­

Feel at home in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is one of the greatest small cities in the world, a renowned cultural, scientific and commercial center. The Dutch capital has always been a well-known name in world history and played a central role in the history of the Netherlands. The city is known for its tolerance and diversity. The Dutch are multilingual, and will welcome you warmly. Even though it has all the advantages of a big city: rich culture, lively Amsterdam nightlife, international restaurants and good transport - it is also informal, and has little road traffic. It is well-known for its architecture and design, not only because of 17-th century rings of canals: modern architecture developed organically between facades of historical buildings. Since it is not a very big city, all sites of interest are easy to reach. From Amsterdam canals to world-famous Amsterdam museums and historical Amsterdam sights, it is one of the most romantic and beautiful cities in Europe. Canal cruises are a popular way to see the city from the perspective of its canals. For an authentic local experience, rent a bike and cycle your way around.

Short history

Amsterdam developed round a dam in the Amstel river at the end of the 12th century. During the 14th, but especially the 15th century, Amsterdam underwent a rapid development, which laid the foundation for the Golden Age. Only very few medieval buildings survive today, since houses were generally built of wood.

During the Dutch Golden Age (17th century) Amsterdam became one of the most important ports in the world. During that period, the city was the leading center for finance and diamonds. The rings of canals in the old city center date from this period with residents of the wealthy citizens. Because of lack of space, these houses were mostly narrow with large narrow windows, decorative gable tops, very narrow stairs inside and a pulley outside to transport larger objects to upper floors. Like in Venice, the canals were the main way of transporting goods. When the Golden Age came to an end, Amsterdam remained a major staple market and managed to retain its position as the financial center of Europe for a long time. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the city expanded, and many new neighborhoods and suburbs were planned and built. The 17th-century canals of Amsterdam and the 19–20th century Defence Line of Amsterdam are on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Tourist attractions

Virtually all points of interest are well within walking distance. Amsterdam's main attractions include the canals, historic buildings and modern architecture, the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum, the Hermitage Amsterdam, the Anne Frank House, the Amsterdam Museum, the red-light district (De Wallen), pubs and restaurants, the Vondelpark, shops, and street artists.

 

More information on Amsterdam

http://www.iamsterdam.com/en
http://www.amsterdam.info/