Basic facts about Amsterdam

Although the seat of Netherlands government is in The Hague, Amsterdam is the nominal capital. It is also the country's largest city, with a population of more than 820,000, and the most visited, with over 3,5 million foreign visitors a year.

The Netherlands is a country situated in Western Europe, bordering Belgium to the south and Germany to the east. To its north and west is the North Sea. Although the Netherlands is the country's official name, people often call it Holland. The provinces of North Holland and South Holland form only part of the Netherlands.

Amsterdam figures:

Population: 820,654 (May 6, 2012)
Country: The Netherlands
Time Zone: GMT/UTC +1
Telephone area code: 020


City of Amsterdam is run by the city council and a college of aldermen. The council is the highest authority in the city of Amsterdam and is responsible for all important decisions.

Money and currency

The currency in the Netherlands is the Euro ( € , EUR), which is used in almost all countries within the European Union. For details on changing money and methods of payment see our tips for visitors.

Climate in the NetherlandsAmsterdam, Weather, Forecast

The warmest weather is from June to August, with temperatures between 21 - 26 degrees Celsius. There are rarely extreme temperatures. The air is relatively humid and fog is common in autumn and spring. There are stronger winds from October to March. Click for weather forecast.

Timing your visit

Any time can be the best time to visit Amsterdam. The peak of the tourist season is July and August, when the weather is the finest. Weather, however, is never really extreme at any time of year, and if you're one of the growing numbers who favor off-season travel, you'll find the city every bit as attractive during these months. Not only are airlines, hotels, and restaurants cheaper and less crowded during this time (with more relaxed and cheerful service), but there are also some very appealing events going on. For example, the bulb fields near Amsterdam are bursting with colour from mid-April to mid-May. The cultural season is in full swing between September and May in Amsterdam, along with The Hague, Rotterdam, Utrecht, and other nearby towns and cities.

History of Amsterdam

Amsterdam, probably the most planned city of northern Europe, has long been a well-known city. In the 17th century Amsterdam was the centre of world economy, and nowadays the city is known for its tolerant character.

Dutch holiday

A Dutch holiday can add a festive note to your trip, particularly if it involves a parade or special observance somewhere in the country. But expect banks, shops, and most museums to be closed, and public transportation to operate on Sunday schedules for the listed holidays.


Amsterdam is where modern architecture developed organically between facades of historical buildings. Since it is not a big city, all sites of interest are within an acceptable distance. This is why Amsterdam is so popular with lovers of architecture.

Coat of Arms

The symbol of Amsterdam are three x shaped Saint Andrew crosses.

Amsterdam in figures

Some interesting figures on how many bicycles, bridges, canals, cinemas or markets one can find in Amsterdam, as well as some statistics about the tourists and day visitors to Amsterdam.

Festive Events

A variety of cultural events and festivals are held thoughout the year in Amsterdam, some of them with an English-speaking public in mind.

Amsterdam Community Information

Studying, working and living in Amsterdam. Information about finding a job in Amsterdam, housing, enjoying art and culture. Amsterdam communities.