Amsterdam, the capital of The Netherlands is built around a concentric network of canals spanned by over 1000 bridges.One of the most attractive ways of viewing the city is on a canal tour. Many of the houses date back to The Netherlands’ golden age in the 17th century. These narrow-fronted merchants’ houses are characterised by the traditionally Dutch ornamented gables. The oldest part of the city is Nieuwmarkt, located near the first canals – Herengracht, Prinsengracht and Keizersgracht – built to protect the city against invasion.
Amsterdam is famous for its liberalism regards soft drugs and its thriving sex industry. The city has also long been a centre of diamond cutting and it is still possible to see diamond cutters at work. Boasting 53 museums, 61 art galleries, 12 concert halls and 20 theatres, Amsterdam also has a booming cultural life.
Things to See & Do
* Canal cruises
* The Van Gogh Museum
* Anne Frank House
* Royal Palace
Cruise Season – Feb to Dec
Currency – Euro (€)
Language – Dutch
Land Area – 220 sq km
Population – 740,000
Electricity – 2 round pins European style
Time –GMT/UTC plus one hour (Central European time)
International Country Telephone Code – +20
Port Location – Ships dock right at the main cruise ship terminal, just a ten minute walk from Amsterdam’s central train station and the entrance to the central part of Amsterdam’s grid of canals and streets.
Transport Links- Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport has plenty of connections and services. Buses are the best budget way to travel, but train is very pleasant. Central Station is very efficient, and you can take the Eurostar train to Britain. Ferries run from Amsterdam to Britain and Norway. Getting around by car is easy as the roads in the Netherlands are well-maintained or you can easily take your bike on a ferry or train.
The easiest way to get around the city is by bicycle or most places are centrally located and can be reached on foot. There’s also an efficient public transport system.