On a recent trip to Italy, my husband and I decided to fly to Amsterdam for the day, then off to Milan. I was not keen on the idea, because I had this mental picture of Amsterdam in my mind. Boy was I surprised! The canals, the architecture, the history, all was overwhelming! Definitely on our list to go back and explore this lovely city in more depth!
Amsterdam is the most populated city in the Netherlands. The official language is Dutch but of course everyone speaks English so there is no problem with communicating. Amsterdam is in the Providence of North Holland and is often referred to as the “Venice of the North” due to the number of canals, 165 ranging about 31 miles long. The four main canals are the Herengracht, Prinsengracht, Keizersgracht & Singel. Amsterdam has 1281 bridges. The Amstel River connects with some of the canals and ends in the center of the city. Because Amsterdam sits 6.6 feet below sea level, the city was prone to flooding. The canals were built to control the water flow.
The Westerkerk Church is the most prominent Protestant Church in Amsterdam. The bell tower of the church is so admired by the people of Amsterdam, it is considered to be the symbol of the city. The church was built 1619-31. The tower was added in 1638 and stands 275 feet high. It is open to the public for tours.
The streets of Amsterdam are very narrow and crowded. The popular mode of transportation is a bike. The combination of bikes, cars, buses, and pedestrians makes getting around the city a little nerve wracking!! Bike usage has grown 40% in the last 20 years. There are approximately 881,000 bikes in Amsterdam, four times more than the number of cars.
I could go on about this lovely city but my words would not due it justice. Definitely a wonderful place to visit!