Amsterdam is the capital city of the Netherlands. It is also the largest city in the country, and one of the most popular destinations for tourists to visit from Europe and from all around the world. Amsterdam tourism is booming due to many reasons, including the city’s wide offering of activities and attractions for people with all types of interests, a fantastic culinary scene that is a product of local and international influences, and the thread of openness and liberalism that runs throughout every aspect of the city and its culture. If you’re looking to plan a trip to the Dutch capital soon, here is everything that you need to know about Amsterdam tourism.
Amsterdam is located in the west of the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland. The city is said to have got its name from a dam of the river Amstel, which flows through the city till this very date. Like the majority of the Netherlands, Amsterdam terrain is rather flat, and sits a few meters below sea level.
Geographically, the most distinct feature of the city is the complex network of canals that run throughout it. In total, the canals have a length of more than one hundred kilometres, with the three main ones that were dug during the seventeenth century, running concentrically around the city. You will also notice a huge number of bridges across these canals – in fact, the city has over 1,500 bridges, and almost 90 islands! Today, the seventeenth century canals are part of UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites, and are a major tourist attraction in their own right. To learn more about the historic Amsterdam canals, you should take a canal cruise during your time in the city – a must-do experience when it comes to Amsterdam tourism.
Given Amsterdam’s proximity to the North Sea, the city has what is known as an ‘oceanic climate’ with strong westerly winds. This means that both the summer and winter seasons are relatively mild in comparison to other parts of Europe – to put this in perspective, summers are warm but will never reach the temperatures you will experience during a Mediterranean summer, and while winters can get quite cold in Amsterdam, the temperature is milder than you will experience in the Nordic region of Europe.
The good part about this type of weather is that there are rarely extreme days – this means that you can visit Amsterdam all year round, and the city will be as lovely during the off-season as it will be during the peak time.
Bear in mind that Amsterdam is a humid city, and rainfall is to be expected at any time of year. While the majority of the rainfall takes place between October and March, it is not uncommon to have unexpected rain showers during other times of year as well. For this reason, make sure that you pack a lightweight, rainproof jacket on your holiday to Amsterdam, regardless of when you visit – you never know when you may need it!
Amsterdam is not only a truly cosmopolitan and international city, where people from around the world choose to live, study, work and visit; it is also one of the youngest cities in the country. This reflects in the buzz that surrounds every part of the city and its culture, and has led to vibrant nightlife, an innovative diving scene and a host of activities to enjoy for people of all interests.
In addition, Amsterdam’s internationalism has not come at the cost of local culture; the city stands strong in its rich history, and this duality of being a global city yet true to its heritage and roots, is what makes Amsterdam such a fascinating place to visit.
As one of the most popular places to visit in the Netherlands, Amsterdam is set up very well to handle tourists. Travelling around the city is really easy, given the large and well-connected public transport system that is made up of buses, trams and metros. If you are located in the heart of the capital, you can very easily reach most major places on foot or rent a cycle and explore the city on two wheels – a much better way to soak in all that the city has to offer.
Pro-tip: The I-Amsterdam city card offers you free entry into multiple museums and tourist attractions, as well as unlimited use of public transport, during your time in the city.
A good way to see the best of the city in a short amount of time is to opt for one of the many different Amsterdam tours, whether you choose to go for a food tour run by a local, a walking tour through the heart of the city or a bus tour on the hop-on-hop-off bus. Amsterdam tours are also a great way to interact with other travellers from around the world and make some new friends on your travels.
At SOTC, we offer a wide range of holiday packages that include Amsterdam tours as well, from the Summer Premium Exclusive Europe package to the European Magic package and so much more! If you are curious about holidaying in Amsterdam and would like to learn more, or seek help in planning out the ultimate itinerary for your time in the Dutch capital, look no further! Just visit us at your closest SOTC branch or give us a call, and we will help you plan out the Amsterdam trip of a lifetime.