Welcome to Amsterdam
For a city so appealing, so historic and so enjoyable, it’s remarkable that it is often the people of Amsterdam who visitors remember, long after leaving. Since its foundation in 1280, they have proved their strength and bravery though war, invasion, fire and flood.
Their pride in this city, so ancient yet so boldly contemporary, shines throughout the wide streets, cheerful shops, elegant restaurants and cherished monuments. And despite the drama of its past, even now, boats progress gently along burn-umber canals, and cyclists pedal unhurriedly by cafes, flower shops and churches.
It’s a city where common sense and kindness forever triumphs over suspicion and assumption, where human rights are not a vague hope but an absolute given. Liberal, thoughtful and creative, the soul of Amsterdam is found in café discussions, shared smokes, quirky style and a pace of life that moves steadily forward without ever forgetting the lessons of the past.
Crowds still flock to the Anne Frank House, and cyclists stop to pay their respects at the Homomonument, the triangular sculpture outside Westerkerk, which poignantly commemorates gays and lesbians killed by the Nazis.
Beautiful architecture, leafy squares and old churches shelter amongst the 165 canals and 1281 bridges, and while some may come to goggle at the Red Light area, many more visit to enjoy the culture, the history and the relaxing, erudite atmosphere of this generous and ever-evolving great city.
Bubbles & Wines
Skylounge At Doubletree By Hilton Hotel
Hotel Pulitzer Amsterdam
Grand Hotel Krasnapolsky
For a truly spectacular view, head to the EYE film insitute on the Northern bank of the Ij.
Many museums and attraction are free to enter with a city card, so it’s well worth getting one.
City card- 24 hrs €42 48- €52 72 hrs- €62
Hire a bike- Dutch laws prioritise the rights of cyclists, and it is a city designed for bikes rather than cars. There are around 600 000 bikes out and about at any time of day in Amsterdam.
If you want to try the “Brown" cafes of legend, one reputable establishment is the Dampkring coffee shop. Be warned however: while you will not be prosecuted for smoking, cannabis itself is illegal- and possessing more then 5 grams of cannabis in a public area or 30 grams in a private area can lead to arrest.
Amsterdam is close to several ‘city beaches’- by reputation, they are: Roest - ‘hipster central’ at weekends, Bilburg- attracts a Boho crowd and you can swim from here. Starnd Zuid- “For posers” and Strand West, which is open all year, and offers great views.
Amsterdam’s public transport is excellent- but hiring a bike is one of the best and simplest ways to see the city.
It’s best to get a public transport smart card (OV-chipkaart) which can be used on buses, trams and metros. Go to www.en.gvb/nl