The current Dutch capital first took shape as a small medieval settlement on dikes containing the Amstel where it met the IJ. By the 16th century Amsterdam had grown into a walled city centred on the present Dam, bounded approximately by what are now the Singel and the Kloveniersburgwal canals.
Three towers of the old fortifications still stand. These concentric canals, together with the smaller radial canals, form a characteristic spiderweb pattern, which was extended east along the harbour and west into the district known as the Jordaan during the prosperous Golden Age the 17th and early 18th centuries. The old part of Amsterdam has many ancient buildings, most notably the Old Church Oude Kerk , built in the 13th century, and the New Church Nieuwe Kerk , begun in the 15th century.
Next to the New Church is the 17th-century city hall, now the Royal Palace , built in classical Palladian style. The former Jewish quarter, in the eastern portion of the old town, is the location of the Portuguese Synagogue and the Rembrandt House Rembrandthuis , which is now a museum. Fine 17th- and 18th-century patrician houses line the canals.
For example, new inexpensive residential, commercial, and industrial construction filled De Pijp, a neighbourhood in the southern part of the city, and workers crowded into the older buildings of the Jordaan in the west. In the early 20th century new suburbs were built, several in the Amsterdam school of architectural style; their imaginative, asymmetrical motifs broke up the monotony associated with suburban public housing units. Amsterdam suffered less damage than many other European cities during World War II , but the old Jewish quarter was razed.
After the war, urban renewal programs and large-scale new housing estates attempted to accommodate increasing population, rising incomes, and the inexorable growth in automobile traffic. New garden suburbs included Slotermeer on the western edge of the city, Nieuwendam in the north, Buitenveldert in the south, and, in the s, Bijlmermeer in the southeast.
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However, it was not a success and was later partly demolished and redeveloped in a mix of building styles for a variety of uses. Since the s, low-rise mixed housing projects have been the vogue, including both public housing and private-sector dwellings. Recent developments of this kind have been built in Sloten and the Middelveldsche Akerpolder in the west, while in the east, in the old harbour district, intense housing construction began in the s.
During the last decades of the 20th century, inner-city areas were increasingly renovated rather than replaced. Amsterdam national capital, Netherlands. Written By: Michael J. Wintle Paul F. Vincent Evert Werkman. See Article History. Read More on This Topic. Despite the prestige of Rome, the centre of gravity in the 17th-century art world shifted increasingly toward the northern cities of Antwerp….
Start your free trial today for unlimited access to Britannica. Photo credit: Museum Amsterdam. Did you know there are more canals in Amsterdam than in Venice? We recommend De Duif as a starting point.
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And if you feel like experiencing the beauty of the canals from the water — you could always treat yourself to a Private Two-Hour Boat Tour. Besides swimming and sunbathing, there are also beach parties hosted regularly on-site. Photo credit: Franklin Heijnen. It has a piano inside which is free for anyone to play — as well as an amazing rooftop terrace which offers spectacular views of the city.
The basement section is free of charge and houses a permanent exhibition. The building itself is a sight worth seeing! We highly recommend taking a few moments to stand outside and marvel at this modern architectural masterpiece. Photo credit: Artur Salisz. Forest is a misleading name though; the area includes jogging and biking trails, small pools and a river.
If you feel like going deeper into the natural world, be sure to check out our Dutch Wetlands Canoe Safari , which leaves from Amsterdam and gives you the chance to get up close and personal with a range of aquatic and birdlife. Besides free food and drink tastings, these markets are perfect places to find one-of-a-kind souvenirs. Nieuwendammerdijk and Schellingwouderdijk are streets that were originally built as dikes — they are truly fascinating to see!
The best part is that you can take the ferry to Noord for free.
If that sounds like fun, you might also like to discover the charming neighbourhood of Zaanse Schans, with its cute windmills, on our Countryside Bike Tour. Photo credit: Kevin Gessner. Photo credit: Marc van Woudenberg. An added bonus — the ferry ride is free! Photo by Niels Smeets. It might sound like the name of a nutty professor, but Albert Cuypmarkt is actually the largest and most popular outdoor market in the Netherlands. It runs six days a week and it costs nothing to enter. Photo credit: Caspar Noyons. Locals love this market and so will you. We recommend heading there early in the morning to see the freshest blooms on display.
Photo by Daniel Spilka. This free concert series is hugely popular with locals and tourists so be prepared to hustle for a seat. The Lunchtime Concerts in the Recital Hall require a ticket, which can be picked up for free at the Entrance Hall from He wrote a book about Dutch colonial rule in Indonesia and it became an overnight success. This fascinating little museum traces the life and work of Multatuli, the most famous 19 th Century writer in Holland, with a range of displays that include pieces of his furniture as well as artifacts from his time in Asia. Entry is free.
Your email address will not be published. Sign me up for the newsletter. Budget Meals. Pub Food. Photo credit: Museum Amsterdam 3. Photo credit: Marc van Woudenberg Photo by Niels Smeets Dive into the chaos of Albert Cuypmarkt It might sound like the name of a nutty professor, but Albert Cuypmarkt is actually the largest and most popular outdoor market in the Netherlands. Photo credit: Caspar Noyons Listen to a free concert at The Royal Concertgebouw This free concert series is hugely popular with locals and tourists so be prepared to hustle for a seat.
Learn about the fascinating life of Multatuli He wrote a book about Dutch colonial rule in Indonesia and it became an overnight success. Hungry for more insider tips? Check out: What locals like to do in Amsterdam Where locals like to eat in Amsterdam Where locals like to party in Amsterdam. Facebook Twitter Instagram. Like A Local Guide is about stepping off the tourist trail and finding cool and cosy spots where locals like to spend their time. We built a website and mobile app to bring insider recommendations from around the world to your fingertips. Comments Leave a Reply Cancel reply Your email address will not be published.
Write a comment. Love to be there. Like Delete. What do we not want to miss? Any tips?
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Most of us are world travelers. Thank you for any tips you give. It is the botanical tulip gardens of the Netherlands and they are absolutely spectacular this time of the year - King's day in April. We celebrate the King's birthday on the 27th. If you are in the city amsterdam is best , you won't need to know where to go because it's in the whole city. Just be prepared with your orange clothing - If you are by car, use Mobypark also previously mentioned in this thread. It's much cheaper and you can get local tips from the parking owners like airbnb but for parking.
Yes, I am biased because I am an employee, but I think the reviews speak for themselves ;.
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Or join a tour with freewalkingtoursAmsterdam. Nice Article! I hope I can do it all, when I go there :D.
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Hi there, you can walk pub crawls in Amsterdam that are free of charge via www. Might be a nice addition to the list? Cheers, Michiel.