Amsterdam is the capital city of Netherlands. Its fame goes back to 13th century as a budding port which grew in stature during the age of voyages and subsequently reached its pinnacle in 19th century as trade and commerce under the Dutch grew. Though used as a transit point to many of the cities of Northern Europe these days, by itself the city has remarkable tourist interests, often breath taking in their appeal. The greatness of Amsterdam may be briefly outlined below.
Apart from the sight of the grand windmill, there are nearly seventy islands in Amsterdam area and over sixty miles of water ways besides a thousand bridges. Mind-boggling indeed. A very well-planned city, its vitality in surviving the Middle Ages and occupying a pride of place as a modern commercial hub are remarkable. If you really want to spend a few days in the graceful settings of canals, sea and nature, this is an ideal place for you. You can cruise around in boats in picturesque canals, dine and dance on the decks and lose totally in the charmed atmosphere of full relaxation.
Rijksmuseum is the name that evokes awe. This national museum with more than 200 rooms is an experience in the culture of mankind. You should consider yourself lucky if you could spare two or three days to explore nearly 200 rooms in this museum. But people prefer to spend just an hour or so viewing Rembrandt’s masterpieces. Besides the usual artifacts you will be surprised at the magnitude of the dolls section here – no comparison whatsoever!
Near this museum you have the incomparable Vincent Van Gogh’s museum housing nearly 200 of his great paintings. Of course there are nearly 500 paintings of other well known artists of the 19th century as well on show here.
The Church of St.Nicholas is an architectural beauty. There are some old merchant houses of 16th and 17th centuries along the canals, well preserved and functional even now. Catholics, Protestants, Jews and Muslims all live here with perfect amity and harmony. It would definitely come as a surprise to learn that there is Zeedijh, a Buddhist shrine in the China Town part of the city.
Just outside the Central Station you will be stunned at the sight of massive cycle stand structure! Dam Square and Royal Palace are nearby ‘must-visit’ places. Not many are aware that a Madam Tassauds is here as well enticing children and adults alike! Begijnhot, Armenian Apostolic Church are two to three hundred old structures which evoke in you a sense of respect for the past and its own religious and cultural moorings. There are art exhibitions, circuses and music programmes almost every day to entertain diverse tastes of the visitors.
As a port city which had catered to the food tastes of different climes for several hundreds of years, Amsterdam retains its fine adaptability to modern times. Restaurants like Sake & Co. are virtually paradises for lovers of food and wine.
There are more than 350 hotels to cater to the different budgets. The topmost hotels are Tulip in Amsterdam, Hem Hotel, Nova Hotel and Apartments, Grand Hotel Amrath, Prinsen Hotel and a host of others. Online booking is available in all the above and many other places. There are luxury hotels to take particular care of your needs. The cruising boats serve food and wines in tasteful fashion and while you eat, you also go through the beautiful sight of places on the banks of the canal.
In brief, one can spend several days in Amsterdam relaxing completely and enjoying the marvel of a city where different places are connected by waster, a leisurely pace of the city and diversity in food take. A quiet will pervade you while you are in Amsterdam and you would long to visit the place again and again.