Amsterdam, Netherlands. The capital of the Netherlands and known for its historic port, the Rijksmuseum, the red-light district (de Wallen), the liberal coffee shops, and the canals which have led to Amsterdam being termed the "Venice of the North". During the Dutch Golden Age, Amsterdam was one of the most important ports in the world, with innovative developments in trade, and became the leading centre for finance and diamonds.
The city is becoming more like home to me, usually my first stop when traveling to Europe to get over jet-lag... I rent a houseboat on the Prinsengracht and have gotten to know some of the locals. You can walk anywhere at any time with no worries. I know the city better than the Twin Cities.
Over the past 7 years, I’ve witnessed a lot of change. Large buildings are popping up every where, the Roken which is the main thoroughfare heading south from Centraal Station has been torn up for years due to the construction of the underground metro to the Zuid train station (completion 2011) and eventually, Schiphol. A mess, but will be great when completed.
A’Dam is not a cheap place to visit, not unlike New York or Chicago... but for first time visitors to Europe and great place to start. English is spoken everywhere which is a great help for “learning” how to get around in Europe.
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