Travel to Amsterdam, one of Europe’s most loved cities
Amsterdam is known for its liberal attitudes but also for its wealth of history, culture and architecture. Cruise the canal system, explore the streets by bicycle, stand and admire its architecture, wander through the Red Light District or ponder over the multitude of art on display in its many museums… you’ll find all this and more when you visit Amsterdam.
Steeped in history, Amsterdam dates back to the 12th century when it was just a mere fishing village. Within 500 years it had grown to become one of the world’s most important ports and, during the Dutch Golden Age the city began to add much of its now famous architecture and developed its extensive canal system. Today, the capital of the Netherlands is also the country’s largest city and although well known for its history, the city also has a very modern side as a commercial and financial center for Europe.
For years Amsterdam has attracted a young crowd of visitors who want to chill out in its coffee shops and to see what all the fuss is about in De Wallen, the city’s Red Light District, but today Amsterdam is trying to move itself away from this care-free attitude and become a little more grown up. Whether or not you’re interested in coffee shop socializing you can still do this, and you can still wander through the Red Light District, but when you visit Amsterdam there’s a multitude of other attractions to ogle over too.
Simply walking or bicycling around the old city is a great way to soak in Amsterdam’s atmosphere, or you can admire its landmarks from the water. There are three main canals and dozens of smaller ones, lined with over 1,500 monumental buildings, many of which are the classical Amsterdam style houses and stores – narrow and tall to make the most of the available canal-side space. There are also in the region of 1,500 bridges for you to cross over the 60+ miles of canals so it’s no wonder that Amsterdam has been granted the nickname, the Venice of the North.
Culture lovers will be in their element here. When you visit Amsterdam there’s no shortage of museum choices – visit the spectacular Rijksmuseum or focus on the works of Van Gogh at the Van Gogh Museum. Step back in time and re-live the horrors of the Second World War for a young Jewish girl and her family at the poignant house museum, Anne Frank House, or get a complete picture of the city’s history at the Amsterdam Museum. When you’re done in the museums relax in one of Amsterdam’s lovely parks then enjoy an evening of nightlife in one of its many vibrant bars, called cafés, dine in a great restaurant, or dance the night away in a discotheque.