Exploring Amsterdam By Numbers

by : Gaizka Pujana

The population of Amsterdam itself is 728,763 whilst the Greater Amsterdam area is more or less double that; 1,498,205. Now, amongst those 728,763 inhabitants there are 173 nationalities and a whopping 600,000 bicycles. To put that figure in perspective, that is the same number as bulb flowers in parks and gardens within the city. If you're wondering just how many parks there are, the answer to that is 23, which play host to some of the 220,000 trees you can find in the city.

Getting around is no problem, even if you don't have one of those 600,000 bikes, because with 232 city trams, 110 glass topped canal boats and saloon-boats, and 9 ferry boats, you'll find a means of transport. If you would like to combine transport with living, you may choose to join the 2,500 houseboats which call Amsterdam home. As many people like shopping whilst on holiday, Amsterdam will not disappoint. Whilst there is only 1 flower market, there are 21 general markets and 10,334 shops, of which 165 specialize in antiques. For those with expensive tastes, or just eager for a treat, you may wish to visit one of the 24 diamond polishing factories in the city.

The weight of the infrastructure is borne by the 165 canals which are crossed by 1,281 bridges, 8 wooden drawbridges, and one skinny bridge. Renowned as a city of art, history, and culture, you will be pleased to know that there are 6,800 buildings still standing that date from the 16th to 18th centuries, 654 gable stones, 1 royal place, 302 statues and sculptures, 51 museums, 141 art galleries, 22 paintings by Rembrandt, 206 by Van Gogh, 42 historical church organs, 16,000 concerts and theatrical performances in a calendar year which works out to approximately 40 per day, 55 concert and theatre venues, 61 cinemas, 36 nightclubs, and let's not forget of course, 6 windmills.

With all of that going on, you may worry about finding a place to stay, and even to eat, after all with so many attractions; surely there will be so many tourists. Well, there are in fact 15,854,000 day visitors to Amsterdam each year, and a total of 8,332,600 nights stayed in the city by foreign visitors each year. However, not to worry because Amsterdam boasts 1,402 cafes and bars and 755 restaurants. As for finding somewhere to lay your head, there are 38,200 hotel beds in the city, and if it comes to it there are even 5 camp sites.

These figures are all quite astounding, and make up the reason why Amsterdam has from the beginning of international travel been the most popular of destinations for both short city breaks and longer term travel. If you want a particular hotel, or a particular level of accommodation, you are highly recommended to take these figures to heart however, and book ahead of time.