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A trip to Amsterdam is all about soaking up the local culture—lounging about at a canal-side café, biking among businessmen headed to work, or chilling out in one of the city’s notorious “coffee shops.” The city’s laid-back people and unmatched urban beauty make it a can’t-miss on any European travel plan. Amsterdam is an old city, with a rich architectural heritage that dates back to the Middle Ages. Surrounding the ancient center is a 17th-century masterpiece of urban planning, with countless bridges spanning gorgeous tree-lined canals. It's been said that Amsterdam could rightfully be called the "Venice of the North." The entire town is characteristically walkable, but it’s even better on a bicycle—the locals’ preferred mode of transportation. Rent one, and spend the day exploring the incredible charm of the Dutch capital.
Amsterdam is progressive in more than just its city planning. A policy of “live and let live” has turned the city into a haven for free-thinkers and counterculturists. Immigrants have influenced the cultural sphere for hundreds of years, lending their unique takes on everything from food to fashion and so much more. Amsterdamers enjoy Indonesian food as much as they love raw herring. The Dutch generally have a warm and welcoming attitude toward visitors, and most have at least a moderate grasp of the English language, so travelers will have an easy time discovering the city’s substantial allure. So whether you want to enjoy some of Amsterdam's unique indulgences, or you want to wander across canals and explore the endless museums and galleries, Amsterdam is a stunning city and there's certainly plenty to do.