One of the most diverse and dynamic places in Europe, Amsterdam is the way to go if you want excitement. The capital of Netherlands, Amsterdam is home to impressive architecture, lovely canals and great shopping alternatives. Regardless if you want some culture or if you are thinking of serious partying, you will find something for every taste in this eclectic city. It is the biggest city and cultural centre of Netherlands although not the seat of government. Due to its tourist-friendly nature the city can be visited any time of the year, but during winter days are short and the weather may be too cold to walk around comfortably. The official language is Dutch, however you will not have a problem finding English-speaking people.
Getting Around in Amsterdam
Getting around in Amsterdam is very easy. The downtown area is not that big and you can get to most places by foot or bike. The bike culture in Amsterdam is highly developed and you will find separate bike-lanes on most major streets. Also, cyclists have the right of way and there are numerous maps for cycling which include routes, repairs, rentals and public transport. Be careful and get a good lock for your bike as Amsterdam is known to have the highest bicycle theft rates in the world. Also, if you consider buying a bike then beware of prices that seem to low as they might be from stolen bikes.
Things to do in Amsterdam
The range of things to do in Amsterdam is very varied and suits almost every taste in the planet. If traveling with a loved one a good option is to rent a boat in Amsterdam. You will be astonished by the beautiful architecture and charming canals. These cruises can be found for as low as twelve Euros per person. If you are a shopping addict, the main shopping streets in Amsterdam run in a line from near Central Station to the Leidseplein: Nieuwendijk, Kalverstraat, Heiligeweg, Leidestraat. These up market shopping streets put an emphasis is on clothes although there are other shops as well. If you are looking for more boutique type of shopping then head to the side streets of the main canals; you will find interesting souvenirs in these little shops.
Also famous in Amsterdam are its street markets. Although originally they only sold food, nowadays these markets also sell clothes, households, flowers and many other items. Some of the most popular street markets in Amsterdam include the “Albert Cuyp”, the largest in Amsterdam and also the best known in Netherlands, the “Ten Cate Market,” the 3rd largest of the city and the Waterlooplein.
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