Amsterdam is the capital and most populous city of the Netherlands.
The city is located in the Western Netherlands, in the province of North Holland.
As of September 2018, the population of Amsterdam is about 850,000 people. Its urban area has about 1,350,000 people and metropolitan area has 2,420,000.
Amsterdam covers a total area of 219 square kilometers (85 square miles), of which 165 square kilometers (64 square miles) is land and 54 km (21 square miles) is water.
The city is about 2 meters (6.6 feet) below sea level.
The river Amstel ends in the city center and connects to a large number of canals that eventually terminate in the IJ.
Amsterdam has more than 100 kilometers (60 miles) of canals, most of which are navigable by boat. The city’s three main canals are the Prinsengracht, Herengracht, and Keizersgracht.
It has been compared with Venice, due to its division into about 90 islands, which are linked by more than 1,200 bridges.
Amsterdam’s name derives from Amstelredamme, indicative of the city’s origin around a dam in the river Amstel.
The origins of the city lie in the 12th century, when fishermen living along the banks of the river Amstel built a bridge across the waterway near the IJ, which at the time was a large saltwater inlet.
Amsterdam became one of the most important ports in the world during the Dutch Golden Age (17th century), a result of its innovative developments in trade. During that time, the city was the leading center for finance and diamonds.
In the 19th and 20th centuries the city expanded, and many new neighbourhoods and suburbs were planned and built.
Today, Amsterdam is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.
The Rijksmuseum is a Dutch national museum dedicated to arts and history. The museum is located at the Museum Square in the borough Amsterdam South. The Rijksmuseum was founded in The Hague in 1800 and moved to Amsterdam in 1808, where it was first located in the Royal Palace and later in the Trippenhuis.
The Van Gogh Museum is an art museum in Amsterdam in the Netherlands dedicated to the works of Vincent van Gogh and his contemporaries. The museum is located at the Museum Square in the borough Amsterdam South, close to the Stedelijk Museum, the Rijksmuseum, and the Concertgebouw. The museum’s collection is the largest collection of Van Gogh’s paintings and drawings in the world.
The Jordaan is the most popular of Amsterdam’s neighborhoods, known for its mix of residential areas with garden courtyards, lively markets, and upscale boutiques and eateries. Tourists could easily spend a day simply wandering the picturesque streets, but the area is also home to plenty of things to do. Known to most as the home of the Anne Frank Museum, the area is also home to lesser-known treasures like the Woonboots Museum, a floating museum dedicated to houseboats. On Saturday mornings, Lindengracht turns into a huge open-air market, where you can find local crafts, produce, flowers, and goodies perfect for filling a picnic basket.
Dam Square is one of the most tourist-packed areas of Amsterdam, and for good reason. Its most prominent feature is the 17th-century Royal Palace (Koninklijk Palace), former home of the Dutch royal family and present-day venue for royal functions. Dam Square is also home to top tourist attractions like the New Church (Nieuwe Kerk); Madame Tussauds wax museum; and the National Memorial Statue, which is dedicated to Dutch soldiers who lost their lives in World War II.
The Anne Frank House is a writer’s house and biographical museum dedicated to Jewish wartime diarist Anne Frank. The building is located on a canal called the Prinsengracht, close to the Westerkerk, in central Amsterdam in the Netherlands. During World War II, Anne Frank hid from Nazi persecution with her family and four other people in hidden rooms at the rear of the 17th-century canal house, known as the Secret Annex. Anne Frank did not survive the war but in 1947, her wartime diary was published.
The Vondelpark is a public urban park of 47 hectares (120 acres) in Amsterdam, Netherlands. It is part of the borough of Amsterdam-Zuid and situated west from the Leidseplein and the Museumplein. The park was opened in 1865 and originally named Nieuwe Park, but later renamed to Vondelpark, after the 17th-century playwright and poet Joost van den Vondel. Yearly, the park has around 10 million visitors. In the park is an open-air theatre, a playground and several horeca facilities.
The Heineken Experience, located in Amsterdam, is a historic brewery and corporate visitor center for the internationally distributed Dutch pilsner, Heineken beer. The industrial facility was built as the first Heineken brewery in 1867, serving as the company’s primary brewing facility until 1988 when a more modern, larger facility was constructed on the outskirts of the city.
The 17th-century canals of Amsterdam and the 19–20th century Defence Line of Amsterdam are on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Parks and nature reserves make up 12% of Amsterdam’s land area.
Amsterdam is one of the most bicycle-friendly large cities in the world and is a center of bicycle culture with good facilities for cyclists. There are about 1,200,000 bicycles in Amsterdam outnumbering the amount of citizens in the city.
Soft drugs as cannabis in all its forms (marijuana, hashish, hash oil) and hallucinogenic mushrooms (so called magic mushrooms ) are legal under condition of so called “personal use”.
The city is famous for its vibrant and diverse nightlife.
Amsterdam pays alcoholics in beer to clean streets: 5 cans of beer for a day’s work, plus €10, tobacco and free lunch.