Amsterdam is one of the greatest small cities in the world. From its canals to world-famous museums and historic sights, Amsterdam is one of the most romantic and beautiful cities in Europe.
Amsterdam has all the advantages of a big city: culture, nightlife, international restaurants, good transport – but is quiet, and largely thanks to its extensive canals, has a little road traffic.
Dam Square is the very centre and heart of Amsterdam – although there are arguably prettier sights in the city. As an historical site, however, it is fascinating and worth taking the time to appreciate.
The Dam has seen many historical dramas unfold over the years, and was for example, the reception area for Napoleon and his troops during the 1808 take-over of the city. The impressive history of the square is well documented in the Amsterdam Historical Museum.
The Royal Palace (Koninklijk Paleis), which dominates the square, was originally used as the town hall and its classical facade and fine sculptures were intended to glorify the city of Amsterdam and its government. In contrast to its turbulent history, the square is now a peaceful place and is home to hundreds of pigeons and tourists resting their tired feet.
Tour Rembrandtplein: lined with pubs, restaurants, cafes and hotels. A popular center for nightlife, it also includes traditional Dutch pubs which play authentic Dutch music. In summer, the terraces are packed with people enjoying a drink and watching the world go by. In the center of the square is a small but pleasant park where you can relax or pay homage at the statue of Rembrandt. Around the area you’ll also find quality night clubs, entertainment venues, respectable diamond dealers and the inevitable tacky souvenir shops.
As the locals do, get on a bike and tour this magnificent city with all its colourful sites and offerings.Insider’s Tip
Ride the canals, visiting world-renowned flower markets along the way; stop in for tasty treats or learn about this city’s magnificent and beautiful history in one of its museums or art galleries. In Amsterdam, no destination is far but get on a bike for an authentic local experience!