Amsterdam travel guide

Travel tips about Amsterdam, landmarks and nearby hotels selection.

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Amsterdam travel tips

Amsterdam CanalesNetherlands'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.

RijksmuseumMuseums 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 year.

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 Paleis.

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 SquareDam 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 (cultural center).

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 rinks.

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.

Red Light DistrictOne 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 entrance fee.

One of the city's greatest surprises is its inhabitants. Every person seems to speak English and many people speak French and German.

(c) 2006 Amsterdam hotels guide

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