Discover Amsterdam

Amsterdam guide:

City of knowledge
In the 17th century Amsterdam was a stockpile of trading goods, but these days knowledge is also being generated. With two highly developed universities, Amsterdam is now firmly on the world map as a centre of knowledge for important scientists and is an attractive meeting place for anyone involved in science and research. Partly due to its central location on the edge of Europe it forms a “market place” where knowledge and ideas can be exchanged in an efficient manner.

Historic Heart
Amsterdam may be a place of importance, but it is also a city of human dimensions. It was founded in the Middle Ages near a dam in the river Amstel. Its true blossoming period came at the start of the 17th century, when it became the world’s largest centre of trade and art. Nowadays, the old part of the city, known as the ‘grachtengordel’ (canal ring), is still amazingly intact. But it is by no means an openair- museum. Instead, it’s the vibrant heart of the city, only with a more friendly atmosphere than you might expect.

Amsterdam, historical and cultural city
Amsterdam, with its 800.000 inhabitants is a city with a highly individual atmosphere, generated largely by its beautiful canals, its sense of energy and purpose, its cultural treasures and its opportunities for recreation and entertainment. Amsterdam is a lively city, young at heart. No other European city can rival Amsterdam’s 7.000 historic buildings dating from as far back as the 14th century. The well known symmetrical rings of canals with over 1.000 bridges summon up visions of the Netherlands’s Golden Age. On the cultural front Amsterdam has 42 museums, including the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Anne Frank House and the Stedelijk Museum. A unique feature of Amsterdam as a conference city is its infrastructure, since it has one of the world’s leading airports, numerous hotels in all categories and a large professional conference centre. All within an exceptionally short distance of one another.

Business with pleasure
Amsterdam is not only the city of the Dutch East India Company, the world’s first multinational company, but also of Philip’s new international headquarters. Many other international companies also have their head offices here. And with reason. Amsterdam has a consistent high score in the European Cities Monitor for companies. International advertising and design companies prefer Amsterdam for its qualities in attracting young creative people. Because of its relative small size, excellent infrastructure, Amsterdam combines business with pleasure and the merits of many other European capitals with the ambience of a small town. Come over and experience it for yourself!

Amsterdam Economic Board
The Amsterdam Metropolitan Area has all of the key assets to be an innovative and economically-strong region. Thanks to strong clusters, the Amsterdam Area can play a pioneering role both nationally and internationally. In order to fully exploit this potential, collaboration between governmental agencies, research institutions and the trade and industry sector is essential. Under the umbrella of the Amsterdam Economic Board (the Board), Representatives from Governmental agencies, research institutes and the business world have jointly taken responsibility to work towards strengthening the economy of the Amsterdam Metropolitan
Area. The Board strives to stimulate and support sustainable collaboration, innovation and growth in the region, and strengthen international competitiveness.
In order to give shape to the region’s ambitions, eight main economic clusters were designated for the Amsterdam Area. Sustainability, the primary driving force behind innovation, is a significant theme
evident in all of them. The clusters are:

  • Creative Industries Horticulture- agrifood
  • ICT / E-science Tourism & Conferences
  • Financial & Business Services Logistics
  • Life Sciences & Health High-tech materials


The Euro is the official currency of the Netherlands. Currency exchange can be made in most banks and post offices as well as in train stations, airports and exchange offices near major tourist sites​.​​​​


The Netherlands has a mild climate typical to Northern Europe, similar to that of the United Kingdom. As a result, Amsterdam winters are fairly cold with rain, wind and some snow. Occasionally temperatures can dip to below freezing in winter. Rain can be expected throughout the entire year. Winter in Amsterdam has its own magic, when the canals glow in fairy lights and the city’s cosy pubs and restaurants offer solace from the weather outside.

Time Zone

Time Amsterdam: GMT +1