The 12 Best Documentaries About Amsterdam

Jul 23, 2023 | Best Of, History

Amsterdam is one of the most captivating cities in Europe, with its canals, cobblestone streets and centuries-old architecture. But to truly get a feel for this amazing city, you must look beyond the picturesque postcards. What better way to do that than by watching documentaries about Amsterdam? From its culture and history to its vibrant art scene and funky nightlife, these movies will give you an inside look at all the things that make Amsterdam so special. So grab some popcorn and dive into our list of the best documentaries about Amsterdam!


1. Sex, drugs and bad tourists: Amsterdam’s infamous red-light district under threat

Amsterdam is changing. The city’s famous red-light district and cannabis cafes are under threat, as the city government plans to move them out of town. But not everyone is happy with this decision – some of Amsterdam’s sex workers are fighting back. Dateline takes a look at the controversy surrounding the changes in Amsterdam, and speaks to those affected by it.


2. What to do about rising rents?

Do you live in Amsterdam or a big European city? Then you’re probably well aware of the housing shortages and rising rents that have been taking over. We follow locals in Amsterdam as they struggle to find a place to live, and we hear from experts about how this is impacting our cities’ development. Wendy Bijwaard is one of those Amsterdammers looking for a new home after separating from her husband. She’s 52 years old, earns well but has been unable to get an apartment despite her best efforts – so far she’s found temporary accommodation with friends but needs something more permanent soon. Join us on this journey as we explore the difficulties faced by people like Wendy every day and ask what can be done about rising rents in our cities?


3. The power of the drugs mafia – Cocaine and the Netherlands

In the Netherlands, organized crime is flourishing in tandem with the cocaine trade. With profits running into the billions, mafia gangs are using increasingly brutal tactics to maintain their power and earnings. This documentary follows investigators as they work at Rotterdam port, talking to lawyers representing suspects and former drug couriers. It also highlights the extreme brutality of a criminal network that’s pushing the state to its limits in a trial which has become one of The Netherlands’ biggest ever – The Marengo Trial. Finally, it pays tribute to Peter R de Vries who was murdered while investigating this case; uncovering corruption and violence on an unprecedented scale.


3. Amsterdam – World Discovery Travel Documentary

Are you looking to explore the world of Amsterdam? This documentary takes you on a journey to discover all that this city has to offer. From its vibrant culture and diverse history, to the stunning architecture, there is something here for everyone! Let us show you why Amsterdam is one of the most beloved cities in Europe. Join us as we uncover some hidden gems and get an up-close look at what makes this city so special.


4. Amsterdam

Amsterdam is an amazing city that has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking to explore its 17th-century architecture, learn about its art and culture, or just kick back and enjoy the many canals and bike paths, this city won’t disappoint. Watch this video to see why Amsterdam is one of Europe’s best cities! From Rembrandts to Van Goghs, flirting prostitutes to pot-filled coffeeshops – there’s so much here to uncover. So join us on a journey through Amsterdam as we show you all the unique experiences it has waiting for you!


5. The gentrification of Amsterdam – VPRO

As Amsterdam continues to grow, its population is becoming increasingly diverse. With the influx of newcomers, tourists, expats and laptop nomads comes gentrification – a process that can have both positive and negative impacts on a city. This documentary takes an in-depth look at how Amsterdam is dealing with the changes brought about by gentrification over the next 15 years. It examines the potential consequences for Amsterdam’s culture, economy and people as well as what steps citizens are taking to try to manage these effects.


6. BBC Travel Show – Overtourism in Amsterdam

Discover the issues of overtourism in Amsterdam with BBC Travel Show. This documentary takes a look at the city’s struggles to deal with overcrowding and mass tourism, as well as how it is attempting to combat these problems. We explore why Amsterdam has become so popular, its effects on the local community and what solutions are being implemented to help manage this influx of visitors. Join us for an insightful journey into one of Europe’s most beloved cities!x


7. History of the Netherlands

The Netherlands is a nation with an incredibly rich history. From its time as part of the Roman Empire to the emergence of three Germanic peoples, Frisians in the north and coastal areas, Low Saxons in the northeast, and Franks in the south, this small European country has seen tremendous change over centuries. In this documentary we explore how these changes have shaped modern-day Amsterdam. Learn about Dutch culture and traditions that still remain today from a unique perspective!


8. Colorful Amsterdam – Magnificent Capital of Netherlands – History & Architecture

Discover the vibrant and captivating city of Amsterdam with our documentary film! From small cafes to high-end restaurants, historic buildings to modern architecture, bicycles to river buses – explore all that this magnificent city has to offer. Take a boat ride through the picturesque streets and savor the scent of tulips and chocolate. Don’t miss your chance to visit some of Europe’s most famous museums such as the Reichsmuseum, MOKO and Van Gogh Museum! Learn unique stories about Amsterdam in our documentary film filled with interesting facts and beautiful imagery sure to make you fall in love with this forever young city.


9. A Quick History of Amsterdam

Amsterdam has a long and fascinating history, and this documentary is the perfect way to explore it. From its beginnings in the 13th century to the bustling metropolis of today, you’ll get an overview of all that has made Amsterdam so special over these past 800 years. Take a journey with us as we uncover some of Amsterdam’s most interesting stories – from its golden age to its 20th-century redevelopment – and learn why this city is beloved by so many!


10. Pride, Psychedelics, and Refugee Raves in Amsterdam

Experience the unique and sustainable side of Amsterdam! Join us as we take a 20-hour overnight ferry from Newcastle to Amsterdam for Pride, one of the biggest queer celebrations in the world. We’ll then cycle with local journalist Bo Hanna to Amsterdamse Bos ­– a giant park on the edge of the city to microdose on psychedelic truffles with an eco-minded mushroom guru, Chi.


11. The Rise of Psychedelic Truffles in Amsterdam

We recently traveled to Amsterdam and discovered the fascinating story behind the ban of psychedelic mushrooms and the emergence of truffles containing psilocybin. Learn how this newfound popularity is changing the city’s culture, from its famous coffee shops to its nightlife. We’ll also explore why these truffles are becoming so popular in Amsterdam, as well as what potential health benefits they may have for those willing to take a risk. Join us on this captivating journey into one of Europe’s most iconic cities!


12. A history of Amsterdam and its ideas – An Amsterdam State of Mind

Look Up’s online Zoom tour event “An Amsterdam State of Mind” takes viewers on a journey through the history of Amsterdam and its ideas. This unique documentary explores how this city has evolved, from its humble beginnings to becoming a major player in world culture and commerce. Learn about the art, architecture and philosophy that have shaped Amsterdam into what it is today! Discover the stories behind some of the most iconic buildings, streets and people who make up this vibrant city. An Amsterdam State of Mind will provide an insightful look at one of Europe’s most beloved cities!

Read On – Our Latest Top Documentaries Lists

David B