Amsterdam is one of the most popular travel destinations for tourists in recent times. It is a very diverse city with over 170 different nationalities living there. Canals, bicycles, and many more others are unique identities of Amsterdam. Here are interesting fun facts about Amsterdam you need to know.
Related media: AMSTERDAM City Tour / The Netherlands
There Are More Bikes Than Amsterdammers
It might seem weird because bikes are to be ridden by bikers. But in Amsterdam, there are more bikes than there are inhabitants. As of 2023, the population of Amsterdam has risen to roughly a million. But did you know that there are over 1.2 million bikes in Amsterdam?
It has over 400 kilometers (248.5 miles) of bike lanes and several storage facilities. Though the bikes keep disappearing in the city yearly, more are been added to the city.
In fact, there are more than 10,000 bicycles thrown into the canals by bikers each year. In Amsterdam, bikes are more respected than cars and pedestrians also. Pedestrians and cars are warned to stay out of bike lanes.
Also, over 70 percent of Amsterdammers ride bicycles daily. The president, ministers, members of parliament, and students, use this means of transport. Amsterdam remains the modern city of world-class cycling.
Europe’s Principal Pride City
Did you know that the Netherlands was the first country to legalize same-sex marriage? They legalized this marriage as far back as 2001. And with Amsterdam being the capital of the Netherlands, it is the first capital city to draw a lot of gay marriages.
Amsterdam Gay Pride is one of the massive pride marches in Europe. Many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, plus (LGBTQ+) members in Europe and other parts of the world get involved. Also, on the night of April 01, 2001, the day LGBTQ+ marriage was legalized, there were four same-sex marriages. Till today, the couples are still together.
No “Coffee” At Coffee Shops!
In Amsterdam, coffee shops do not sell coffee. You can rather get a coffee at a shop called Koffiehuis. In a coffee shop in Amsterdam, you can buy cannabis and smoke. Though Amsterdam is a very liberal city, it is illegal to smoke cannabis in public.
Amsterdammers however have a very low taste for cannabis as less than 10 percent of the population smoke cannabis. Much of the consumption is by tourists.
The Infamous Red Light District
One feature that many people remember about Amsterdam is its Red Light District. Just around the Amsterdam Central Station, you will find many rows of glass-fronted rooms where semi-nude women and sometimes men are found.
That place is the Red Light District of Amsterdam. The ladies are legal commercial sex workers. They work like any other licensed worker because they pay taxes. Red Light District got its name because of the prevalence of red neon signs lining the cramped streets.
Amsterdam Has More Canals Than Venice
Venice in Italy is known to be a city with many canals. But Amsterdam has more canals than Venice. The canals in Venice are about 150 while Amsterdam has 165 canals. The popularity of the canals in Venice makes people refer to the ones in Amsterdam as “The Venice of the North.”
The canals in Amsterdam were built in the 17th century and they are called Grachtengordel. In 2010, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) added the Amsterdam canals to the World Heritage Sites. Grachtengordel has houseboats where over 3,000 people live on.
The Home Of Heineken
One of the famous alcoholic beverages Heineken, was founded in Amsterdam. It was founded in 1864. It was managed by Gerard Heineken who had then bought the largest brewery in Amsterdam. Heineken is the beverage sponsor of the famous UEFA Champions League.
Heineken brews over 200 million hectoliters of beer annually. When you visit Amsterdam, you can pass by Heineken to get the Heineken Experience, where you learn about Heineken’s history and the brewing process and also sip their beer.
Let us know if you’re an Amsterdammer!
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Written by: Joseph Mensah, Sun, Apr 16, 2023.