Amsterdam

Amsterdam, located in North Holland, is the Netherlands’ capital city. More than 851,000 people live in the city, while over 2.4 million live in the metropolitan area.

Founded as a fishing village in the 13th century the city was originally know as Amstelledamme. By the 1600s, the city had become an important port for trade.

During World War II, the Germans invaded the Netherlands and deported 100,000 Dutch Jews, 60,000 of whom lived in Amsterdam. Some of Amsterdam’s residents sheltered Jews during the war, including Miep Gies, who hid Anne Frank and her family.

Amsterdam contains more than 60 miles of canals and more than 1,200 bridges. More than 2,500 houseboats float on its waters, many of which house permanent residents within. Each year, between 12,000 and 15,000 bicycles are collected from the canals, a small percentage of the 847,000 bicycles in the city.

Amsterdam’ 50 museums celebrate the Netherlands’ history and art. Famous artists Rembrandt van Rijn and Vincent van Gogh were inspired by the city.

Amsterdam recently ranked number 8 out of the top 10 European cities to visit, which explains why 18.3 million people visited Amsterdam in 2015!

Text Brittany Kulick. Photo by Javier Melgar.