Amsterdam news summary | December 2018

Written by on 02/01/2019

Amsterdam didn’t make the cut for the top ten traffic jams in 2018 | The ANWB shares an annual list of the worst places for traffic jams and none of the routes this year are near Amsterdam. The number of traffic jams in Noord-Holland remained pretty much the same as in the previous years, whereas across the rest of the Netherlands, they rose by about twenty percent.

In 2018, the Zuid district added more than 3,700 extra bicycle parking spaces. In the Pijp area in particular, many places have been created to reduce the inconvenience for local residents and shoppers. A number of access streets around the Albert Cuyp market have been made bicycle parking free, whereas in other streets, extra places have been added. Two public bicycle parking facilities have also been opened around the Noord / Zuidlijn stations. In order to achieve some of this, 30 car parking places have been removed. In 2019, a further 30 car parking spaces will be removed in the Amsterdam Zuid district.  

Kelly’s Expat Store opened an Amsterdam branch at the beginning of December, just in time for stocks of mince pies, bread sauce and Christmas crackers. They are at Ferdinand Bolstraat 139, and they’re open every day of the week, even Sundays.

Did you know, there’s a sustainable Christmas tree forest in Amsterdam?  At the beginning of 2018, 260 Amsterdammers planted their Christmas tree in the Christmas tree forest between the Meeuwenlaan and the Noordhollandsch Kanaal, after permission was given for the creation of a Christmas tree forest. Volunteers from De Tuin van Noord tend the forest throughout the year. Surviving Christmas trees were available in December for Amsterdammers to buy, but they had to dig them up themselves. The idea is, that the same trees will be replanted in the Christmas tree forest at the start of January 2019, and nurtured again for next year’s Christmas. (See their ‘Tijdelijk-Kerstbomenbos’ Facebook group: 

2019 brings several new laws for business owners and freelancers (ZZPers). For example, there’ll be longer leave available for fostering or the adoption of a child, free career advice for the over-45s, longer partner leave after the birth of a child, and a change in the professional childcarer-child ratio. On tax, the low rate of VAT rises from 6% to 9%. And remember you can follow @BusinessGovNL on twitter to stay updated on new laws for businesses.

Parking fees to rise steeply in 2019 | from 1 April 2019 parking rates in the whole city will go up. In the centrum, parking rates will go up from €5 per hour to €7.50 per hour, and within the A10 ring road, it will be €6 per hour. The city wants to use the money raised from this rate increase to invest in public transport, bicycle connections and reducing air pollution. The city will also look at improving the administration of the discounted parking for Amsterdam residents’ visitors.

NB Loads more happened in Amsterdam this month, obvs, but we’ve been a bit busy so we haven’t shared so many news stories this month. Want to help us share the news? We’re looking for volunteer news correspondents for online and radio. Get in touch with us at



Sources: Het Parool / AT5 / /


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