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Amsterdam Travel Guide > The Guide to Amsterdam

The Guide to Amsterdam

During the last decades, Netherlands also known as Holland has become the symbol of freedom due to its legalization of light drugs, euthanasia and marriages between gays and lesbians. Amsterdam, its capital, is the most visited city in the country but besides the access to the above-mentioned liberties visitors have a great chance to see very beautiful city with a lot of cultural attractions.

The government of Amsterdam now is trying to make the city one the world leading business centers and their efforts have a success – now Amsterdam hosts a significant number of international fairs, business meetings and conferences. Many of the influential multinational corporations have their headquarters in Amsterdam.

Netherlands’ capital is a mix of the new and old – ancient houses of the XVII century border with the up-do-date office buildings.

Amsterdam received its name in the honor of the river Amstel crossing the city. It was founded in XII century as a small fishing village. Now Amsterdam status has some paradox – although it’s a capital of the country, the capital of its province is Harlem and the country’s government is situated in Hague.

Amsterdam has rich, glorious history. It reached it highest peak in the XVII century the most of the historical attractions belong to that time. In XVII the famous Amsterdam channel net was created. Due to the huge number of channels Amsterdam has become a city of bridges. Now there are about 1200 bridges of different styles, sizes and beauty. A lot of Amsterdam's canals were filled in the beginning of the 20th century because of the sanitary reasons.

The city has a numerous amount of the museums, some them are world-famous. The Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Stedelijk Museum are the most renowned, but the full list counts about 50 names. There are a lot of hotels and also holiday rentals in Amsterdam to choose from.

The centre and the heart of the city is Dam Square, a place with historical significance, still boasting beautiful buildings, one of which is Royal Palace. Koninklijk Paleis - The Royal Palace dates back to 1648. Another Dam square’s attraction is Nieuwe Kirk dating back to the 15th century. Although Amsterdam is trying to escape the reputation of the world’s drug capital coffee shops belong to the things Amsterdam is famous for. There are few hundreds of coffee shops in Amsterdam. Popular ones are the commercial and franchised Bulldog and the Grasshopper.

Coffee shops in the country are allowed to sell only small amounts of cannabis. Furthermore, coffee shops must not sell to anyone under 18 and they must not sell more than 5g to any customer. Hard drugs are strictly prohibited.

Another thing Amsterdam is famous for is Red Lights district. It occupies the significant part of the historical centre of Amsterdam.

The whole Holland is known for its love for flowers. Vondelpark is considered to be one of the most beautiful parks in the world. Its style reminds of the best examples of the English style of the XIX century. A lot of lakes, meadows, walking routes present the great opportunity to spend your free time.

Article written by Constance Blair, Amsterdam hotels.