Amsterdam Questions Answers


Inquiring Minds Want To Know


Bicycles and canal with buildings

Amsterdam, Canals and Bikes

We’ve come to the last part of my Guide to Amsterdam overview through the eyes of a history loving travel professional.  This last section is going to have an Amsterdam Questions Answers format.  Some of the questions you might not have known to ask yet.  his is the final in a 4 part series of my travel guide to Amsterdam. The idea was to share with you Amsterdam through the eyes of a history loving travel professional. Let’s get started.


Amsterdam Questions Answers

Why are there so many Indonesian Restaurants?

If you love to eat, and really who doesn’t, you’re going to love Amsterdam. One of the most significant things you will notice is the abundance of Indonesian restaurants. This is because The Netherlands colonized Indonesia for many years.  The hold was only broken when the Japanese invaded during World War II.  Some people welcomed the Japenese as liberators.  In any case, their popular cuisine has persisted on.  One of the most popular Indonesian meals is called Rijsttafel or rice table. Made for those who like to share and share alike, Rijsttafel is rice served with small dishes of meats and spiced vegetables.

French Fries or Dutch Frites?

Who doesn’t love french fries and the Dutch are no exception. They serve their Frite on the street as finger food, to eat as you walk along should you like. They are served with mayonnaise, and mayonnaise of different flavors too. I snapped a picture on the street in Amsterdam, just to give you an idea of how much they love them.


What is a Stroopwaffel?

A stroopwafel is also finger food and it is, well, delicious. Two very thin waffels with a bit of caramel sauce in between. The picture below shows that placing your stroopwafel on a steaming cup of coffee or tea will melt or soften caramel inside and make it smell delicious.


Why does Amsterdam have those funny brown poles along the canals?

Hidden beauty of Amsterdam by Kitty Terwolbeck licensed under CC by 2.0

Those brown poles are Amsterdammertje. They were first born in the 18th century as a way to protect houses and carriages from being damaged. Now they separate the inner city streets from the pavements and prevent illegal parking.



What does XXX mean?

The Triple X’s are part of the city’s coat of arms. They are St. Andrew’s crosses seen on the city flag in white, and the Amsterdammertje (see above) all over the city.



Why are there over 150 coffee houses in Amsterdam?

Coffee houses are not just coffee houses. They are meeting places, gathering places and most of all where marijuana and hashish are legally sold. They cannot advertise outside or inside the sale of marijuana or hashish. This seems a bit ridiculous because everyone knows it’s sold there. To make a purchase you must go inside and ask for a menu. If you do that, the salesperson will know what you want – and it’s not coffee.

What is the Dutch Reach?

For a city that has thousands of bikes on the road every day, it’s surprising there are not more injuries due to bike riders being hit by car doors. It’s known as ‘dooring’. This is because the Dutch Reach was instituted about 50 years ago. It’s taught at school and at home as an exercise on how to open a car door safely. The Dutch Reach is opening the car door with the hand that is furthest from the door. For left side drive cars, it means using your right hand. When you open the door with your right hand, it requires you to turn your body 90 degrees which immediately allows you to see what’s behind you. When you think about it,it makes all the sense in the world. It’s being taught in the UK as well.

When is the best time to travel to the Netherlands?

If you love tulips, and long to see them where they originally came from, then the end of April beginning of May is your best time. The tulip festival is held toward the end of April. The fields will be flush with color in Lisse and the Keukenhof Gardens will be beautiful. If you travel earlier in April you will probably see other flowers daffodils, hyacinths but the tulips are normally later in April and early May.

Field of Tulips

Fresh blooming tulips in the spring garden

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