Amsterdam is the capital and largest city of the Netherlands. The city has in fact 740,000 residents, while the population residing in the metropolitan area is around 1,450,000 people. The capital of the Netherlands is a multi-ethnic city, in fact, people from over 170 countries reside there.
Amsterdam has one of the largest Renaissance centers in all of Europe. Numerous buildings date back to the period between the 16th and 17th centuries, the Dutch golden age, when Amsterdam was the terminus of the Dutch maritime empire that extended from the Americas to Asia.
A series of semicircular canals enclose the historic center and the old port, which once overlooked the Zuiderzee. Since the seventeenth century the historic center of the city has remained intact. The best way to find your way through the narrow streets of Amsterdam is to take a boat trip along the canals. The square called Dam represents the ‘heart’ of the city. This square is dominated by the Royal Palace (Koninklijk Paleis) and the New Church (Nieuwe Kerk).
The defensive line of Amsterdam, a defense system consisting of 45 forts and 135 km long around the city of Amsterdam. Which was built between 1883 and 1920, it is a unique example of fortification based on water control, and was included in the list of World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 1996.
WHAT TO SEE: THE MAIN ATTRACTIONS OF AMSTERDAM
Amsterdam is a beautiful city, full of canals that often lead it to be compared to Venice. The best way to visit it is to make one of the many boat tours that are offered by numerous tour operators. From the boat you can in fact capture the suggestive atmosphere of the city and admire the beautiful patrician houses of the historic center dating back to the 17th and 18th centuries.
A CITY ON A HUMAN SCALE
The center of the city is the large Dam square overlooked by the 17th century Royal Palace and the late Gothic Nieuwe Kerk. Rich in pedestrian areas Amsterdam is well suited to be visited on foot or by bicycle.
Other enchanting places are the Jodenbreestraat, the main street of the Jewish quarter and the flea market square (Waterlooplein). Kalverstraat, one of the most lively central streets, with shops and restaurants. The square of the Nieuw Markt. The Muntplein, an area full of canals and picturesque streets, and the Herengracht, one of the most picturesque canals.
A GREAT MUSEUM PROPOSAL
The city is also famous for being the city with the highest concentration of museums in the world per square kilometer. Among these the most important are: the Rijksmuseum (royal museum, the most important museum for art and history of the Netherlands), the Van Gogh Museum, the Rembrandt House Museum (Rembrandthuis), the Amsterdam Historisch Museum (the museum historical Amsterdam), the Scheepvaartmuseum (museum of navigation), the Stedelijk Museum (the museum of modern and contemporary art).
The Diamantmuseum Amsterdam (diamond museum), the Pipe Museum (the museum houses 2000 pieces that tell the story of the pipe and the use of tobacco on 5 continents and 25 centuries), the Amstelkring Museum (an ancient house with a hidden Catholic church where for a period of 225 years the Catholic mass was celebrated, a religion that was prohibited in Calvinist Holland) and the Anne Frank house.
Amsterdam is also a popular destination for nightlife lovers, its “red light” district is famous. But the city is also known for the free sale, in special premises, of light drugs. The nightlife center of the Dutch capital is the lively Leidseplein.
HOW TO MOVE: AMSTERDAM URBAN TRANSPORT
Amsterdam has several public transport systems, numerous and well organized: metro, trams and buses. Amsterdam has three metro lines, which mainly connect the city center with the suburbs.
TRAM AND UNDERGROUND
The Amsterdam tramway network has 17 lines and covers the whole city, one line, the line number 20, called Circle-tram, passes in front of the main tourist attractions of the city. Trams and subways run until midnight. The bus network is vast, buses run until 6.00 am.
Tickets should be purchased at authorized dealers, if you buy them directly from the driver they are more expensive, there are various types of tickets among which the most convenient for tourists are the daily or multi-day passes. Tickets are valid on all public transport including night buses.
The Amsterdam Metro (Metronet) is made up of three metro lines, partially on the surface, and primarily serves as a link between the center and the peripheral neighborhoods. The service ends shortly after midnight and starts around 6 in the morning (around 7 on Sunday morning).
In the city of Amsterdam it is better to leave the car in the garage, getting around by car is not suitable, parking meters are expensive and there is a risk of being stuck with wheels if you park in a non-parking area. It is preferable to leave the car outside the circle of canals, that is in the peripheral areas, here the parking lots (P + R) are at a very reduced rate. The P + R Transférium Arena secure parking is the most valid option among those in the city. The price is EUR 5.70 per day and two free tickets for public transport are included which take you to the city center. The car park is open 24 hours a day and is easily accessible from the A1, A2 and A9 motorways.
THE BICYCLE THE BEST MEANS TO VISIT THE HISTORICAL CENTER
Probably the most fun, comfortable and convenient way of getting around the city center is by bicycle. There are numerous bike rental points throughout the city.