It’s a steadfast city, according to its motto, and Amsterdam has stood steadfast against the sea for centuries, positioning itself at the heart of European trading routes and gaining enormous material and cultural wealth in the process. This makes it a fascinating place to explore today. It’s still a really cosmopolitan city where you can meet people from all over the world and sample their different cuisines. It’s also a place where you’ll never run out of things to do.
What to do
There’s so much to see and do in Amsterdam that you could spend months there and never have time to take it all in. Even just wandering the streets will show you endless beautiful buildings and public parks, which are full of friendly people in the summertime, and often offer live music. There are amazing museums displaying everything from diamonds to sex toys. Visit the Rijksmuseum to see some of the greatest art Europe has ever produced, or take a trip to the Ann Frank house for a very personal perspective on the Holocaust. In the Corpus Museum, you can walk around the inside of a giant human body, or you can lose yourself in the bizarre world ofThe Electric Ladyland, otherwise known as the Museum of Fluorescent Art. If you’re a sports fan you can watch some fantastic soccer matches; if you’re a lover of romance you can spend an afternoon boating and see the city from the canals. In the evenings there are lively bars and fantastic nightclubs to entertain you.
Where to stay
You’ll find the usual range of familiar hotels in Amsterdam, from luxury places to budget hostels, but in a city this interesting it’s worth looking around a bit more before you make your choice. You’ll find fascinating small, privately run places in the beautiful old buildings right at the heart of the city, and if you like those then you may want to go all the way and rent a self-catering place – the next best thing to setting up permanent residence. WorldEscape apartments in Amsterdam have many beautiful places, from sprawling apartments you can share with friends to charming little attics perfect for romantic breaks.
How to get around
With its narrow, twisting streets, some of them cobbled, Amsterdam is not an easy place to drive in, but there are plenty of other ways to get around. The tram system is reliable and easy to use, and there are buses and a good metro system if you want to go further out of town. Pick up an OV-chipkaart and you can use any of these facilities without the hassle of having to pay cash. There are also canal ferries that are useful for some journeys and there are many places you can hire bicycles, which are a popular form of transport among the locals.
A visit to Amsterdam is always a treat. The only problem is that one visit is never enough – once you have a taste for it, you’ll find yourself wanting to go back again and again.