Founded in the 12th century as a fishing village, Amsterdam is one of the most interesting cities in Europe, with over 800,000 bicycles. That’s more bikes than people!
Cycling in Amsterdam is a way of life.
The city is well-known for its past, the elaborate canal system and the architecture of their iconic narrow houses.
The cultural revolution of the 1960s and 1970s made Amsterdam the magisch centrum (magical center) of Europe. The use of soft drugs was tolerated and this policy made the city a popular destination for hippies.
There are more canals in Amsterdam than in Venice. The city’s waterways, which date back 400 years, have been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and many can be enjoyed by foot, thanks to a series of narrow paths.
Canal cruises are a popular way to see the city from the perspective of its canals. Small or large, if you prefer to rent a private boat instead of a traditional bus-like canal cruise, there is a great service for it in many areas of the city.
The Gentlemen’s canal is considered to be the most important canal in Amsterdam. In the 17th century, the richest merchants, the mayors and the most influential regents of the city resided on this canal.
Amsterdam is the only old city in the world where the medieval center is not a museum but a Red Light District.
Amsterdam’s infamous Red Light District is a carnival of vice, with skimpily-clad commercial sex workers in brothel windows, raucous bars, haze-filled ‘coffeeshops’, strip shows and mind-boggling museums. It’s not for everyone.
When it comes to places to grab a drink and a bite to eat (and perhaps indulge in some other minor vices), Amsterdam gets the most attention for its cafés. Sometimes these are literally cafés and other times they’re primarily cannabis shops, but in both cases they’re immensely popular among locals and visitors alike.
Coffeeshops (cannabis cafes) exist all over the city and country, but the Red Light District has an especially high concentration. Greenhouse and Baba are two of the area’s most popular. Cannabis is not technically legal in the Netherlands but the possession and purchase of 5g of ‘soft drugs’ (marijuana, hashish, space cakes and truffles) is widely tolerated and users won’t be prosecuted for this amount.
Located in the heart of Amsterdam, Vondelpark offers a quick escape from the city’s hustle and noise. Here you’ll see a mixed crowd of all ages sunbathing, playing ball games and simply relaxing. Vondelpark is Amsterdam’s largest park, it stretches to 47 acres in total and was first opened in 1865. The park is quite linear in shape with an entrance path leading from the Stadhonuderskade main road, near the Hard Rock Cafe. After walking along the entrance path, the park opens out into flowing mix of waterways and greenery. Beloved by Amsterdam locals and visitors alike, Vondelpark contains a plethora of cafes and restaurants, as well as indoor and outdoor activities, making it much nicee and enjoyable.
Experience the unusual with an open mind and get lost in this liberal and interesting city anytime of the year!
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