Amsterdam started as a fishing village at the end of the 12th century and grew to become a major port and into the finance and trading center that it is today. It’s one of Europe’s most developed cities, but even with its impressive development, it remains the Netherlands’ cultural capital. It’s stunning how the city became an important global hub while protecting its vibrant personality.
It’s one of the safest cities in the world, and it’s easy to understand why. Thanks to the good quality of life in Amsterdam, it’s also among the most liveable cities. Commuters, investors, residents, students, expatriates, and tourists can agree that in Amsterdam, happy city life is possible.
It’s always part of the “good” lists that measure if cities are not just safe but also sustainable and healthy. It’s enticing to visit Amsterdam, so it should be part of a traveler’s bucket list. Why not? It’s for everyone.
Residents Are Happy In Amsterdam
The Netherlands is among the happiest nations, and that’s evident in its capital Amsterdam. It has a very high Human Development Index value, which is not surprising — especially if anyone can see the residents’ smiles.
When searching photos of Amsterdam online, it’s a certainty that pictures of bicycles or bikers will prop up. As it should be because the city is considered the “bicycle capital of the world.” Amsterdam’s bike-friendly roads are among the reasons why the town is liveable and the residents happy.
- It has an established bike network map, plus facilities for bikers.
- The city has dedicated bicycle tracks, not just mere bike lanes.
- There are two-speed zones for all streets, intended to protect cyclists. Even Amsterdam’s intersections were made with cyclists in mind.
Amsterdam Is Tourist-Friendly
If by residential standards a city is safe, then it’s automatically tourist-friendly, too. Tourists can visit many attractions in Amsterdam, many of which are safe even for first-time travelers. From cultural landmarks to the bustling business hub, the city is not short on Instagrammable spots.
The Canals Are Charming
Amsterdam is dubbed the ‘Venice of the North’ because of its thriving canal system. It’s like the lifeblood of the city since, after all, the city started as a fishing village and was named after a waterway (Amstel River). The canal system of the city is so well-planned and elaborate that it’s considered a World Heritage Site.
Prinsengracht is among the most famous canals as it traverses the city center. Additionally, Brouwersgracht, meanwhile, is popular for its breweries. For those who love history, Bloemgracht is known for the buildings with unique architectural designs, and where some artists lived. Moreover, Herengracht, not to be outdone, is proud of its large and well-designed canal houses.
The Public Areas Are Welcoming
Many cities don’t invest much in open public spaces, but in Amsterdam, there’s a lot of it. It’s one of the reasons why the city is among the most liveable and why residents are some of the happiest.
Vondelpark is the largest, with its wide greenfield a favorite of locals. For dog lovers, Sarphatipark, meanwhile, is the hangout spot for them. On sunny afternoons, families with kids must visit Rembrandtpark because it has a petting zoo.
Aside from parks, Amsterdam squares are also inviting, like the famous Dam Square, the artistic Museumplein, and for beer lovers, Heinekenplein.
Museums Are A Must
The Dutch have a fine taste in art and know how to protect their history, and they showcase it in their numerous museums. When visiting Amsterdam, it’s a must to visit some of its museums.
The city is home to Rijksmuseum, the national museum of the Netherlands. Some museums feature the works of world-renowned artists, Vincent van Gogh and Rembrandt. Another point of interest is the Anne Frank House, the biographical museum of the famous diarist. And, not to be missed, too, is NEMO, a science museum that looks like a ship.
Historic Buildings Abound
As an old city, Amsterdam is teeming with historic buildings — all unique and featuring the architectural motifs of their time. From churches to canal houses, there’s much to see in this bustling urban jungle.
- Tourists will feel grand and stately when visiting the Royal Palace of Amsterdam.
- The 700-year-old church of Oude Ker should not be missed because it’s Amsterdam’s oldest building.
- The Amsterdam Centraal Station is another iconic landmark worthy of all attention.
- Another point of interest that can easily be missed is the narrowest house in the city located in Oude Hougestrat 22.
- The Royal Coster Diamonds should not be overlooked, too, as it’s the world’s oldest and still operating diamond polishing factory.
- The oldest zoo in the Netherlands is also in town: the Natura Artis Magistra, a zoologist and botanist's paradise.
Amsterdam Is Loved By Investors And Businesses
It’s not only tourists who are attracted to Amsterdam. Students, ex-pats, investors, and businesses also fall in love in this enticing city.
A lot of industries are headquartered in Amsterdam, so job-seekers who want to relocate will have their chance in the city. One of the reasons why the city has a very high HDI is its good governance, something that’s attractive to investors. Even ex-pats are lured by the charm of Amsterdam – a place where they can always be at ease. As a global city, expect Amsterdam to be one diverse place and a true place for everyone. The city is also well-connected from its airports to railway networks, so tourists and business travelers alike will not have a hard time going around.
It’s surprising to know that a city as developed as Amsterdam can still preserve its identity even as it has become a global hub. More surprising is that it has spaces where residents and tourists can relax — though they are not stressed because they’re in Amsterdam. The city is simply amazing, and it’s easy to fall in love with Amsterdam.