1. Amsterdam is the largest city and commercial port of the Netherlands. But its government works in the Hague.
2. Amsterdam is often compared with Venice, but only few people know, that the number of canals and bridges in Amsterdam is much bigger, than in Venice. There are 1200 bridges, over 150 canals and about 90 islands. The city is situated 4 meters below sea level, so it was built on huge piles, pitched into the ground under water column.
3. Despite of ‘soft drugs’ legalization, Amsterdam is one the safest cities in Europe, but it’s necessary to be aware of pickpockets and roguery.
4. The best vehicle in Amsterdam is a bicycle. There are a lot of bikeways, equipped with special traffic lights, which allows to have an advantage over automobiles. Tourists can rent a bicycle right in city center.
5. In Amsterdam sex workers pay taxes, have social package and their own trade union.
6. On April 30th, Queen’s Day, all city is dressed up in royal orange colour.
7. Among 2400 ‘houseboats’ on the city canals of Amsterdam , there is The Cat Boat, which became the home for alley cats.
8. Amsterdam became the first city in the world, where same-sex marriages were officially permitted in 2001.
9. It’s impossible to buy an apartment in the center of the city. You would have to buy the hole house or even several of them.
10. There is no free parking in Amsterdam.
11. The citizens of Amsterdam are always carrying a raincoat, because of the unpredictable weather, that’s why it may start raining at any moment. It’s inconvenient to ride a bicycle with an umbrella, so wearing a raincoat is apt.
12. Amsterdam is the motherland of some known over the world beers, for example, Grolsch. This beer is exclusively brewed in the country since 1615. It is served in 250-gram glass with 1,5 inch froth.
13. In 18th century the city council prohibited to move in a carriage on paves in order to reduce noise level. So people had to drive in a sleigh even in summer.
14. It is said, that when ‘iron horse’ is outworn, it is thrown into the canals, so its bottoms are literally strewed with bicycles.
15. The Dutch like to cook purée ( eten prakken). They mashed everything, not only potatoes. The best example, which demonstrates the Dutch’s love for purée, is their traditional dish, called ‘stamppot’. It is made of greens and different vegetables. Everything is boiled, then mashed and topped with a sausage. Some Dutchmen even make some kind of mash out of macaroni and French fries.
16. In the Netherlands curtains are either open all day, or they are absent. Do the Dutch want to see what is outside? Or do they try to let more light into the room? Or don’t they want to buy curtains? Regardless of any reason, the Dutch is notable for their openness. But don’t peer into the windows in order to see what they are doing. It is considered to be rude.