Population: 791 000 (metro 2 290 000, 7 millions in Randstad)
Tallest building: Rembrandt Tower (150m)
Founded year (city rights): 1306
Amsterdam is the largest city and constitutional capital of the Netherlands (though the Hague has the government buildings). The city is famous for its canals and its many charming, narrow canal houses. Amstel, a former river, is the most famous canal.The landscape is very flat so many people go by bike. The 4 largest cities of Netherlands form Randstad, a metropolitan area where Amsterdam is the largest city. The city is famous for its vibrant nightlife and its liberate view on drugs and prostitution, with many coffeeshops and a big red light district. Amsterdam is a very cultural city with a lot of museums, some really famous ones. Many ships and boats in all sizes can be seen on the canals and in the harbor. It is also famous for typical Dutch things, as a large flower market and many cheese stores. In the city center you can find many pedestrian streets and squares with open air restaurants. It is easy to walk in the city center, but you can also take the white and blue trams that you see everywhere, and trains take you easily to the outskirts or to nearby towns. The largest square is called Dam and is like a hub of the city. Nieuwmarkt, Liedseplein and Rembrandtplein are nicer and more relaxed squares with outdoor restaurants. While you mostly see old buildings in the center, in the outskirts and in the harbor you can find very modern office blocks and brand new skyscrapers. Amsterdam feels like a liberate, modern, old and young city at the same time.
My point of view:
I visited Amstedam for 6 days in the end of May, flying to Schiphol from Copenhagen. I stayed at a hostel in the red light district, called Heart of Amsterdam. It might feel strange, but the area is actually pretty safe, even after dark, and it is centrally located between Dam and Nieuwmarkt. The weather was really good during my visit, unusual for Holland, it was about 25C and sun all the time. I made day trips to Rotterdam, the Hague and Utrecht, the 4 biggest cities of Holland (separate threads will be created for them). You can reach all of them within just one hour by train. I also passed by Leiden, Delft and Haarlem. The 3 biggest cities in Holland are all so called “multicultural”cites, they have about 50% immigrants, something that surprised me since I haven’t been in Holland since the 80s, as a child. I visited 4 museums, met new friends at the hostel took a ride at the canal boat and went to 2 rock concerts.
The bourse house.
The eye, the new film museum.
City center, near Dam Square:
The Royal Palace.
The national monument.Red light district:
My hotel is to the right.
City center, others:
View from Kalvertoren shoppingcenter: