Amsterdam is a one of a kind city with unique attractions, strange features and wide-ranging history. In case you have read some Amsterdam insider blog posts before, you might already know that it rains a lot there, everyone rides a bicycle, and some residents live on boats.
Here are a few more facts to know about Amsterdam before you go there.
Amsterdam houses are tilted
Canal houses in Amsterdam are built on long poles affixed deep into the ground underwater to avoid them from sinking. In some Amsterdam pictures, you might notice that the houses are lopsided or tilted due to the wet soil underneath.
No worries about that, though! The city’s got it all under control. Still, it looks pretty unusual, doesn’t it? The houses in the picture below are located in front of McDonald’s on Damrak 8 and are one of the most photographed places in the city center.
Coffee Shops do not sell coffee
If you’re planning a trip to Amsterdam, you might already be aware of the fact that Amsterdam coffee shops do not sell coffee. At all. Instead, they sell marijuana, and that is where you go for a legal high.
A little Amsterdam insider tip: marijuana is ONLY sold in coffee shops. It means if you see a marijuana lollipop or a marijuana cookie in a simple tourist shop, it will hardly get you high as there is no marijuana in it.
In case you’re looking for a cozy place to drink a cup of coffee on a rainy day, you should head to a coffee house or a cafe.
The city with most cultural attractions per capita
Amsterdam houses over 50 museums, as well as small but almost incalculable art galleries, antiques shops, exhibitions, markets and eateries. For that reason, it got recognized as the city with the highest concentration of culture per capita, leaving behind such cities as Paris, London and even Rome.
While the well-known Rijksmuseum or Van Gogh Museum might already be on your bucket list, do not miss a chance to visit eccentric museums that highlight bizarre concepts, such as Hemp Museum, Funeral Museum, Torture Museum, Museum Vrolik and Sex Museum.
Amsterdam has more bridges and canals than Venice
Venice is widely known for its canals and bridges, but who would have thought that Amsterdam has more? The Dutch capital, which is often called “Venice of the North”, has over 165 canals – 15 times more than Venice.
The most famous canals are Herengracht, Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht and Singel. As for the bridges, there are exactly 1281 of them, with Magere Brug and Blauwbrug being the most popular with tourists.
Cats are Special
Amsterdam has so much to offer for cat lovers! The most unusual place is probably The Catboat (or De Poezenboot in Dutch), a cat shelter on a houseboat founded by Henriette van Weelde. If you like cats, you should definitely pay a visit!
The Catboat is not a tourist attraction. Still, it is open to everyone, although not on a daily basis. Visit from 13:00 till 15:00 any day of the week except Wednesday and Sunday.
Ranked as one of the safest cities
As a traveler, you always want to make sure that you’re safe. It is a plus point when traveling to Amsterdam. Who would have imagined that despite being called “the city of sin”, Amsterdam has a lower crime rate than many other famous European cities?
Still, be aware of pickpockets, especially in crowded places, and – here is one of the most important Amsterdam insider tips! – ignore street dealers who are known for selling fake drugs to tourist.
Martin Buber once said that “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” That is why knowing the facts like the ones mentioned in this article is a significant step in your travel preparations. For more information about Amsterdam and what’s happening in the city, stay tuned with AmsterDO!