Amsterdam is the capital city of the Netherlands. It has a population of 1,465,405(2006) people. Amsterdam lies between the banks of the Ij bay and the Amstel river. It’s origin dates back to the 12th century when it used to be a small fishing village by the Amstel river bank. Presently, Amsterdam is the largest city in the Netherlands and it’s the center for finance and culture. It has one of the largest historic city centers in Europe dating largely from the 17th century. The city was designed with a series of concentric and semi-circular canals. along these picturesque canals, one can see many fine houses and maisons which make Amsterdam a gem in the heart of Europe.
This wonderful and eccentric city is rich of cultural heritage, diversity and commercially very active. It has a high quality of life with a perfect balance between people who live here, people who work here, people who study here and people who visit here.
There is a wide variety of tourist attractions in Amsterdam. It is a hip, modern city that manages to retain a medieval charm that reflects its long history and deep culture. It is home to some of the best museums, the most beautiful canals and the friendliest people in the world. There is something for everyone: from the trendy nightclubs to the cozy cafés, the gorgeous parks and historic buildings, you can be sure you’ll never get bored.
Back in the 1960’s Amsterdam was the center of political and cultural radicalism. The free thinking atmosphere gave way for the decriminalization of soft drugs. The first famous coffee shops to be opened date back to the early seventies. Also in the 1970’s, Amsterdam became known as the ‘gay capital of Europe’. The Amstel Taveerne on the Amstel river bank, is the oldest gay bar in Amsterdam.
Amsterdam has steadily seen an increase in the number of tourists visiting the city each year, receiving almost 4.5 million visitors annually. Being such a busy tourist destination, reserving an accommodation for your stay in advance is crucial. It is advisable to book an accommodation well in advance especially for weekend trips and the festive seasons.
Amsterdam offers a wide variety of accommodations ranging from the prestigious Amstel Hotel to the ever increasingly popular charming boutique hotels. Accommodations found here range from 5 and 4 star luxury hotel chains, cozy bed and breakfasts, budget friendly Amsterdam apartments and even simple hostels and backpacker rooms for day-trippers. There is always a place to stay for everybody no matter their budget for accommodations. It is perhaps best to choose based on either price level or location.