Culture and history

Learn how Amsterdam grew out of its humble roots on its way to becoming a major business, tourism and culture hub.

Amsterdam's rich history and culture have long inspired people across the world. Learn about the city's diverse population, the history of the Amsterdam canals that are included to the UNESCO World Heritage List, and discover products made locally in Amsterdam.


Amsterdam Centraal Station
Learn about Amsterdam's evolution from a 13th-century fishing village to a major cultural hub.

People and culture

Amsterdam Westerpark FatimaZahra Nouzi Marie Charlotte Peze
Find more information about the city’s people, history, society and cultural life.


Prinseneiland woonboot en gracht Amsterdam
Learn about Amsterdam's systems and policies and how they are maintained through the municipal government.


Amsterdam bike biking cycling
Today, Amsterdam retains its character as an open and tolerant society, attracting visitors and new residents from all corners of the globe.

History of the Amsterdam canals

Amsterdam canal ring houses night lights
Since its development in the 17th century, Amsterdam’s Canal Ring has grown to be one of the world’s most unique urban landscapes.

Amsterdam's city symbols

Amsterdam coat of arms city symbol crosses
Learn the story behind the symbols such as the city's 'XXX' symbol on buildings, flags or even local food brands.

Dutch royalty

Amsterdam Dutch royalty king queen Willem Alexander Maxima Beatrix
The Dutch royal family continues to play an important role in modern society and politics in the Netherlands. 

Learn about Anne Frank

Amsterdam © Anne Frank House Photographer Cris Toala Olivares
Get to know the history of Anne and her family who lived in hiding from the Nazis for more than two years in a house on the Prinsengracht.

Iconic Amsterdam brands

Amsterdam Brouwerij t IJ CC BY-SA 2.0 Chris via Flickr
From artisanal brewers to bespoke bike makers and small-scale sausage manufacturers: Amsterdam is once again a city of makers.