When it comes to Amsterdam, often referred to as ‘the Venice of the North’ there are no shortage of things to see and do. But if you’re still debating on whether or not to visit the city of bicycles, here are the top reasons to visit Amsterdam:
Narrow Streets are filled with even narrower houses. Some of the smallest house fronts in the world can be seen in Amsterdam. Stemming from a 16th-century tax that saw people being taxed on their house frontages (widths), the houses along the canals were built narrower and narrower until only the wealthy could afford wide-fronted houses. The smallest house measures just 90cm across. At the height of the tulip trade, an entire house could be traded for a single flower.
That time I almost became taxi toast… First things first, there are more bikes than people in Amsterdam; over 800,000! Even more shockingly, between 12,000 and 15,000 bikes are fished out of the canals annually! So, after a mature
argument discussion with the friend I was travelling with, I took the plunge and got on my first bike in 8 years (not an actual plunge into a canal, fortunately)! Incidentally, the word for a bike in Dutch is ‘fiets’; you know, for when you want to rent a bike in the Netherlands.
#3 Waffles & Beer
Paris has crepes. Amsterdam has waffles. Founded in Amsterdam in 1873, what better way to experience the third largest commercially brewed beer in the World than in the city in which it originates? You can even go and visit the Heineken experience!
#4 The People
The Dutch are known for their friendly and welcoming nature. Whilst this probably shouldn’t be the sole reason to visit a country, it’s definitely a plus! It’s nice to be able to easily order a coffee in a café, here’s to you Paris!
Amsterdam is a city of canals. So much so that it is known as ‘The Venice of the North’. With around 100km worth of canals and 90 islands, it’s not hard to see why! The 17th Century canal belt (the series of canals that give Amsterdam its semi-circular shape) was made a UNESCO world heritage site in 2011.
#6 All the Museums
Amsterdam is not only filled with canals but also awash with museums (pun intended). There is a museum to suit every interest; from the Van Gogh art Museum to the Tulip flower Museum to the Red Lights Secrets Museum of prostitution. A personal favourite of mine is the Rijksmuseum. Home to ‘The Night Watchman’ and a host of other famous paintings, the museum encompasses over 800 years of history.
Amsterdam is world renowned for flowers. Tulips in particular. This stems from the Dutch Golden Age (a period spanning the 17th century where Dutch art, science, military and trade all flourished). A particular period during this era was ‘Tulip Mania’; the demand for tulips became so high that a single bulb could sell for as much as 10 years worth of the salary of a skilled craftsman.
With cheese shops aplenty, it’s difficult to resist buying your weight in cheese. A highlight of the trip was definitely going into all the cheese stores and trying lots of the free samples (oops) !
I’ve never understood clogs. They seem like they could never be comfortable in any way. Like ever. However, they were traditionally used as a form of foot protection in heavy labour. And they are very beautiful…
#10 Over to you What are your reasons to visit Amsterdam?
What are your top reasons to visit Amsterdam? Share them in the comments below! Also, if you enjoyed reading ’10 reasons to visit Amsterdam’, then why not pin this image?