People and culture

The Wonder Place

Small in size, big in activity, Amsterdam is the city of fun and festivities, art and performances; with an extravagant food culture to top it all. The humble and hardworking Dutch are one of the most peaceful communities in the world.

Such is the grandeur of its rich cultural heritage, that you will find thousands of curious researchers flocking in to study the history of the place.

The Rich Culture

Full of zest and life, the Dutch believe in living life to the fullest. Colourful jazzy evenings and explorative excursions to the city’s main attractions perfectly define the Amsterdam culture.

When not working, this enthusiastic bunch likes to spend time exploring the wonderful gallery of museums, parks and other cultural hotspots. Amsterdammers love to spend their evenings contemplating over some excellent theatrical and dance performances or rocking away to some vibrant live music.

One of the other favourite evening hobbies is to while away their evenings in the trendy bars, pubs, clubs and cafes. In fact, Amsterdam is known as one of the most hip and happening nightlife hubs.

Creative attractions

Amsterdam has been home to some of the greatest artists for centuries. Its unique geography, built upon reclaimed swamplands, marine climate and the dreamy atmosphere has always stirred up the creative curiosity of its artists.

It boasts of some of the finest, world famous museums. From Rembrandt’s Night Watch and Van Gogh’s Sunflowers to Madame Tussaud’s to the Biblical Museum, you can spend days exploring this wonderful part of the Amsterdam culture. Other famous ones include Rijksmuseum, Nieuwe Kerk, Anne Frank House, Jewish Historical Museum, Foam Museum for Photography, Theatre Museum, NEMO and the Dutch Resistance Museum.

Other main attractions you can experience are the Heineken Experience, the Artis Zoo which is Holland’s oldest zoo, the Diamond City and Diamond Tour, Botanical Garden, Canal Cruises, First gay bar (of 1920s), free lunchtime concerts, Vondelpark, the green lung of Amsterdam, Spanish Riding School, the Royal Palace, Mischievous cherubs, the House with Golden Chain and many more.

Cinema and Theatre

The English language theatre dominates the scene all the year around. Majority of them are located around the Leidseplein, quite near to each other. Amsterdam has more than 50 cinema venues, airing movies in their original languages, subtitled in Dutch. It is here that you will find The Tuschinski Theater that was built in 1921 and one of the most beautiful cinemas in Europe.

Music and Dance

Amsterdam has a rich tradition of classical music and opera. You can visit the extremely famous live music concerts at Paradiso and De Melkweg, offering a massive variety including rock, pop, dance, rap and world music, performed by some of the biggest bands around.

Also, The Muziektheater is home to the famous Dutch National Ballet, performing both classical and modern dance. The other famous troupe, the Netherlands Dans Theater also performs in venues throughout the city on a regular basis.

Trendy Nightlife

Amsterdam is known for its happening and action-filled nightlife. In addition to the usual bars and pubs, there are streets and lanes in Amsterdam that are especially known for a great nighttime activity. You can visit the Leidseplein, housing scores of pubs, bars, restaurants and discos, along with street performers displaying their acts right through the night.

Rembrandtplein, another centre of heavy night-time activity is famous for its traditional Dutch pubs, that have a reputation of playing some real, authentic Dutch music. It also houses the Reguliersdwarsstraat, which is home to a bizarre variety of nightclubs catering to an older crowd of media persons, businessmen and local celebrities.

Amsterdam is home to a whopping number of 1200 pubs, as per records. It also has a lot of public and tourists visiting its various clubs for a spell of funky leisure activity. These are Chemistry at Galenstraat, Dansen Bij Jansen at Handboogstraat, Escape at Rembrandtplein, Jimmy Woo, at Korte Liedsedwarsstraat, to name a few.

Attitudes

The best way to describe the Amsterdammers is surely the old adage ‘Live and let live’. Where the Amsterdam of early centuries was characterised by a fierce cutthroat competition for progress, it is today known for its peaceful and tolerant character.

Mannerisms

The Dutch are basically tourist friendly. Most of the warm Amsterdammers are happy to give you directions if happen to lose your way. Besides, most of them speak French and English apart from their native Dutch language, making Amsterdam a popular tourist attraction.

The Dutch are essentially cleanliness conscious. You will often find the shopkeepers scrubbing the pavements in front of their shops or housewives swiping the entrance to their houses clean. Against the popular belief, Amsterdam is also a very safe city with an almost negligible crime rate.

For the Dutch, punctuality is actually a virtue. You can expect a Dutchman to be always on time for his appointments. By nature, the Amsterdammers are hard working and dependable people.

Pastimes

Wining, dining and shopping; this is the simple and short way to explain the favourite pastimes of the Dutch. Multi-cuisine restaurants and cosy cafes offer the perfect blend of the traditional Dutch flavour with a contemporary taste.

The Dutch cuisine is largely influenced by the Indonesian food culture. Among others, the Brown café’s and bars are the Asmtedammers’ favourites. These most authentic Dutch food places get their name from the dark-wooded panelling done inside.

General Information

Amsterdam is the capital city of The Netherlands. The ethnic make-up primarily comprises of the Dutch, while the largest minority communities are Moroccans, Turks and Surinamese.

While the main religions include the Roman Catholic, Protestants and Muslims, the Dutch is the official national language of its people.