You know all about the coffee shops, canals and museums in Amsterdam but what else makes us one of the world’s most popular travel destinations? There is so much visitors don’t know about Amsterdam, in fact, many locals may not know some of the facts we’ve included here! Here are some interesting facts about Amsterdam to help you wow your friends and family after your visit.
Bikes Outnumber Humans
You probably know about Amsterdam’s bike culture, but did you know that bikes outnumber humans by about 30,000? Amsterdam is fully adapted to bike transport and in many cases, bikes are prioritised on roads before cars or other automobiles. Two-thirds of all journeys inside the city of Amsterdam are taken by bike so you can imagine how serious our cyclists are about access.
The bike path network runs about 400km of the city centre and is always expanding. There is even an underpass below the Rijksmuseum, originally designed to house a tram line, which has been converted into one of our most unusual bike paths – making it the only museum in the world to feature an indoor cycle path. With so many cyclists and bikes on our roads every day, it is inevitable that some might be lost or missing. Unfortunately, the canals in Amsterdam are a final resting place for between 12,000 -15,000 every year. The city regularly dredges the canal of bikes with a boat-mounted claw and it’s a fascinating thing to witness.
Wild Animals in Amsterdam
While you might not think of our bustling, built-up city as a home for wild animals, but prepare to be surprised. While a little unusual, you might just run into a flock of parakeets as you explore our streets! An estimated flock of around 4000 beautiful, green-feathered parakeets live in Vondelpark and no one really knows why. Some stories say a truck carrying exotic birds overturned, allowing its cargo to escape.
Others believe that an old lady set a pair of mating parakeets free. Whatever the reason, these birds seem happy and content in the park and have multiplied successfully every year. Herons are also common in the park and have adapted well to city life gathering around markets and picnic areas to scavenge a few crumbs. Another unexpected ‘animal’ sighting in the city is crawfish. These small, lobster-like creatures turned up in our canals a few decades ago and during heavy rain have been seen scuttling along the streets.
Amsterdam Houses are some of the narrowest in the world
The postcard-worthy of houses that line the canals and areas like Jordaan did not become so narrow by accident. In the 17th century, locals were taxed on the width of their property, prompting builders and homeowners to create narrow properties to save money. Of the skinniest houses in Amsterdam, one of the thinnest is just 2.2m – 7.2ft to our American guests, not much taller than the average NBA basketball player.
If you’ve been to Amsterdam’s Red-Light District, you’ve likely passed by the narrowest house in Amsterdam without even noticing. Over the last few years, the building has been a workshop, a three-story home, a storefront for small businesses in the area and is now Amsterdam’s tiniest tea shop.
If you’ve ever dreamt of living on a houseboat, Amsterdam is the city for you. We have over 165 canals covering around 100km which includes the 17th-century Singelgracht area – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. We also have the world’s largest floating flower market which has been in operation since 1862. The flowers and bulbs were transported quickly and easily via the canal network leading to the creation of the market on the Singel Canal. We also have the world’s first and only floating cat shelter which has been in operation since the 1960s.
Before you plan a culture-filled trip to the capital city of the Netherlands, book your ide family, groups, couple, or solo accommodation in PREMIER SUITES Amsterdam. Our suites offer a true home-from-home experience so you can explore Amsterdam like a local. Contact us or browse our website to enjoy our best available rates and special offers, which are exclusively available to guests who book direct.