Long popular for its progressive, laidback atmosphere, Amsterdam is today increasingly known for its 17th century “Dutch Masters” paintings and for having one of Europe’s best-preserved historic city centres. As well as the maze-like streets and alleys of the infamous Red Light District (the “Rosse Buurt” to the locals), its coffee shops (not to be confused with cafés) and diverse nightlife, the city has a lot more to offer than meets the eye.
A visit to Museumplein (Museum Square) and the Concertgebouw (concert hall) followed by a stroll through the cosmopolitan city centre guarantees a rich architectural journey of romantic bridges and canal-side mansions, and even contemporary architecture and smart urban planning that have thus far succeeded in blending the new with the old.
Perhaps because of its compact size and warm, intimate atmosphere, Amsterdam is the ideal place to give yourself to serendipity. It’s a salacious city to behold and explore, whether by bike, boat or the kind of easy-going stroll that lends itself to frequent stops in galleries and quirky shops that cover everything from fine art to souvenirs guaranteed to make you smile.