Cool stories about the water, city of Amsterdam and Paping

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In Amsterdam, you can’t miss the houseboats. They’re everywhere; including nearly every picturesque photo you’ll ever take in Amsterdam! Picture of sunset over a canal? 

Sure, the Dutch waterways are artificial and look as appetizing as the trashcan at a diaper-changing station, but a surprisingly large range of animals live in there. That’s for two reasons:

The canals of Amsterdam are swimmable. Paap often jumps in the water – both for his own enjoyment (sometimes) and to help untangle a rope from a prop (more often). 

Old cities like Amsterdam have a lot of secrets. There are stories, legends and tales about almost every street, building and bridge. Others have gone in the other direction. 

Amsterdam’s waterways are pretty extraordinary. At the same time, sometimes extraordinary isn’t enough.  To help you with that, we drew up a list. Check them out!

Have you noticed how few Amsterdammers you find sitting in the cafes and bars on Dam square? 


Sure, we’re a bit biased. But for us it’s obvious that Amsterdam’s water festivals are some of the coolest things since bell bottoms. They combine two of our favourite ingredients – water and fun. That’s a powerful combination.

The lilting sound of a trumpet echoing out over the water shakes passersby from their reverie. Distant looks give way to wonder. Tourists and locals alike stray from their intentions and drift over to the water’s edge to discover what kind of happening they’ve stumbled upon today. “Magic,” they mumble when they see what’s on offer. 

The canals are a great addition to our city. They’re beautiful, serve as a free skating rink (about once every ten years) and give the city real character. At the same time, there are a few downsides. The bridges turn from picturesque photo opportunities into death traps when it snows. (Though admittedly, that also creates some good photo opportunities.)

 

There is a good reason people say you shouldn’t visit Amsterdam in winter. That’s because, though people might imagine it’s a wintery wonderland, it’s nothing of the kind. 

At the same time, it isn’t all bad news! If you have booked your trip, there is still plenty to do. Here we’ll discuss a few of them.

By the time the Dutch war of independence ended those who had started it were pretty much all dead. Not because they were all brutally murdered (though, no doubt, some were; it was a war) but because it took so damn long! 

Water. It has been Amsterdam’s lifeblood ’s since the city’s inception. In truth, the canals were a truly revolutionary technology when they were built; allowing the city to move goods by water instead of horse and cart and through that become one of the world’s greatest trading cities.

There are more bikes in Amsterdam than people. No joke. We have no idea what all those extra bikes are for. Are people riding them two at a time? Is it the Dutch version of the mid-life crisis sports car in the garage? Or are those extra bikes mainly for tourists to risk their lives on?

Oh, the Amsterdam canals! They sure are picturesque, aren’t they? So much so, that if all the mood shots, selfies, and panoramas taken from the city’s bridges were printed out and piled up together they’d weigh more than some of those bridges! 

Don’t like parties, hordes of people or the color orange? Then whatever you do, don’t come to Amsterdam on the 27th of April, when we celebrate the king’s birthday.