Amsterdam is a city full of surprises, and many of these facts about Amsterdam will do just that – surprise you! As one of the most famous cities in the Netherlands, Amsterdam is a place full of interesting facts and information. It is nice to visit Amsterdam with a few facts up your sleeve to further appreciate the city and all its unique aspects.
With this in mind, here are 30 interesting facts about Amsterdam to further your understanding of this unique and amazing Dutch city.
20 Interesting Facts About Amsterdam
1.There are more bikes than people
There are over 1 million bikes in Amsterdam and the current population is around 820,000. There are significantly more bikes than people in this city which is evident when exploring and spotting the bikes on every street.
2. Amsterdam is sinking
Amsterdam, and most of the Netherlands, sits below sea level. As a result, Amsterdam is built on millions of poles to keep it above. However, the poles shift which causes Amsterdam to sink in some places. You will notice this in the lopsided houses that sit at odd angles with huge gaps.
3. Dutch people are TALL
Dutch people are the tallest in the world. You will notice right away when visiting the city that there are a ton of super tall people roaming the streets. The average height for men is 184 cm and women are 170cm.
4. Amsterdam is very multicultural
Amsterdam is a city packed with different nationalities. In fact, it is home to the highest number of different nationalities than any other country in the world. With this in mind, almost everyone speaks English! Being in Amsterdam welcomes little to no language barriers.
5. Amsterdam is the second largest coffee consumer in the world
People in Amsterdam LOVE coffee. Amsterdam is the second largest coffee consumer in the world with people drinking on average 3.2 cups of coffee per person, per day.
6. Amsterdam has more canals than Venice
Amsterdam is often referred to as the Venice of the North, with both cities hosting a plethora of canals. However, Amsterdam is home to 165 canals and Venice only has 150.
7. Bike theft is the most common crime
Bike theft is one of Amsterdam’s most common crimes, even though it is often not reported. When a moped or expensive bike is stolen this gets reported. But if your regular bike is gone most people take it as a loss and go on with their day without a backward glance.
8. There are TONS of bars and cafes
Amsterdam is a city made for socializing and this is most obvious in its huge numbers of bars and cafes. While visiting Amsterdam you will have the choice to visit one of 1500 + cafes and bars.
9. Gin was invented in the Netherlands
The famous spirit Gin was actually invented in the Netherlands. This 16th-century invention was initially used for medicinal purposes.
10. There are more women than men in Amsterdam
The ratio of women to men in Amsterdam leads to more women. There are about 145 women to every 100 men in the city.
11. Narrower the house the lower the taxes
There are a ton of super narrow houses in Amsterdam that almost look impossibly thin. They are made this way because in the 7th century the taxes for a house were based on how narrow they were. You will find the most narrow house at Oude Hoogstraat 22.
12. The Red Light District also has blue lights
The famous Red Light District in Amsterdam is not just for red lights, but also blue lights. The blue lights around a window indicate a transgender woman is behind it.
13. Amsterdam has many house boats
There are more than 2500 houseboats in Amsterdam. These houseboats are located along the canals throughout the city and are just like normal houses just sitting on the water.
14. There is even a house boat for cats
One of the most famous houseboats is the Poezenboot which is a houseboat home for stray cats. People are allowed to visit this boat and spend time with the cats if they wish!
15. XXX is a sign of Amsterdam
This sign does not mean xxx in the traditional sense but is a sign for St. Andrew, a first-century fisherman who was tortured on a cross-shaped as an X.
16. The canals are full of bikes
Every year over 25,000 bikes fall or are thrown into the canals. There are special boats in Amsterdam that go through the canals to collect these fallen bikes, but they only collect around 8,000 a year.
17. Dancing was forbidden
Dancing was forbidden in Amsterdam at the beginning of the 20th century.
18. Amsterdam is very touristy
Every year Amsterdam welcomes around 14 million tourists.
19. Dutch people love to cycle
There are bike paths all around Amsterdam that are always full of cyclists. There are more than 400 kilometers of cycle paths in Amsterdam alone.
20. Lots of parks
Amsterdam has over 40 parks that are open to the public for relaxing and spending time outdoors.
These facts about Amsterdam are sure to show you a new side to this amazing city. Not only is Amsterdam modern and unique, but it also has a very interesting history.
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