Amsterdam is the capital and largest city in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The population of the city is approximately 850.000 and the metropolitan region totals nearly 1.600.000 inhabitants. Amsterdam is truly one of Europe's great cities and has recently been ranked 4th in PwC's Global Cities Ranking, as the 2nd smartest city in Europe by Fast Company Magazine and as the 2nd most liveable city in the world by Economist Intelligence Unit.
Visitors will find some of the world's greatest museums, historical sites, cultural experiences, shopping and entertainment. Amsterdam has long been famous for welcoming people from around the world - now, including car wash operators!
Amsterdam is famously gezellig, a Dutch quality that translates roughly as convivial or cosy. It's more easily experienced than defined. Named for their wood panelling and walls stained by smoke over the centuries, the brown cafés practically have gezelligheid (cosiness) on tap, alongside good beer. You can also feel gezellig at any restaurant after dinner, when you're welcome to linger and chat after your meal.
Bike & Boat
Two wheeling is a way of life here. It's how Amsterdammers commute to work, go to the shop and meet a date for dinner. With all the bike rental shops around, it's easy to gear up and take a spin. If locals aren't on a bike, they may well be in a boat. With its canals and massive harbour, this city reclaimed from the sea offers countless opportunities to drift. Hop in a canal boat (preferably an open-air one) or one of the free ferries behind Centraal Station for a wind-in-your-hair ride.
Wander into the past
Amsterdam is ripe for rambling, its compact core laced by atmospheric lanes and quarters. You never know what you'll find: a hidden garden, a shop selling velvet ribbon, a jenever (Dutch gin) distillery, an old monastery-turned-classical-music-venue. Wherever you end up, it's probably by a canal. And a café. And a gabled building that looks like a Golden Age painting.
For more information, visit the links below:
I amsterdam (the city's official tourism office)
Amsterdam, from Holland.com (the official Dutch tourism office)
Amsterdam Passport (resources for business travelers from RAI)
TripAdvisor - Amsterdam
Touropia - Amsterdam
Wikipedia - About Amsterdam
Everything about the Amsterdam - Lonely Planet
The ultimate guide to Amsterdam