also located in Amsterdam. In 2017, the circulation was 210,685. The newspaper Trouw has a circulation of 86,659 (2017).

Algemeen Handelsblad, which later gave rise to NRC Handelsblad (in Rotterdam), was founded in Amsterdam (and returned there in December 2012). With a circulation of approximately 200,000 copies, the NRC is the fourth largest paid newspaper in the Netherlands, after De Telegraaf, Algemeen Dagblad and de Volkskrant.

De Groene Amsterdammer is also an Amsterdam weekly.

AT5 (Amstel Television 5) is the local television channel. The channel has existed since 1992 and has produced a number of nationally known television personalities, including Sacha de Boer, Matthijs van Nieuwkerk and Fons van Westerloo. The local broadcaster is SALTO Omroep Amsterdam, on which FunX and MVS Gaystation, among others, broadcast. AmsterdamFM did the same until 2017, but since 2018 that culture channel can only be listened to online.

Furthermore, RTV Noord-Holland, Talpa TV (formerly SBS Broadcasting BV), Endemol, ViacomCBS Networks International Benelux (formerly MTV Networks Benelux), IDTV and various smaller production companies have their (head) offices in Amsterdam. In terms of national radio, Qmusic is located in Amsterdam.

Various nationally broadcast television and radio programs are/were recorded in the Desmet Studios and Studio Plantage (until 2012), both in the Plantage neighbourhood. In addition, there are television recordings on the grounds of Westergasfabriek and since 2014 in the Vondelpark pavilion.

The Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX) is the largest internet exchange in the Netherlands and one of the largest in the world.



Amsterdam has two universities: the University of Amsterdam (UvA) with approximately 28,000 students and the Free University, often simply referred to as "VU", with approximately 19,000 students. The faculties of the UvA are located throughout the center of Amsterdam, while the VU complex is located on De Boelelaan in Buitenveldert. Both universities have accredited medical centres, the UvA the Academic Medical Center and the VU the VU Medical Centre. The VU campus also houses the Academic Center for Dentistry Amsterdam, or ACTA for short, where both universities have jointly established the Faculty of Dentistry.

There are also a large number of institutions for higher professional education (hbo), including the Gerrit Rietveld Academy, the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, the Inholland University of Applied Sciences and the Amsterdam School of the Arts. The city's Hortus Botanicus is one of the oldest in the world.

Traditionally, the city has three categorical gymnasiums: the Barlaeus Gymnasium in the Center, the Vossius Gymnasium and the Sint Ignatius Gymnasium in Oud-Zuid. In addition, two categorical gymnasia were started in 2005 to compensate for the shortage of places at the existing gymnasia: The 4e Gymnasium (Westerpark) and the Cygnus Gymnasium (Oost-Watergraafsmeer).

In 1999, 48% of Amsterdam's schools were public. Roman Catholic and Protestant schools both had a 16% share of the educational offer; in those years there were also schools for ecumenical (6%), Islamic (4%) and other religious education (2%). In 1999, 8% of the schools provided general special education. In addition, there are also private schools in Amsterdam such as Luzac College and Winford College. The latter also offers primary education.