It feels right to warn you not to visit Amsterdam — unless of course, you are willing to leave your old life behind and move there. Amsterdam is an awesome city with a little old, a lot of new, and a rich cultural heritage to fall in love with. Should you decide to visit anyway, here are 7 reasons people end up staying for good — or, at the very least, coming back often.
1. Amsterdam, the Architectural Masterpiece
Amsterdam is an architectural jewel that will have design lovers begging for more. Renowned worldwide for its gabled houses and canal houses, the Dutch capital has much more to offer. It harmoniously blends traditional windmills and bridges with cutting-edge modern design: something you must see to fully grasp.
2. European Cultural Hub
Amsterdam started as a 13th -century fishing village. Today, it is a cultural and commercial center for the whole Europe. More than 2 million visitors come from around the world for its 50+ museums, libraries, and memorials. They retrace everything; from Anne Frank’s journey, to painting masterpieces, to eroticism and torture.
3. Green City… or Rather Blue
Who needs a car when you could get around by bike, tram, and boat? They allow you to get off the beaten path, and discover Amsterdam’s true beauty and hidden spots. Don’t pass on the mandatory boat ride on Amsterdam’s many canals. Plus the yellow bikes are one of the city’s symbols that you really should try.
4. Too Romantic of a City
Amsterdam has over 60 miles of canals, 90 islands interconnected by 1,500 bridges. Some parts of this extensive waterway system are centuries old, with many stories to tell. It all feels like a modern, quirkier Venice, which is why the city is also known as “the Venice of the North”. At night, the bridges light up, adding to the beauty of the cityscape and the romantic atmosphere.
5. Amsterdam the Eccentric
Even if you are not ready for love, you will still fall for the forbidden charms of the Red District and its laid back atmosphere. Better yet, Amsterdam’s culture is one that lends to fun and good times without taboos. It has one of the oldest and wildest gay pride parade in Europe, and a lively nightlife. In fact, the city never really sleeps, and bars and cafes open from early morning until dawn.
6. Paradise for Foodies
Amsterdam culinary landscape is reflective of the city itself. It is a melting pot of many cultures and ethnicities. Everyone will find a plate and a place for their tastes; from the historical “cafes bruns” to the upscale grand cafés. However, your discovery of Mokum’s food scene would be incomplete without a stop of the many fish stands that dot the cityscape. Raw herring is a national snack worth trying — sort of a healthier equivalent of New York’s hot dogs or Montreal’s poutine.
7. Beer Haven
Also, Amsterdam is a rendezvous for finely-crafted beer lovers. Here, you will find a large variety of micro-brews: from dark porters to fruity and lighter ales. You can also take the Heineken Experience to live the history behind the most famous Dutch beer brand. And the best part is that, every year, the city hosts two incredible beer festivals perfect for sampling even more beer selections; both local and international.
Everyone has a good (or bad) reason to love Amsterdam. No matter what bring you here, there is something, or rather everything to make you feel welcome and right at home. Many come for the holidays, fall in love, and end up staying. So once again, be warned: unless you are ready for the travel experience of your life, stay away from Amsterdam!
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