Colourful houses on a canal in Amsterdam © Andrew Mayovskyy/
Canal with boats and houses © CPN/

Amsterdam – The City of Canals

Published: 22 September 2023, 11:50

A trip to Amsterdam is one of the classic city breaks. Anyone visiting the capital of the Netherlands for the first time will certainly be impressed by the abundance of Dutch bikes, coffee shops, houseboats, museum buildings and markets. The city is criss-crossed by picturesque canals, along which you can take a leisurely boat ride and discover the city centre with its traditional gabled houses. The city is diverse, cosmopolitan and yet manageable. Whether on foot or by bike – the distances are never far.

Amsterdam has many faces. Its world-famous museums make the hearts of art fans beat faster. Anyone who prefers shopping and enjoys browsing flea markets will not be disappointed by the lively market scene and the many small designer shops. Try the trendy bars on Leidseplein, concerts and cool clubs: night owls won't be bored. Amsterdam can be easily discovered according to taste or by strolling through the different city districts such as the Canal Belt, Jordaan or Chinatown.

Numbers, data, facts

  • Time difference: none
  • Population: 900,000
  • Official language: Dutch
  • Currency: Euro (EUR)

Forays Through Amsterdam

Typically Dutch: Excursions from Amsterdam

Amsterdam won’t just win you over with its lively and international city atmosphere. The idyllic surroundings offer a wonderfully contrasting programme. Many destinations are not far away and are worthwhile as a half-day or day trip. Whether it's windmills in Zaanse Schans, the tulip fields at Keukenhof or the cheese market in Edam – the area around Amsterdam offers typically-Dutch experiences. Zandvoort, one of the most popular beaches on the North Sea, can be reached from the centre of Amsterdam in less than an hour by train or car. The Holland of the picture books can be experienced in real life on the Marken peninsula in Markermeer, which is connected to the mainland via a dike.

Picture Book Holland

Amsterdam from BER

Five travel tips for …

1. Rent a bicycle and cycle through the city centre

2. Discover the city from the water on a canal cruise

3. Stroll through the Jordaan district and the Negen Straatjes

4. Visit at least one museum on Museumsplein

5. Relax and rest your feet in Vondelpark

1. For a snack in between, try broodje haring (herring in bread)

2. For the sweet tooth, try a stroopwafel (syrup waffle)

3. Don’t forget the classic: fries! (Thick, crispy fries)

4. Cheese lovers should head to a kaaswinkel (cheese shop)

5. And when everything is closed, grab some meat croquettes from a vending machine

1. Admire masterpieces by Rembrandt and Van Gogh in the Rijksmuseum

2. Watch a classic film at the Eye film museum

3. Book a theatre ticket for the Royal Theatre Carré

4. View 20th-century art at the Stedelijk Museum

5. Take the bus to IJburg and see the “floating houses”.

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Desktop: © Andrew Mayovskyy/ 
Mobile: © CPN/

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