International Studies Abroad ®est. 1987

Culture Corner

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What's Amsterdam Like?

Amsterdam is well-known for the over 150 canals which beautifully wind their way through the city. In fact, the city has more canals and bridges than Venice! Tall and narrow townhomes rise up along the canals and are an iconic architectural feature unique to the Netherlands. The homes were built this way during the 17th century because at that time, they were taxed exclusively based on their width.

The city has a rich history and a relatively diverse population, with a large percentage of its inhabitants being comprised of foreigners. Dutch is the primary language of the city, though most people who call Amsterdam home speak impeccable English. The Dutch are known for their high level of tolerance and for being welcoming to foreigners and visitors of various backgrounds. Amsterdammers adore coffee, and café and will often offer coffee to guests many times throughout a meeting. The combination of warm hearted locals, picturesque landscapes/architecture and soothing café culture make Amsterdam famous for being quite "gezellig",which means "cozy" in Dutch.

Region and Population

The city of Amsterdam is situated within the northwestern corner of the province of North Holland. Amsterdam is home to approximately 850,000 inhabitants and plays host to over 3.5 million visitors per year.


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