The city of Amsterdam
Amsterdam, the capital of The Netherlands, possesses one of the largest historical inner cities in Europe. It is easily explored on foot, with museums, theatres, monuments, and most other features of interest generally being within walking distance of one another. Amsterdam is also one of the leading cultural centres of Europe. Among its famous museums are the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk Museum and the Van Gogh Museum. Notable are also the Anne Frank House, where Anne Frank wrote her well-known diary during the early years of German occupation of The Netherlands, and the Jewish Historical Museum, which is situated in the beautifully restored High German Synagogue.
Amsterdam was founded in the Middle Ages near a dam on the Amstel River. The city truly blossomed in the early 17th century, when it became the world’s largest centre for trade and art. The historic heart of the city, known as the Grachtengordel (canal ring), has remained beautifully intact to this day. But this area is not just a preserved open-air museum; it is the functional and friendly heart of the city, where locals and visitors alike create a vibrant energy.
Home to some of the world’s most acclaimed artistic works, more canals than Venice, more bridges than Paris and nearly 7,000 monumental buildings, our compact floating city offers a buffet of historic and cultural treasures. It is no wonder Amsterdam’s city centre is a nominee for UNESCO’s World Heritage list.
Many people think of the Netherlands as the land of tulips and windmills. In just 15 minutes from the centre of Amsterdam you can experience these idyllic scenes. The fishing villages of Marken and Volendam are open-air museums with an unrivalled display of authentic Dutch houses and windmills.