It is easy to see why Amsterdam is one of Europe’s top tourist destinations, with its myriad of attractions – from museums to parks, and superb restaurants to world renowned breweries – wrapped around its famous canals.

Statistically, the Dutch are the tallest nation on earth today. Amsterdamers would credit that to a good diet and a healthy lifestyle. Swathes of their country is built on reclaimed land – a massive sea battle once took place on today’s site of Schiphol Airport. Boasting more miles of canals than Venice, Amsterdam wears its maritime heritage proudly.

Things to know before you go

  • From shop assistants to managing directors, virtually everyone in Amsterdam uses a bicycle regularly – and they have right of way, so take special care when crossing the street.
  • Amsterdam is the diamond capital of the world, so jewelry makes a great gift. For those on a budget, you might opt for some top quality gin and a tangy vintage cheese round.
  • Dutch food is hearty and unfussy, but don’t miss the chance to enjoy a rijsttafell – a sort of smorgasbord originating from the former Dutch colony of Indonesia.

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About the author

Roger St Pierre

Essex, UK

Roger St. Pierre has visited 131 countries and is the author of 33 published books. Over the years, his prolific writings have appeared in a wide range of newspapers, magazines and websites worldwide.