Westertoren

On August 10, 1943, Anne Frank — hiding in the Achterhuis — wrote, “We’ve all been a little confused this past week, because our dearly beloved Westertoren bells have been carted off to be melted down for the war, so we have no idea of the exact time, either night or day…” So, whatever happened to the bells of the Westertoren?

How to find and rent a room in Amsterdam

Housing in Amsterdam is at a premium, so students and interns (as well as locals) tend to have a hard time finding a room. We list several services and advertisers that list rooms for rent.

We also give details on how to avoid room rental scams. And did you know that certain types of properties come without renters’ protections (e.g. cancellation terms)?

Also: is your room legal or illegal? Are you allowed to register?

Plus: What to do if you are being charged too much rent.

Airbnb in Amsterdam

Under certain conditions it is legal for citizens of Amsterdam to rent out their privately-owned homes via Airbnb and similiar services.

Airbnb, which currently has a market share of 12% of the city’s hotel sector, collects tourist tax on behalf of the city.

Meanwhile, Amsterdam is putting more restrictive polices in place in an effort to address the many problem caused by Airbnb and similar platforms.

The latest: Starting in 2019 Amsterdammers can only rent out their homes via Airnbnb and similar platorms for 30 days a year.

By the way: Amsterdam is the only capital city in Europe in which it is more expensive to spend a night in an Airbnb vs a night in a hotel.

Swimming in Amsterdam

The Netherlands has been enjoying excellent summer weather — albeit with an ongoing drought as well. It looks like we’re in for a heatwave this week — and the warm weather is expected to continue for several weeks.

Want to cool off in the water?There are plenty of places to swim in Amsterdam — from official swimming pools and nature areas to wild swimming holes.

Plus: a look at the legality (and dangers) of swimming in the canals, rivers and channels.

Caution: blue-green algae has been found in some open water swimming spots. Check the Amsterdam Swimming Water Quality Map.

Amsterdam opens North-South Metro line 52 – Noord/Zuidlijn

The Noord/Zuidlijn is a fact. After countless delays and huge cost overruns, the controversial metro line is finally in service.

However, it remains controversial. To ‘encourage’ use of the new line the city’s public transport network has been drastically overhauled. Many Amsterdammers will have to transfer more often, but — says the transportation company — will save time in the process.