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Living in Amsterdam, the Netherlands


Amsterdam is so beautiful. I love the architectures, the atmosphere of the capital city, the liveliness of the entire city.

Why? To me, it has a pulse. Which is like a heartbeat of a city. In a very special way, the people living in Amsterdam are easy-going. Much happier. The quality of life is better. One thing is for sure, it is much more expensive to live there.

Designs of the facade of houses in Amsterdam

The first thing to see upon arrival in Amsterdam is the architectures. The houses are so narrow and tall. I tended to be using the portrait orientation of my camera 80% of the time!! :) Well, it was not on intention, but these streets or roads are so narrow. If you want to fit in the whole building within one frame, you will have to keep using portrait.

amsterdam, holland

For there are canals, they are making the environment different. Again, Amsterdam is so special with these moods of the reflections set on the canals. The waters looks dirty (in fact they are). Within the canals, we were even told there is at least one metre of piled up bicycles!! :) It's not imaginable. There are thousands of bicycles (approximately 6000~8000) These are calculating based on the demand on the bicycles parking slots. There was a parking house, solely for the use of three storeys of bicycles! (More about bicycles in the next post.)

Why is it so, that the houses are built so narrowly? We learned that due to the structures requirement in Amsterdam to be built on pilings which are sunk deep into the soft soil, they needed to get extra reinforcement by building in adjacent to one another.

In such a manner, each building is infact 'leaning' on the others in a block.

Material-wise, also because these pilings are made of wood (the muck which it sits in does not allow oxygen to break the wood down). And since not everybody can place their own pilings for their own house. Or better to say, not everyone is good at this piling work, nor the necessary resources to set the pilings deeply. This leaning is thus essential for the entire block. Until one day, their government started to take over this piling task and set taxes to cover the costs incurred.

This taxation was in fact the reason that made them designed narrow but long houses. They were taxed on how wide the house was! As clever as the government can get, the architects build the highest, longest and narrowest houses as best as they could :)


And as for the hook, you can spot them on the tallest point of the house. They are for easy moving of large items such as pianos etc since their stairs are narrow and steep. It is another interesting feature of the houses in Amsterdam. So that is also why they have very large windows to compensate it all! :)

amsterdam, holland

Amsterdam is generally clean and neat. It reflects a certain level of living standards they generally expect and embrace. The houses there are called 'luxury houses'. And I can imagine why they said so as the rental is at the minimum 1200 Euros per month.


To have a garden or lawn is like a luxury. Also, most of them have more than one bicycle. Again, the bicycle topic deserves an entire post on itself!

neighbours . amsterdam

For some reason, I like this photo very much. In one shot, you can see a lot of details about how different one neighbour right next to the other can be! On the other hand, such details seemed to be blended in when you look at them in a row, they looked really neat.

EUPHEMIA 1908 | BOAT HOUSE in amsterdam

The other highlight is of course the boat houses. Euphemia 1908 is one of the boat houses on the canals and it is just one of the many.

amsterdam, holland

They loved brightly coloured flowers or otherwise very neat ones and you can spot most of their homes are decorated with flowers. The Netherlands also has a very mild summer and a mild winter. So they can afford to raise Hydrangeas which are so beautiful to see them all in bushes! The indoor flower they also like is the orchids, in particular, Phalaenopsis :)

Why did it seemed Amsterdam has all the kind of flowers that I love?:) Tulips, Hydrangeas and now Phalaenopsis!!

amsterdam, holland

Can you imagine living in a boat house like this?

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Living in Amsterdam, the Netherlands Reviewed by Zannnie on 12:01:00 AM Rating: 5
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