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Amsterdam history & society

From its humble beginnings as a 13th-century fishing village on a river bed to its current role as a major hub for business, tourism and culture, Amsterdam has had a strong tradition as a centre of culture and commerce.

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Made in Amsterdam

Some 150 years after her industrial heyday, Amsterdam is once again a city of makers. From artisanal brewers to bespoke bike makers and small-scale sa...

Canal Ring

Alongside tulips and windmills, the global image of Amsterdam is one of a city entwined with water. Since its development in the 17th century, Amsterd...

Dutch royalty

The Dutch royal family continues to play an important role in modern society and politics in the Netherlands. Amsterdam has many ties to the crown, in...

Coffeeshops

In Amsterdam, smoking cannabis or hashish is permitted in the city's coffeeshops. Visitors should keep in mind that other establishments generally do ...

Clogs

You won’t see many people wearing clogs in Amsterdam, but they are still an important part of Dutch culture.

Anne Frank

Anne Frank is one of Amsterdam’s best-known historical figures. Anne and her family lived in hiding from the Nazis for more than two years in a house ...

Society

Dating back to the 13th century, Amsterdam got its start as a trading city. Even in its earliest days, Amsterdammers saw the value of building relatio...

Language

The official language of the Netherlands is Dutch. The majority of Amsterdam’s residents speak English well and are often fluent in one or two languag...