City of Amsterdam

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Amsterdam

Amsterdam (map) is the Netherlands’ capital and financial, cultural and creative centre. Amsterdam is known for the canals that criss-cross the city, its impressive architecture and more than 1,500 bridges. The city has a heritage dating back to the Dutch Golden Age in the 17th century as well as a diverse art scene and a bustling nightlife.

Amsterdam has one of the largest historic city centres in Europe, with about 7,000 registered historic buildings. The street pattern has been largely unchanged since the 19th century. The centre consists of 90 islands linked by 400 bridges, some of them beautifully lit at night.

The inner part of the city centre, the *Binnenstad, dates from medieval times. The oldest streets are the Warmoesstraat (map) and the Zeedijk (map).

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Amsterdam’s main attractions include its historic canals, the Rijksmuseum (map), the Van Gogh Museum (map), the Stedelijk Museum (map), Hermitage Amsterdam (map), the Concertgebouw (map), the Anne Frank House (map), the Scheepvaartmuseum (map), the Amsterdam Museum (map), the Heineken Experience (map), the Royal Palace of Amsterdam (map), Natura Artis Magistra (map), Hortus Botanicus Amsterdam (map), NEMO (map), the red-light district (the oldest area of the town De Wallen, map) and many cannabis coffee shops.

Binnenstad (wikivoyage, map). The medieval centre is the most visited area of Amsterdam and is home to tourist hotspots like Dam Square and the Red Light District. The area is filled with narrow streets, shops, tourists and coffeeshops.

Canal District (wikivoyage, map). A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Canal District was dug in the 17th century to attract wealthy home owners. And is still a posh neighbourhood and home to the Dutch cultural elite. The Leidseplein (map) and Rembrandtplein (map) are the city’s prime nightlife spots.

Zuid (wikivoyage, map). One of Amsterdam’s prime areas, a trip to the city is not complete without a visit to the Museum Quarter (map). Snooty Oud-Zuid and Apollobuurt are filled with upscale boutiques, cafes and brasseries.

Most Asian restaurants are clustered at the Zeedijk near the Nieuwmarkt and it is often dubbed as Amsterdam’s Chinatown (map). It’s also home to many tokos, small Asian grocery stores that sell Eastern food and spices. Chinatown offers plenty of Chinese, Thai and Japanese restaurants, usually good value.

The Albert Cuyp Market (map) is the largest in Amsterdam, and the best-known street market in the country. The Waterloopleinmarkt (map) is partly a flea market, partly an alternative and second hand clothing and accessories market. It is more oriented towards tourists than to locals.

If you’re looking for authenticity, visit the Dappermarkt (map) or the Ten Katemarkt (map) in West. Both have food, households, flowers and clothing, and have a multicultural flavor.

Public transport of Amsterdam

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Gemeentelijk Vervoerbedrijf (GVB)

9292.nl – you can plan all your trips with the train, bus, metro, tram, and ferry.

+ Getting around Amsterdam (iamsterdam.com) • Traffic and transport (amsterdam.nl) • Public transport in the Netherlands (holland.com)

All public transport in the Netherlands (buses, trams, metros and trains) use contactless smart cards called >> OV-chipkaart

 BUS >   GVBConnexxionEBS // FlixbusConnexxionArrivaQbuzz

 RAIL >   Amsterdam Centraal (map). Information about trains can be found at the Nederlandse Spoorwegen (NS, Dutch Railways) + NS — International App, which includes a trip planner which uses the latest information about train delays and detours. (*Rail travel in the Netherlands)

 AIRPORTS >   Schiphol Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. It is 15 km (9.3 mi) southwest of Amsterdam. It’s a point of interest in itself, being 4 metres below mean sea level.

 WATERWAYS >   Map of Amsterdam ferry routes. Waterbus Rotterdam & Dordrecht >> waterbus.nl + AFerry.co.uk.

 CYCLING >  route.nl. Cycling is a ubiquitous mode of transport in the Netherlands. The best online routeplanner for cyclists can be found at a wikiplanner made by volunteers of the Dutch cyclist union “Fietsersbond”.

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