City with a thousand faces
Canals and museums, terraces and tulips… Amsterdam, so familiar and yet so different, is the city of possibilities. Discover its rich past, taste its exciting present.
Amsterdam is a city that reveals itself little by little. A city of contrasts as well: wealthy and poor, traditional and innovative, conservative and tolerant, of modest size with a global reputation. For those discovering it for the first time, Amsterdam is a labyrinth surrounded by canals bordered by stately old houses, a heritage of the prosperous Dutch Golden Age. By day, don't hesitate to lose yourself, on foot or by bicycle, in the maze of narrow streets. Stop to admire the tiny bridges straddling the canals, the shady terraces and the flowerboxes in the windows. It's here, far from the bustle of the centre, that you best feel the freshness, which seems to float over the city like the skies in Vermeer's landscapes. Here, quiet, tree-lined streets; further away, a tiny square where benches await a short break during your wanderings; nearby, a welcoming bar.
Amsterdam is a cosmopolitan city. It's to be expected: the variety of faces corresponds with the variety of restaurants. You will be seduced by a 'brown café' on one corner and by a candlelit gourmet dinner on another. Besides the quintessential tulips, the markets overflow with vegetables and exotic fruits. If your appetite is for culture as well, the Van Gogh, NEMO, Rijksmuseum, and Stedelijk museums offer innumerable treasures. There are also hip galleries representing young artists, fashionable hotels, antiques dealers, and much more to discover. In fact, a few days may not be enough time to see all there is to see… All the better for a return visit, because Amsterdam always has more to surprise you.
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© Text and photography courtesy of EnVols