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Amsterdam - A Guide to the Capital
Amsterdam is a mesmerizing city of Netherlands, on the banks of two bodies of water; the IJ bay and the Amstel River. The beautiful city is named "Amste-r-dam" because it is situated where the small bifurcated Amstel River is joined by a sluice dam, which was originally built in 1240.

The city was founded as small fishing village on the banks of the Amstel River in the late 12th century, but it's developed into a marvelous city now. Amsterdam is the largest city and official capital of Netherlands. It is also the financial and cultural hub of the country.

Amsterdam is one of the important urban centers of the greater metropolitan area called Randstad, which is one of the largest conurbations in Europe. Other Dutch cities in Randstad include Haarlem, Utrecht, Leiden, The Hague, and Rotterdam,

Amsterdam is often dubbed as the "Venice of the North," because of its series of 17th century concentric, semi-circular canals (grachten) that were dug around the old city centre. There are a number of fine houses and mansions situated along side the canals. The canals are one of the major attractions of the city.

Amsterdam is one of the most sought after tourist destinations of the world. The city of has something for every traveler's taste. The city is widely known for gorgeous architectures, beautiful mansions, captivating canals, great shopping malls, posh hotels, fine bars & restaurants, and vibrant nightlife.

The city offers one of the most vivacious nightlifes in Europe. Amsterdam pubs and clubs are loud and boisterous and they remain open until 6 in the morning. Some of the popular clubs in the city include 'iT!', 'Sinners In Heaven,' 'Time,' and 'Club Melkweg.'

Amsterdam is also famous for its red-light district, de Wallen where prostitution is legal. in the Netherlands at specific places. Located in the center of the city along major canals, the red-light district offers many fine bars and restaurants. Moulin Rouge striptease, Banana Bar and several peep show bars are the major attractions of the Red Light area.

The city has one of the largest historic city centers in Europe, with about 7000 registered historic buildings. The city offers five fine churches in the historic centre. The Architectural heritage of the city includes mediaeval wooden houses, Begijnhof, canal houses and mansions, Jordaan.

The city offers a large number of museums & art galleries, zoo and botanical garden, parks, windmills, countryside, and a beach at the coast west of the city.

Museums & Art Galleries

The museums & art galleries of Amsterdam include Rijksmuseum, Jewish Historical Museum, Anne Frank House, Museum Amstelkring, Stedelijk Museum, Museum Van Loon, Bijbelsmuseum - Biblical museum, Madame Tussauds, Amsterdam Historical Museum, Film museum, Van Gogh Museum, Houseboat museum, Museum Geelvinck Hinlopen Huis, TIN-Theater museum, Allard Pierson museum, Nederlands Scheepvaart Museum, Tropenmuseum - Tropical Museum, Museum Willet-Holthuysen, Rembrandt house museum, Science centre NEMO, Amsterdam, Fotografie Museum Amsterdam, Persmuseum – Press museum, Ajax Museum, Sex museum, Erotic Museum, Torture museum, etc.

Zoo and Botanical Garden

Hortus Botanicus, locally called "Hortus," is a fine Botanical Garden of Amsterdam. Artis Zoo offers the Planetarium, the Geological Museum, the Aquarium and the Zoological Museum. Artis Zoo is also a botanical garden, with rich collection of plants and trees from all over the world.

Amsterdam Parks

The parks of the city include Vondelpark, Rembrandtpark, Museumplein, Westerpark, and Amsterdamse Bos. Amsterdam Countryside offers pleasingly placid villages of Ransdorp, Zunderdorp, Schellingwoude or Durgerdam, and Oudekerk.

Amsterdam is the destination that can be visited all year round. The city enjoys a moderate temperate climate. Winters are mixture of mild, cold, chilly, frosty freezing, temperatures. Summers are warm but seldom hot. The city experiences less than 760 mm of precipitation annually, and most of the rain falls as protracted drizzle or light rain. Cloudy and damp days are common, particularly in the cooler months.
About the Author
Orson Johnson is a travel writer for Holiday Velvet, a website offering Amsterdam holiday accommodation.
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Apr 23rd 2008, by jason:
Amsterdam also has some pretty cool shops for clothes etc, i found some at show directory
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