Well, Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, a small country in Northwestern Europe.
There are other cities named ‘Amsterdam’ — mostly in the USA. But here we’re talking about the only original city of Amsterdam.
Where is Amsterdam? In Holland or in the Netherlands?
To many people — Americans in particular — the Netherlands is better known as ‘Holland.’ But Holland is actually the name of a region which today consists of the country’s two Western-most provinces.
From the 10th to the 16th century Holland was one region known as the County of Holland. It was part of the Dutch Republic. But by the 17th century — the country’s Golden Age — Holland had risen to become a maritime and economic power, dominating the other provinces.
Ships from around the world sailed to and from Amsterdam, in Holland. Since at the time the country was officially known as ‘Republic of the Seven United Netherlands‘ (later: Kingdom of the Netherlands) the name Holland stuck.
Anyway, here’s the big picture:
The blue area is Europe. (Yes, even though England is hellbent on leaving the EU — the European Union — it will still be part of the continent of Europe.)
The Netherlands is bordered by Belgium in the South, Germany in the East and the Northsea in the North and West.
Amsterdam is located in the south of the province of North Holland:
Amsterdam on Google Maps
Explore our Google map of Amsterdam for things to do and places to visit.
Oh, and you’ll fit right in with the locals if you talk about the current weather.
Amsterdam Visitors Guide
- Amsterdam is the largest city in the Netherlands
- It is the capital of the Netherlands (while The Hague is the seat of government)
- It also is the financial and cultural capital of the Netherlands
- Amsterdam ranks 12th on Mercer’s 2018 Quality of Living survey
- And yes… the city is home to a lot of bikes