While Amsterdam might be a very obvious city for its notorious Red Light District, arty museums or heavenly food, there are still few attributes to this place that might surprise a visitor on his/her first visit to this spangling cityscape. Triphobo lists down some of the most quirky and unknown things about Amsterdam that might amuse or surprise you, even though you must have read a lot about this city and the experiences that it offers. After reading these, we bet you will find this city in a new light altogether and your desire to visit Amsterdam will be definitely invigorated.
1. There are more Canals in Amsterdam than Venice
image source: pixabay
While Venice is eulogized all over the world for its immortally beautiful canals, it is Amsterdam that actually takes the credit of having more number of canals than the former. Let us come down to canals of Amsterdam facts: there are 165 canals forming 60 miles (100 km) of waterways as compared with 150 in Venice. Infact, there are atleast 1,200 bridges, a number which is about three times as 409 in Venice. In order to enjoy the alluring and seductive canals of Amsterdam, you can take up various tours to admire the stunning backdrop to the city’s historical centre. There are excellent options available that range from hop-on-hop-off services, romantic candle-lit tours, child-friendly adventures and intimate guided boat tours for smaller groups. Taking up a canal tour is in fact one of the most pivotal things to do in Amsterdam, that you can’t miss to experience.
2. One of the most Culturally Diverse City
image source: pixabay
Do you know that this famed city is actually one of the most socially tolerant cities in the world for nestling multiple ethnicities, religions as well as nationalities? There are 178 different nationalities recorded as living there in 2011 and it is estimated that up to 45% of the city have non-Dutch parents. Over the last 50 years Amsterdam has experienced an influx of people originating from other countries and cultures, mostly from Suriname, Turkey and Morocco. The City of Amsterdam recognizes the value this diversity has on society and culture and has created policies to reinforce this. Won’t you love to visit one of the most democratic cities in the world? I bet, you would!
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3. Take out your Snacks from the Walls
image source: Kylie & Rob(and Helen)/flickr
Feeling hungry while you are strolling around this magical city? Fret not, the city has ample of choices for you. Try out of the wall snacks available on most of the streets of Amsterdam. Row upon row of small rectangular boxes with glass windows displays each item to you. From frikadels to the kroket or the luxutrious broodje kroket, everything is just one minute away from you! Select the column that your item is in and insert your money. Press the button next to the item you have set your heart on and the door will open for you to grab and relish your warm item from inside.
4. Bikes, Bikes everywhere!
image source: telegraf.mk
Do you know that as many as 25000 bicycles end up in Amsterdam’s canals each year? And the official authorities say that around 8,000 bikes are pulled out of the canals annually. In a nutshell, there are quite a few bicycles still lurking under the waters.
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5. Interestingly, the Coffee shops in Amsterdam don’t sell Coffee
image source: commons.wikimedia
We bet this practice will definitely be one of the things you didn’t know about Amsterdam if you haven’t visited the city yet! The famous "Coffeeshops” (note the quotes) are actually the places from where you can go to legally purchase and smoke Marijuana. Other products with pot as an ingredient, such as brownies, are also sold there.
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6. The city stray cats float on water
image source: commons.wikimedia
You may have to shell out big bucks for a canal tour of Amsterdam, but the cats of this city get to have a free ride. Amsterdam has set up a novel ideal of a boat to house its stray cats. Called Poenzenboot, or The Cat Boat, this floating animal sanctuary is actually a shelter for stray and abandoned cats. Hav eyou witnessed this fun fact about Amsterdam?
7. The city rests on poles
image source: picssr.com
Ever since the earlier times, the houses in Amsterdam have been built on wooden foundation piles that are carefully driven deep into the clay, peat, and water until they reach the first layer of solid sand. Even some of the trees in Vondelpark are supported on wooden piles to keep them from sinking into the marshy ground. This is called "a city on poles”.
8. With its famous RLD, Amsterdam is one of the safest cities in the World
Image source: Thijs Paanakker/flickr
Whosoever thinks of what to do in Amsterdam, is directed to one thing only which is to make a visit to Amsterdam’s famous Red Light District. For many of us, this would ring a red alert about the issues of safety of women and many other crimes associated with it. However, even for its sprawling and notorious red light district, as well as "coffeeshops”, Amsterdam is indeed one of the top 25 safest cities in the world.
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9. Amsterdam owns the world’s oldest stock exchange
Image source: commons.wikimedia
Let me take you to vintage times and tell you one of the historical facts about Amsterdam. While London Stock exchange (established 1801) may be one of the most famous one in the world, it is Amsterdam that proudly holds world’s oldest stock exchange that was built in 1602 by Dutch East India Company during the Dutch Golden Age. Wow!
10. Narrow Houses in Amsterdam meant Lower Taxes
image source: Paul Arps/flickr
You must have fell in love with those narrow colorful houses of Amsterdam. While they are very tall and beautiful, they are also very narrow. This was done because people were taxed on the amount of space their house took up on the street. But as they say, necessity is the mother of invention, Dutch people came up with ideas to build their homes beautifully even though with a limitation of space.
Do you know of any other quirky fact about Amsterdam? Let us know, we shall be happy to include!
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