Netherlands's capital, Amsterdam is a world-known
city. Its canals, the Red Light District and liberal attitude
made it really famous. Amsterdam gained the reputation of the
city of free love, free drugs and free everything, but the
truth is that Amsterdam is very diverse city.
Amsterdam is the country's largest city, with a population
of almost 750,000. It's also the most visited city in Netherlands
with over 3,5 million foreign visitors a year. Many international
exhibitions are hold here every year. Spring and summer are
the best seasons for traveling to Amsterdam , but there is
a lot to see and to do in winter as well.
Amsterdam was founded as a fishing village around the thirteenth
century and got its name after the river Amstel. Since that
time it had its rises and falls and finally became the city
we see today.
Amsterdam is a city of tolerance and diversity. It has all
the advantages of a big city: luxurious hotels, fashionable
shops, developed transport - but is relatively small, quiet,
and has a little road traffic.
Museums are one of the main tourist attractions in Amsterdam
. The Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Stedelijk Museum are
world-famous, but that's far from the full list. Amsterdam
has over fifty museums which attract millions of visitors each
Koninklijk Paleis - The Royal Palace is located in Dam Square
and dates back to 1648. Nieuwe Kirk dates back to the 15th
century and is also in Dam Square , next to the Koninklijk
In Amsterdam modern buildings are set organically between
historical facades. Since it is not a big city, all places
of interest are within an acceptable distance. That's why Amsterdam
is so popular among lovers of architecture.
Despite the modernization and foreign influence in many aspects
of life, Amsterdam still manages to be quintessentially Dutch.
The old crooked houses, the cobbled streets, the tree-lined
canals and the generous parks all contribute to this atmosphere.
Amsterdam 's centre is small, though finding your way around
the canal belt can be difficult. The
Old city is contained within the ring of concentric canals
dating from the 17th century that form the crescent-shaped
canal belt bordered by the Singelgracht.
Dam Square is the centre of town, but there are several other "centers"',
all within walking distance: Leidseplein, with much of the
city's cultural life and nightlife, Rembrandtplein (nightlife
center), Spui (center of "intellectual" life) and Museumplein
Many of Amsterdam 's canals were filled in around the beginning
of the 20th century, mainly for sanitary reasons. The remaining
waterways are pretty filthy, but still nothing compares to
seeing Amsterdam by boat. There are numerous tourist boats
doing the rounds, and there is also possibility to rent a pedal
boat. If the canals freeze over in winter they become skating
There are a lot of parks in Amsterdam . The Dutch are well
known for their love of flowers, especially tulips. The most
famous park is Vondel park.
One of the features that differs Amsterdam from all other
cities are coffee shops. There are few hundreds of coffee shops
in Amsterdam . Popular ones are the commercial and franchised
Bulldog and the Grasshopper. Coffee shops in Holland are allowed
to sell small amounts of cannabis and are strictly regulated.
Furthermore, coffee shops must not sell to anyone under 18
and they must not sell more than 5g to any customer. Hard drugs
are strictly prohibited. You can also visit the cannabis museum.
A trip to Amsterdam could not be complete without visiting
the notorious Red Light District. Red Light District is a curiosity
in its own right. Coffee Shops, bars and sex shows are on hand
here. In the Red light district you will be able to visit all
sorts of coffee shops.
Amsterdam is so liberal on sex laws that it is no surprise
that the city has a sex museum. The museum is located on Damrak
- the main artery, near Centraal Station and charges a small
One of the city's greatest surprises is its inhabitants. Every
person seems to speak English and many people speak French