The capital of the Netherlands is one of Europe’s most frequently visited cities. As the Lonely Planet notes, ‘Amsterdam combines a huge case of big city exuberance with smalltown manageability; it doesn’t take much more than chaining your bike to a bridge to feel like you’ve got a handle on the place.’ It is this mixture that makes Amsterdam a pleasure to visit or live in. It is a real cosmopolitan capital and one of Europe’s most beautiful at that, with an enormous number of attractions. It is also relatively small, peaceful, well organized and an easy place to find your way around.
The ultimate mix
The historic city centre is famous for its architecture and canals. Amsterdam also has an outstanding and well deserved reputation for its variety of entertainment. If you have a look at the tourist websites or for a less formal view the Lonely Planet, Time Out or Rough Guide sites, you will find an unparalleled list of options. In addition, Amsterdam has always been known for its intellectual freedom, which has greatly stimulated the international exchange of ideas and research. Again and again, Amsterdam has proven itself an important centre for cultural, social and financial developments. Its liberal approach to social issues might well be even more important to the visitor. The city is a melting pot of cultures and races that are welcome in a way that is probably unmatched throughout Europe.