City Hopper: Amsterdam, Netherlands
For my next city that I am visiting I will go to Amsterdam, Netherlands! Amsterdam is known for many things especially being really liberal on soft drugs and their red light district and unfortunately that’s mostly what anyone that’s never been there talks about when someone mentions the city’s name. Most people will immediately note that Amsterdam (basically the Netherlands in general really) is also known for it’s tulips, chocolate, bikes, clogs and windmills. I can assure you though that there is so much more to this wonderful city.
Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands and is the home to over one million residents. It’s is known also by the pet name ‘Venice of the North’ because of all the canals, the impressive architecture and the over 1500 bridges throughout the city. It’s is the Netherlands’ biggest city and is the cultural, financial, and creative center as well.
In the 12th century Amsterdam was settled as a fishing village and became one of the most important trading centers in the world during the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century. There are nine districts in Amsterdam – Old Center; Canal Ring; Jordaan; Plantage; South; West; North; East; and Bijlmer – each with it’s own distinct character.
As far as what to do here there is plenty for everyone’s taste whether you want to party, shop, play, experience nature or just kick back and relax. Amsterdam is a laid back and liberal place where people are encouraged to be themselves so everyone is bound to find something here that makes them happy.
If you like museums there’s the Rijksmuseum where you can see great art work from Dutch painters like Rembrandt; the Van Gogh Museum; and the Anne Frank House.
If you want to enjoy the outdoors and the greenery you might want to do what the locals do and go to Vondelpark and chill out and open a bottle of wine or you can go to the Plantage neighborhood and see the botanical gardens of Hortus Botanicus. There’s also Artis Zoo that you can enjoy as well. You can also stroll the Bloemenmarket and smell all the beautiful flowers for sale there.
Another nice thing to do here is take a canal cruise either by joining a tour that’s already set up or by renting a pedal boat and going solo around the city’s canals. You can also rent a bike and experience Amsterdam the way most locals do on a daily basis.
There are also free lunch concerts that are given every Wednesday at 12:30 at the Concertgebouw which is worth it just to check out the great architecture if nothing else.