Amsterdam means many things to many people. To some, it’s home. For others, it’s freedom. But, for me, it was purely surreal. It’s not just the tulips, windmills and wooden shoes; it’s the meandering canals, fascinating museums, floating homes, leaning buildings, historic architecture and vibrant culture that makes the city intriguing. The turquoise-blue gurgling canals fringed by symmetric rows of slender, pastel-coloured buildings and vivid bicycles was indeed a scene to behold. The city depicts modern urbanism with thoughtfully planned spaces and intriguing vibes. The canals are the pulsating heart dwelling in the city’s bosom; the primordial buildings are a stroke in time, and the cannabis-laden licensed coffee shops mirror the city’s insatiable desire. Amsterdam is one of the best cities in Europe to travel to in 2021.
Museums and Attractions
For all the culture vultures out there, Amsterdam is the melting pot of art, design, architecture and history. The Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum (A Museum showcasing European masterpieces), Anne Frank’s a house (a Jewish wartime diarist), Stedelijk (a museum showcasing contemporary art) and the Magere Brug (Skinny Bridge) are some of the major attractions in the city. It is believed that two sisters lived on the opposite sides of the Amstel river, and they yearned to visit each other but found it cumbersome, so they built a Skinny bridge which now connects the river banks at Kerkstraat. Today, many people form unions and get married under that bridge to preserve and obtain eternal love.
The Dutch love their thick, crispy french fries dunked in a pool of mouthwatering sauces. These snacks serve as quick toothsome treats. The Mannekenpis is rated as the best fries in Holland. The Sea Palace Restaurant is a floating Chinese restaurant with oriental interiors on the Amstel river. Gaining its inspiration from a Chinese restaurant in Hong Kong, this restaurant can accommodate around 800 guests. In addition to that, there are many Argentinian and Turkish restaurants around the Central Station.
The Redlight District and Coffee Shops
The environs portray a stark dichotomy between serenity and lust. Amid the backdrop of humming motorboats, squawking seagulls, and paddling ducks were the weed-filled aroma in coffee shops, flashy neon signboards, windows exhibiting nude bimbos and restless philanderers gazing at every window. An air of temptation and lust lingers and floats in the city. With legalised prostitution in the red light district, stag weekends have become quite popular. Amsterdam has taken the classic advertisement aphorism too seriously, i.e., sex sells. And, apparently, it works well for the capital of the Netherlands. What’s astonishing is the flock of tourists who visit solely to succumb to these temptations. Tourism has been impacted due to the Covid-19 regulations, but it has picked up significantly.