Amsterdam Travel Information

Mother Earth Travel > Netherlands > Amsterdam > History

The real core of the city is Dam square with its beautiful Royal Palace. Most visitors arrive by train and the route they follow from Centraal Station takes them along the Damrak and Dam square. This area is really focused on tourists. All kinds of souvenir shops, street performers and restaurants can be found here. The square is used for events and concerts and is famous because of the many pigeons. The two main shopping streets in Amsterdam, Kalverstraat and Nieuwendijk, come both out on Dam square.

Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein

The Leidseplein and Rembrandtplein are both by day as well as by night very crowded. When the sun is shining the terraces are quickly filled. Street performers enjoy the public, that merely consists of tourists, with acrobatic acts or music. At night the public changes: the Amsterdammers go out here to celebrate their weekend, to visit the theaters, cinemas and clubs. The bars and clubs, like Paradiso and Escape, close here after 5 am. And next morning, only a few hours later, it starts all over again: the first tourists settle down on the terraces.


Built in 1612 by a city expansion, the Jordaan neighbourhood is well known in the rest of the country for its specific street life, corny songs, sarcastic humor and working class mentality. But this is mere nostalgia. Most of the Jordanezen (the native inhabitants) left some years ago for improved houses in neighbouring cities like Almere and Purmerend. Nowadays, it is a district with a lot of students, young urban professionals. The Jordaan accomodates many bars and cosy restaurants and is like a village in the big city. The Jordaan is located in between the Brouwersgracht, Prinsengracht, Raamstraat and Marnixstraat.

The Red Light District (De Wallen)

The red light district is the area left of the Damrak, the streets and canals in between the Warmoesstraat and a square called the Nieuwmarkt. The end of the two canals, the Oudezijds Voorburgwal and the Oudezijds Achterburgwal, marks the borderline of the area. Medieval Amsterdam was built here. De Wallen is best known for its window prostitution, sex shops and live shows, concentrated around the Oude Kerk, in alleys and round the canals. The atmosphere is most of the time somewhat chaotic but cozy at the same time; consider the fact that loads of tourists, pimps, drug dealer, drug addicts and locals come together in this district to do his or her own thing. Here you'll find numerous places to eat and drink and have a good time, day and night.


On February 1st 1999 the Dutch government decided to qualify the inner city of Amsterdam as a monument, a protected inner city view. The girdle of canals (ranging from the Singel canal up to the Prinsengracht canal) is an historically important part of this region, and it is one the most attractive sights of the city. The girdle of canals starts at River Amstel and ends at the Brouwersgracht. One third of the houses along the canals (grachtenhuizen) were built before 1850. In the seventeenth century the city extended its boundaries and the canals were formed in a girdle around the oldest part of Amsterdam to accomodate the wealthy tradesmen and burghers. Firstly, the Singel canal was dug out, then Herengracht, Keizersgracht and latest, the Prinsengracht. The architecture is mostly in the form of classicism.


The Pijp was by the end of the 19th century the first modern city development in Amsterdam. Many houses were built here at a very quick rate for the growing group of labourers. Nowadays the Pijp is known as the perfect example of multicultural society. People from all over the world live here, together with younger and older people, students and artists. That is the reason why this area is very multi-coloured, many things happen here. The main streets in the Pijp are Albert Cuypstraat, famous for its market, and Ferdinand Bolstraat. Around these roads you'll find many exotic restaurants and almost on every corner is established a typical Amsterdam pub.

Museum Quarter

The Museum Quarter is the area around Museumplein, just a ten minutes walk from Leidseplein. The main museums are situated here: Rijksmuseum, Van Goghmuseum and Stedelijk Museum. The Concertbuilding can be found in this neighbourhood too. The Museum Quarter is also known for its exclusive shops. In P.C. Hooftstraat and Van Baerlestraat have many international clothing brands their shops. And of course the Museumplein is a great place to sit in the sun, enjoying lunch or just relax. This cultural area is always very crowded, but not at night.

Banks of River IJ
The newest city developments take place on the southern banks of River IJ, on both west and east sides of Central Station. This used to be a desolate area, with decayed warehouses. Now this part of town, with a great view on the river, is being totally developed. The Oostelijke Handelskade is the place where new theaters arise, a new district for Amsterdam night-life. Also a new cruise terminal is built here: the Passenger Terminal Amsterdam. The new library will move here as well. The buildings are interesting because of the innovating architecture. The next 5 years the silhouette of this area will change constantly.


  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg. High 50° 51° 60° 68° 77° 82° 85° 84° 76° 69° 58° 53°
Avg. Low 16° 18° 23° 28° 33° 40° 43° 42° 38° 32° 25° 18°
Mean 36° 37° 41° 46° 54° 59° 62° 62° 57° 51° 43° 38°
Avg. Precip. 2.7 in 1.9 in 2.6 in 2.1 in 2.4 in 2.8 in 3.0 in 2.8 in 2.6 in 3.0 in 3.2 in 3.3 in

Fahrenheit temperature scale is used.