Category: About

Squatting in Amsterdam

Amsterdam squatters The Netherlands is among a handful of countries where — under certain circumstances — squatting is not forbidden by law. If a building has not been used for a period of twelve months, and the owner can not demonstrate that he plans to ‘soon’ start using the building again, squatting is tolerated.

The squatters movements gained much sympathy during the seventies and early eighties, but in recent years the increasingly anarchistic nature of these groups has had politicians calling for changes to the squatting laws.

Amsterdam to close 43 coffeeshops

Coffeeshop Bulldog Amsterdam The City of Amsterdam has announced it will close 43 of its 228 coffeeshops because they are located too close to schools.

In doing so, Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen “reluctantly” follows up a federal government directive to establish ‘distance criteria’ between schools and coffeeshops.

Sale of hallucinogenic ‘magic’ mushrooms banned starting December 1, 2008

magic mushrooms A national ban on the sale of fresh hallucinogenic ‘magic’ mushrooms will take effect in the Netherlands on December 1, 2008. In dried form those mushrooms already were banned under Dutch Opiate Laws.

The ban was first proposed in October 2007, after as series of high-profile deaths and injuries linked to magic mushroom trips — most of them involving tourists in Amsterdam.

Oudezijds Kolk, one of Amsterdam’s last sluices dating to the Middle Ages

Oudezijds Kolk The Oudezijds Kolk is a narrow sluice that runs from the Oosterdok — the water to the north of Prins Hendrikkade — to the Oudezijds Voorburgwal, in one of the oldest parts of Amsterdam.

While even many Amsterdam locals don’t know what ‘Oudezijds Kolk’ actually means, understanding the name of this narrow canal will give you more insight into the life and history of old Amsterdam.