Amsterdam is the capital and largest city of the Netherlands, located in the province of North Holland in the west of the country. The city which on the latest count had a population of 800 thousand people, comprises the northern part of the Randstad. The 6th-largest metropolitan area in Europe, with a population of around 6.7 million people.

Its name Amsterdam is derived from Amstel dam, indicative of the city origin: a dam in the river Amstel where the Dam Square is located today. Amsterdam settled as a small fishing village in the late 12th century, became one of the most important ports worldwide during the Dutch Golden Agen, as a result of its innovative developments in the trade market. During those years the city was the leading center for finance and diamonds. In the 19th and the 20th centuries, the city expanded and many new neighborhoods and provinces where formed.

The city is the financial and cultural capital of the Netherlands. Many of the big universities, Dutch institutions and the world’s leading companies have their headquarters located in Amsterdam. Amsterdam’s main attractions, including the historic canals, the Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank House, the Rijksmuseum, its world famous red-light district De Wallen and its many cannabis coffee shops, draw 4.2 million tourists each year.

Travelers arriving at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport need a valid passport and visa. American citizens can visit without a visa for up to 90 days. Amsterdam is a relatively small city so a good way to get round in the city is to rent bicycle or simply walk. The best time of the year to visit Amsterdam is between June and August this is when its summer in the Netherlands.

Leave a Reply