What a name!
The name of the city the name Amsterdam comes from the combination of two words, the river the "Amstel" and Also the "Dam". The beer brand "Amstel" also comes from this river.
Did you know that there are 170 nationalities living in Amsterdam? Apart from 23 nationalities, Amsterdam has 193 nationalities living within it's borders! A very diverse community, which is unique of it's own!
Amsterdam is below sea level!
The reason that Netherlands is almost as flat as a pancake, is because most of the land is reclaimed from the sea. If there had been no dykes, the country would disappear under the water from the North Sea.
Schiphol Airport is 1 meter below NAP, this may confuse some pilots if they are not informed, which may cause a slight drop while descending. Fortunately, most of the pilots who fly to Amsterdam are aware of this fact.
Dutch people are experts on water and we are known all over the world about our expertise in building dikes. We don't have much of a choice as we don't want to end up like Atlantis.
Amsterdam is largely built on poles
Because the Amsterdam soil consists of a thick layer of peat and clay, our buildings are built on wooden piles which extend all the way down to the sand layers. This can be 11 meters deep! The Royal Palace on the Dam square is built on 13.659 wooden posts and Central Station is built on 8687 poles.
Amsterdam: Venice of the North
Amsterdam consists of more than one hundred kilometres of canals, about 90 Islands and 1,500 bridges. They call Amsterdam the "Venice of the North". The three main canals, Herengracht, Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht canals were dug in the 17th century during the Dutch golden age. These canals run beside several 1550 monumental buildings. In 2010 the Amsterdam Canal belt is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It underlines what we all already knew: the canals of Amsterdam are a monument of worldy format!
Amsterdam has over 1 million bicycles, but only 800,000 inhabitants
With its narrow streets and canals Amsterdam is certainly not a car-friendly city. The high parking fees make it look like the Netherlands still has a long way to go for improvement, but it doesn't matter as much since most locals travel by bike. Amsterdam is one of the few cities in the world where you can find a parking garage for bicycles.
Amsterdam has the most museums in one city of the world!
As a result of the rich heritage, Amsterdam has the highest number of museums of all cities in the world. In the Netherlands you can find over 70 well-known museums, of which more than 40 are located in Amsterdam.
Schiphol Airport is the only airport in the world where you find a museum! You can find it on the Holland Boulevard, in the area behind the passport check between the E-and F-Pier. The museum is open every day from 6 am to 8 pm and admission is free.
Coffee shops in Amsterdam
Amsterdam has more than 300 coffee shops, which sell soft drugs to 5 grams per person. A funny fact is that it is prohibited for coffee shops to buy drugs, but they are allowed to sell it!
Want some more tips for travelling to the Netherlands? Check out Bookmundi's article here!