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Amsterdam fun facts

Amsterdam Fun Facts

(Last updated: 21 August 2020)

30x Amsterdam Fun Facts

This list contains 30 interesting Amsterdam fun facts you probably didn’t know about. But first, we answer 3 frequently asked questions about Amsterdam.

People also ask

What is Amsterdam known for?

did you know images

This beautiful city is known for its glinting boat-filled canals, fantastic architecture from the 17th-century, ‘coffeeshops‘ and especially the unique Red Light District area with its red-lit windows. Or what about the world’s best art by Rembrandt van Rijn, van Gogh, Vermeer and Frans Hals? Amsterdam is also known for being a very LGBT-friendly city.

What makes Amsterdam unique?

amsterdam facts and trivia

The inhabitants! The Dutch – and Amsterdammers in particular – are one of the most liberal and open-minded people in the world. Only here can you find a church surrounded by window brothels, a daycare center next to a 5D Porn Cinema and the world’s first condom shop with dozens of condoms displayed in the window. People here accept things faster than elsewhere in the world. The city is also known for its friendly and environmentally conscious inhabitants who do everything by bike. In addition, all Dutch people have a particularly good command of the English language.

What is the nickname for Amsterdam?

sex shows in netherlands

Mokum. This is the nickname that Amsterdammers use. The word Mokum originates from the Hebrew word “makom”, which means place.

Some people from the competing city Rotterdam use ‘020’ as a nickname for Amsterdam, because they prefer not to call the capital its real name. 020 is the area code of Amsterdam. This is often used by avid football fans of clubs like Feyenoord.

Foreigners use the nicknames “Dam”, “Venice of the North”, “World’s Most Liberal City” or “City of Freedom”.

did you know netherlands

30x Amsterdam Fun Facts

1 | The Red Light District has 4.295 residents. (source: Amsterdam Red Light District Wiki wiki)

2 | Amsterdam has 8 windmills and 165 canals. (source)

fun facts about amsterdam

3 | Sex workers in Amsterdam pay 150 – 200 euro per night to rent a window brothel and charge at least 50 euro per client. (source: Amsterdam Red Light District Prices)

4| Amsterdam’s Red Light District is called De Wallen in Dutch and it currently has 288 window brothels. (source: Karte des Amsterdamer Rotlichtviertels)

5 | The mayor of Amsterdam is a woman. Her name is Femke Halsema and she is the first female mayor of the Dutch capital. (source)

6 | World’s first gay marriage took place on April 1st, 2001 in Amsterdam. (source)

netherlands drug laws

7 | Amsterdam has 164 (cannabis) coffeeshops of which 14 are located in the Red Light District area.

8 | In 2019, 11% of all jobs in Amsterdam were in tourism. In other words; one out of nine people worked in the tourism-industry. (source)

9 | The oldest building in Amsterdam is The Old Church – or De Oude Kerk in Dutch – which stands in the middle of the Red Light District.

10 | Ocean’s Twelve was recorded in Amsterdam. In the film George Clooney’s team wants to steal shares of the Dutch East India Company. One of the scenes took place in coffeeshop De Dampkring. (source)

Amsterdam Narrow Alley

11 | This is the narrowest alley of Amsterdam. It is 75 cm wide and is located in the Red Light District. (Dutch source)

12 | The minimum age to use cannabis in the Netherlands is 18. (Dutch source)

13 | Coffeeshops are not allowed to sell more than 5 grams of cannabis per person. (source)

14 | One of the least known Amsterdam fun facts: The oldest house in Amsterdam is a gay club. (source)

window brothels red light district

15 | The minimum age to work as a window prostitute in Amsterdam Red Light District is 21. (source)

16 | In coffeeshops in Amsterdam it is not allowed to smoke tobacco. (source)

17 | The first condom shop in the world is located in Amsterdam’s Red Light District.

18 | STD-testing for sex workers in Amsterdam are not mandatory. Also not for sex workers elsewhere in the country. (source)

Amsterdam Waag Restaurant

19 | The oldest non-religious building of Amsterdam is De Waag.

20 | The first coffeeshop in Amsterdam – Mellow Yellow – was founded in 1972.

21 | The former CEO of Heineken (Freddy Heineken) was kidnapped in 1983 by an infamous criminal called Willem Holleeder – who is now in jail. (source)

22 | The Red Light District in  Amsterdam gets 3.1 million visitors per year. (source: Amsterdam Red Light District wiki)

amsterdam central station architecture

23 | Amsterdam’s Central Station and The Rijksmuseum were designed by the same architect – Pierre Cuypers. (source)

24 | Rembrandt’s wife is buried in Amsterdam’s Old Church, which stands in the heart of the Red Light District.

25 | Amsterdam used to have a legal cocaine factory that was founded on 12 March 1900. (source)

26 | The Dutch invented stocks. World’s first stock exchange opened in Amsterdam during the 17th-century.

Drug Use Netherlands

27 | Only 1% of the Dutch smoke cannabis daily and 7.2% of the Dutch used cannabis last month. (source)

28 | The richest Dutch person is a woman. Her name is Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken – daughter and owner of the Amsterdam beer brewer Heineken. (source)

29 | XTC and cocaine are illegal in Amsterdam and the Netherlands. However, there are 31 drug testing centers in the country were people can get the illegal drugs tested legally on the content. (source)

30 | The cover of Eminem’s album Marshall Matters LP (below) was taken on the Warmoesstraat in Amsterdam’s Red Light District. (source)

eminem coffeeshop amsterdam

And? How many of these Amsterdam fun facts did you know?

More Amsterdam Fun Facts?

Amsterdam Red Light District

Download the Amsterdam Audio Tours app and learn everything about the Red Light District during many stories of 22 experts. It contains dozens of great pictures, 2 hours of audio, transcripts, GPS, a virtual guide and many Amsterdam fun facts. You can listen to it in the Red Light District or just at home. It’s only 5 euro!




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