by Tanja

What's up with Amsterdam?

When I was living in Spain enjoying the wonderful and relaxed lifestyle of the Spaniards, people from all over the world asked me about my home country: “What’s up with coffee shops? What’s up with the red light district?

I liked answering these questions.

When I came back to Amsterdam in 2010, I started What’s up with Amsterdam to answer all of those burning questions the world seems to have about this tiny country with its friendly but also rather peculiar people.

Amsterdam: a popular tourist destination

Since 2010 Amsterdam, with its bikes and canals, has become the world’s favorite tourist destination. The enormous growth of tourism has also put a lot of strain on the city, especially the historical center. But the ‘red light district‘, the 9 Streets,  the Jordaan quarter and the Canal ring are not just tourist attractions. They are also places where people live, where they shop for groceries, where they bike to go to work and where their children play.

On this blog I’m therefore also trying to steer visitors towards areas that are just as remarkable as the Amsterdam historical centre, but are not featured in the standard tourist guide books: the Pijp, NDSM, Westergasfabriek

What’s up with Amsterdam: for tourists, expats and locals

For people who fall in love with this city and trying to make a more permanent move here, there is also a lot of information that can make the move easier: trying to find a place to live, understanding Dutch culture through customs, traditional Dutch food and the peculiarities of the Dutch language.

A lot of the blogs on What’s up with Amsterdam are filled with historical facts and stories. Many of these are unknown to the Amsterdammers. I myself work as a tourist guide in Amsterdam and when I show locals around, they are often surprised about the history that surrounds their homes. I will be most happy to show you around! Contact me for more information about What’s up Tours.

Your guide to Amsterdam

I hope this website is an entertaining and informative guide for all those interested in Amsterdam. I have worked as a journalist and editor for over 20 years, so getting the facts right is very important to me.

If you have any comments or suggestions, please let me know by sending me an email with the contact form on this page.

All information on this website I give to you for free. I started working with partners to earn some money. You can help me by booking your tickets, Amsterdam city passes, canal cruises, festival tickets via this website.

Oh, and (almost) all photos are made by me as well.

Enjoy and tot ziens!

From 28 March 2018 – 1 July 2018 I went cycling in Africa!
The travelblog we kept online on FietseninAfrika.nl is now a book! (sorry, only in Dutch).
I still love to travel. Follow me on Instagram: @whatsupwithamsterdam

Het Warme Hart book promotion


Comments & tips

Send me an email

Your Name (required)

Your Email (required)


Your Message

About me

Leave a Comment


Kees van Elk February 14, 2012 - 23:44

I was born in Voorburg. I have lived now in the United States for 50 years and still miss Holland. Two years ago we did a barge bicycle tour in south holland on the Elodie. After the tour we took the bus to Marken I had no small change so the bus driver let us ride there for free. I just want to say thank you Mr. Bus driver.You can take a dutchman out Holland but you can’t take the Dutch out of a Hollander.

Janette Van Gorden February 15, 2012 - 00:19

I might be making a trip to Amsterdam soon & I came across your site. Would appreciate it if you could send some more info.

Navin Nainwal March 26, 2012 - 10:30

I am travelling to Amsterdam from 8th April, 2012 to 28th April, 2012, basically I will be at Ede, I want to know the best beaches near, Ede and other tourist destinations nearby.

Navin Nainwal

Tanja March 26, 2012 - 13:16

Hello Navin,
Ede is nowhere near the coastal area, so going to the beach will be a problem. But The Netherlands is small so if you don’t mind traveling a bit…by train maybe. Check at the local Tourist information to see what things are around Ede to visit. Have fun.

I C July 19, 2012 - 15:02

Tanja, Love your spirit and your website

Tanja July 22, 2012 - 12:10

Thank you!

Tania October 15, 2016 - 16:51

Hi Tanja!
Thank you for the wonderful bike tour, I would definitely like to take more tours with you when I return in the spring. I so appreciated your passion for History, and it was a rich educational experience. You were such a lovely and gracious guide.
Tania ( from Los Angeles)
P.s. Is there another place to write a review?

Tanja October 20, 2016 - 10:04

Thank you Tania! It was a great day with perfect weather! I have page about my tours where you can leave a review: https://www.whatsupwithamsterdam.com/whats-up-tours-amsterdam/. See you in spring then! 😉

Scott May 10, 2017 - 22:19

Please advise any property for rent- central Amsterdam