Amsterdam is home to more than 50 miles of canals and almost 7000 buildings that date back to the 1700s and earlier, making it one of the best preserved cities in all of Europe. In fact, the city’s center has not changed much since Rembrandt walked these streets. All of this history aside, don’t mistake modern Amsterdam for a mere museum-quality work of art – this is a modern capital with all of the amenities the modern traveler desires, such as hotels, eateries, and New York City type shopping.
While the city is rich in history, the hallmarks of this metropolis are a thriving and incredibly lenient populace. Of course, the younger visitors have arrived to check out the culture of a people with an open attitude, but at the same time the heartbeat of high-end culture, such as within the walls of the Van Gogh Museum or the Hooftstraat shopping district, still beats strong.
Getting around the city is simple as it is rather compact, and streets have been updated to accommodate walking or riding a bike. Many shops rent bikes and this is a great way to explore. There is also public transportation, like trains and buses, that will allow you more time to explore. There are several ways you can purchase tickets, such as at one of the many vending machines throughout the city, at a ticket counter, or you can even ask the bus driver for a pass. Tourist passes are offered in daily increments up to a full week, and one-day passes are only $8.00.
Traveling to Amsterdam at any time of the year will be a pleasant experience; generally, however, from May to October is tourist season. Temperatures are the warmest during those months, with crowds peaking during July and August. If your holiday is all about catching the sight of the famed Dutch tulips, plan your trip for March or April, as blooms can begin in March, and while they sometimes will extend into the month of May, April is prime viewing season. There is the potential for rain showers at any time of the year, so it is practical to pack accordingly.
Regardless when you decide to visit Amsterdam, you’re sure to find this historic city absolutely fascinating.