Amsterdam, capital of the Netherlands makes for a hugely popular travel destination with over nineteen million visitors enjoying the city each year. But what makes this place so unique, and attracts people from all across the globe? Here are some ideas!
The openness to typically ‘taboo’ topics
One of the things Amsterdam is most famous for is it’s relaxed attitude to things that would generally be considered taboo in many other places in the world. From the red light district to museums including the sex museum, erotic museum and museum of prostitution, they’re very open on the topic despite it making tourists giggle and blush! You also have the cannabis culture which is legal and widely accepted throughout Amsterdam. One thing to be aware of if you visit is that while it’s legal to consume cannabis here, you could still get into trouble if you’re drug tested upon returning to work. Look into how long do edibles last and how much the amount you plan on consuming will stay in your system if you need to be drug free when returning to work. There’s something novel and exciting about coming into a place that’s very open with things that would be considered illegal or immoral elsewhere, and can actually help you to gain a new perspective on things. Amsterdam’s cannabis establishments are known as ‘coffeeshops’ and you’ll find them dotted around the city, often up the interesting back streets.
The incredible transport systems
All cities have good transport links, however it’s something quite special in Amsterdam. Along with the rail and tube network you have trams and buses too, you can easily get all over the city with very little hassle and you’ll never be waiting more than a few minutes for your transport to arrive. It’s worth purchasing the multi day ticket if you’re staying for a few days, it will give you unlimited free travel across all of the modes of public transport. With so much to see and it being a large place, this saves you so much time and you can very quickly get to any destination in and around the city. You don’t necessarily visit a place because of it’s transport systems, however it definitely makes your trip more enjoyable when you’re not spending half of your days waiting around for trains and buses. Amsterdam and Rotterdam are well connected by train, so if you have a little extra time this is also well worth a visit and something you can easily do in a day if you’re staying in Amsterdam.
The buildings in Amsterdam are incredibly unique and interesting. During the time of building, there was a tax that meant properties that were wider were much more expensive, and so builders got around this by creating very tall and skinny structures. The individual buildings are so thin that residents struggle getting their furniture up the stairs, so a hook is installed at the gable of every roof to haul items up through the windows. Some of the more expensive houses along the main canals are spectacularly beautiful. All in all, the architecture is very cool and chances are, a lot different to where you grew up.
The environmental aspect
Amsterdam is very forward thinking when it comes to the environment. The fact that most people get around using bikes and public transport rather than cars is testament to that, and it’s very true about what you’ve heard about bikes in Amsterdam– they are absolutely everywhere! There are lots of environmental sustainability projects and resources within the city from Green Roofs project to charging stations for electric vehicles.
Many hotel rooms in Amsterdam are also considered as sustainable, there are features such as the electricity being activated only when you’re in the room with the use of your room key. This means that lights and appliances aren’t being left on and electricity isn’t being wasted when guests aren’t even in their room. Tourism and sustainability go hand in hand, and Amsterdam is able to welcome so many people to the city each year because of the lengths they have gone to to protect it.