A ferry, a short flight, a cruise stop, a weekend break, Amsterdam is close, exciting and diverse. 17th century wealthy local merchants built elegant homes alongside the many canals following the construction of the dam across the River Amstel in 1270AD. The name Amsterdam could have either come from the beer Amstel or the river Amstel. In the 17th century wealthy local merchants built elegant homes alongside the city’s many canals. Many of these colourful houses seen in a few places along the Baltic like Copenhagen, are now apartments or hotels, with antiquarian bookshops, bars, chic boutiques and cafés at street level. The depressing side is the Ann Frank Museum, walking there take time to see and the canals and the bars and cafes which are extremely pleasent when the weather is nice. A canal boat tour is similar to the one we did in Bruges and a great way to see the city with fun commentary. In fact the gabled houses, leafy canal walk and unusual boutiques make it very like Bruges too. The city also known for the darker side, and you may do some window shopping, it a great place to buy shoes. Hey, there is way way more in this historic city – around 40 museums! The art is incredible, the Stedelijk Museum houses works by Picasso, Cézanne, Matisse and Monet. The Flower Market (Blocemenmarkt) is is the city’s only remaining floating market with flower-laden canal boats.

Legend has it that Amsterdam was founded by two fishermen looking to escape a storm. The story goes that their dog jumped ashore and the city later developed. No one knows for sure, but older versions of the city’s emblem do sport two fishermen in a boat, along with a dog. Another great video from Alex Hunter.

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