Amstelveen is located in North Holland. It is a municipality situated on the river Amstel that is often thought  of as being an  extended part of Amsterdam. It has a population of around 85,000 and takes in the villages of Keizer Karelpark, Waardhuizen, Westwijk, Bankras-Kostverloren, Elsrijk, Randwijk, amongst others. Amstelveen is a prosperous and industrious place and in  addition to many other businesses, it also houses the main headquarters of the airline, KLM.

The History Of Amstelveen

Sattelite picture
Sattelite picture

New Amstel, Which it was originally named after the river Amstel first came to light in historical records in 1278, and was granted city status at the beginning of the 14th century. The 1st lord was Guy in the years after it had gained its charter.  Amstelveen began as a very small village in the area of New Amstel

At the end of the century Amstelveen was sold by the Duke Albrecht to his cousin. This new manor then had a new church added to it . This increased the population further, but created more upheaval in 1580 when, as was the trend at the time, the church became protestant. But there were two other churches that the Catholics could go to so there was not too great a problem when this happened.

The town was nearly merged into Amsterdam several times, but each time the owner avoided it and in the mid 17th century Amsterdam seemed to give up on the idea of incorporating Amstelveen into the city and at the end of the 18th century, New Amstel became a municipality.

In the early part of the 19th century Amstelveen was under French rule and was called Nieuwer-Amstel, a name which it retained until the 1960’s.  At the beginning of the 1900’s the area was in decline. Although the area was close to Amsterdam, there were no good transport links and so not much revenue came from there. But the area was already starting small areas of horticulture and flower growing, that in future years would become an important part of Amstelveen’s revenue. In 1920 the military airport at Schiphol became a commercial airport . In later years as this was developed further and more people moved into the nearby area of Amstelveen and its financial well being was greatly increased.

After the Second World War much of the housing in Amsterdam had been destroyed or rendered unusable and areas outside the city like Amstelveen were selected for building programs for housing and this was a great boost to the economy of the area.

Transport To And From – Amstelveen Netherlands

Amstelveen - TramIf you are flying into the Netherlands to go to Amstelveen, then you would arrive, most likely, at Schiphol Airport. From there, there is a good bus service straight into the town. If you are arriving at Schiphol and would prefer to travel by car to afford yourself greater flexibility, there are many car hire firms, both in Schiphol and in Amsterdam. But traveling in and around Amstelveen and Amsterdam may not be easy due to the congestion and the lack of parking, which is also very expensive.

Although there is not a train station in  Amstelveen, there are very good transport links with both the tram and the metro going to the town. There are also good bus links in and around the town. Public transport in the Netherlands is usually clean, well organised and reliable. If you are traveling by public transport, then you will need to get an ov-chipcaart. This is a small card that you can get at stations and top up with credit to pay for your journeys. You just tap the card onto the card reader as you get on and off the bus, tram, or metro  and it will automatically deduct the right amount for your travel.

There are very good taxi services in the area. You can find them waiting at taxi ranks at metro and mainline stations, or you might prefer to be collected at your hotel. If you would like to do this then you can arrange it by telephone at Taxi Shani + 31 20 456 0287 , Taxi Wouters+31 6 50287204. If you are just travelling around the town, then one of the best ways to get around is by bicycle. There are good bike lanes in most busy areas and they are cheap and easy to hire.

Tourism In Amstelveen

Cobra Museum
Cobra Museum

The Cobra Museum in Amstelveen is a very good art museum in the middle of the town whose collection is built up around  Dutch modern art in the 1940’s and 1950’s.  It has great works by the artists of that period such as, Karel Appel and also Corneille. The museum has been previously voted “The best museum in the Netherlands”.

Museum Jan van der Togt is a museum that is dedicated to the great art collector and Industrialist of the same name.  It houses an impressive collection of modern paintings and sculptures and also has a section of the museum dedicated to glass art.

Shopping And Eating In Amstelveen

There is some very good shopping in Amstelveen. In fact many of the locals from the other villages that are part of the municipality go to do their shopping in the town, as it is thought to be the best in the area. The main shopping area is at the Stadshart. Here you will find all of the large shops that you would find in most cities, as well as some very good local stores. There is a very good market in Amstelveen, in the main square, The Stadsplein, on Tuesdays and Fridays. There are usually around two hundred stalls containing everything from vegetables and cheeses to clothes and other household items.

Restaurant Lute is a stylish restaurant that is in an old gunpowder factory. The food is an excellent mix of traditional Dutch and French dishes. The place is very stylish, with food to match and although it is not the cheapest in town they provide good food for a reasonable price.

Restaurant De Jonge Dikkert is a good quality Dutch restaurant that is in an old converted windmill. It is a comfortable, stylish place with good food and a great atmosphere. Although not cheap they have a very good fixed price menu that is very good and also good value for money. Dixie is a very good value for money cafe in the middle of the town. It serves American style food, such as burgers etc, but very good quality and at a good price.

Amstelveen is an interesting place that has an excellent proximity to Amsterdam without all of the hustle and busyness of the capital, that still maintains a charm of its own.