Beautiful yet humble, open-minded and charming, Netherland’s capital city has a special charm one cannot help but fall in love with. Amsterdam seduces visitors with a perfect blend of canal-side cafés, countless museums, historical buildings and street festivals, trendy fashion and a vibrant night life. Founded in the 12th century, the city was one of the world’s most important ports and trade centers during the Dutch Golden Age. Today it is the country’s financial and cultural center and one of Europe’s most attractive cities for businesses and travelers alike.
Even though it is a fact unknown to most travelers, Amsterdam boasts more canals than even Venice and is hence Europe’s ‘most watery’ city. With a population of over 500.000 bicycles and 750.000 people, it is also one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the world. Do it as the locals and rent a bike to discover Amsterdam or enjoy a canal cruise to marvel at the city’s main sights. Many nightclubs and the Holland Casino are located near the Leidseplein, whereas visitors can find an array of excellent restaurants, bars and theatres in the Rembrandtplein.
Although Amsterdam is famous for its red light district and cannabis coffee shops (where prostitution and the purchase of marijuana are legal, respectively), the city has so much more to offer. Lovers of architecture can marvel at the many different architectural styles, from Gothic to Renaissance, Jugendstil and Art Deco, examples of which can be found near the Historic Center. Other main tourist attractions include the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Royal Palace and the Rembrandt House museum, all located in the Museum Square. To take a rest from the entire sight-seeing, one should head over to Vondelpark, a lush, green paradise, right in the heart of Amsterdam.
As the rest of country, Holland’s capital city enjoys a temperate climate due to its proximity to the North Sea. While winters are mild and there is little to no snow, summers are moderately warm and seldom hot. This makes it an ideal city for visiting all year round. During summer, Amsterdam offers an array of festivals, such as the Holland Festival, the crazy Gay Pride parade and the Roots Music Festival as well as many outdoor concerts. Another holiday worth a visit is Queen’s day, on April 30. May is when the tulips are abloom, thus making for an ideal time to visit nearby Keukenhof Gardens.
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