Amsterdam History

From its humble beginnings as a 13th-century fishing village on a river bed to its current role as a major hub for business, tourism and culture, Amsterdam has had a strong tradition as a centre of culture and commerce.


Amsterdam got its start as a trading city. Even in its earliest days, Amsterdammers saw the value of building relationships with other cultures, especially when it helped facilitate trade and economic development. Today, Amsterdam retains its character as an open and tolerant society, attracting visitors and new residents from all corners of the globe.

Amsterdam: melting pot of cultures

In short, it’s no coincidence that Amsterdam has become one of the most multicultural city in the world. The city is now a melting pot of cultures, with residents from 180 different countries. It also embraces a variety of different lifestyles, religions and beliefs. For example, the city is considered by many to be the gay capital of Europe and still has an active squatters movement. It might seem contradictory to outsiders, but the city’s enormous variety of residents works by allowing everyone to be who they are and say what they think.

COVID 19- Travelling to the Netherlands from abroad

Tourists and foreign travellers from countries where the health risks are similar to or lower than in the Netherlands can enter the Netherlands.

Visit the Government of the Netherlands official COVID 19 page to stay updated with the latest travel restrictions


Do I require a visa in order to travel to Amsterdam?

Please click here to check if you require a visa to enter The Netherlands. Feel free to contact us should you require an official invitation letter for visa application purposes.

What currency is used in Amsterdam?

The currency used in Amsterdam is the Euro (€)

Which language is predominantly spoken in Amsterdam?

Dutch. Most Amsterdam’s residents however speak English well and are often fluent in one or two languages on top of that. You can usually get by effortlessly in Amsterdam without a knowing word of Dutch.

How safe is Amsterdam

Even though Amsterdam is a relatively safe city, normal precautions against pickpockets should be applied. … All in all, Amsterdam is a very safe city, you should not worry about your safety as long as you practice common sense, which is necessary in any large city in the world.

What is the weather like in Amsterdam in July?

July generally is the warmest month of the year in Amsterdam, with temperatures ranging between night-time lows of 13° C (54° F) and midday highs around 22° C (72° F). Rain would not be a strange occurrence for the month of July, it does tend to be light.Dutch.



12 Things to do in Amsterdam

The Arty Jordaan

Visit the Arty Jordaan

Often cited as Amsterdam’s most charming neighbourhood, wandering into the Jordaan feels like stepping back in time. Originally a working-class area, the Jordaan’s narrow streets and quaint buildings now make up one of Amsterdam’s most desirable quarters, dotted with independent art galleries, antique shops, courtyard gardens and atmospheric bars and restaurants. Ditch the map and lose yourself in the labyrinth of narrow lanes that sprawl eastwards from Prinsengracht canal known as the 9 Streets, one of Amsterdam’s most rewarding shopping experiences.

Cycle Everywhere

Cycle in Amsterdam

There are over 800,000 bicycles in Amsterdam. That’s more bikes than people! Cycling in Amsterdam is a way of life, made easier by the city’s unbeatable network of cycle routes and flat landscape. Amsterdam regularly comes out on top in lists of the world’s most cycle-friendly cities, and there’s no finer way to explore the region’s attractions than by pedal power. Hop on your bike and head to Sloterplas for a dip in the sprawling lake, or cycle over to Ouderkerk aan de Amstel to explore a 12th-century village idyll packed with historic sights. Many of Amsterdam’s best-kept secrets can be discovered from the comfort of your saddle.

Wake up and Smell theTulips

Smell the Tulips

Yes, they’re as clichéd as clogs, but tulips are a definitive symbol of Dutch culture, and a trip to the Netherlands wouldn’t be complete without feasting your eyes on these beautiful blooms. take the short 20-minute trip out to the world-famous tulip fields (Bollenstreek) – stretching out in colourful stripes across miles of lowland fields between Haarlem and Leiden. There are also ample opportunities to stop and smell the tulips right in the heart of the city; the bulbs spill out of bouquets at the Bloemenmarkt, line the windows of the Tulip Museum and seem to burst forth from every possible planter during the Tulip Festival.

Experience Culture, Film and Architecture

Experience culture, film and architecture

Dominating the view from the southern banks of the IJ behind Central Station, the striking white EYE building has rapidly become one of Amsterdam’s most iconic landmarks since it opened in Spring 2012. An absolute must for film fans, the EYE Filmmuseum houses a permanent exhibition space that showcases retrospectives and contemporary exhibits, as well as a vast film library, cinema and fabulous restaurant bar with a terrace overlooking the water. Catch the free ’Buiksloterweg’ ferry from behind Central Station, which takes three minutes. Get free entry to the EYE filmmuseum with the I amsterdam City Card.

Central Park of Amsterdam

Cycle in Amsterdam

Amsterdamse Bos, on the southern edge of the city, is almost three times the size of New York’s Central Park. This lush urban oasis provides ample opportunities for bike rides, picnics, swimming, strolling over hills and flower-blanketed valleys, or just barbecuing with friends. In the forest, you’ll find Goat Farm Ridammerhoeve, where you can meet goats, lambs, chickens, pigs, cows and horses and then fuel up at its charming restaurant that serves delicious goat cheese. For heartier fare, head to Meerzicht Farm and Pancake House where the Dutch-style pancakes are beyond delicious. It also has a big playground for the kids and a stable of daintily antlered deer sure to elicit ooohs and ahhhs from your own dears.

See how Anne Frank lived

See how Anne Frank lived

Reflect on the atrocities committed against the Jewish people during World War II at the Prinsengracht house where diarist Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis for two years after fleeing persecution in Germany. The front of the Anne Frank House is now a thought-provoking museum but the back annexe has been preserved to give an idea of what life was like for Anne and the families she hid with. Waiting times are often lengthy, so visit early in the morning or book online in advance to beat the queues.

Europe’s Biggest Flea Market

Search for unusual finds at Europe's biggest flea market

If you love bargain-hunting, quirky curiosities and sprawling industrial warehouses, make time for a visit to IJ-hallen, one of the best markets on the continent. Take the ferry from the harbour behind Central Station to the NDSM-yard and from there it’s just a 5-minute walk to the market. Step into the cavernous space, or browse the many stands that spill out onto the wharf, to rifle through a wild collection of records, vintage clothing, home furnishings and antiques. If you can’t find something special here, you aren’t looking hard enough.

Live like Dutch Royalty

Live like Dutch royalty

There are many castles, palaces and fortresses in the Amsterdam Area that provide a window into the region’s regal past and will make you feel like the star of your own fairytale. The Royal Palace Amsterdam is King Willem-Alexander’s official reception palace where world leaders and heads of state are hosted and entertained, but it is also open to visitors much of the year. Just 15 kilometres southeast of the city, you’ll find Muiderslot—a 13th-century castle that looks like it could have been plucked from a Disney movie with its five towers, moat and drawbridge. 

 Waterfront Music, Art and Food

Indulge in waterfront music, art and food in an up-and-coming neighbourhood

Once a base for a munitions factory, Zaandam’s Hembrugterrein is quickly transforming into a haven for Amsterdam’s creative set with several restaurants, museums and artistic venues all set on a plum spot lining the shores of the North Sea Canal. Thursday to Sunday, a direct ferry runs from Central Station to Het HEM, the cultural complex that’s at the heart of this thrumming new neighbourhood. Het HEM has a variety of exhibition spaces where the work of talented local artists is on proud display, along with a living room with a library, a café with a reading table and lakeside terrace, a hi-fi record bar and Restaurant Europa, serving up North Sea delights.

Try Local Beer at a Historic Brewery

Try local beer at a historic brewery

There are eight remaining windmills in Amsterdam and the easiest to visit is De Gooyer in the Oostelijke Eilanden (Eastern Islands) neighbourhood. And this isn’t just any windmill – for under the sails of this striking landmark is Brouwerij ‘t IJ, an award-winning artisan microbrewery with a large outdoor drinking terrace and 30-minute guided tasting tours. The brewery produces a range of organic standard and seasonal ales that you’ll find in many Amsterdam bars, though nothing tastes quite as good as beer brewed on the premises. Just try to pace yourself because the city is brimming with craft beer bars and microbreweries that will beckon you in for one more frothy fluitje.

Cruise past Canal Houses and Bridges

Cruise past canal houses and bridges

Created in the 17th century to keep the sea at bay, Amsterdam’s UNESCO protected canal belt is the quintessential postcard-perfect vision of Amsterdam. It is an unbelievably pretty sight, especially after sundown when the bridges are lit up by fairy lights and the whole area takes on a magical feel. Floating along the canals by guided boat tour is a great way to get under the fabric of the city, and you’ll learn lots of fascinating facts along the way – such as why the tilting homes along the canals are known as ‘dancing houses’. There are many different canal cruises on offer, from hop-on-hop-off sightseeing tours to atmospheric candlelit night time cruises with food and wine. Get a free canal cruise with the I amsterdam City Card, or book a canal cruise online with the Canal Cruise Ticket.


Check out the museums & majestic buildings in Museumplein

Home to the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum and The Royal Concertgebouw, Museumplein is the cultural beating heart of Amsterdam. Recently renovated to a world-class standard, the leafy and architecturally astounding 19th-century district of Oud-Zuid is an art lover’s utopia. The open square between the buildings pulses with activity all day, with open-air exhibitions, markets and a large paddling pool to dip your toes into on warmer days. In the winter months, the square transforms with a vast outdoor ice rink. Get free entry to the museums with the I amsterdam City Card.