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Interesting Facts About Amsterdam

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Interesting Facts About Amsterdam

Interesting Facts About Amsterdam

Amsterdam; The Netherlands’ cultural, artistic, entertainment and financial centre. City; With its beautiful canals, historical houses, museums, cosmopolitan structure and entertaining and tolerant atmosphere it offers to its visitors, it is one of the cities that attract the most tourists in the world and that Turks want to see the most. There are so many places to visit and see in Amsterdam that it is uncountable! In this article, I will talk about interesting information about the city that you probably have never heard before and that will surprise you, rather than these places to visit in Amsterdam. Here are some interesting facts about Amsterdam that you’ve probably never heard of before!

Amsterdam, a city built on a swamp

Yes, you heard right, almost a large part of Amsterdam is built on water and swamps. All of those cute houses we saw in Amsterdam are supported by poles as they were built on this unstable ground. For example, did you know that Central Station stands on approximately 6,000 poles? Considering that there are 5-10 poles in each house on average, it is possible to say that Amsterdam stands with more than 10 million poles!

Amsterdam, the city with the lowest sea level in Europe

Did you know that Amsterdam is the lowest city in Europe and most of the city is below sea level? This actually applies to the whole of the Netherlands, as about a quarter of the country lies below sea level. For example, in Amsterdam, one fourth of the city could be under water if there were no embankments holding the sea at the edge of the city. To give a striking example, even Schipol Airport, where you first set foot in the city of Amsterdam, is 4.5 meters below sea level!

Multicultural, multilingual and LGBT friendly Amsterdam

Amsterdam is one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. People of 175 nationalities are said to live in the city, and their ratio to the total population was approximately 22% in 2016. Considering that there are 194 officially recognized countries in the world, it is possible to call Amsterdam a small world. So much so that after having your breakfast in a French cafe, you can go and shave with a Turkish barber, have your lunch in a Lebanese restaurant and sip your drink in an Australian bar. Due to the city’s proximity to Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and France, the majority of the city’s population speaks more than one language. English and German are the most spoken foreign languages. Even with a very simple English, you can easily tour Amsterdam on your own. Amsterdam is also the world’s first capital to allow LGBT marriage.

Cycling paradise Amsterdam

Bicycles are one of the first sights that come to mind when you think of Amsterdam, because Amsterdam is one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world. Since the structure of the city is very suitable for bicycle use and the use of cars is not encouraged, approximately 60% of the city population uses bicycles on a daily basis. Namely, while the population of Amsterdam is around 800 thousand on average, there are about 1 million bicycles in the city! Although there is a danger of accident for those who are not used to it, it is actually the place where the most reliable bicycle use in the world is. The length of the bike paths is more than 3500 km. Of course, it is inevitable for a place that is a bicycle paradise to be a bicycle cemetery. According to the information given by the authorities, thousands of scrap bicycles are removed from the Amsterdam canals every year.

Interesting Facts About Amsterdam

Smoking is prohibited, marijuana and hashish are legal and sex work is allowed

While smoking is prohibited in cafes and restaurants in Amsterdam, the state has made it legal to buy and consume low-volume marijuana and hashish for personal use in cafes they call coffeeshop. It is also forbidden to drink alcohol in these coffeeshops. We can say that coffee shops are the second most famous “bad” places in Amsterdam, after the so-called Red Ligh District. Now let’s come to the story of the Red Light District.

This neighborhood is the world’s most famous brothel, where legal sex work is practiced in the country and its reputation has already crossed the country’s borders. Most brothels here have a window overlooking the neighborhood, and women who do this job legally, under the conditions set by the state, try to lure their customers in these windows. Although this neighborhood is famous for this aspect, it is one of the safest and most touristic places in the city. In fact, the Oude Kerk church, which is the most important church of the city, is located in the middle of this neighborhood. The main reason why the government has made both coffee shops and sex work so legal is that it wants to set its own rules and control them.

Amsterdam is one of the safest and most livable cities in the world.

Imagine a city where people from 175 nationalities can live and offer such freedom to its residents, but this city should also be one of the safest cities in the world. Yes, you heard right, because the crime rate in Amsterdam is much less than in any European capital, which makes it one of the safest and most livable cities in the world.

Amsterdam, city of canals and bridges

Did you know that the length of the canals in Amsterdam is 100 km? Although the canals in Venice are slightly more numerous than Amsterdam, Amsterdam is at least as cool as Venice with its 165 magnificent canals and more than 1500 bridges and 90 islands accompanying these canals! By the way, let’s also say that the number of bridges that you can see all over the city in Amsterdam, on which you can take Instagram photos, is exactly 3 times more than in Venice. Bridges are definitely one of the first few things that come to mind when Amsterdam is mentioned, as they number 1500.

Amsterdam’s Boat Houses

We said that Amsterdam is the city of canals. These canals began to serve not only transportation but also other purposes when their lengths reached 100 km by wrapping all over the city. One of them is the houseboats, the number of which reaches 3000 today. These houses, which started to be used especially after the Second World War due to the lack of housing in the city, were mostly preferred by the poor and students at that time. Because living in these boat houses, which do not have electricity or sewerage connection yet, was not a preferred situation. However, later on, especially in the 60s and 70s, when more modern boat houses were started to be built and electricity problems began to be eliminated, the situation began to reverse.

Finally, with the regulation made in 2005, the connection of all boat houses to the sewerage was made compulsory. Today, we can say that the wealthy of the city live in these boat houses. How much do you think the price of the boat house above shown by our guide during the canal tour? Let’s just say 2.1 Million Euros! In other words, it is more than 8 million Turkish liras in Turkish money. That’s why I think those who have a boat house in Amsterdam rather than their grandfather’s land are more lucky. J By the way, let’s also mention that these boat houses are not allowed to roam the canal and they have to anchor in a certain place.

Interesting Facts About Amsterdam

Coffee lovers in Amsterdam

Did you know that the residents of Amsterdam are among the people who consume the most coffee in the world? In fact, it is said that Amsterdam people rank second after Scandinavian countries in coffee consumption. According to statistics, at least 3-4 cups of coffee are consumed per person per day in Amsterdam.

The only cat boat in the world is in Amsterdam

Did you know that the Poezenboot in Amsterdam is the first and only cat boat in the world? Located on the Singel canal to the west of Central Station in Amsterdam, the Poezenboot cat boat is a volunteer-run boat that hosts homeless cats and is unique in the world. The Poezenboot, whose story first began in 1968, when the kindhearted woman Henriette van Weelde bought a boat for the needy cats that could no longer fit in her home, is the world’s first cat boat that has an official status and is operated by volunteers. The boat is also a frequent destination for cat-loving Amsterdam residents and tourists. When you go to Amsterdam, you can visit our cute cat friends at Poezenboot and even buy cute t-shirts for support purposes. The boat is closed on Wednesday and Sunday, other days at 13:

You can visit between 00-15:00. Poezenboot Address: The Catboat, Singel 38.G 1015 AB Amsterdam.

Interesting Facts About Amsterdam

May be interested: The Biggest Festivals in the Netherlands

Berry moved to the Netherlands for her art studies. She is living in Amsterdam for 16 years. You can see her in Amsterdam streets with her fancy pink bike. She is a professional photographer and blog journal lover.

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Majority of the Netherlands support LGBT people

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According to a study conducted in the Netherlands, support for LGBT individuals was calculated as 76 percent. While 20 percent of the society is undecided on this issue, only 4 percent have negative feelings towards LGBT individuals.

 
The research was conducted by SCP, the government’s socio-cultural think thank. Gay, lesbian and bisexuals came to the fore among the LGBT individuals accepted by the society.
 
On the other hand, support for transgender people is lower at 60 percent. The proportion of people who have negative feelings towards transgender people was also higher at 9 percent. For this group, the rate of undecided is also higher.
 
SCP noted that over the past 15 years, attitudes towards homosexuality and bisexuality in the Netherlands have progressed much more positively than in other European countries. Only in Iceland is society more positive towards LGBT people than in the Netherlands.
 
Despite the general support, 19 percent of respondents said they found it ‘disgusting’ for two men to have sex. Those who found the intercourse of two women ‘disgusting’ were calculated as 7 percent. Also, 20 percent said they showed less reaction when they saw two women holding hands than when they saw two men holding hands.

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Face mask mandatory in public transport in Belgium ended

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Mask mandatory in public transport in Belgium ended

The mask requirement applied in Belgium due to the Covid-19 epidemic has also ended in public transportation. Only hospitals, doctor’s offices and pharmacies will require masks.

Due to the new type of coronavirus (Covid-19) epidemic in Belgium, the obligation to wear a mask, which has been applied in public transport for more than two years, has been lifted.

At the end of the meeting of the Belgian government on Covid-19 measures, a statement was made to the press.

According to the decisions taken by the government as of Monday, May 23, passengers will not be required to wear masks in public transport.

MASK REQUIREMENTS WILL CONTINUE IN HOSPITALS, PRAYERS AND PHARMACIES

Only hospitals, doctor’s offices and pharmacies will require masks. It will be recommended to wear a mask in places such as very crowded places and sick and elderly care homes.

The measures, which were previously applied and some of them were relaxed, were also lifted during travels to Belgium. Thus, the restriction applied to “non-essential” travel to Belgium from non-EU countries has ended.

Those coming from outside the EU are no longer required to show a valid Covid-19 certificate recognized by Belgium. The Covid-19 certificate shows that you were vaccinated, had the disease within 6 months, or had a negative PCR test in the last 72 hours.

Passengers will also no longer be required to fill out a tracking form for Covid-19 upon arrival in Belgium.

In Belgium, the positive trend in the data on the epidemic in recent months continues. In the country where the cases continue to fall, the number of daily cases is currently 3 thousand 500, the number of daily deaths is around 10.

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Netherlands: minimum wage is rising

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euro money

In the Netherlands, the cabinet is considering a minimum wage increase next year. The information came in collaboration with RTL Nieuws and NOS. 

According to previous statements, this increase would be in 2024, but the date has been moved forward. With the increase, the minimum wage for those aged 21 or over will be 1,725 ​​euros. The cabinet wants to increase by 7.5 percent in 2024 and 2025. This year’s increase will be at the same rate. 

With the first increase in the minimum wage, there will be an increase in the pension. It is unclear whether there will be an increase in this area in the other two planned years. The decision will likely be finalized at the Council of Ministers on Friday.

Previously, the cabinet did not want to increase the pension along with the minimum wage. However, this drew intense criticism from the opposition. 

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