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Amsterdam (, , ) is the
capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smaller lowercase (or more formally ''minusc ...
and
most populous city The United Nations uses three definitions for what constitutes a city, as not all cities in all jurisdictions are classified using the same criteria. Cities may be defined as the city proper, cities proper, the extent of their urban area, or the ...
of the
Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES islands location map.svg , map_caption2 = , image_map3 ...

Netherlands
with a population of 872,680 within the city proper, 1,558,755 in the
urban area An urban area, or built-up area, is a human settlement with a high population density and infrastructure of built environment. Urban areas are created through urbanization and are categorized by urban morphology as city, cities, towns, conurbati ...
and 2,480,394 in the
metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated urban core Urban means "related to a city". In that sense, the term may refer to: * Urban area, geographical area distinct from rural areas * Urban culture, the cult ...
. Found within the
province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many similar terms, are g ...

province
of
North Holland North Holland ( nl, Noord-Holland, ) is a Provinces of the Netherlands, province of the Netherlands in the northwestern part of the country. It is located on the North Sea, north of South Holland and Utrecht (province), Utrecht, and west of Frie ...
, Amsterdam is colloquially referred to as the "
Venice of the NorthThe following is an incomplete list of settlements nicknamed Venice of the North. The term ''Venice of the North'' refers to various cities in Northern Europe Northern Europe is a loosely defined Geography, geographical and cultural region in Eur ...
", attributed by the large number of canals which form a
UNESCO World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for ha ...
. Amsterdam was founded at the
Amstel The Amstel () is a river in the province of North Holland in the Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES ...

Amstel
, that was dammed to control flooding, and the city's name derives from the Amstel dam. Originating as a small fishing village in the late 12th century, Amsterdam became one of the most important ports in the world during the
Dutch Golden Age The Dutch Golden Age ( nl, Gouden Eeuw ) was a period in the history of the Netherlands, roughly spanning the era from 1588 (the birth of the Dutch Republic The United Provinces of the Netherlands, or United Provinces (officially the Repu ...
of the 17th century, and became the leading centre for
finance Finance is the study of financial institutions, financial markets and how they operate within the financial system. It is concerned with the creation and management of money and investments. Savers and investors have money available which could ...

finance
and
trade Trade involves the transfer of goods from one person or entity to another, often in exchange for money. Economists refer to a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of r ...

trade
. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the city expanded and many new neighbourhoods and suburbs were planned and built. The 17th-century
canals of Amsterdam Amsterdam Amsterdam (, , ) is the Capital of the Netherlands, capital and Municipalities of the Netherlands, most populous city of the Netherlands with a population of 872,680 within the city proper, 1,558,755 in the City Region of Amsterdam ...

canals of Amsterdam
and the 19–20th century Defence Line of Amsterdam are on the
UNESCO World Heritage List A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for ha ...
. Sloten, annexed in 1921 by the municipality of Amsterdam, is the oldest part of the city, dating to the 9th century. Amsterdam's main attractions include its
historic canals
historic canals
, the
Rijksmuseum The Rijksmuseum (; en, National Museum) is a Netherlands, Dutch national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam. The museum is located at the Museumplein, Museum Square in the stadsdeel, borough Amsterdam-Zuid, Amsterdam South, close ...

Rijksmuseum
, the
Van Gogh Museum The Van Gogh Museum is a Dutch art museum dedicated to the works of Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries in the Museum Square in Amsterdam South, close to the Stedelijk Museum The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (; Municipal Museum Amsterdam ...

Van Gogh Museum
, the
Stedelijk Museum The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (; Municipal Museum Amsterdam), colloquially known as the Stedelijk, is a museum for modern art, contemporary art, and design located in Amsterdam Amsterdam (, , ) is the Capital of the Netherlands, capita ...

Stedelijk Museum
,
Hermitage Amsterdam Hermitage Amsterdam is a branch museum of the Hermitage Museum of Saint Petersburg, Russia, located on the banks of the Amstel river in Amsterdam. The museum is located in the former Amstelhof, a Classical architecture, classical style building fro ...

Hermitage Amsterdam
, the
Concertgebouw The Royal Concertgebouw ( nl, Koninklijk Concertgebouw, ) is a concert hall in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The Dutch term "concertgebouw" translates into English as "concert building". Its superb Architectural acoustics, acoustics place it among the ...

Concertgebouw
, the
Anne Frank House The Anne Frank House ( nl, Anne Frank Huis) is a writer's house and biographical museum dedicated to Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people are members of an ethnoreligious group and a ...

Anne Frank House
, the
Scheepvaartmuseum
Scheepvaartmuseum
, the
Amsterdam Museum The Amsterdam Museum, until 2011 called the Amsterdams Historisch Museum, is a museum about the history of Amsterdam. Since 1975, it is located in the old city orphanage between Kalverstraat and Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal. History The museum opened in ...
, the
Heineken Experience The Heineken Experience, located in Amsterdam, is a historic brewery and corporate visitor center for the internationally distributed Dutch pilsner, Heineken, Heineken beer. The industrial facility was built as the first Heineken brewery in 186 ...
, the
Royal Palace of Amsterdam The Royal Palace of Amsterdam in Amsterdam (Dutch: ''Koninklijk Paleis van Amsterdam'' or ) is one of three palaces in the Netherlands which are at the disposal of the monarch by Act of Parliament. It is situated on the west side of Dam Square in ...

Royal Palace of Amsterdam
,
Natura Artis Magistra Artis, short for Natura Artis Magistra (Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Throug ...
,
Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam Hortus Botanicus is a botanical garden A botanical garden or botanic gardenThe terms ''botanic'' and ''botanical'' and ''garden'' or ''gardens'' are used more-or-less interchangeably, although the word ''botanic'' is generally reserved for ...
, NEMO, the
red-light district A red-light district or pleasure district is a part of an urban area where a concentration of prostitution and sex industry, sex-oriented businesses, such as sex shops, strip clubs, and adult theaters, are found. In most cases, red-light districts ...
and many cannabis coffee shops. It drew more than 5 million international visitors in 2014. The city is also well known for its nightlife and festival activity; with several of its nightclubs (
Melkweg The Melkweg (Dutch for "Milky Way The Milky Way is the galaxy A galaxy is a gravitation Gravity (), or gravitation, is a natural phenomenon by which all things with mass Mass is both a property Property (''latin: Res ...

Melkweg
, Paradiso) among the world's most famous. Primarily known for its artistic heritage, elaborate canal system and narrow houses with gabled
façades
façades
; well-preserved legacies of the city's 17th-century Golden Age. These characteristics are arguably responsible for attracting millions of Amsterdam's visitors annually.
Cycling Cycling, also called bicycling or biking, is the use of bicycles for transport, recreation, Physical exercise, exercise or sport. People engaged in cycling are referred to as "cyclists", "bicyclists", or "bikers". Apart from two-wheeled bicy ...
is key to the city's character, and there are numerous
bike paths A bike path is a bikeway separated from motorized traffic and dedicated to cycling or shared with pedestrians or other non-motorized users. In the US a bike path sometimes encompasses ''shared use path Shared-use path with running track in Chic ...
. The
Amsterdam Stock Exchange A bond from the Dutch East India Company, dating from 7 November 1623, for the amount of 2,400 florins. Euronext Amsterdam is a stock exchange A stock exchange, securities exchange, or bourse is an Exchange (organized market), excha ...
is considered the oldest "modern" securities market
stock exchange A stock exchange, securities exchange, or bourse is an Exchange (organized market), exchange where stockbrokers and stock trader, traders can buy and sell security (finance), securities, such as share (finance), shares of stock, Bond (finance), ...
in the world. As the commercial capital of the Netherlands and one of the top
financial centre A financial centre, financial center, or financial hub is a location with a concentration of participants Participation or Participant may refer to: Politics *Participation (decision making), mechanisms for people to participate in social de ...
s in Europe, Amsterdam is considered an alpha world city by the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) study group. The city is also the cultural capital of the Netherlands. Many large Dutch institutions have their headquarters in the city, including: the
Philips Koninklijke Philips N.V. (in Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer t ...

Philips
conglomerate,
AkzoNobel Akzo Nobel N.V., trading as AkzoNobel, is a Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch ...
, Booking.com,
TomTom TomTom N.V. is a Dutch multinational developer and creator of location technology and consumer electronics. Founded in 1991 and headquartered in Amsterdam Amsterdam ( , , ) is the Capital of the Netherlands, capital and Municipalities of ...
, and
ING Ing, ING or ing may refer to: Art and media * '' ...ing'', a 2003 Korean film * i.n.g, a Taiwanese girl group * The Ing, a race of dark creatures in the 2004 video game '' Metroid Prime 2: Echoes'' * "Ing", the first song on The Roches Th ...
. Moreover, many of the world's largest companies are based in Amsterdam or have established their European headquarters in the city, such as leading technology companies
Uber Uber Technologies, Inc., commonly known as Uber, is an American mobility as a service Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) is a type of service that through a joint digital channel enables users to plan, book, and pay for multiple types of mobility ...

Uber
,
Netflix Netflix, Inc. is an American subscription The subscription business model is a business model in which a customer must pay a recurring price at regular intervals for access to a product. The model was pioneered by publishers of books an ...

Netflix
and Tesla. In 2012, Amsterdam was ranked the second best city to live in by the
Economist Intelligence Unit The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) is the research and analysis division of the Economist Group The Economist Group (legally The Economist Newspaper Limited) is a media company headquartered in London London is the capital city, capita ...

Economist Intelligence Unit
(EIU) and 12th globally on quality of living for environment and infrastructure by Mercer. The city was ranked 4th place globally as top tech hub in the Savills Tech Cities 2019 report (2nd in Europe), and 3rd in innovation by Australian innovation agency 2thinknow in their Innovation Cities Index 2009. The
Port of Amsterdam The port of Amsterdam ( nl, Haven van Amsterdam) is a seaport File:PorticcioloCedas.jpg, The Porticciolo del Cedas port in Barcola near Trieste, a small local port A port is a maritime law, maritime facility which may comprise one ...

Port of Amsterdam
is the fifth largest in Europe. The
KLM KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, legally ''KoninklijkKoninklijk or Koninklijke ({{IPA-nl, ˈkoːnɪŋklək(ə), pron, Dutch language, Dutch for ''Royal'') is an Title of honor, honorary title given to certain companies and non-profit organisations in t ...

KLM
hub and Amsterdam's main airport,
Schiphol Amsterdam Airport Schiphol , Pars pro toto, known informally as Schiphol Airport ( nl, Luchthaven Schiphol, ), is the main international airport of the Netherlands. It is located 9 kilometres (5.6 miles) southwest of Amsterdam, in the municipality ...

Schiphol
, is the Netherlands' busiest airport as well as the third busiest in
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered ...

Europe
and 11th busiest airport in the world. The Dutch capital is considered one of the most multicultural cities in the world, with at least 177 nationalities represented. A few of Amsterdam's notable residents throughout
history History (from Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approxima ...
include: painters
Rembrandt Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (, ; 15 July 1606 – 4 October 1669), usually simply known as Rembrandt, was a Dutch Golden Age painter Dutch Golden Age painting is the painting of the Dutch Golden Age, a period in Dutch history roughl ...

Rembrandt
and
Van Gogh Vincent Willem van Gogh (; 30 March 185329 July 1890) was a Dutch Post-Impressionist painter who posthumously became one of the most famous and influential figures in Western art ''; by Johannes Vermeer Johannes Vermeer ( , , #Pronun ...
, the diarist
Anne Frank Annelies Marie "Anne" Frank (, ; 12 June 1929 – February or March 1945)Research by The Anne Frank House in 2015 revealed that Frank may have died in February 1945 rather than in March, as Dutch authorities had long assumed"New research sheds ...

Anne Frank
, and philosopher
Baruch Spinoza Baruch (de) Spinoza (; ; ; born Baruch Espinosa; later as an author and a correspondent Benedictus de Spinoza, anglicized to Benedict de Spinoza; 24 November 1632 – 21 February 1677) was a Dutch philosopher of Spanish and Portuguese Jews, Por ...

Baruch Spinoza
.


History


Prehistory

Due to its geographical location in what used to be wet
peatland , one of the largest fens in Estonia. A mire, peatland or quagmire is a wetland A wetland is a distinct ecosystem An ecosystem is a community (ecology), community of living organisms in conjunction with the nonliving components of thei ...

peatland
, Amsterdam ''proper'' is presumed to be much younger than Dutch cities like
Nijmegen Concert hall Opera Concertgebouw de Vereeniging Nijmegen ( , ;; Spanish language, Spanish and it, Nimega. South Guelderish, Nijmeegs: ''Nimwèège'' ) is a city in the Dutch province of Gelderland, on the Waal (river), Waal river close to ...

Nijmegen
and
Utrecht Utrecht ( , ) is the and a of the , capital and most populous city of the of . It is located in the eastern corner of the , in the very centre of mainland Netherlands; it had a population of 359,355 as of 2021. Utrecht's ancient city centr ...

Utrecht
(both having a
Roman origin
Roman origin
). However, the area around what later became Amsterdam - along the prehistoric IJ - had been settled almost three millennia ago. The IJ was mainly in peatland behind beach ridges, and could grow there into an important settlement center, especially in the late
Bronze Age The Bronze Age is a prehistoric that was characterized by the use of , in some areas , and other early features of urban . The Bronze Age is the second principal period of the , as proposed in modern times by , for classifying and studying a ...
, the
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history between the use of the first stone tools by hominins 3.3 million years ago and the ...
and the
Roman Age In historiography, ancient Rome is Roman people, Roman civilization from the founding of the Italian city of Rome in the 8th century BC to the collapse of the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century AD, encompassing the Roman Kingdom (753 BC ...

Roman Age
.
Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is t ...
and Roman artefacts have also been found in the south of this area, where later Amsterdam arose, in the prehistoric
Amstel The Amstel () is a river in the province of North Holland in the Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES ...

Amstel
bedding under
Damrak The Damrak is an avenue and partially filled in canal Canals are waterways channels Channel, channels, channeling, etc., may refer to: Geography * Channel (geography), in physical geography, a landform consisting of the outline (bank ...

Damrak
and
Rokin The Rokin is a canal and major street in the centre of Amsterdam Amsterdam (, , ) is the Capital of the Netherlands, capital and Municipalities of the Netherlands, most populous city of the Netherlands with a population of 872,680 within t ...
, such as shards of
Bell Beaker culture The Bell Beaker culture (or, in short, Beaker culture) is an archaeological culture An archaeological culture is a recurring Assemblage (archaeology), assemblage of types of Artifact (archaeology), artifacts, buildings and monuments from a specif ...

Bell Beaker culture
pottery Pottery is the process and the products of forming vessels and other objects with and other materials, which are fired at high temperatures to give them a hard, durable form. Major types include , and . The place where such wares are mad ...

pottery
(2200-2000 BC) and a granite grinding stone (2700-2750 BC), but these probably point to a presence of a modest semi-permanent or seasonal settlement, since the river mouth of the Amstel was probably too wet for permanent habitation.


Etymology and Founding

The origins of Amsterdam is linked to the development of the peatland called '' Amestelle'', meaning 'watery area', from '' Aa(m)'' 'river' + '' stelle'' 'site at a shoreline', 'river bank'. In this area,
land reclamation Land reclamation, usually known as reclamation, and also known as land fill (not to be confused with a waste landfill), is the process of creating new Terrestrial ecoregion, land from oceans, list of seas, seas, Stream bed, riverbeds or lake be ...
started as early as the late 10th century. Amestelle was located along a side arm of the IJ. This side arm took the name from the eponymous land:
Amstel The Amstel () is a river in the province of North Holland in the Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES ...

Amstel
. Amestelle was inhabited by farmers, who lived more inland and more upstream, where the land was not as wet as at the banks of the downstream river mouth. These farmers were starting the reclamation around upstream
Ouderkerk aan de Amstel Ouderkerk aan de Amstel () is a town in the province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia'', which was the major territorial and administrative un ...
, and later at the other side of the river at
Amstelveen Amstelveen () is a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional laws to which it is s ...

Amstelveen
. The
Van Amstel family The surviving keep of the Van Amstel castle at IJsselstein. The van Amstel family ( nl, :nl:Heren van Amstel, Heren van Amstel) was an influential dynasty in the medieval Netherlands from the twelfth until the fourteenth century. The family develo ...
, known in documents by this name since 1019, held the stewardship in this northwestern nook of the ecclesiastical district of the
bishop of UtrechtList of bishops and archbishops of the diocese and archdioceses of Utrecht. Medieval diocese from 695 to 1580 Founders of the Utrecht diocese * * * * * Bishops * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ...
. The family later served also under the
count of Holland The counts of Holland ruled over the County of Holland in the Low Countries The term Low Countries, also known as the Low Lands ( nl, de Lage Landen, french: les Pays-Bas) and historically called the Netherlands ( nl, de Nederlanden), Flander ...
. A major turning point in the development of the Amstel river mouth is the All Saint's Flood of 1170. In an extremely short period of time, the shallow river IJ turned into a wide estuary, which from then on offered the Amstel an open connection to the
Zuiderzee The Zuiderzee or Zuider Zee ( , also , ; old spelling ''Zuyderzee'' or ''Zuyder Zee'') was a shallow bay of the North Sea The North Sea is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean located between Great Britain (England and Scotland), Denmark, Norway, Ger ...

Zuiderzee
,
IJssel The IJssel ( , also , ; nds-nl, Iessel(t) ) is a of the river that flows northward and ultimately discharges into the (before the 1932 completion of the known as the ), a . It more immediately flows into the east-south channel around the ...
and waterways further afield. This made the water flow of the Amstel more active, so excess water could be drained better. With drier banks, the downstream Amstel mouth became attractive for permanent habitation. Moreover, the river had grown from an insignificant peat stream into a junction of international waterways. A settlement was built here immediately after the landscape change of 1170, and right from the start of its foundation it focused on traffic, production and trade; not on farming, as opposed to how communities had lived further upstream for the past 200 years and northward for thousands of years. The construction of a dam at the mouth of the Amstel, eponymously named
Dam A dam is a barrier that stops or restricts the flow of surface water An example of surface water is Lake Kinney. Surface water is water Water is an Inorganic compound, inorganic, Transparency and translucency, transparent, tast ...

Dam
, is historically estimated to have occurred between 1264 and 1275. The settlement first appeared in a document concerning a road toll granted by the count of Holland Floris V to the residents ''apud Amestelledamme'' 'at the dam in the Amstel' or 'at the dam of Amstelland'. This allowed the inhabitants of the village to travel freely through the
County of Holland The County of Holland was a State State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily new ...
, paying no tolls at bridges, locks and dams. By 1327, the name had developed into ''Aemsterdam''.


Middle Ages

Amsterdam was granted
city rights 250px, Medieval square in Spišská Sobota, Slovakia (Now Poprad). The former name of the town literally means "Saturday in Spiš">Poprad.html" ;"title="Slovakia (Now Poprad">Slovakia (Now Poprad). The former name of the town literally means ...
in either 1300 or 1306. From the 14th century on, Amsterdam flourished, largely from trade with the
Hanseatic League The Hanseatic League (; gml, Hanse, , ; german: label=German language, Modern German, Deutsche Hanse; nl, label=Dutch language, Dutch, De Hanze; la, Hansa Teutonica) was a Middle Ages, medieval commercial and defensive confederation of merchan ...
. In 1345, an alleged
Eucharistic miracle In Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major religious gr ...

Eucharistic miracle
in
Kalverstraat 250px, Kalverstraat, with the main entrance to Kalvertoren shopping centre. The Kalverstraat is a busy shopping street of Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. The street runs roughly North-South for about 750 meters, from Dam Square to Mun ...
rendered the city an important place of
pilgrimage A pilgrimage is a journey, often into an unknown or foreign place, where a person goes in search of new or expanded meaning about their self, others, nature, or a higher good, through the experience. It can lead to a personal transformation, afte ...
until the adoption of the Protestant faith. The Miracle devotion went underground but was kept alive. In the 19th century, especially after the jubilee of 1845, the devotion was revitalised and became an important national point of reference for Dutch Catholics. The ''
Stille Omgang A ''stille omgang'' ("Silent Walk" or circumambulation) is an informal ritual that served as substitute for the Roman Catholic processions that were prohibited after the Protestant Reformation, Reformation in the Netherlands in the 16th century. Be ...
''—a silent walk or
procession A procession is an organized body of people walking in a formal or ceremonial manner. Image:Funeral Procession - 15th Century - Project Gutenberg eText 16531.jpg, A funeral procession, illustrated in a manuscript of the ''Hours of the Virgin''. F ...

procession
in civil attire—is the expression of the pilgrimage within the Protestant Netherlands since the late 19th century. In the heyday of the Silent Walk, up to 90,000 pilgrims came to Amsterdam. In the 21st century, this has reduced to about 5000.


Conflict with Spain

In the 16th century, the Dutch rebelled against
Philip II of Spain Philip II) in Spain , image_flag = Bandera de España.svg , image_coat = Escudo de España (mazonado).svg , national_motto = , national_anthem = , image_map = , map_caption ...

Philip II of Spain
and his successors. The main reasons for the uprising were the imposition of new taxes, the tenth penny, and the
religious persecution Religious persecution is the systematic mistreatment of an individual or a group of individuals as a response to their religious beliefs or affiliations or their lack thereof. The tendency of societies or groups within societies to alienate or r ...
of Protestants by the newly introduced
Inquisition The Inquisition, in historical ecclesiastical terminology also referred to as the "Holy Inquisition", was a group of institutions within the Catholic Church whose aim was to combat Christian heresy, heresy. Studies of the records have found that ...
. The revolt escalated into the
Eighty Years' War The Eighty Years' War ( nl, Tachtigjarige Oorlog; es, Guerra de los Ochenta Años) or Dutch War of Independence (1568–1648) was a Dutch Revolt, revolt of the Seventeen Provinces of what are today the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg ag ...
, which ultimately led to Dutch independence. Strongly pushed by Dutch Revolt leader
William the Silent William the Silent (24 April 153310 July 1584), also known as William the Taciturn (translated from nl, Willem de Zwijger), or, more commonly in the Netherlands The Netherlands ( nl, Nederland ), informally referred to as Holland, is a coun ...
, the
Dutch Republic The United Provinces of the Netherlands, or United Provinces (officially the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands), commonly referred to in historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was ...
became known for its relative
religious Religion is a - of designated and practices, , s, s, , , , , or , that relates humanity to , , and elements; however, there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion. Different religions may or may not contain v ...
tolerance.
Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in the long drama of Jewish history is ...
from the
Iberian Peninsula The Iberian Peninsula , ** * Aragonese language, Aragonese and Occitan language, Occitan: ''Peninsula Iberica'' ** ** * french: Péninsule Ibérique * mwl, Península Eibérica * eu, Iberiar penintsula also known as Iberia, is a peni ...

Iberian Peninsula
,
Huguenot The Huguenots ( , also , ) were a religious group of French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République fran ...

Huguenot
s from France, prosperous merchants and printers from
Flanders Flanders (, ; Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * ...

Flanders
, and economic and religious refugees from the Spanish-controlled parts of the
Low Countries The term Low Countries, also known as the Low Lands ( nl, de Lage Landen, french: les Pays-Bas) and historically called the Netherlands ( nl, de Nederlanden), Flanders, or Belgica, refers to a coastal lowland region in Northwestern Europe forming ...
found safety in Amsterdam. The influx of Flemish printers and the city's intellectual tolerance made Amsterdam a centre for the European free press.


Centre of the Dutch Golden Age

The 17th century is considered Amsterdam's ''
Golden Age#REDIRECT Golden Age The term Golden Age comes from Greek mythology, particularly the ''Works and Days'' of Hesiod, and is part of the description of temporal decline of the state of peoples through five Ages of Man, Ages, Gold being the first a ...
'', during which it became the wealthiest city in the western world. Ships sailed from Amsterdam to the
Baltic Sea The Baltic Sea is an arm of the , enclosed by , , , , , , northeast , , and the . The sea stretches from to and from to . A of the Atlantic, with limited water exchange between the two water bodies, the Baltic Sea drains through the int ...

Baltic Sea
, North America, and Africa, as well as present-day
Indonesia Indonesia ( ), officially the Republic of Indonesia ( id, Republik Indonesia, links=yes ), is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia, also spelled South East Asia and South-East Asia, and also known as Southeastern Asia or SEA, is t ...

Indonesia
,
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest country by area, the List of countries and dependencies by population, second-most populous ...

India
,
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකාව, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO (); ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO ()), formerly known as Ceylon, and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is ...

Sri Lanka
, and
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 mill ...

Brazil
, forming the basis of a worldwide trading network. Amsterdam's merchants had the largest share in both the
Dutch East India Company The Dutch East India Company, officially the United East India Company ( nl, Vereenigde Oost Indische Compagnie; VOC), was a multinational corporation A multinational company (MNC) is a corporate organization that owns or controls the pro ...

Dutch East India Company
and the
Dutch West India Company The Dutch West India Company ( nl, Geoctrooieerde Westindische Compagnie, or GWC; ; en, Chartered West India Company) was a chartered company A chartered company is an association with investors or shareholder A shareholder (also known as s ...
. These companies acquired overseas possessions that later became
Dutch colonies The Dutch colonial empire comprised the overseas territories and trading posts controlled and administered by Dutch chartered companies—mainly the Dutch West India Company and the Dutch East India Company—and subsequently by the Dutch Republ ...
. Amsterdam was Europe's most important point for the shipment of goods and was the leading
Financial centre A financial centre, financial center, or financial hub is a location with a concentration of participants Participation or Participant may refer to: Politics *Participation (decision making), mechanisms for people to participate in social de ...
of the western world. In 1602, the Amsterdam office of the international trading Dutch East India Company became the world's first
stock exchange A stock exchange, securities exchange, or bourse is an Exchange (organized market), exchange where stockbrokers and stock trader, traders can buy and sell security (finance), securities, such as share (finance), shares of stock, Bond (finance), ...
by trading in its own shares. The Bank of Amsterdam started operations in 1609, acting as a full-service bank for Dutch merchant bankers and as a reserve bank.


Decline and modernisation

Amsterdam's prosperity declined during the 18th and early 19th centuries. The
wars War is an intense armed conflict between states, government A government is the system or group of people governing an organized community, generally a State (polity), state. In the case of its broad associative definition, g ...
of the
Dutch Republic The United Provinces of the Netherlands, or United Provinces (officially the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands), commonly referred to in historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was ...
with
England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west and to its north. The lies northwest of England and the to the southwest. England is separated from by the to the east and the to the south. The country cover ...

England
and France took their toll on Amsterdam. During the
Napoleonic Wars The Napoleonic Wars (1803–1815) were a series of major World war, global conflicts pitting the First French Empire, French Empire and its allies, led by Napoleon, Napoleon I, against a fluctuating array of Coalition forces of the Napoleonic W ...
, Amsterdam's significance reached its lowest point, with Holland being absorbed into the
French Empire#REDIRECT French Empire {{Redirect shell , {{R from ambiguous page {{R from other capitalisation ...
. However, the later establishment of the
United Kingdom of the Netherlands The United Kingdom of the Netherlands ( nl, Verenigd Koninkrijk der Nederlanden; french: Royaume-Uni des Pays-Bas) is the unofficial name given to the as it existed between 1815 and 1839. The United Netherlands was created in the aftermath of ...

United Kingdom of the Netherlands
in 1815 marked a turning point. The end of the 19th century is sometimes called Amsterdam's second Golden Age. New museums, a railway station, and the
Concertgebouw The Royal Concertgebouw ( nl, Koninklijk Concertgebouw, ) is a concert hall in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The Dutch term "concertgebouw" translates into English as "concert building". Its superb Architectural acoustics, acoustics place it among the ...

Concertgebouw
were built; in this same time, the
Industrial Revolution The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in Great Britain, continental Europe Continental Europe or mainland Europe is the contiguous continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...
reached the city. The
Amsterdam–Rhine Canal The Amsterdam–Rhine Canal (Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" ...
was dug to give Amsterdam a direct connection to the
Rhine ), Surselva Surselva Region is one of the eleven administrative districts Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnational entity, first-level subdivision, as well as many si ...

Rhine
, and the
North Sea Canal The North Sea Canal ( nl, Noordzeekanaal) is a Dutch ship canal A ship canal is a canal Canals are waterways Channel (geography), channels, or artificial waterways, for water conveyance, or to service water transport vehicles. They ma ...
was dug to give the port a shorter connection to the
North Sea The North Sea is a sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
. Both projects dramatically improved commerce with the rest of Europe and the world. In 1906,
Joseph Conrad Joseph Conrad (born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski, ; 3 December 1857 – 3 August 1924) was a Polish-British writer regarded as one of the greatest novelists to write in the English language. Though he did not speak English fluently u ...

Joseph Conrad
gave a brief description of Amsterdam as seen from the seaside, in ''The Mirror of the Sea''.


20th century–present

Shortly before the First World War, the city started to expand again, and new suburbs were built. Even though the Netherlands remained neutral in this war, Amsterdam suffered a food shortage, and heating fuel became scarce. The shortages sparked riots in which several people were killed. These riots are known as the ''Aardappeloproer'' (Potato rebellion). People started looting stores and warehouses in order to get supplies, mainly food. On 1 January 1921, after a flood in 1916, the depleted municipalities of Durgerdam, Holysloot, Zunderdorp and
Schellingwoude Schellingwoude is a neighbourhood of Amsterdam, Netherlands. A former village located on the northern shore of the IJ (Amsterdam), IJ, in the province of North Holland, it was a separate municipality between 1817 and 1857, when it was merged with R ...

Schellingwoude
, all lying north of Amsterdam, were, at their own request, annexed to the city. Between the wars, the city continued to expand, most notably to the west of the
Jordaan The Jordaan is a neighbourhood of the city of Amsterdam Amsterdam (, , ) is the Capital of the Netherlands, capital and Municipalities of the Netherlands, most populous city of the Netherlands with a population of 872,680 within the city pr ...

Jordaan
district in the Frederik Hendrikbuurt and surrounding neighbourhoods.
Nazi Germany Nazi Germany, (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. "National Socialist Germany") officially known as the German Reich from 1933 until 1943, and the Greater German Reich from 1943 to 1945, was ...

Nazi Germany
invaded the Netherlands on 10 May 1940 and took control of the country. Some Amsterdam citizens sheltered Jews, thereby exposing themselves and their families to a high risk of being imprisoned or sent to concentration camps. More than 100,000
Dutch Jews The history of the Jews Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people are members of an ethnoreligious group and a nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first ac ...
were deported to
Nazi concentration camps From 1933 to 1945, Nazi Germany Nazi Germany, (lit. "National Socialist State"), ' (lit. "Nazi State") for short; also ' (lit. "National Socialist Germany") officially known as the German Reich from 1933 until 1943, and the Greater ...
, of whom some 60,000 lived in Amsterdam. In response, the Dutch Communist Party organised the
February strike The February Strike ( nl, Februaristaking) was a general strike A general strike (or mass strike) is a strike action in which a substantial proportion of the total labour (economics), labour force in a city, region, or country participates. ...
attended by 300,000 people to protest against the raids. Perhaps the most famous deportee was the young Jewish girl
Anne Frank Annelies Marie "Anne" Frank (, ; 12 June 1929 – February or March 1945)Research by The Anne Frank House in 2015 revealed that Frank may have died in February 1945 rather than in March, as Dutch authorities had long assumed"New research sheds ...

Anne Frank
, who died in the
Bergen-Belsen concentration camp Bergen-Belsen , or Belsen, was a Nazi concentration camp From 1933 to 1945, Nazi Germany operated more than a thousand concentration camps, (officially) or (more commonly). The Nazi concentration camps are distinguished from other type ...
. At the end of the Second World War, communication with the rest of the country broke down, and food and fuel became scarce. Many citizens travelled to the countryside to forage. Dogs, cats,
raw sugar Brown sugar is a sucrose Sucrose is a type of sugar Sugar is the generic name for Sweetness, sweet-tasting, soluble carbohydrates, many of which are used in food. Table sugar, granulated sugar, or regular sugar, refers to sucrose, a disacch ...

raw sugar
beets, and
tulip Tulips (''Tulipa'') are a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of extant taxon, living and fossil organisms as well as Virus classification#ICTV classification ...

tulip
bulbs—cooked to a pulp—were consumed to stay alive. Many trees in Amsterdam were cut down for fuel, and wood was taken from the houses, apartments and other buildings of deported Jews. Many new suburbs, such as
Osdorp Osdorp is neighbourhood of Amsterdam, Netherlands. A larger area was, from 1981 until 2010, a stadsdeel, ''stadsdeel'' (borough) of Amsterdam and in 2010 was merged into the new borough of Amsterdam Nieuw-West. Neighborhood The core neighborhood of ...

Osdorp
, Slotervaart, Slotermeer and
Geuzenveld Geuzenveld (garden city) is a neighborhood of Amsterdam, Netherlands. Amsterdam Nieuw-West Neighbourhoods of Amsterdam {{NorthHolland-geo-stub ...
, were built in the years after the Second World War. These suburbs contained many public parks and wide-open spaces, and the new buildings provided improved housing conditions with larger and brighter rooms, gardens, and balconies. Because of the war and other events of the 20th century, almost the entire city centre had fallen into disrepair. As society was changing, politicians and other influential figures made plans to redesign large parts of it. There was an increasing demand for office buildings, and also for new roads, as the automobile became available to most people. A
metro Metro, short for metropolitan, may refer to: Geography * Metro (city), a city in Indonesia * A metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated core city, urban core and its less-populated surro ...
started operating in 1977 between the new suburb of
Bijlmermeer The Bijlmermeer (), or colloquially Bijlmer (), is one of the neighbourhoods that form the Amsterdam-Zuidoost borough (Dutch language, Dutch: ''stadsdeel'') of Amsterdam, Netherlands. To many people, the Bijlmer designation is used to refer to Ams ...

Bijlmermeer
in the city's Zuidoost (southeast) exclave and the centre of Amsterdam. Further plans were to build a new highway above the metro to connect
Amsterdam Centraal Amsterdam Centraal Station ( nl, italic=no, Station Amsterdam Centraal ; abbreviation An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or ...

Amsterdam Centraal
and the city centre with other parts of the city. The required large-scale demolitions began in Amsterdam's former Jewish neighbourhood. Smaller streets, such as the Jodenbreestraat and Weesperstraat, were widened and almost all houses and buildings were demolished. At the peak of the demolition, the ''Nieuwmarktrellen'' ( Nieuwmarkt Riots) broke out; the rioters expressed their fury about the demolition caused by the restructuring of the city. As a result, the demolition was stopped and the highway into the city's centre was never fully built; only the metro was completed. Only a few streets remained widened. The new city hall was built on the almost completely demolished Waterlooplein. Meanwhile, large private organisations, such as ''Stadsherstel Amsterdam'', were founded to restore the entire city centre. Although the success of this struggle is visible today, efforts for further restoration are still ongoing. The entire city centre has reattained its former splendour and, as a whole, is now a
protected area Protected areas or conservation areas are locations which receive protection because of their recognized natural, ecological or cultural values. There are several kinds of protected areas, which vary by level of protection depending on the ena ...
. Many of its buildings have become monuments, and in July 2010 the
Grachtengordel The Grachtengordel (known in English as the Canal District) is a neighborhood in Amsterdam Amsterdam (, , ) is the Capital of the Netherlands, capital and Municipalities of the Netherlands, most populous city of the Netherlands with a pop ...
(the three concentric canals: Herengracht, Keizersgracht, and Prinsengracht) was added to the
UNESCO World Heritage List A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for ha ...
. In the early years of the 21st century, the Amsterdam city centre has attracted large numbers of tourists: between 2012 and 2015, the annual number of visitors rose from 10 to 17 million. Real estate prices have surged, and local shops are making way for tourist-oriented ones, making the centre unaffordable for the city's inhabitants. These developments have evoked comparisons with
Venice Venice ( ; it, Venezia ; vec, Venesia or ) is a city in northeastern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of delimited by the and surrounding ...
, a city thought to be overwhelmed by the tourist influx. Construction of a metro line connecting the part of the city north of the river (or lake) IJ to the centre was started in 2003. The project was controversial because its cost had exceeded its budget by a factor three by 2008, because of fears of damage to buildings in the centre, and because construction had to be halted and restarted multiple times. The metro line was completed in 2018. Since 2014, renewed focus has been given to urban regeneration and renewal, especially in areas directly bordering the city centre, such as Frederik Hendrikbuurt. This urban renewal and expansion of the traditional centre of the city—with the construction on artificial islands of the new eastern
IJburg IJburg is a residential neighbourhood under construction in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It is situated in the IJmeer and is being built on artificial islands which have been raised from the lake. The Haveneiland, Rieteilanden, Steigereiland and Centrum ...
neighbourhood—is part of the Structural Vision Amsterdam 2040 initiative.


Geography

Amsterdam is located in the Western Netherlands, in the province of
North Holland North Holland ( nl, Noord-Holland, ) is a Provinces of the Netherlands, province of the Netherlands in the northwestern part of the country. It is located on the North Sea, north of South Holland and Utrecht (province), Utrecht, and west of Frie ...
, the capital of which is not Amsterdam, but rather
Haarlem Haarlem (; predecessor of ''Harlem'' in ) is a and in the . It is the of the of . Haarlem is situated at the northern edge of the , one of the s in Europe; it is also part of the . Haarlem had a population of in . Haarlem was granted cit ...

Haarlem
. The river
Amstel The Amstel () is a river in the province of North Holland in the Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES ...

Amstel
ends in the city centre and connects to a large number of canals that eventually terminate in the IJ. Amsterdam is about
below sea level This is a list of places below mean sea level that are on land. Places artificially created such as tunnels, mines, basements, and dug holes, or places under water, or existing temporarily as a result of ebbing of sea tide etc., are not included. ...
. The surrounding land is flat as it is formed of large
polder A polder () is a low-lying tract of land that forms an artificial hydrological Hydrology (from Greek: ὕδωρ, "hýdōr" meaning "water" and λόγος, "lógos" meaning "study") is the scientific study of the movement, distribution, and ...

polder
s. A man-made forest,
Amsterdamse Bos The Amsterdamse Bos (English language, English: ''Amsterdam Forest'') is an English garden, English park or Landscape garden, landscape park in the municipalities of Amstelveen and Amsterdam. Although most of the park is located in Amstelveen, the ...

Amsterdamse Bos
, is in the southwest. Amsterdam is connected to the
North Sea The North Sea is a sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
through the long
North Sea Canal The North Sea Canal ( nl, Noordzeekanaal) is a Dutch ship canal A ship canal is a canal Canals are waterways Channel (geography), channels, or artificial waterways, for water conveyance, or to service water transport vehicles. They ma ...
. Amsterdam is intensely urbanised, as is the
Amsterdam metropolitan area The Amsterdam metropolitan area ( nl, Metropoolregio Amsterdam) is the city region around the city of Amsterdam Amsterdam (, , ) is the Capital of the Netherlands, capital and Municipalities of the Netherlands, most populous city of the Net ...
surrounding the city. Comprising of land, the
city proper A city proper is the geographical area contained within city limits City limits or city boundaries refer to the defined boundary or border of a city. The area within the city limit can be called the city proper. Town limit/boundary and village ...
has 4,457 inhabitants per km2 and 2,275 houses per km2. Parks and
nature reserve A nature reserve (also known as a natural reserve, wildlife refuge, wildlife sanctuary, biosphere reserve or bioreserve, natural or nature preserve, or nature conservation area) is a protected area Protected areas or conservation areas are ...
s make up 12% of Amsterdam's land area.


Water

Amsterdam has more than of
canals Canals are waterways , or artificial waterways, for water conveyance, or to service s. They may also help with irrigation. It can be thought of as an artificial version of a . Canals carry free surface flow under . In most cases, the eng ...

canals
, most of which are navigable by boat. The city's three main canals are the Prinsengracht, Herengracht, and Keizersgracht. In the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
, Amsterdam was surrounded by a moat, called the
Singel ("Round Lutheran Church"). Image:George Hendrik Breitner - De Singelbrug bij de Paleisstraat te Amsterdam.jpg">'' Breitner, c. 1897. The Singel is one of the canals of Amsterdam. The Singel encircled Amsterdam in the Middle Ages, serving as a ...

Singel
, which now forms the innermost ring in the city, and gives the city centre a horseshoe shape. The city is also served by a
seaport The Porticciolo del Cedas port in Barcola The thumb is the first digit of the hand, next to the index finger. When a person is standing in the medical anatomical position (where the palm is facing to the front), the thumb is the outermost digit ...

seaport
. It has been compared with
Venice Venice ( ; it, Venezia ; vec, Venesia or ) is a city in northeastern Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of delimited by the and surrounding ...

Venice
, due to its division into about 90 islands, which are linked by more than 1,200 bridges.


Climate

Amsterdam has an
oceanic climate An oceanic climate, also known as a maritime climate or marine climate, is the Köppen classification of climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere, describing for example the deg ...
(
KöppenKöppen is a German surname. Notable people with the surname include: * Bernd Köppen (born 1951), German pianist and composer * Edlef Köppen (1893–1939), German author and radio editor * Friedrich Köppen (1775–1858), German philosopher * Jan ...
''Cfb'') strongly influenced by its proximity to the
North Sea The North Sea is a sea The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
to the west, with prevailing westerly winds. While winters are cool and summers warm, temperatures vary year by year. There can occasionally be cold, snowy winters and hot, humid summers. Amsterdam, as well as most of the North Holland province, lies in
USDA The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), also known as the Agriculture Department, is the federal executive department responsible for developing and executing federal laws related to farming, forestry, rural economic development, ...
Hardiness zone Global Plant Hardiness Zones, 250px A hardiness zone is a geographic area defined to encompass a certain range of climatic conditions relevant to plant growth and survival. The original and most widely used system, developed by the United States ...
8b. Frosts mainly occur during spells of easterly or northeasterly winds from the inner European continent. Even then, because Amsterdam is surrounded on three sides by large bodies of water, as well as having a significant , nights rarely fall below , while it could easily be in Hilversum, southeast. Summers are moderately warm with a number of hot days every month. The average daily high in August is , and or higher is only measured on average on 2.5 days, placing Amsterdam in AHS Heat Zone 2. The record extremes range from to . Days with more than of
precipitation In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the (which include and ), with a major focus on . The study of meteorology dates back , though significant progress in meteorology did not begin until the 18th century. The 19th century saw mod ...

precipitation
are common, on average 133 days per year. Amsterdam's average annual precipitation is . A large part of this precipitation falls as light rain or brief showers. Cloudy and damp days are common during the cooler months of October through March.


Demographics


Historical population

In 1300, Amsterdam's population was around 1,000 people. While many towns in Holland experienced population decline during the 15th and 16th centuries, Amsterdam's population grew, mainly due to the rise of the profitable Baltic maritime trade after the Burgundian victory in the Dutch–Hanseatic War. Still, the population of Amsterdam was only modest compared to the towns and cities of
Flanders Flanders (, ; Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * ...
and
BrabantBrabant is a traditional geographical region (or regions) in the Low Countries of Europe. It may refer to: Place names in Europe Belgium * Province of Brabant, which in 1995 was split up into two provinces and an autonomous region: ** Flemish Braba ...
, which comprised the most urbanised area of the Low Countries. This changed when, during the Dutch Revolt, many people from the Southern Netherlands fled to the North, especially after Antwerp fell to Spanish forces in 1585. Jewish people from Spain, Portugal and Eastern Europe similarly settled in Amsterdam, as did Germans and Scandinavians. In thirty years, Amsterdam's population more than doubled between 1585 and 1610. By 1600, its population was around 50,000. During the 1660s, Amsterdam's population reached 200,000. The city's growth levelled off and the population stabilised around 240,000 for most of the 18th century. In 1750, Amsterdam was the fourth largest city in western Europe, behind London (676,000), Paris (560,000) and Naples (324,000). This was all the more remarkable as Amsterdam was neither the capital city nor the seat of government of the
Dutch Republic The United Provinces of the Netherlands, or United Provinces (officially the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands), commonly referred to in historiography Historiography is the study of the methods of historian ( 484– 425 BC) was ...
, which itself was a much smaller state than England, France or the
Ottoman Empire The Ottoman Empire (; ', ; or '; )info page on bookat Martin Luther University) // CITED: p. 36 (PDF p. 38/338). was an empire that controlled much of Southeastern Europe, Western Asia, and North Africa, Northern Africa between the 14th ...
. In contrast to those other metropolises, Amsterdam was also surrounded by large towns such as
Leiden Leiden ( , ; in English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become ...

Leiden
(about 67,000),
Rotterdam Rotterdam ( , , ) is the second largest List of cities in the Netherlands by province, city and List of municipalities of the Netherlands, municipality in the Netherlands. It is in the Provinces of the Netherlands, province of South Holland, ...

Rotterdam
(45,000),
Haarlem Haarlem (; predecessor of ''Harlem'' in ) is a and in the . It is the of the of . Haarlem is situated at the northern edge of the , one of the s in Europe; it is also part of the . Haarlem had a population of in . Haarlem was granted cit ...

Haarlem
(38,000), and
Utrecht Utrecht ( , ) is the and a of the , capital and most populous city of the of . It is located in the eastern corner of the , in the very centre of mainland Netherlands; it had a population of 359,355 as of 2021. Utrecht's ancient city centr ...

Utrecht
(30,000). The city's population declined in the early 19th century, dipping under 200,000 in 1820. By the second half of the 19th century, industrialisation spurred renewed growth. Amsterdam's population hit an all-time high of 872,000 in 1959, before declining in the following decades due to government-sponsored suburbanisation to so-called ''groeikernen'' (growth centres) such as
Purmerend Purmerend () is a city and municipality in the west of the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland and in the region of West Friesland (region), West Friesland. The city is surrounded by polders, such as the Purmer, Beemster and the Wormer. ...
and
Almere Almere () is a planned city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. It can b ...
. Between 1970 and 1980, Amsterdam experienced its sharp population decline, peaking at a net loss of 25,000 people in 1973. By 1985 the city had only 675,570 residents. This was soon followed by reurbanisation and
gentrification Gentrification is a process of changing the character of a neighborhood through the influx of more affluent residents and businesses. It is a common and controversial topic in politics and in urban planning. Gentrification often increases th ...

gentrification
, leading to renewed population growth in the 2010s. Also in the 2010s, much of Amsterdam's population growth was due to immigration to the city. Amsterdam's population failed to beat the expectations of 873000 in 2019.


Immigration

In the 16th and 17th century, non-Dutch immigrants to Amsterdam were mostly
Huguenot The Huguenots ( , also , ) were a religious group of French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République fran ...

Huguenot
s,
Flemings The Flemish or Flemings ( nl, Vlamingen ) are a West Germanic ethnic group An ethnic group or ethnicity is a grouping of people who identify with each other on the basis of shared attributes that distinguish them from other groups such as a ...
,
Sephardi Jews Sephardi Jews, also known as Sephardic Jews, ''Sephardim'',, Modern Hebrew: ''Sefaraddim'', Tiberian Hebrew, Tiberian: Səp̄āraddîm, also , ''Ye'hude Sepharad'', lit. "The Jews of Spain", es, Judíos sefardíes (or ), pt, Judeus sefarditas ...
and
Westphalia Westphalia (; german: Westfalen ; nds, Westfalen ) is a region of northwestern Germany and one of the three historic parts of the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. It has an area of and 7.9 million inhabitants. The territory of the region ...

Westphalia
ns. Huguenots came after the
Edict of Fontainebleau The Edict of Fontainebleau in the Archives Nationales The Edict of Fontainebleau (22 October 1685) was an edict An edict is a decree or announcement of a law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrela ...

Edict of Fontainebleau
in 1685, while the Flemish Protestants came during the
Eighty Years' War The Eighty Years' War ( nl, Tachtigjarige Oorlog; es, Guerra de los Ochenta Años) or Dutch War of Independence (1568–1648) was a Dutch Revolt, revolt of the Seventeen Provinces of what are today the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg ag ...
. The Westphalians came to Amsterdam mostly for economic reasons – their influx continued through the 18th and 19th centuries. Before the Second World War, 10% of the city population was
Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2ISO The International Organization for Standardization (ISO; ) is an international standard are technical standards developed by international organizations (intergovernmental organizations), suc ...
. Just twenty percent of them survived the
Shoah The Holocaust, also known as the Shoah, was the genocide of History of the Jews in Europe, European Jews during World War II. Between 1941 and 1945, Nazi Germany and #Collaboration, its collaborators systematically murdered some six million Je ...
. The first mass immigration in the 20th century was by people from Indonesia, who came to Amsterdam after the independence of the
Dutch East Indies The Dutch East Indies (or Netherlands East-Indies; nl, Nederlands(ch)-Indië; ) was a Dutch Empire, Dutch colony consisting of what is now Indonesia. It was formed from the nationalised Factory (trading post), trading posts of the Dutch East ...
in the 1940s and 1950s. In the 1960s
guest workers Foreign workers or guest workers are people who work in a country other than one of which they are a citizen. Some foreign workers use a guest worker program in a country with more preferred job prospects than in their home country. Guest worker ...
from Turkey, Morocco, Italy, and Spain emigrated to Amsterdam. After the independence of Suriname in 1975, a large wave of Surinamese settled in Amsterdam, mostly in the
Bijlmer The Bijlmermeer (), or colloquially Bijlmer (), is one of the neighbourhoods that form the Amsterdam-Zuidoost borough (Dutch language, Dutch: ''stadsdeel'') of Amsterdam, Netherlands. To many people, the Bijlmer designation is used to refer to Amst ...

Bijlmer
area. Other immigrants, including refugees
asylum seekers An asylum seeker is a person who leaves their country of residence, enters another country and applies for right of asylum, asylum (i.e., international protection) in this other country. An asylum seeker is an Immigration, immigrant who has been ...
and
illegal immigrants Illegal immigration refers to the migration of people into a country in violation of the immigration law Immigration law refers to the national statuteA statute reffers to the body of law that are made by legislature of the nation with instrumen ...

illegal immigrants
, came from Europe,
America The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country primarily located in North America North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and a ...

America
, Asia, and Africa. In the 1970s and 1980s, many 'old' Amsterdammers moved to 'new' cities like
Almere Almere () is a planned city A city is a large .Goodall, B. (1987) ''The Penguin Dictionary of Human Geography''. London: Penguin.Kuper, A. and Kuper, J., eds (1996) ''The Social Science Encyclopedia''. 2nd edition. London: Routledge. It can b ...
and
Purmerend Purmerend () is a city and municipality in the west of the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland and in the region of West Friesland (region), West Friesland. The city is surrounded by polders, such as the Purmer, Beemster and the Wormer. ...
, prompted by the third planological bill of the Dutch government. This bill promoted suburbanisation and arranged for new developments in so-called "groeikernen", literally ''cores of growth''. Young professionals and artists moved into neighbourhoods de Pijp and the
Jordaan The Jordaan is a neighbourhood of the city of Amsterdam Amsterdam (, , ) is the Capital of the Netherlands, capital and Municipalities of the Netherlands, most populous city of the Netherlands with a population of 872,680 within the city pr ...

Jordaan
abandoned by these Amsterdammers. The non-Western immigrants settled mostly in the
social housing , Hong Kong Hong Kong (, ), officially the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China (HKSAR) (), is a metropolitan area and Special administrative regions of China, special administrative region of the China ...
projects in Amsterdam-West and the Bijlmer. Today, people of non-Western origin make up approximately one-third of the population of Amsterdam, and more than 50% of the city' s children. Ethnic Dutch (as
defined A definition is a statement of the meaning of a term (a word, phrase, or other set of symbols). Definitions can be classified into two large categories, intensional definitions (which try to give the sense of a term) and extensional definitions ...
by the Dutch census) now make up a minority of the total population, although by far the largest one. Only one in three inhabitants under 15 is an ''autochtoon'', or a person who has two parents of Dutch origin. Segregation along ethnic lines is clearly visible, with people of non-Western origin, considered a separate group by
Statistics Netherlands Statistics Netherlands, founded in 1899, is a Dutch governmental institution that gathers statistical information about the Netherlands The Netherlands ( nl, Nederland ), informally referred to as Holland, is a country primarily located in We ...
, concentrating in specific neighbourhoods especially in Nieuw-West,
Zeeburg Zeeburg is a former borough of Amsterdam. It had 52,701 residents (January 2009) and an area of 19.31 km². The construction of new islands to the east called IJburg made it the most rapidly growing borough of Amsterdam. On 1 May 2010 Zeeburg ...

Zeeburg
,
Bijlmer The Bijlmermeer (), or colloquially Bijlmer (), is one of the neighbourhoods that form the Amsterdam-Zuidoost borough (Dutch language, Dutch: ''stadsdeel'') of Amsterdam, Netherlands. To many people, the Bijlmer designation is used to refer to Amst ...

Bijlmer
and in certain areas of
Amsterdam-Noord Amsterdam-Noord () is a borough A borough is an administrative division in various English language, English-speaking countries. In principle, the term ''borough'' designates a self-governing walled town, although in practice, official use of th ...
. In 2000, Christians formed the largest religious group in the city (18% of the population). The next largest religion was Islam (12%), most of whose followers were
Sunni Sunni Islam () is by far the largest branch Image:Tree Leaves.JPG, The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany as a ramus) is a woody structural member connected to but not part o ...
. In 2015,
Christians Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jes ...

Christians
formed the largest religious group in the city (24% of the population). The next largest religion was Islam (11.1%), most of whose followers were
Sunni Sunni Islam () is by far the largest branch Image:Tree Leaves.JPG, The branches and leaves of a tree. A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany as a ramus) is a woody structural member connected to but not part o ...
.


Religion

In 1578, the largely Catholic city of Amsterdam joined the revolt against Spanish rule, late in comparison to other major northern Dutch cities. Catholic priests were driven out of the city. Following the Dutch takeover, all churches were converted to Protestant worship.
Calvinism Calvinism (also called the Reformed tradition, Reformed Christianity, Reformed Protestantism, or the Reformed faith) is a major branch of Protestantism Protestantism is a form of Christianity that originated with the 16th-century Refor ...
was declared the main religion, and although Catholicism was not forbidden and priests allowed to serve, the
Catholic hierarchy The hierarchy of the Catholic Church consists of its bishops A bishop is an ordained Ordination is the process by which individuals are Consecration, consecrated, that is, set apart and elevated from the laity class to the clergy, who are th ...
was prohibited. This led to the establishment of ''schuilkerken'', covert religious buildings that were hidden in pre-existing buildings. Catholics, some Jewish and dissenting Protestants worshiped in such buildings. A large influx of foreigners of many religions came to 17th-century Amsterdam, in particular
Sefardic Jews Sephardi Jews, also known as Sephardic Jews, ''Sephardim'',, Modern Hebrew: ''Sefaraddim'', Tiberian Hebrew, Tiberian: Səp̄āraddîm, also , ''Ye'hude Sepharad'', lit. "The Jews of Spain", es, Judíos sefardíes (or sefarditas), pt, Judeus se ...
from Spain and Portugal,
Huguenot The Huguenots ( , also , ) were a religious group of French French (french: français(e), link=no) may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République fran ...

Huguenot
s from France,
Lutherans Lutheranism is one of the largest branches of Protestantism that identifies with the teachings of Jesus Christ and was founded by Martin Luther, a 16th-century German monk and Protestant Reformers, reformer whose efforts to reform the theology a ...
,
Mennonites Mennonites are members of certain Christian Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity, a monotheistic Abrahamic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus in Christianity, Jesus Christ. The words ''Christ (title), ...
, and Protestants from across the Netherlands. This led to the establishment of many non-Dutch-speaking churches. In 1603, the Jewish received permission to practice their religion. In 1639, the first synagogue was consecrated. The Jews came to call the town Jerusalem of the West. As they became established in the city, other
Christian denomination A Christian denomination is a distinct religious Religion is a - of designated and practices, , s, s, , , , , or , that relates humanity to , , and elements; however, there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a rel ...
s used converted Catholic chapels to conduct their own services. The oldest English-language church congregation in the world outside the United Kingdom is found at the . Regular services there are still offered in English under the auspices of the
Church of Scotland The Church of Scotland (CoS; sco, The Scots Kirk; gd, Eaglais na h-Alba), also known by its Scots language name, the Kirk, is the national National may refer to: Common uses * Nation A nation is a community of people formed on the basis ...

Church of Scotland
. Being Calvinists, the Huguenots soon integrated into the
Dutch Reformed Church The Dutch Reformed Church (, abbreviated NHK) was the largest Christian denomination A Christian denomination is a distinct Religion, religious body within Christianity that comprises all Church (congregation), church congregations of the sa ...

Dutch Reformed Church
, though often retaining their own congregations. Some, commonly referred by the moniker 'Walloon', are recognisable today as they offer occasional services in French. In the second half of the 17th century, Amsterdam experienced an influx of
Ashkenazim Ashkenazi Jews ( are a Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people are an ethnoreligious group and nation originating from the Israelites Israelite origins and kingdom: "The first act in ...
, Jews from
Central and Eastern Europe Central and Eastern Europe is a term encompassing the countries in Central Europe Central Europe is the central region of Europe. Central Europe includes contiguous territories that are sometimes also considered parts of Western Europe, Southe ...

Central and Eastern Europe
. Jews often fled the
pogrom A pogrom is a violent riot Rioters wearing scarves to conceal their identity and filter tear gas A riot () is a form of civil disorder Civil disorder, also known as civil disturbance, civil unrest, or social unrest is an activity arising ...
s in those areas. The first Ashkenazis who arrived in Amsterdam were
refugee A refugee, generally speaking, is a displaced person Forced displacement (also forced migration) is an involuntary or coerced movement of a person or people away from their home or home region In geography, regions are areas that are broa ...

refugee
s from the
Khmelnytsky Uprising The Khmelnytsky Uprising ( pl, powstanie Chmielnickiego; in Ukraine known as Khmelʹnychchyna or uk, повстання Богдана Хмельницького; lt, Chmelnickio sukilimas; Belarusian language, Belarusian: Паўстанне Б ...
in Ukraine and the
Thirty Years' War The Thirty Years' War was a conflict fought largely within the Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Imperium Romanum; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Europe, Western ...
, which devastated much of Central Europe. They not only founded their own synagogues, but had a strong influence on the 'Amsterdam dialect' adding a large
Yiddish Yiddish (, or , ''yidish'' or ''idish'', , ; , ''Yidish-Taytsh'', ) is a West Germanic The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three branches of the Germanic languages, Germanic family of languages (the others being the ...
local vocabulary. Despite an absence of an official Jewish
ghetto A ghetto, often ''the'' ghetto, is a part of a city in which members of a minority group A minority group, by its original definition, refers to a group of people whose practices, race, religion, ethnicity, or other characteristics are fewer i ...

ghetto
, most Jews preferred to live in the eastern part of the old medieval heart of the city. The main street of this Jewish neighbourhood was the ''Jodenbreestraat''. The neighbourhood comprised the ''Waterlooplein'' and the
Nieuwmarkt Nieuwmarkt ( Dutch for " New Market" or "Newmarket (disambiguation), Newmarket") is a square in the centre of Amsterdam, Netherlands. The surrounding area is known as the Lastage neighborhood. It is situated in the Boroughs of Amsterdam, borough ...

Nieuwmarkt
. Buildings in this neighbourhood fell into disrepair after the Second World War, and a large section of the neighbourhood was demolished during the construction of the subway. This led to riots, and as a result the original plans for large-scale reconstruction were abandoned. The neighbourhood was rebuilt with smaller-scale residence buildings on the basis of its original layout. Catholic churches in Amsterdam have been constructed since the restoration of the episcopal hierarchy in 1853. One of the principal architects behind the city's Catholic churches, Cuypers, was also responsible for the Amsterdam Central station and the
Rijksmuseum The Rijksmuseum (; en, National Museum) is a Netherlands, Dutch national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam. The museum is located at the Museumplein, Museum Square in the stadsdeel, borough Amsterdam-Zuid, Amsterdam South, close ...

Rijksmuseum
. In 1924, the
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Catholics Catholic Church by country, worldwide . As the wo ...

Catholic Church
hosted the International Eucharistic Congress in Amsterdam, and numerous Catholic
prelate A prelate () is a high-ranking member of the clergy who is an ordinary or who ranks in precedence with ordinaries. The word derives from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch o ...
s visited the city, where festivities were held in churches and stadiums. Catholic processions on the public streets, however, were still forbidden under law at the time. Only in the 20th century was Amsterdam's relation to Catholicism normalised, but despite its far larger
population size In population genetics and population ecology, population size (usually denoted ''N'') is the number of individual organisms in a population. Population size is directly associated with amount of genetic drift, and is the underlying cause of effects ...
, the episcopal see of the city was placed in the provincial town of
Haarlem Haarlem (; predecessor of ''Harlem'' in ) is a and in the . It is the of the of . Haarlem is situated at the northern edge of the , one of the s in Europe; it is also part of the . Haarlem had a population of in . Haarlem was granted cit ...

Haarlem
. Historically, Amsterdam has been predominantly Christian, in 1900 Christians formed the largest religious group in the city (70% of the population),
Dutch Reformed Church The Dutch Reformed Church (, abbreviated NHK) was the largest Christian denomination A Christian denomination is a distinct Religion, religious body within Christianity that comprises all Church (congregation), church congregations of the sa ...

Dutch Reformed Church
formed 45% of the city population, while the Catholic Church formed 25% of the city population. In recent times, religious demographics in Amsterdam have been changed by immigration from former colonies.
Hinduism Hinduism () is an Indian religion Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic religions, are the religions that originated in the Indian subcontinent. These religions, which include Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, ...

Hinduism
has been introduced from the Hindu diaspora from Suriname and several distinct branches of Islam have been brought from various parts of the world. Islam is now the largest non-Christian religion in Amsterdam. The large community of Ghanaian immigrants have established African churches, often in parking garages in the
Bijlmer The Bijlmermeer (), or colloquially Bijlmer (), is one of the neighbourhoods that form the Amsterdam-Zuidoost borough (Dutch language, Dutch: ''stadsdeel'') of Amsterdam, Netherlands. To many people, the Bijlmer designation is used to refer to Amst ...

Bijlmer
area.


Diversity and immigration

Amsterdam experienced an influx of religions and cultures after the Second World War. With 180 different nationalities, Amsterdam is home to one of the widest varieties of nationalities of any city in the world. The proportion of the population of immigrant origin in the city proper is about 50% and 88% of the population are Dutch citizens. Amsterdam has been one of the municipalities in the Netherlands which provided immigrants with extensive and free
Dutch-language Dutch is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language spoken by about 24 million people as a first language and 5 million people as a second language, constituting the majority of people in the Netherlands (where it is the only official la ...
courses, which have benefited many immigrants.


Cityscape and architecture

Amsterdam fans out south from the
Amsterdam Centraal station Amsterdam Centraal Station ( nl, italic=no, Station Amsterdam Centraal ; abbreviation An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or ...

Amsterdam Centraal station
and
Damrak The Damrak is an avenue and partially filled in canal Canals are waterways channels Channel, channels, channeling, etc., may refer to: Geography * Channel (geography), in physical geography, a landform consisting of the outline (bank ...

Damrak
, the main street off the station. The oldest area of the town is known as
De Wallen File:Sex theater in Amsterdam-1.JPG, 300px, Sex theater in ''De Wallen''. De Wallen () or De Walletjes () was the largest and best known red-light district in Amsterdam prior to being temporarily shut down in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It ...

De Wallen
(English: "The Quays"). It lies to the east of Damrak and contains the city's famous red-light district. To the south of De Wallen is the old Jewish quarter of Waterlooplein. The medieval and colonial age
canals of Amsterdam Amsterdam Amsterdam (, , ) is the Capital of the Netherlands, capital and Municipalities of the Netherlands, most populous city of the Netherlands with a population of 872,680 within the city proper, 1,558,755 in the City Region of Amsterdam ...

canals of Amsterdam
, known as ''grachten'', embraces the heart of the city where homes have interesting gables. Beyond the Grachtengordel are the former working-class areas of
Jordaan The Jordaan is a neighbourhood of the city of Amsterdam Amsterdam (, , ) is the Capital of the Netherlands, capital and Municipalities of the Netherlands, most populous city of the Netherlands with a population of 872,680 within the city pr ...

Jordaan
and de Pijp. The
Museumplein The Museumplein (; ) is a public space in the Museumkwartier (Amsterdam), Museumkwartier neighbourhood of the Amsterdam-Zuid stadsdeel, borough in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Located at the Museumplein are three major museums – the Rijksmuseum, Van ...

Museumplein
with the city's major museums, the
Vondelpark The Vondelpark is a public urban park of 47 hectares (120 acres) in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It is part of the stadsdelen, borough of Amsterdam-Zuid and situated west from the Leidseplein and the Museumplein. The park was opened in 1865 and orig ...

Vondelpark
, a 19th-century park named after the Dutch writer
Joost van den Vondel Joost van den Vondel (; 17 November 1587 – 5 February 1679) was a Dutch Republic, Dutch poet, writer and playwright. He is considered the most prominent Dutch poet and playwright of the 17th century. His plays are the ones from that period that ...
, and the Plantage neighbourhood, with the
zoo A zoo (short for zoological garden; also called an animal park or menagerie) is a facility in which animal Animals (also called Metazoa) are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the Kingdom (biology), biological kingdom Animalia. ...
, are also located outside the Grachtengordel. Several parts of the city and the surrounding urban area are
polder A polder () is a low-lying tract of land that forms an artificial hydrological Hydrology (from Greek: ὕδωρ, "hýdōr" meaning "water" and λόγος, "lógos" meaning "study") is the scientific study of the movement, distribution, and ...

polder
s. This can be recognised by the suffix ''-meer'' which means ''lake'', as in
Aalsmeer Aalsmeer () is a municipality and a town in the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland. Its name is derived from the Dutch language, Dutch for eel (''aal'') and lake (''meer''). Aalsmeer is bordered by the Westeinderplassen lake, the largest ...

Aalsmeer
,
Bijlmermeer The Bijlmermeer (), or colloquially Bijlmer (), is one of the neighbourhoods that form the Amsterdam-Zuidoost borough (Dutch language, Dutch: ''stadsdeel'') of Amsterdam, Netherlands. To many people, the Bijlmer designation is used to refer to Ams ...

Bijlmermeer
,
Haarlemmermeer Haarlemmermeer () is a List of municipalities of the Netherlands, municipality in the west of the Netherlands, in the Provinces of the Netherlands, province of North Holland. Haarlemmermeer is a polder, consisting of land reclaimed from water. The n ...

Haarlemmermeer
, and
Watergraafsmeer Buitenplaats Frankendael The Watergraafsmeer is a polder A polder () is a low-lying tract of land that forms an artificial hydrological entity, enclosed by embankments known as dikes. The three types of polder are: # Land reclaimed from a ...
.


Canals

The Amsterdam canal system is the result of conscious
city planning Urban planning, also known as regional planning, town planning, city planning, or rural planning, is a technical and political process that is focused on the development and design A design is a plan or specification for the construction of ...
. In the early 17th century, when immigration was at a peak, a comprehensive plan was developed that was based on four concentric half-circles of canals with their ends emerging at the IJ bay. Known as the
Grachtengordel The Grachtengordel (known in English as the Canal District) is a neighborhood in Amsterdam Amsterdam (, , ) is the Capital of the Netherlands, capital and Municipalities of the Netherlands, most populous city of the Netherlands with a pop ...
, three of the canals were mostly for residential development: the Herengracht (where "Heren" refers to ''Heren Regeerders van de stad Amsterdam'' (ruling lords of Amsterdam), and ''
gracht File:Utrecht Oudegracht Domtoren.jpg, The Oudegracht (old canal) in Utrecht ''Gracht'' (; plural: ''grachten'') is a Dutch language, Dutch word for a canal within a city. Grachten often have a round shape and form a circle around the city cor ...

gracht
'' means canal, so that the name can be roughly translated as "Canal of the Lords"), Keizersgracht (Emperor's Canal), and Prinsengracht (Prince's Canal). The fourth and outermost canal is the
Singelgracht The Singelgracht is the waterway that borders the entire Amsterdam Center and flows along the Nassaukade, Stadhouderskade and Mauritskade. Formerly the canal and the ramparts on the city side formed the outer defenses of the city. Name The name ...
, which is often not mentioned on maps because it is a collective name for all canals in the outer ring. The Singelgracht should not be confused with the oldest and innermost canal, the
Singel ("Round Lutheran Church"). Image:George Hendrik Breitner - De Singelbrug bij de Paleisstraat te Amsterdam.jpg">'' Breitner, c. 1897. The Singel is one of the canals of Amsterdam. The Singel encircled Amsterdam in the Middle Ages, serving as a ...

Singel
. The canals served for defence,
water management Water resource management is the activity of planning, developing, distributing and managing the optimum use of water resources. It is an aspect of water cycle management. Water is essential for our survival. The field of water resources manageme ...
and transport. The defences took the form of a moat and earthen dikes, with gates at transit points, but otherwise no masonry
superstructure A superstructure is an upward extension of an existing structure above a baseline. This term is applied to various kinds of physical structures such as buildings, bridges, or ships having the Degrees of freedom (mechanics), degree of freedom ze ...
s. The original plans have been lost, so historians, such as Ed Taverne, need to speculate on the original intentions: it is thought that the considerations of the layout were purely practical and defensive rather than ornamental. Construction started in 1613 and proceeded from west to east, across the breadth of the layout, like a gigantic
windshield wiper A windscreen wiper or windshield wiper (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United Sta ...

windshield wiper
as the historian
Geert Mak Geert Ludzer Mak (born 4 December 1946 in Vlaardingen) is a Dutch journalist and non-fiction writer. Biography Mak grew up in Leeuwarden as the youngest child of Dutch Reformed preacher Catrinus Mak and wife Geertje van der Molen. He studied la ...
calls it – and not from the centre outwards, as a popular myth has it. The canal construction in the southern sector was completed by 1656. Subsequently, the construction of residential buildings proceeded slowly. The eastern part of the concentric canal plan, covering the area between the Amstel river and the IJ bay, has never been implemented. In the following centuries, the land was used for parks, senior citizens' homes, theatres, other public facilities, and waterways without much planning. Over the years, several canals have been filled in, becoming streets or squares, such as the
Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal The Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal is a street in the centre of Amsterdam. The street runs north-south without intersecting major streets other than the intersection with Raadhuisstraat at its halfway point, right behind the Royal Palace of Amsterdam, Roy ...
and the
Spui Spui or SPUI may refer to: *Spui (Amsterdam), a square in the centre of Amsterdam, Netherlands *Spui (river), in the Netherlands *Spui, Zeeland, a town in the Netherlands *Single-point urban interchange, a type of highway interchange {{disambiguati ...
.


Expansion

After the development of Amsterdam's canals in the 17th century, the city did not grow beyond its borders for two centuries. During the 19th century,
Samuel Sarphati Samuel Sarphati (January 31, 1813 – June 23, 1866) was a Dutch physician and Amsterdam Amsterdam (, , ) is the Capital of the Netherlands, capital and Municipalities of the Netherlands, most populous city of the Netherlands with a populat ...
devised a plan based on the grandeur of Paris and London at that time. The plan envisaged the construction of new houses, public buildings and streets just outside the
Grachtengordel The Grachtengordel (known in English as the Canal District) is a neighborhood in Amsterdam Amsterdam (, , ) is the Capital of the Netherlands, capital and Municipalities of the Netherlands, most populous city of the Netherlands with a pop ...
. The main aim of the plan, however, was to improve public health. Although the plan did not expand the city, it did produce some of the largest public buildings to date, like the ''Paleis voor Volksvlijt''. Following Sarphati, civil engineers Jacobus van Niftrik and Jan Kalff designed an entire ring of 19th-century neighbourhoods surrounding the city's centre, with the city preserving the ownership of all land outside the 17th-century limit, thus firmly controlling development. Most of these neighbourhoods became home to the working class. In response to overcrowding, two plans were designed at the beginning of the 20th century which were very different from anything Amsterdam had ever seen before: ''Plan Zuid'', designed by the architect , and ''West''. These plans involved the development of new neighbourhoods consisting of housing blocks for all social classes. After the Second World War, large new neighbourhoods were built in the western, southeastern, and northern parts of the city. These new neighbourhoods were built to relieve the city's shortage of living space and give people affordable houses with modern conveniences. The neighbourhoods consisted mainly of large housing blocks located among green spaces, connected to wide roads, making the neighbourhoods easily accessible by
motor car A car (or automobile) is a wheeled motor vehicle used for transportation. Most definitions of ''cars'' say that they run primarily on roads, seat one to eight people, have four wheels, and mainly transport people rather than goods. Cars came ...

motor car
. The western suburbs which were built in that period are collectively called the Westelijke Tuinsteden. The area to the southeast of the city built during the same period is known as the Bijlmer.


Architecture

Amsterdam has a rich
architectural history The history of architecture traces the changes in architecture File:Plan d'exécution du second étage de l'hôtel de Brionne (dessin) De Cotte 2503c – Gallica 2011 (adjusted).jpg, upright=1.45, alt=Plan d'exécution du second étage de ...
. The oldest building in Amsterdam is the (English: Old Church), at the heart of the Wallen, consecrated in 1306. The oldest wooden building is ''Het Houten Huys'' at the . It was constructed around 1425 and is one of only two existing wooden buildings. It is also one of the few examples of
Gothic architecture Gothic architecture (or pointed architecture) is an architectural style An architectural style is a set of characteristics and features that make a building or other structure notable or historically identifiable. It is a sub-class of sty ...
in Amsterdam. The oldest stone building of the Netherlands, The Moriaan is built in
's-Hertogenbosch s-Hertogenbosch (; french: Bois-le-Duc, ; german: Herzogenbusch), colloquially known as Den Bosch (), is a List of cities in the Netherlands by province, city and List of municipalities of the Netherlands, municipality in the Netherlands with a p ...
. In the 16th century, wooden buildings were razed and replaced with brick ones. During this period, many buildings were constructed in the
architectural style An architectural style is a set of characteristics and features that make a building or other structure notable or historically identifiable. It is a sub-class of style in the visual arts generally, and most styles in architecture upright=1 ...
of the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in ...
. Buildings of this period are very recognisable with their
stepped gable A stepped gable, crow-stepped gable, or corbie step is a stairstep type of design at the top of the triangular -end of a building. The top of the projects above the and the top of the brick or stone wall is stacked in a step pattern above the ro ...
façades, which is the common Dutch Renaissance style. Amsterdam quickly developed its own
Renaissance architecture Renaissance architecture is the European architecture of the period between the early 14th and early 16th centuries in different regions, demonstrating a conscious revival and development of certain elements of ancient Greek Ancient Gre ...
. These buildings were built according to the principles of the architect
Hendrick de Keyser Hendrick de Keyser (15 May 1565 – 15 May 1621) was a Dutch sculptor, merchant in Belgium bluestone, and architect who was instrumental in establishing a late Renaissance form of Mannerism Mannerism, also known as Late Renaissance, is a style ...
. One of the most striking buildings designed by Hendrick de Keyser is the
Westerkerk The Westerkerk (; en, Western Church) is a Calvinism, Reformed church within Protestant Church in the Netherlands, Dutch Protestant Calvinism in central Amsterdam, Netherlands. It lies in the most western part of the Grachtengordel (Amsterdam), G ...

Westerkerk
. In the 17th century
baroque architecture Baroque architecture is a highly decorative and theatrical style which appeared in Italy Italy ( it, Italia ), officially the Italian Republic ( it, Repubblica Italiana, links=no ), is a country consisting of delimited by the and surro ...
became very popular, as it was elsewhere in Europe. This roughly coincided with Amsterdam's
Golden Age#REDIRECT Golden Age The term Golden Age comes from Greek mythology, particularly the ''Works and Days'' of Hesiod, and is part of the description of temporal decline of the state of peoples through five Ages of Man, Ages, Gold being the first a ...
. The leading architects of this style in Amsterdam were
Jacob van Campen Jacob van Campen (2 February 1596 – 13 September 1657), was a Netherlands, Dutch artist and architect of the Dutch Golden Age, Golden Age. Life He was born into a wealthy family at Haarlem, and spent his youth in his home town. Being of ...

Jacob van Campen
,
Philips Vingboons Philips Vingboons (or ''Vinckboons'', ''Vinckeboons'', ''Vinckbooms'') ( – 2 October 1678) was a Dutch Republic, Dutch architect. He was part of the school of Jacob van Campen, that is, Dutch Classicism. Vingboons was especially highly regarded ...
and Daniel Stalpaert. Philip Vingboons designed splendid merchants' houses throughout the city. A famous building in
baroque style The Baroque (, ; ) is a style of architecture, music, dance Dance is a performing art art form, form consisting of sequences of movement, either improvised or purposefully selected. This movement has aesthetic and often symbolism (ar ...

baroque style
in Amsterdam is the
Royal Palace This is a list of royal s, sorted by continent. Africa * , * , * , * , * * * * Imperial Palace- Massawa Eritrea * * Lozitha Palace * Royal Palace Maseru * * Al Manar Palace * , *, * , * , * , * Olowo of Owo's Pal ...

Royal Palace
on
Dam Square Dam Square or Dam () is a town square in Amsterdam Amsterdam (, , ) is the Capital of the Netherlands, capital and Municipalities of the Netherlands, most populous city of the Netherlands with a population of 872,680 within the city proper, ...

Dam Square
. Throughout the 18th century, Amsterdam was heavily influenced by
French culture The culture of France has been shaped by geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and ...
. This is reflected in the architecture of that period. Around 1815, architects broke with the baroque style and started building in different neo-styles. Most Gothic style buildings date from that era and are therefore said to be built in a
neo-gothic Gothic Revival (also referred to as Victorian Gothic, neo-Gothic, or Gothick) is an architectural movement that began in the late 1740s in England. The movement gained momentum and expanded in the first half of the 19th century, as increasingly ...
style. At the end of the 19th century, the
Jugendstil Jugendstil ("Youth Style") was an artistic movement, particularly in the decorative arts ] The decorative arts are arts or crafts whose object is the design and manufacture of objects that are both beautiful and functional. It includes most of ...
or
Art Nouveau Art Nouveau (; ) is an international style Style is a manner of doing or presenting things and may refer to: * Architectural style, the features that make a building or structure historically identifiable * Design, the process of creating somet ...
style became popular and many new buildings were constructed in this architectural style. Since Amsterdam expanded rapidly during this period, new buildings adjacent to the city centre were also built in this style. The houses in the vicinity of the in Amsterdam Oud-Zuid are an example of Jugendstil. The last style that was popular in Amsterdam before the
modern era Human history, or world history, is the narrative of humanity Humanity most commonly refers to: * Human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, ...
was
Art Deco Art Deco, sometimes referred to as Deco, is a style of visual arts, architecture and design that first appeared in France just before . Art Deco influenced the design of buildings, furniture, jewelry, fashion, cars, movie theatres, trains, s, an ...

Art Deco
. Amsterdam had its own version of the style, which was called the
Amsterdamse School The Amsterdam School (Dutch: ''Amsterdamse School'') is a style of architecture that arose from 1910 through about 1930 in the Netherlands. The Amsterdam School movement is part of Expressionist architecture, international Expressionist archi ...
. Whole districts were built this style, such as the ''Rivierenbuurt''. A notable feature of the façades of buildings designed in Amsterdamse School is that they are highly decorated and ornate, with oddly shaped windows and doors. The old city centre is the focal point of all the architectural styles before the end of the 19th century. Jugendstil and Georgian are mostly found outside the city's centre in the neighbourhoods built in the early 20th century, although there are also some striking examples of these styles in the city centre. Most historic buildings in the city centre and nearby are houses, such as the famous merchants' houses lining the canals.


Parks and recreational areas

Amsterdam has many parks, open spaces, and squares throughout the city. The
Vondelpark The Vondelpark is a public urban park of 47 hectares (120 acres) in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It is part of the stadsdelen, borough of Amsterdam-Zuid and situated west from the Leidseplein and the Museumplein. The park was opened in 1865 and orig ...

Vondelpark
, the largest park in the city, is located in the Oud-Zuid neighbourhood and is named after the 17th-century Amsterdam author
Joost van den Vondel Joost van den Vondel (; 17 November 1587 – 5 February 1679) was a Dutch Republic, Dutch poet, writer and playwright. He is considered the most prominent Dutch poet and playwright of the 17th century. His plays are the ones from that period that ...
. Yearly, the park has around 10 million visitors. In the park is an open-air theatre, a playground and several
horecaThe hospitality industry is a broad category of fields within the service industry The tertiary sector of the economy, generally known as the service sector, is the third of the three economic sectors of the three-sector theory. The others are ...
facilities. In the Zuid borough, is the Beatrixpark, named after
Queen Beatrix Beatrix (Beatrix Wilhelmina Armgard, ; born 31 January 1938) is a member of the Dutch royal houseIn the Kingdom of the Netherlands ) when they act as Kingdom Ministers, as for example with "Our Minister of Justice in his capacity as Ministe ...
. Between Amsterdam and
Amstelveen Amstelveen () is a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional laws to which it is s ...

Amstelveen
is the
Amsterdamse Bos The Amsterdamse Bos (English language, English: ''Amsterdam Forest'') is an English garden, English park or Landscape garden, landscape park in the municipalities of Amstelveen and Amsterdam. Although most of the park is located in Amstelveen, the ...

Amsterdamse Bos
("Amsterdam Forest"), the largest recreational area in Amsterdam. Annually, almost 4.5 million people visit the park, which has a size of 1.000 hectares and is approximately three times the size of
Central Park Central Park is an urban park An urban park or metropolitan park, also known as a municipal park (North America) or a public park, public open space, or municipal gardens (UK), is a park A park is an area of natural, semi-natural or p ...

Central Park
. The
Amstelpark The Amstelpark is a park in Amsterdam-Zuid. The park includes a labyrinth, a café, a restaurant, two galleries, an orangery, a petting zoo and a mini-golf course. Background The Amstelpark was built and opened for the Floriade 1972, 1972 F ...
in the Zuid borough houses the Rieker windmill, which dates to 1636. Other parks include the
Sarphatipark The Sarphatipark is a public urban park located in the ''stadsdeel'' Amsterdam Oud-Zuid in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The park is named after Samuel Sarphati. In 1942, the park was renamed "Bollandpark" after Gerardus Johannes Petrus Josephus Bolland ...

Sarphatipark
in the De Pijp neighbourhood, the Oosterpark in the Oost borough and the Westerpark in the Westerpark neighbourhood. The city has three beaches: Nemo Beach, Citybeach "Het stenen hoofd" (Silodam) and Blijburg, all located in the Centrum borough. The city has many open squares (''plein'' in Dutch). The namesake of the city as the site of the original dam,
Dam Square Dam Square or Dam () is a town square in Amsterdam Amsterdam (, , ) is the Capital of the Netherlands, capital and Municipalities of the Netherlands, most populous city of the Netherlands with a population of 872,680 within the city proper, ...

Dam Square
, is the main city square and has the
Royal Palace This is a list of royal s, sorted by continent. Africa * , * , * , * , * * * * Imperial Palace- Massawa Eritrea * * Lozitha Palace * Royal Palace Maseru * * Al Manar Palace * , *, * , * , * , * Olowo of Owo's Pal ...

Royal Palace
and
National Monument Altare della Patria, Rome A national monument is a monument constructed in order to commemorate something of importance to national heritage, such as Statism, a country's founding, independence, war, or the life and death of a historical figure ...
.
Museumplein The Museumplein (; ) is a public space in the Museumkwartier (Amsterdam), Museumkwartier neighbourhood of the Amsterdam-Zuid stadsdeel, borough in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Located at the Museumplein are three major museums – the Rijksmuseum, Van ...

Museumplein
hosts various museums, including the
Rijksmuseum The Rijksmuseum (; en, National Museum) is a Netherlands, Dutch national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam. The museum is located at the Museumplein, Museum Square in the stadsdeel, borough Amsterdam-Zuid, Amsterdam South, close ...

Rijksmuseum
,
Van Gogh Museum The Van Gogh Museum is a Dutch art museum dedicated to the works of Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries in the Museum Square in Amsterdam South, close to the Stedelijk Museum The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (; Municipal Museum Amsterdam ...

Van Gogh Museum
, and
Stedelijk Museum The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (; Municipal Museum Amsterdam), colloquially known as the Stedelijk, is a museum for modern art, contemporary art, and design located in Amsterdam Amsterdam (, , ) is the Capital of the Netherlands, capita ...

Stedelijk Museum
. Other squares include , Muntplein,
Nieuwmarkt Nieuwmarkt ( Dutch for " New Market" or "Newmarket (disambiguation), Newmarket") is a square in the centre of Amsterdam, Netherlands. The surrounding area is known as the Lastage neighborhood. It is situated in the Boroughs of Amsterdam, borough ...

Nieuwmarkt
,
Leidseplein Besides the square itself, several streets around it, such as the Korte Leidsedwarsstraat (pictured) are named after the city of Leiden The Leidseplein (English: Leiden Square) is a square in central Amsterdam, Netherlands. Lying in the Wetering ...

Leidseplein
,
Spui Spui or SPUI may refer to: *Spui (Amsterdam), a square in the centre of Amsterdam, Netherlands *Spui (river), in the Netherlands *Spui, Zeeland, a town in the Netherlands *Single-point urban interchange, a type of highway interchange {{disambiguati ...
, and
Waterlooplein Image:Waterlooplein - Amsterdam.jpg, Waterlooplein flea market Waterlooplein is a square in the centre of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The square near the Amstel river is named after the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. The daily flea market on the ...

Waterlooplein
. Also, near to Amsterdam is the Nekkeveld estate conservation project.


Economy

Amsterdam is the financial and business capital of the Netherlands. According to the 2007 European Cities Monitor (ECM) – an annual location survey of Europe's leading companies carried out by global real estate consultant
Cushman & Wakefield Cushman & Wakefield plc is a global commercial real estate services firm. The company's headquarters is located in Chicago, Illinois. Cushman & Wakefield is among the world's largest commercial real estate services firms, with revenues of US$8.8 ...
– Amsterdam is one of the top European cities in which to locate an
international business International business refers to the trade of goods, services, technology, capital and/or knowledge across national borders and at a global or transnational scale. It involves cross-border transactions of goods and services between two or more ...
, ranking fifth in the survey. with the survey determining
London London is the Capital city, capital and List of urban areas in the United Kingdom, largest city of England and the United Kingdom. It stands on the River Thames in south-east England at the head of a estuary down to the North Sea, and has b ...

London
,
Paris Paris () is the Capital city, capital and List of communes in France with over 20,000 inhabitants, most populous city of France, with an estimated population of 2,175,601 residents , in an area of more than . Since the 17th century, Paris ha ...

Paris
,
Frankfurt Frankfurt, officially Frankfurt am Main (; Hessian A Hessian is an inhabitant of the German state of Hesse. Hessian may also refer to: Named from the toponym *Hessian (soldier), eighteenth-century German regiments in service with the Brit ...

Frankfurt
and
Barcelona Barcelona ( , , ) is a city on the coast of northeastern Spain. It is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain. With a population of 1.6 million within ci ...

Barcelona
as the four European cities surpassing Amsterdam in this regard. A substantial number of large corporations and banks' headquarters are located in the Amsterdam area, including:
AkzoNobel Akzo Nobel N.V., trading as AkzoNobel, is a Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch ...
,
Heineken International Heineken N.V. (; at times self-styled as HEINEKEN) is a Dutch brewing company, founded in 1864 by Gerard Adriaan Heineken in Amsterdam Amsterdam (, , ) is the Capital of the Netherlands, capital and Municipalities of the Netherlands, mo ...
,
ING Group The ING Group ( nl, ING Groep) is a Dutch multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinati ...
,
ABN AMRO ABN AMRO Bank N.V. is a Dutch bank with headquarters in Amsterdam. ABN AMRO Bank is the third-largest bank in the Netherlands. It was re-established in its current form in 2009, following the acquisition and break-up of the original ABN AMRO by a ...
,
TomTom TomTom N.V. is a Dutch multinational developer and creator of location technology and consumer electronics. Founded in 1991 and headquartered in Amsterdam Amsterdam ( , , ) is the Capital of the Netherlands, capital and Municipalities of ...
,
Delta Lloyd Group Image:Gent, Delta Lloydbank foto3 2010-10-10 13.51.JPG, Ghent, office building: Delta Lloyd, 265px Delta Lloyd Group was a Netherlands, Dutch insurer with operations in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. It consisted of Delta Lloyd, OHRA, ABN ...
, Booking.com and
Philips Koninklijke Philips N.V. (in Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer t ...

Philips
. Although many small offices remain along the , centrally based companies have increasingly relocated outside Amsterdam's city centre. Consequently, the
Zuidas The Zuidas (literally ''South Axis'' in Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also ...

Zuidas
(English: South Axis) has become the new financial and legal hub of Amsterdam, with the country's five largest law firms and several subsidiaries of large consulting firms, such as
Boston Consulting Group Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is an American management consulting Management consulting is the practice of helping organization An organization, or organisation ( Commonwealth English; see spelling differences), is an entity – such ...
and
Accenture Accenture plc is an Irish multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinational state, a s ...

Accenture
, as well as the World Trade Centre (Amsterdam) located in the
Zuidas The Zuidas (literally ''South Axis'' in Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also ...

Zuidas
district. In addition to the Zuidas, there are three smaller financial districts in Amsterdam: * around
Amsterdam Sloterdijk railway station Amsterdam Sloterdijk is a major railway junction to the west of Amsterdam Centraal station. It is at a rail-rail crossing, with an additional chord (Hemboog). It is on the railway line from Amsterdam Centraal to Haarlem and the last station befor ...
. Where one can find the offices of several newspapers, such as ''
De Telegraaf ''De Telegraaf'' (; en, The Telegraph) is the largest Dutch daily morning newspaper A newspaper is a Periodical literature, periodical publication containing written News, information about current events and is often typed in black ink w ...

De Telegraaf
.'' as well as those of
Deloitte Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (), commonly referred to as Deloitte, is a multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body ...

Deloitte
, the
Gemeentelijk Vervoerbedrijf The Gemeente Vervoerbedrijf Amsterdam (GVB; English language, English: Amsterdam Municipality Transportation Company)Sometimes also written Gemeentevervoerbedrijf in Dutch. is the municipal public transport operator for Amsterdam, the Capital city ...
(municipal public transport company), and the Dutch tax offices (''Belastingdienst''); * around the
Johan Cruyff Arena The Johan Cruyff Arena ( nl, Johan Cruijff Arena ; officially stylised as ''Johan Cruijff ArenA'') is the main stadium of the Dutch capital city of Amsterdam Amsterdam (, , ) is the Capital of the Netherlands, capital and Municipalities o ...
in
Amsterdam Zuidoost Amsterdam-Zuidoost ("Amsterdam-Southeast") is a Boroughs of Amsterdam, borough (''stadsdeel'') of Amsterdam, Netherlands. It consists of four residential neighborhoods—Bijlmermeer, Venserpolder (Amsterdam), Venserpolder, Gaasperdam and Driemon ...
, with the headquarters of
ING Group The ING Group ( nl, ING Groep) is a Dutch multinational Multinational may refer to: * Multinational corporation, a corporate organization operating in multiple countries * Multinational force, a military body from multiple countries * Multinati ...
; * around the Amstel railway station in the
Amsterdam-Oost Amsterdam-Oost is a Boroughs of Amsterdam, borough of Amsterdam, Netherlands, established in May 2010 after a merger of the former boroughs of Zeeburg and Oost-Watergraafsmeer. In 2013, the borough had almost 123,000 inhabitants. History Amsterd ...
district to the east of the historical city. Amsterdam's
tallest building File:Tallest Buildings in the World 2020.png, 485px, The tallest buildings in 2020 This list of tallest buildings includes skyscrapers with continuously occupiable floors and a height of at least . Nonbuilding structure, Non-building structures, ...
, the
Rembrandt Tower Rembrandt Tower (Dutch: ''Rembrandttoren'') is an office skyscraper in Amsterdam. It has a height of 135 metres, 36 floors and it has a spire which extends its height to 150 metres. It was constructed from 1991 in architecture, 1991 to 1994 in arch ...
, is located here. As are the headquarters of
Philips Koninklijke Philips N.V. (in Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer t ...

Philips
, the Dutch multinational conglomerate. The adjoining municipality of
Amstelveen Amstelveen () is a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional laws to which it is s ...

Amstelveen
is the location of global headquarters. Other non-Dutch companies have chosen to settle in communities surrounding Amsterdam since they allow
freehold Freehold may refer to: In real estate * Freehold (law), the tenure of property in fee simple * Customary freehold, a form of feudal tenure of land in England *Parson's freehold, where a Church of England rector or vicar of holds title to benefice ...
property ownership, whereas Amsterdam retains
ground rent Ground may refer to: * Soil, a mixture of clay, sand and organic matter present on the surface of the Earth * Ground (electricity), the reference point in an electrical circuit from which voltages are measured ** Earthing system, part of an elect ...
. The
Amsterdam Stock Exchange A bond from the Dutch East India Company, dating from 7 November 1623, for the amount of 2,400 florins. Euronext Amsterdam is a stock exchange A stock exchange, securities exchange, or bourse is an Exchange (organized market), excha ...
(AEX), now part of
Euronext Euronext N.V. (short for European New Exchange Technology) is a pan-European bourse that offers trading in regulated , s (ETF), warrants and certificates, s, s, , as well as . In May 2021, it had nearly 1,900 listed issuers worth €5.6 trillion ...
, is the world's oldest stock exchange and, due to
Brexit Brexit (; a portmanteau A portmanteau (, ) or portmanteau word (from "portmanteau (luggage) A portmanteau is a piece of luggage, usually made of leather and opening into two equal parts. Some were large, upright, and hinged at the back and ...

Brexit
, has overtaken LSE as the largest bourse in Europe. It is near
Dam Square Dam Square or Dam () is a town square in Amsterdam Amsterdam (, , ) is the Capital of the Netherlands, capital and Municipalities of the Netherlands, most populous city of the Netherlands with a population of 872,680 within the city proper, ...

Dam Square
in the city centre.


Port of Amsterdam

The
Port of Amsterdam The port of Amsterdam ( nl, Haven van Amsterdam) is a seaport File:PorticcioloCedas.jpg, The Porticciolo del Cedas port in Barcola near Trieste, a small local port A port is a maritime law, maritime facility which may comprise one ...

Port of Amsterdam
is the fourth-largest port in Europe, the 38th largest port in the world and the second-largest port in the Netherlands by metric tons of cargo. In 2014 the Port of Amsterdam had a cargo throughput of 97,4 million tons of cargo, which was mostly
bulk cargo Bulk cargo is commodity cargo that is transported packaging, unpackaged in large quantities. Description It refers to material in either liquid or granular, particulate form, as a mass of relatively small solids, such as petroleum/crude oi ...
. Amsterdam has the biggest cruise port in the Netherlands with more than 150 cruise ships every year. In 2019 the new lock in IJmuiden will open; the port will then be able to grow to 125 million tonnes in capacity.


Tourism

Amsterdam is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, receiving more than 5.34 million international visitors annually, this is excluding the 16 million day-trippers visiting the city every year. The number of visitors has been growing steadily over the past decade. This can be attributed to an increasing number of European visitors. Two-thirds of the hotels are located in the city's centre. Hotels with 4 or 5 stars contribute 42% of the total beds available and 41% of the overnight stays in Amsterdam. The room occupation rate was 85% in 2017, up from 78% in 2006. The majority of tourists (74%) originate from Europe. The largest group of non-European visitors come from the United States, accounting for 14% of the total. Certain years have a theme in Amsterdam to attract extra tourists. For example, the year 2006 was designated "Rembrandt 400", to celebrate the 400th birthday of
Rembrandt van Rijn Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (, also , ; 15 July 1606 – 4 October 1669) was a Dutch draughtsman, painter, and printmaker. An innovative and prolific master in three media, he is generally considered one of the greatest visual artis ...

Rembrandt van Rijn
. Some hotels offer special arrangements or activities during these years. The average number of guests per year staying at the four campsites around the city range from 12,000 to 65,000.


De Wallen (Red-light district)

De Wallen, also known as Walletjes or Rosse Buurt, is a designated area for legalised prostitution and is Amsterdam's largest and best-known
red-light district A red-light district or pleasure district is a part of an urban area where a concentration of prostitution and sex industry, sex-oriented businesses, such as sex shops, strip clubs, and adult theaters, are found. In most cases, red-light districts ...
. This neighbourhood has become a famous attraction for tourists. It consists of a network of canals, streets, and alleys containing several hundred small, one-room apartments rented by
sex worker A sex worker is a person who is employed in the sex industry The sex industry (also called the sex trade) consists of business Business is the activity of making one's living or making money by producing or buying and selling Product (busin ...
s who offer their services from behind a window or glass door, typically illuminated with red lights. In recent years, the city government has been closing and repurposing the famous red-light district windows in an effort to clean up the area and reduce the amount of party and sex tourism.


Retail

Shops in Amsterdam range from large high-end department stores such as
De Bijenkorf De Bijenkorf (literally, "the beehive") is a chain of high-end department stores in the Netherlands, with its flagship store on Dam Square in Amsterdam. The chain is owned by the Weston family, which also owns United Kingdom, Britain's Selfridges, ...

De Bijenkorf
founded in 1870 to small speciality shops. Amsterdam's high-end shops are found in the streets P.C. Hooftstraat and ''Cornelis Schuytstraat'', which are located in the vicinity of the
Vondelpark The Vondelpark is a public urban park of 47 hectares (120 acres) in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It is part of the stadsdelen, borough of Amsterdam-Zuid and situated west from the Leidseplein and the Museumplein. The park was opened in 1865 and orig ...

Vondelpark
. One of Amsterdam's busiest high streets is the narrow, medieval
Kalverstraat 250px, Kalverstraat, with the main entrance to Kalvertoren shopping centre. The Kalverstraat is a busy shopping street of Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. The street runs roughly North-South for about 750 meters, from Dam Square to Mun ...
in the heart of the city. Other shopping areas include the ''Negen Straatjes'' and Haarlemmerdijk and Haarlemmerstraat. ''Negen Straatjes'' are nine narrow streets within the ''Grachtengordel'', the concentric canal system of Amsterdam. The Negen Straatjes differ from other shopping districts with the presence of a large diversity of privately owned shops. The Haarlemmerstraat and Haarlemmerdijk were voted best shopping street in the Netherlands in 2011. These streets have as the ''Negen Straatjes'' a large diversity of privately owned shops. However, as the ''Negen Straatjes'' are dominated by fashion stores, the Haarlemmerstraat and Haarlemmerdijk offer a wide variety of stores, just to name some specialities: candy and other food-related stores, lingerie, sneakers, wedding clothing, interior shops, books, Italian deli's, racing and mountain bikes, skatewear, etc. The city also features a large number of open-air markets such as the Albert Cuyp Market, Westerstraat-markt, Ten Katemarkt, and . Some of these markets are held daily, like the Albert Cuypmarkt and the Dappermarkt. Others, like the Westerstraatmarkt, are held every week.


Fashion

Several fashion brands and designers are based in Amsterdam. Fashion designers include
Iris van Herpen Iris van Herpen (born June 5, 1984) is a Dutch fashion designer Fashion is a form of self-expression, at a particular period and place and in a specific context, of clothing File:KangaSiyu1.jpg, A kanga (African garment), kanga, worn throug ...

Iris van Herpen
, Mart Visser,
Viktor & Rolf Viktor & Rolf is a fashion house which specialises in creating conceptual and avant-garde designs. It was founded in 1993 by Dutch designers Viktor Horsting (born 1969, Geldrop) and Rolf Snoeren (born 1969, Dongen). For more than twenty years Viktor ...

Viktor & Rolf
, Marlies Dekkers and
Frans Molenaar Frans Molenaar (; 11 May 1940 – 9 January 2015) was a Netherlands, Dutch fashion designer.Frans Molenaar. Gesc ...
. Fashion models like
Yfke Sturm Yfke Sturm (born 19 November 1981) is a Dutch model (person), model. Life and career Sturm was born on 19 November 1981 in Almere, Flevoland. She was discovered in 1997 in Almere, by an Elite Model Management scout. Shortly thereafter, she entere ...
, Doutzen Kroes and Kim Noorda started their careers in Amsterdam. Amsterdam has its garment centre in the World Fashion Center. Fashion photographers Inez and Vinoodh, Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin were born in Amsterdam.


Culture

During the later part of the 16th-century, Amsterdam's Rederijkerskamer (Chamber of rhetoric) organised contests between different Chambers in the reading of poetry and drama. In 1637, Schouwburg, the first theatre in Amsterdam was built, opening on 3 January 1638. The first ballet performances in the Netherlands were given in Schouwburg in 1642 with the ''Ballet of the Five Senses''. In the 18th century, French theatre became popular. While Amsterdam was under the influence of German music in the 19th century there were few national opera productions; the Hollandse Opera of Amsterdam was built in 1888 for the specific purpose of promoting Dutch opera. In the 19th century, popular culture was centred on the Nes area in Amsterdam (mainly vaudeville and music hall, music-hall). An improved metronome was invented in 1812 by Dietrich Nikolaus Winkel. The
Rijksmuseum The Rijksmuseum (; en, National Museum) is a Netherlands, Dutch national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam. The museum is located at the Museumplein, Museum Square in the stadsdeel, borough Amsterdam-Zuid, Amsterdam South, close ...

Rijksmuseum
(1885) and
Stedelijk Museum The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (; Municipal Museum Amsterdam), colloquially known as the Stedelijk, is a museum for modern art, contemporary art, and design located in Amsterdam Amsterdam (, , ) is the Capital of the Netherlands, capita ...

Stedelijk Museum
(1895) were built and opened. In 1888, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Concertgebouworkest orchestra was established. With the 20th century came cinema, radio and television. Though most studios are located in Hilversum and
Aalsmeer Aalsmeer () is a municipality and a town in the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland. Its name is derived from the Dutch language, Dutch for eel (''aal'') and lake (''meer''). Aalsmeer is bordered by the Westeinderplassen lake, the largest ...

Aalsmeer
, Amsterdam's influence on programming is very strong. Many people who work in the television industry live in Amsterdam. Also, the headquarters of the Dutch SBS 6, SBS Broadcasting Group is located in Amsterdam.


Museums

The most important museums of Amsterdam are located on the
Museumplein The Museumplein (; ) is a public space in the Museumkwartier (Amsterdam), Museumkwartier neighbourhood of the Amsterdam-Zuid stadsdeel, borough in Amsterdam, Netherlands. Located at the Museumplein are three major museums – the Rijksmuseum, Van ...

Museumplein
(Museum Square), located at the southwestern side of the Rijksmuseum. It was created in the last quarter of the 19th century on the grounds of the former Internationale Koloniale en Uitvoerhandel Tentoonstelling, World's fair. The northeastern part of the square is bordered by the large Rijksmuseum. In front of the Rijksmuseum on the square itself is a long, rectangular pond. This is transformed into an ice rink in winter. The northwestern part of the square is bordered by the Van Gogh Museum, House of Bols Cocktail & Genever Experience and Coster Diamonds. The southwestern border of the Museum Square is the Van Baerlestraat, which is a major thoroughfare in this part of Amsterdam. The Concertgebouw is located across this street from the square. To the southeast of the square are several large houses, one of which contains the American consulate. A Multi-storey car park, parking garage can be found underneath the square, as well as a supermarket. The Museumplein is covered almost entirely with a lawn, except for the northeastern part of the square which is covered with gravel. The current appearance of the square was realised in 1999, when the square was remodelled. The square itself is the most prominent site in Amsterdam for festivals and outdoor concerts, especially in the summer. Plans were made in 2008 to remodel the square again because many inhabitants of Amsterdam are not happy with its current appearance. The
Rijksmuseum The Rijksmuseum (; en, National Museum) is a Netherlands, Dutch national museum dedicated to arts and history in Amsterdam. The museum is located at the Museumplein, Museum Square in the stadsdeel, borough Amsterdam-Zuid, Amsterdam South, close ...

Rijksmuseum
possesses the largest and most important collection of classical Dutch art. It opened in 1885. Its collection consists of nearly one million objects. The artist most associated with Amsterdam is
Rembrandt Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn (, ; 15 July 1606 – 4 October 1669), usually simply known as Rembrandt, was a Dutch Golden Age painter Dutch Golden Age painting is the painting of the Dutch Golden Age, a period in Dutch history roughl ...

Rembrandt
, whose work, and the work of his pupils, is displayed in the Rijksmuseum. Rembrandt's masterpiece ''The Night Watch'' is one of the top pieces of art of the museum. It also houses paintings from artists like Bartholomeus van der Helst, Johannes Vermeer, Frans Hals, Ferdinand Bol, Aelbert Cuyp, Albert Cuyp, Jacob van Ruisdael and Paulus Potter. Aside from paintings, the collection consists of a large variety of Decorative arts, decorative art. This ranges from Delftware to giant doll-houses from the 17th century. The architect of the Gothic Revival architecture, gothic revival building was P.J.H. Cuypers. The museum underwent a 10-year, 375 million euro renovation starting in 2003. The full collection was reopened to the public on 13 April 2013 and the Rijksmuseum has remained the most visited museum in Amsterdam with 2.2 million visitors in 2016 and 2.16 million in 2017. Van Gogh lived in Amsterdam for a short while and there is a Van Gogh Museum, museum dedicated to his work. The museum is housed in one of the few modern buildings in this area of Amsterdam. The building was designed by Gerrit Rietveld. This building is where the permanent collection is displayed. A new building was added to the museum in 1999. This building, known as the performance wing, was designed by Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa. Its purpose is to house temporary exhibitions of the museum. Some of Van Gogh's most famous paintings, like ''The Potato Eaters'' and ''Sunflowers (series of paintings), Sunflowers'', are in the collection. The Van Gogh museum is the second most visited museum in Amsterdam, not far behind the Rijksmuseum in terms of the number of visits, being approximately 2.1 million in 2016, for example. Next to the Van Gogh museum stands the
Stedelijk Museum The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam (; Municipal Museum Amsterdam), colloquially known as the Stedelijk, is a museum for modern art, contemporary art, and design located in Amsterdam Amsterdam (, , ) is the Capital of the Netherlands, capita ...

Stedelijk Museum
. This is Amsterdam's most important museum of modern art. The museum is as old as the square it borders and was opened in 1895. The permanent collection consists of works of art from artists like Piet Mondrian, Piet Mondriaan, Karel Appel, and Kazimir Malevich. After renovations lasting several years, the museum opened in September 2012 with a new composite extension that has been called 'The Bathtub' due to its resemblance to one. Amsterdam contains many other museums throughout the city. They range from small museums such as the Verzetsmuseum (Resistance Museum), the
Anne Frank House The Anne Frank House ( nl, Anne Frank Huis) is a writer's house and biographical museum dedicated to Jewish Jews ( he, יְהוּדִים ISO 259-2 , Israeli pronunciation ) or Jewish people are members of an ethnoreligious group and a ...

Anne Frank House
, and the Rembrandt House Museum, to the very large, like the Tropenmuseum (Museum of the Tropics),
Amsterdam Museum The Amsterdam Museum, until 2011 called the Amsterdams Historisch Museum, is a museum about the history of Amsterdam. Since 1975, it is located in the old city orphanage between Kalverstraat and Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal. History The museum opened in ...
(formerly known as Amsterdam Historical Museum),
Hermitage Amsterdam Hermitage Amsterdam is a branch museum of the Hermitage Museum of Saint Petersburg, Russia, located on the banks of the Amstel river in Amsterdam. The museum is located in the former Amstelhof, a Classical architecture, classical style building fro ...

Hermitage Amsterdam
(a dependency of the Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg) and the Joods Historisch Museum (Jewish Historical Museum). The modern-styled NEMO (museum), Nemo is dedicated to child-friendly science exhibitions.


Music

Amsterdam's musical culture includes a large collection of songs that treat the city nostalgically and lovingly. The 1949 song "Aan de Amsterdamse grachten" ("On the canals of Amsterdam") was performed and recorded by many artists, including John Kraaijkamp Sr.; the best-known version is probably that by Wim Sonneveld (1962). In the 1950s Johnny Jordaan rose to fame with "Geef mij maar Amsterdam" ("I prefer Amsterdam"), which praises the city above all others (explicitly Paris); Jordaan sang especially about his own neighbourhood, the
Jordaan The Jordaan is a neighbourhood of the city of Amsterdam Amsterdam (, , ) is the Capital of the Netherlands, capital and Municipalities of the Netherlands, most populous city of the Netherlands with a population of 872,680 within the city pr ...

Jordaan
("Bij ons in de Jordaan"). Colleagues and contemporaries of Johnny include Tante Leen and Manke Nelis. Another notable Amsterdam song is "Amsterdam (Jacques Brel song), Amsterdam" by Jacques Brel (1964). A 2011 poll by Amsterdam newspaper ''Het Parool'' that Trio Bier's "Oude Wolf" was voted "Amsterdams lijflied". Notable Amsterdam bands from the modern era include the Osdorp Posse and The Ex (band), The Ex. AFAS Live (formerly known as the Heineken Music Hall) is a concert hall located near the
Johan Cruyff Arena The Johan Cruyff Arena ( nl, Johan Cruijff Arena ; officially stylised as ''Johan Cruijff ArenA'') is the main stadium of the Dutch capital city of Amsterdam Amsterdam (, , ) is the Capital of the Netherlands, capital and Municipalities o ...
(known as the Amsterdam Arena until 2018). Its main purpose is to serve as a podium for pop concerts for big audiences. Many famous international artists have performed there. Two other notable venues, Paradiso and the
Melkweg The Melkweg (Dutch for "Milky Way The Milky Way is the galaxy A galaxy is a gravitation Gravity (), or gravitation, is a natural phenomenon by which all things with mass Mass is both a property Property (''latin: Res ...

Melkweg
are located near the
Leidseplein Besides the square itself, several streets around it, such as the Korte Leidsedwarsstraat (pictured) are named after the city of Leiden The Leidseplein (English: Leiden Square) is a square in central Amsterdam, Netherlands. Lying in the Wetering ...

Leidseplein
. Both focus on broad programming, ranging from indie rock to hip hop music, hip hop, Rhythm and blues, R&B, and other popular genres. Other more subcultural music venues are OCCII, OT301, De Nieuwe Anita, Winston Kingdom, and Zaal 100. Jazz has a strong following in Amsterdam, with the Bimhuis being the premier venue. In 2012, Ziggo Dome was opened, also near Amsterdam Arena, a state-of-the-art indoor music arena. AFAS Live is also host to many electronic dance music festivals, alongside many other venues. Armin van Buuren and Tiesto, some of the world's leading Trance music, Trance DJ's hail from the Netherlands and frequently perform in Amsterdam. Each year in October, the city hosts the Amsterdam Dance Event (ADE) which is one of the leading electronic music conferences and one of the biggest club festivals for electronic music in the world, attracting over 350,000 visitors each year. Another popular dance festival is 5daysoff, which takes place in the venues Paradiso and
Melkweg The Melkweg (Dutch for "Milky Way The Milky Way is the galaxy A galaxy is a gravitation Gravity (), or gravitation, is a natural phenomenon by which all things with mass Mass is both a property Property (''latin: Res ...

Melkweg
. In the summertime, there are several big outdoor dance parties in or nearby Amsterdam, such as Awakenings, Dance Valley, Mysteryland, Mystery Land, Loveland, A Day at the Park, Welcome to the Future, and Valtifest. Amsterdam has a world-class symphony orchestra, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra. Their home is the
Concertgebouw The Royal Concertgebouw ( nl, Koninklijk Concertgebouw, ) is a concert hall in Amsterdam, Netherlands. The Dutch term "concertgebouw" translates into English as "concert building". Its superb Architectural acoustics, acoustics place it among the ...

Concertgebouw
, which is across the Van Baerlestraat from the Museum Square. It is considered by critics to be a List of concert halls, concert hall with some of the best acoustics in the world. The building contains three halls, Grote Zaal, Kleine Zaal, and Spiegelzaal. Some nine hundred concerts and other events per year take place in the Concertgebouw, for a public of over 700,000, making it one of the most-visited concert halls in the world. The opera house of Amsterdam is located adjacent to the city hall. Therefore, the two buildings combined are often called the Stopera, (a word originally coined by protesters against it very construction: ''Stop the Opera[-house]''). This huge modern complex, opened in 1986, lies in the former Jewish neighbourhood at ''Waterlooplein'' next to the river
Amstel The Amstel () is a river in the province of North Holland in the Netherlands ) , national_anthem = ( en, "William of Nassau") , image_map = EU-Netherlands.svg , map_caption = , image_map2 = BES ...

Amstel
. The ''Stopera'' is the home base of Dutch National Opera, Dutch National Ballet and the Holland Symfonia. Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ is a concert hall, which is located in the IJ near the central station. Its concerts perform mostly 20th-century classical music, modern classical music. Located adjacent to it, is the ''Bimhuis'', a concert hall for improvised and Jazz music.


Performing arts

Amsterdam has three main theatre buildings. The Stadsschouwburg at the
Leidseplein Besides the square itself, several streets around it, such as the Korte Leidsedwarsstraat (pictured) are named after the city of Leiden The Leidseplein (English: Leiden Square) is a square in central Amsterdam, Netherlands. Lying in the Wetering ...

Leidseplein
is the home base of Toneelgroep Amsterdam. The current building dates from 1894. Most plays are performed in the Grote Zaal (Great Hall). The normal programme of events encompasses all sorts of theatrical forms. The Stadsschouwburg is currently being renovated and expanded. The third theatre space, to be operated jointly with next door
Melkweg The Melkweg (Dutch for "Milky Way The Milky Way is the galaxy A galaxy is a gravitation Gravity (), or gravitation, is a natural phenomenon by which all things with mass Mass is both a property Property (''latin: Res ...

Melkweg
, will open in late 2009 or early 2010. The Stopera, Dutch National Opera and Ballet (formerly known as ''Het Muziektheater''), dating from 1986, is the principal opera house and home to Dutch National Opera and Dutch National Ballet. Carré Theatre, Royal Theatre Carré was built as a permanent circus theatre in 1887 and is currently mainly used for musicals, cabaret performances, and pop concerts. The recently re-opened DeLaMar Theater houses the more commercial plays and musicals. A new theatre has also moved into Amsterdam scene in 2014, joining other established venues: Theater Amsterdam is located in the west part of Amsterdam, on the Danzigerkade. It is housed in a modern building with a panoramic view over the harbour. The theatre is the first-ever purpose-built venue to showcase a single play entitled ANNE, the play based on Anne Frank's life. On the east side of town, there is a small theatre in a converted bathhouse, the Badhuistheater. The theatre often has English programming. The Netherlands has a tradition of cabaret or ''kleinkunst'', which combines music, storytelling, commentary, theatre and comedy. Cabaret dates back to the 1930s and artists like Wim Kan, Wim Sonneveld and Toon Hermans were pioneers of this form of art in the Netherlands. In Amsterdam is the Kleinkunstacademie (English: Cabaret Academy) an
Nederlied
Kleinkunstkoor (English: Cabaret Choir). Contemporary popular artists are Youp van 't Hek, Freek de Jonge, Herman Finkers, Hans Teeuwen, Theo Maassen, Herman van Veen, Najib Amhali, Raoul Heertje, Jörgen Raymann, Brigitte Kaandorp and Comedytrain. The English spoken comedy scene was established with the founding of Boom Chicago in 1993. They have their own theatre at Leidseplein.


Nightlife

Amsterdam is famous for its vibrant and diverse nightlife. Amsterdam has many ''bar (establishment), cafés'' (bars). They range from large and modern to small and cosy. The typical ''Bruine Kroeg'' (brown ''café'') breathe a more old fashioned atmosphere with dimmed lights, candles, and somewhat older clientele. These brown cafés mostly offer a wide range of local and international artisanal beers. Most ''cafés'' have terraces in summertime. A common sight on the Leidseplein during summer is a square full of terraces packed with people drinking beer or wine. Many restaurants can be found in Amsterdam as well. Since Amsterdam is a multicultural city, a lot of different ethnic restaurants can be found. Restaurants range from being rather luxurious and expensive to being ordinary and affordable. Amsterdam also possesses many discothèques. The two main nightlife areas for tourists are the
Leidseplein Besides the square itself, several streets around it, such as the Korte Leidsedwarsstraat (pictured) are named after the city of Leiden The Leidseplein (English: Leiden Square) is a square in central Amsterdam, Netherlands. Lying in the Wetering ...

Leidseplein
and the . The Paradiso,
Melkweg The Melkweg (Dutch for "Milky Way The Milky Way is the galaxy A galaxy is a gravitation Gravity (), or gravitation, is a natural phenomenon by which all things with mass Mass is both a property Property (''latin: Res ...

Melkweg
and Sugar Factory are cultural centres, which turn into discothèques on some nights. Examples of discothèques near the Rembrandtplein are the Escape, Air, John Doe and Club Abe. Also noteworthy are Panama, Hotel Arena (East), TrouwAmsterdam and Studio 80. In recent years '24-hour' clubs opened their doors, most notably Radion De School, Shelter and Marktkantine. Bimhuis located near the Central Station, with its rich programming hosting the best in the field is considered one of the best jazz clubs in the world. The Reguliersdwarsstraat is the main street for the LGBT community and nightlife.


Festivals

In 2008, there were 140 festivals and events in Amsterdam. Famous festivals and events in Amsterdam include: ''Koningsdag'' (which was named ''Koninginnedag'' until the crowning of King Willem-Alexander in 2013) (King's Day – Queen's Day); the Holland Festival for the performing arts; the yearly Prinsengrachtconcert (classical concerto on the Prinsen canal) in August; the '
Stille Omgang A ''stille omgang'' ("Silent Walk" or circumambulation) is an informal ritual that served as substitute for the Roman Catholic processions that were prohibited after the Protestant Reformation, Reformation in the Netherlands in the 16th century. Be ...
' (a silent Roman Catholic evening procession held every March); Amsterdam Gay Pride; The Cannabis Cup; and the Uitmarkt. On Koningsdag—that is held each year on 27 April—hundreds of thousands of people travel to Amsterdam to celebrate with the city's residents. The entire city becomes overcrowded with people buying products from the ''freemarket,'' or visiting one of the many music concerts. The yearly Holland Festival attracts international artists and visitors from all over Europe. Amsterdam Gay Pride is a yearly local LGBT parade of boats in Amsterdam's canals, held on the first Saturday in August. The annual Uitmarkt is a three-day cultural event at the start of the cultural season in late August. It offers previews of many different artists, such as musicians and poets, who perform on Podium, podia.


Sports

Amsterdam is home of the ''Eredivisie'' football club AFC Ajax. The stadium
Johan Cruyff Arena The Johan Cruyff Arena ( nl, Johan Cruijff Arena ; officially stylised as ''Johan Cruijff ArenA'') is the main stadium of the Dutch capital city of Amsterdam Amsterdam (, , ) is the Capital of the Netherlands, capital and Municipalities o ...
is the home of Ajax. It is located in the Amsterdam Zuidoost, south-east of the city next to the new Amsterdam Bijlmer ArenA railway station. Before moving to their current location in 1996, Ajax played their regular matches in the now demolished De Meer Stadion in the eastern part of the city or in the Olympic Stadium (Amsterdam), Olympic Stadium. In 1928, Amsterdam hosted the 1928 Summer Olympics, Summer Olympics. The Olympic Stadium (Amsterdam), Olympic Stadium built for the occasion has been completely restored and is now used for cultural and sporting events, such as the Amsterdam Marathon. In 1920, Amsterdam assisted in hosting some of the Sailing at the 1920 Summer Olympics, sailing events for the 1920 Summer Olympics, Summer Olympics held in neighbouring Antwerp, Belgium by hosting events at IJ (Amsterdam), Buiten IJ. The city holds the Dam tot Damloop, Dam to Dam Run, a race from Amsterdam to Zaandam, as well as the Amsterdam Marathon. The ice hockey team Amstel Tijgers play in the Jaap Eden ice rink. The team competes in the Dutch ice hockey premier league. Long track speed skating, Speed skating championships have been held on the 400-metre lane of this ice rink. Amsterdam holds two American football franchises: the Amsterdam Crusaders and the Amsterdam Panthers. The Amsterdam Pirates baseball team competes in the Honkbal Hoofdklasse, Dutch Major League. There are three field hockey teams: Amsterdam, Pinoké and Hurley, who play their matches around the Wagener Stadium in the nearby city of
Amstelveen Amstelveen () is a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional laws to which it is s ...

Amstelveen
. The basketball team MyGuide Amsterdam competes in the Dutch premier division and play their games in the Sporthallen Zuid. There is one rugby club in Amsterdam, which also hosts sports training classes such as RTC (Rugby Talenten Centrum or Rugby Talent Centre) and the National Rugby stadium. Since 1999, the city of Amsterdam honours the best sportsmen and women at the Amsterdam Sportsman of the year, Amsterdam Sports Awards. Boxer Raymond Joval and field hockey midfielder Carole Thate were the first to receive the awards, in 1999. Amsterdam hosted the World Gymnaestrada in 1991 and will do so again in 2023.


Politics

The city of Amsterdam is a Municipalities of the Netherlands, municipality under the Dutch Municipalities Act. It is governed by a directly elected Municipal council (Netherlands), municipal council, a College van burgemeester en wethouders, municipal executive board and a Burgemeester, mayor. Since 1981, the Municipalities of the Netherlands, municipality of Amsterdam has gradually been divided into semi-autonomous Boroughs of Amsterdam, boroughs, called ''stadsdelen'' or 'districts'. Over time, a total of 15 boroughs were created. In May 2010, under a major reform, the number of Boroughs of Amsterdam, Amsterdam boroughs was reduced to eight: Amsterdam-Centrum covering the city centre including the Canals of Amsterdam, canal belt,
Amsterdam-Noord Amsterdam-Noord () is a borough A borough is an administrative division in various English language, English-speaking countries. In principle, the term ''borough'' designates a self-governing walled town, although in practice, official use of th ...
consisting of the neighbourhoods north of the IJ (Amsterdam), IJ lake,
Amsterdam-Oost Amsterdam-Oost is a Boroughs of Amsterdam, borough of Amsterdam, Netherlands, established in May 2010 after a merger of the former boroughs of Zeeburg and Oost-Watergraafsmeer. In 2013, the borough had almost 123,000 inhabitants. History Amsterd ...
in the east, Amsterdam-Zuid in the south, Amsterdam-West in the west, Amsterdam Nieuw-West in the far west,
Amsterdam Zuidoost Amsterdam-Zuidoost ("Amsterdam-Southeast") is a Boroughs of Amsterdam, borough (''stadsdeel'') of Amsterdam, Netherlands. It consists of four residential neighborhoods—Bijlmermeer, Venserpolder (Amsterdam), Venserpolder, Gaasperdam and Driemon ...
in the southeast, and Westpoort (Amsterdam), Westpoort covering the
Port of Amsterdam The port of Amsterdam ( nl, Haven van Amsterdam) is a seaport File:PorticcioloCedas.jpg, The Porticciolo del Cedas port in Barcola near Trieste, a small local port A port is a maritime law, maritime facility which may comprise one ...

Port of Amsterdam
area.


City government

As with all Dutch municipalities, Amsterdam is governed by a directly elected Municipal council (Netherlands), municipal council, a College van burgemeester en wethouders, municipal executive board and a government appointed Burgemeester, mayor (''burgemeester''). The mayor is a member of the municipal executive board, but also has individual responsibilities in maintaining public order. On 27 June 2018, Femke Halsema (former member of House of Representatives (Netherlands), House of Representatives for GroenLinks from 1998 to 2011) was appointed as the first woman to be List of mayors of Amsterdam, Mayor of Amsterdam by the King's Commissioner of
North Holland North Holland ( nl, Noord-Holland, ) is a Provinces of the Netherlands, province of the Netherlands in the northwestern part of the country. It is located on the North Sea, north of South Holland and Utrecht (province), Utrecht, and west of Frie ...
for a six-year term after being nominated by the Amsterdam Municipal council (Netherlands), municipal council and began serving a six-year term on 12 July 2018. She replaces Eberhard van der Laan (Labour Party (Netherlands), Labour Party) who was the Mayor of Amsterdam from 2010 until his death in October 2017. After the Dutch municipal elections, 2014, 2014 municipal council elections, a governing majority of Democrats 66, D66, People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, VVD and Socialist Party (Netherlands), SP was formed – the first coalition without the Labour Party (Netherlands), Labour Party since World War II. Next to the Burgemeester, Mayor, the College van burgemeester en wethouders, municipal executive board consists of eight ''wethouders'' ('alderpersons') appointed by the Municipal council (Netherlands), municipal council: four Democrats 66, D66 alderpersons, two People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, VVD alderpersons and two Socialist Party (Netherlands), SP alderpersons. On 18 September 2017, it was announced by Eberhard van der Laan in an open letter to Amsterdam citizens that Kajsa Ollongren would take up his office as acting Mayor of Amsterdam with immediate effect due to ill health. Ollongren was succeeded as acting Mayor by Eric van der Burg on 26 October 2017 and by Jozias van Aartsen on 4 December 2017. Unlike most other Dutch municipalities, Amsterdam is subdivided into eight Boroughs of Amsterdam, boroughs, called ''stadsdelen'' or 'districts', a system that was implemented gradually in the 1980s to improve local governance. The Boroughs of Amsterdam, boroughs are responsible for many activities that had previously been run by the central city. In 2010, the number of Boroughs of Amsterdam, Amsterdam boroughs reached fifteen. Fourteen of those had their own district council (''deelraad''), elected by a popular vote. The fifteenth, Westpoort, covers the harbour of Amsterdam and had very few residents. Therefore, it was governed by the central municipal council. Under the borough system, municipal decisions are made at borough level, except for those affairs pertaining to the whole city such as major infrastructure projects, which are the jurisdiction of the central municipal authorities. In 2010, the Boroughs of Amsterdam, borough system was restructured, in which many smaller boroughs merged into larger boroughs. In 2014, under a reform of the Dutch Municipalities Act, the Boroughs of Amsterdam, Amsterdam boroughs lost much of their autonomous status, as their district councils were abolished. The municipal council of Amsterdam voted to maintain the borough system by replacing the district councils with smaller, but still directly elected district committees (''bestuurscommissies''). Under a municipal ordinance, the new district committees were granted responsibilities through delegation of regulatory and executive powers by the central municipal council.


Metropolitan area

File:Police Headquarters, Amsterdam.jpg, Police headquarters of Amsterdam "Amsterdam" is usually understood to refer to the Municipalities of the Netherlands, municipality of Amsterdam. Colloquially, some areas within the municipality, such as the town of Durgerdam, may not be considered part of Amsterdam.
Statistics Netherlands Statistics Netherlands, founded in 1899, is a Dutch governmental institution that gathers statistical information about the Netherlands The Netherlands ( nl, Nederland ), informally referred to as Holland, is a country primarily located in We ...
uses three other definitions of Amsterdam: metropolitan agglomeration Amsterdam (''Grootstedelijke Agglomeratie Amsterdam'', not to be confused with ''Grootstedelijk Gebied Amsterdam'', a synonym of ''Groot Amsterdam''), Greater Amsterdam (''Groot Amsterdam'', a COROP region) and the urban region Amsterdam (''Stadsgewest Amsterdam''). The Amsterdam Department for Research and Statistics uses a fourth conurbation, namely the ''Stadsregio Amsterdam'' ('City Region of Amsterdam'). The city region is similar to Greater Amsterdam but includes the municipalities of Zaanstad and Wormerland. It excludes Graft-De Rijp. The smallest of these areas is the Municipalities of the Netherlands, municipality of Amsterdam with a population of 802,938 in 2013. The conurbation had a population of 1,096,042 in 2013. It includes the municipalities of Zaanstad, Wormerland, Oostzaan, Diemen and Amstelveen only, as well as the municipality of Amsterdam. Greater Amsterdam includes 15 municipalities, and had a population of 1,293,208 in 2013. Though much larger in area, the population of this area is only slightly larger, because the definition excludes the relatively populous municipality of Zaanstad. The largest area by population, the Amsterdam Metropolitan Area (Dutch: Metropoolregio Amsterdam), has a population of 2,33 million. It includes for instance Zaanstad, Wormerland, Muiden, Abcoude, Haarlem, Almere and Lelystad but excludes Graft-De Rijp. Amsterdam is part of the conglomerate metropolitan area Randstad, with a total population of 6,659,300 inhabitants. Of these various metropolitan area configurations, only the ''Stadsregio Amsterdam'' (City Region of Amsterdam) has a formal governmental status. Its responsibilities include regional spatial planning and the metropolitan public transport concessions.


National capital

Under the Constitution of the Netherlands, Dutch Constitution, Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands. Since the 1983 constitutional revision, the constitution mentions "Amsterdam" and "capital" in chapter 2, article 32: The king's confirmation by oath and his coronation take place in "the capital Amsterdam" ("''de hoofdstad Amsterdam''"). Previous versions of the constitution only mentioned "the city of Amsterdam" ("''de stad Amsterdam''"). For a royal investiture, therefore, the States General of the Netherlands (the Dutch Parliament) meets for a ceremonial joint session in Amsterdam. The ceremony traditionally takes place at the Nieuwe Kerk (Amsterdam), Nieuwe Kerk on
Dam Square Dam Square or Dam () is a town square in Amsterdam Amsterdam (, , ) is the Capital of the Netherlands, capital and Municipalities of the Netherlands, most populous city of the Netherlands with a population of 872,680 within the city proper, ...

Dam Square
, immediately after the former monarch has signed the act of abdication at the nearby
Royal Palace of Amsterdam The Royal Palace of Amsterdam in Amsterdam (Dutch: ''Koninklijk Paleis van Amsterdam'' or ) is one of three palaces in the Netherlands which are at the disposal of the monarch by Act of Parliament. It is situated on the west side of Dam Square in ...

Royal Palace of Amsterdam
. Normally, however, the Parliament sits in The Hague, the city which has historically been the seat of the Politics of the Netherlands, Dutch government, the Monarchy of the Netherlands, Dutch monarchy, and the Supreme Court of the Netherlands, Dutch supreme court. Foreign embassies are also located in The Hague.


Symbols

The coat of arms of Amsterdam is composed of several historical elements. First and centre are three Saltire, St Andrew's crosses, aligned in a vertical band on the city's shield (although Amsterdam's patron saint was Saint Nicholas). These St Andrew's crosses can also be found on the city shields of neighbours
Amstelveen Amstelveen () is a municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of self-government or jurisdiction as granted by national and regional laws to which it is s ...

Amstelveen
and Ouder-Amstel. This part of the coat of arms is the basis of the flag of Amsterdam, flown by the city government, but also as civil ensign for ships registered in Amsterdam. Second is the Imperial Crown of Austria. In 1489, out of gratitude for services and loans, Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I awarded Amsterdam the right to adorn its coat of arms with the King of the Romans, king's crown. Then, in 1508, this was replaced with Maximilian's imperial crown when he was crowned Holy Roman Emperor. In the early years of the 17th century, Maximilian's crown in Amsterdam's coat of arms was again replaced, this time with the crown of Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor, Emperor Rudolph II, a crown that became the Imperial Austrian Crown Jewels, Crown of Austria. The lions date from the late 16th century, when city and province became part of the Dutch Republic, Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. Last came the city's official motto: ''Heldhaftig, Vastberaden, Barmhartig'' ("Heroic, Determined, Merciful"), bestowed on the city in 1947 by Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, Queen Wilhelmina, in recognition of the city's bravery during the Second World War.


Transport


Metro, tram and bus

Currently, there are sixteen Trams in Amsterdam, tram routes and five Amsterdam Metro, metro routes. All are operated by municipal public transport operator
Gemeentelijk Vervoerbedrijf The Gemeente Vervoerbedrijf Amsterdam (GVB; English language, English: Amsterdam Municipality Transportation Company)Sometimes also written Gemeentevervoerbedrijf in Dutch. is the municipal public transport operator for Amsterdam, the Capital city ...
(GVB), which also runs the city bus network. Four fare-free GVB ferries carry pedestrians and cyclists across the IJ (Amsterdam), IJ lake to the Boroughs of Amsterdam, borough of
Amsterdam-Noord Amsterdam-Noord () is a borough A borough is an administrative division in various English language, English-speaking countries. In principle, the term ''borough'' designates a self-governing walled town, although in practice, official use of th ...
, and two fare-charging ferries run east and west along the harbour. There are also privately operated water taxis, a water bus, a boat sharing operation, electric rental boats and canal cruises, that transport people along Amsterdam's waterways. Regional buses, and some suburban buses, are operated by Connexxion and Egged (company), EBS. International coach services are provided by Eurolines from Amsterdam Amstel railway station, IDBUS from
Amsterdam Sloterdijk railway station Amsterdam Sloterdijk is a major railway junction to the west of Amsterdam Centraal station. It is at a rail-rail crossing, with an additional chord (Hemboog). It is on the railway line from Amsterdam Centraal to Haarlem and the last station befor ...
, and Megabus (Europe), Megabus from the Zuiderzeeweg in the east of the city. In order to facilitate easier transport to the centre of Amsterdam, the city has various P+R Locations where people can park their car at an affordable price and transfer to one of the numerous public transport lines.


Car

Amsterdam was intended in 1932 to be the hub, a kind of Kilometre Zero, of the List of motorways in the Netherlands, highway system of the Netherlands, with freeways numbered One to Eight planned to originate from the city. The outbreak of the Second World War and shifting priorities led to the current situation, where only roads A1 motorway (Netherlands), A1, A2 motorway (Netherlands), A2, and A4 motorway (Netherlands), A4 originate from Amsterdam according to the original plan. The A3 motorway (Netherlands), A3 to
Rotterdam Rotterdam ( , , ) is the second largest List of cities in the Netherlands by province, city and List of municipalities of the Netherlands, municipality in the Netherlands. It is in the Provinces of the Netherlands, province of South Holland, ...

Rotterdam
was cancelled in 1970 in order to conserve the Groene Hart. Road A8 motorway (Netherlands), A8, leading north to Zaandam and the A10 motorway (Netherlands), A10 Beltway, Ringroad were opened between 1968 and 1974. Besides the A1, A2, A4 and A8, several freeways, such as the A7 motorway (Netherlands), A7 and A6 motorway (Netherlands), A6, carry traffic mainly bound for Amsterdam. The A10 motorway (Netherlands), A10 ringroad surrounding the city connects Amsterdam with the Dutch List of motorways in the Netherlands, national network of freeways. Interchange (road), Interchanges on the A10 allow cars to enter the city by transferring to one of the 18 ''city roads'', numbered S101 through to S118. These city roads are regional roads without grade separation, and sometimes without a central reservation. Most are accessible by cyclists. The S100 ''Centrumring'' is a smaller ringroad circumnavigating the city's centre. In the city centre, driving a car is discouraged. Parking fees are expensive, and many streets are closed to cars or are One-way traffic, one-way. The local government sponsors carsharing and carpooling initiatives such as ''Autodelen'' and ''Meerijden.nu''. The local government has also started removing parking spaces in the city, with the goal of removing 10,000 spaces (roughly 1,500 per year) by 2025


National rail

Amsterdam is served by ten Railway stations in the Netherlands#A, stations of the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Dutch Railways). Five are intercity stops: Sloterdijk (Amsterdam), Sloterdijk, Amsterdam Zuid railway station, Zuid, Amsterdam Amstel railway station, Amstel, Amsterdam Bijlmer ArenA railway station, Bijlmer ArenA and Amsterdam Centraal railway station, Amsterdam Centraal. The stations for local services are: Amsterdam Lelylaan railway station, Lelylaan, Amsterdam RAI railway station, RAI, Amsterdam Holendrecht railway station, Holendrecht, Amsterdam Muiderpoort railway station, Muiderpoort and Amsterdam Science Park railway station, Science Park. Amsterdam Centraal railway station, Amsterdam Centraal is also an international railway station. From the station there are regular services to destinations such as Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Czechia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Russia, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Among these trains are international trains of the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (Amsterdam-Berlin), the Eurostar (Amsterdam-Brussels-London), Thalys (Amsterdam-Brussels-Paris/Lille), and Intercity-Express (Amsterdam–Cologne–Frankfurt).


Airport

Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is less than 20 minutes by train from
Amsterdam Centraal station Amsterdam Centraal Station ( nl, italic=no, Station Amsterdam Centraal ; abbreviation An abbreviation (from Latin ''brevis'', meaning ''short'') is a shortened form of a word or phrase, by any method. It may consist of a group of letters, or ...

Amsterdam Centraal station
and is served by domestic and international intercity trains, such as Thalys, Eurostar and Intercity Brussel. Schiphol is the largest airport in the Netherlands, the third-largest in Europe, and the 14th-largest in the world in terms of passengers. It handles over 68 million passengers per year and is the home base of four airlines,
KLM KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, legally ''KoninklijkKoninklijk or Koninklijke ({{IPA-nl, ˈkoːnɪŋklək(ə), pron, Dutch language, Dutch for ''Royal'') is an Title of honor, honorary title given to certain companies and non-profit organisations in t ...

KLM
, Transavia, Martinair and Arkefly. , Schiphol was the fifth World's busiest airports by international passenger traffic, busiest airport in the world measured by international passenger numbers. This airport is 4 meters below sea level. Although Schiphol is internationally known as Amsterdam Schiphol Airport it actually lies in the neighbouring municipality of Haarlemmermeer, southwest of the city.


Cycling

Amsterdam is one of the most bicycle-friendly large cities in the world and is a centre of bicycle culture with good facilities for cyclists such as bike paths and Bicycle stand, bike racks, and several guarded bike storage garages (''fietsenstalling'') which can be used. According to the most recent figures published by Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), in 2015 the 442.693 households (850.000 residents) in Amsterdam together owned 847.000 bicycles – 1.91 bicycle per household. Previously, wildly different figures were arrived at using a Wisdom of the crowd approach. Theft is widespreadin 2011, about 83,000 bicycles were stolen in Amsterdam. Bicycles are used by all socio-economic groups because of their convenience, Amsterdam's small size, the of bike paths, the flat terrain, and the inconvenience of driving an automobile.


Education

Amsterdam has two universities: the University of Amsterdam (''Universiteit van Amsterdam'', UvA), and the ''Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam'' (VU). Other institutions for higher education include an art school – Gerrit Rietveld Academie, a Hogeschool, university of applied sciences – the Hogeschool van Amsterdam, and the Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten. Amsterdam's International Institute of Social History is one of the world's largest documentary and research institutions concerning social history, and especially the labor history (discipline), history of the labour movement. Amsterdam's Hortus Botanicus (Amsterdam), Hortus Botanicus, founded in the early 17th century, is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the world, with many old and rare specimens, among them the coffee, coffee plant that served as the parent for the entire coffee culture in Central and South America. There are over 200 primary schools in Amsterdam. Some of these primary schools base their teachings on particular pedagogic theories like the various Maria Montessori, Montessori schools. The biggest Montessori high school in Amsterdam is the Montessori Lyceum Amsterdam. Many schools, however, are based on religion. This used to be primarily Roman Catholicism and various Protestant denominations, but with the influx of Muslim immigrants, there has been a rise in the number of Islamic schools. Jewish schools can be found in the southern suburbs of Amsterdam. Amsterdam is noted for having five independent grammar schools (Dutch: gymnasia), the Vossius Gymnasium, Barlaeus Gymnasium, St. Ignatius Gymnasium, Het 4e Gymnasium and the Cygnus Gymnasium where a classical curriculum including Latin and Ancient Greek, classical Greek is taught. Though believed until recently by many to be an anachronistic and elitist concept that would soon die out, the gymnasia have recently experienced a revival, leading to the formation of a fourth and fifth grammar school in which the three aforementioned schools participate. Most secondary schools in Amsterdam offer a variety of different levels of education in the same school. The city also has various colleges ranging from art and design to politics and economics which are mostly also available for students coming from other countries. Schools for foreign nationals in Amsterdam include the Amsterdam International Community School, British School of Amsterdam, Albert Einstein International School Amsterdam, Lycée Vincent van Gogh La Haye-Amsterdam primary campus (French school), International School of Amsterdam, and the Japanese School of Amsterdam.


Notable people


Media

Amsterdam is a prominent centre for national and international media. Some locally based newspapers include ''Het Parool'', a national daily paper; ''
De Telegraaf ''De Telegraaf'' (; en, The Telegraph) is the largest Dutch daily morning newspaper A newspaper is a Periodical literature, periodical publication containing written News, information about current events and is often typed in black ink w ...

De Telegraaf
'', the largest Dutch daily newspaper; the daily newspapers ''Trouw'', ''de Volkskrant'' and ''NRC Handelsblad''; ''De Groene Amsterdammer'', a weekly newspaper; the free newspapers ''Metro (Dutch newspaper), Metro'' and ''The Holland Times'' (printed in English). Amsterdam is home to the second-largest Dutch commercial TV group SBS Broadcasting Group, consisting of TV-stations SBS 6, Net 5 and Veronica (TV channel), Veronica. However, Amsterdam is not considered 'the media city of the Netherlands'. The town of Hilversum, south-east of Amsterdam, has been crowned with this unofficial title. Hilversum is the principal centre for radio and television broadcasting in the Netherlands. Radio Netherlands Worldwide, Radio Netherlands, heard worldwide via shortwave radio since the 1920s, is also based there. Hilversum is home to an extensive complex of audio and television studios belonging to the national broadcast production company NOS, as well as to the studios and offices of all the Dutch public broadcasting organisations and many commercial TV production companies. In 2012, the music video of Far East Movement, 'Live My Life', was filmed in various parts of Amsterdam. Also, several movies were filmed in Amsterdam, such as James Bond's Diamonds Are Forever (film), Diamonds Are Forever, Ocean's Twelve, Girl with a Pearl Earring (film), Girl with a Pearl Earring and The Hitman's Bodyguard. Amsterdam is also featured in John Green (author), John Green's book ''The Fault in Our Stars'', which has been made into The Fault in Our Stars (film), a film as well that partly takes place in Amsterdam.


Housing

The housing market is heavily regulated. The increased influx of migrants, especially since the Syrian Civil War (2011–present), has been burdensome, economically and culturally, but the government deals with citizen and migrant cases for housing equally. According to the Netherlands' Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, "60% of housing stock is controlled by housing corporations. [There is] no different treatment for migrant groups". From the late 1960s onwards many buildings in Amsterdam have been Squatting, squatted both for housing and for using as social centres. A number of these squats have legalised and become well known, such as OCCII, OT301, Paradiso and Vrankrijk.


Sister Cities

* Manchester, United Kingdom, 2007 * Zapopan, Mexico, 2011


Notes and references


Citations


Literature

* * * * Charles Caspers & Peter Jan Margry (2017), ''Het Mirakel van Amsterdam. Biografie van een betwiste devotie'' (Amsterdam, Prometheus). * * * *


Further reading


External links


Amsterdam.nl
– Official government site
I amsterdam
– Portal for international visitors

– Website of the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions {{Authority control Amsterdam, Capitals in Europe Cities in the Netherlands Municipalities of North Holland Olympic cycling venues Populated places established in the 13th century Populated places in North Holland Port cities and towns in the Netherlands Port cities and towns of the North Sea Venues of the 1928 Summer Olympics