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Amsterdam, The Netherlands

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Living in or visiting Amsterdam? Information and useful links for students, locals and tourists.

Information about Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the largest Dutch city, the capital of the Netherlands, and the nation's financial, business, cultural and commercial capital as well.

Since its founding in the 12th century, Amsterdam has evolved from a small fishing village into one of the most important ports in the world during the Dutch Golden Age, into a bustling and beautifully preserved cosmopolis with about 800.000 residents, 880.000 bicycles, 165 canals, 1.281 bridges, 40 parks, 40 concerts or theatrical performances daily, and numerous international companies.

Amsterdam's uniquely liberal policies towards cannabis and prostitution have earned it an international reputation as a city of tolerance as well as a nightlife capital, but its appeal extends well beyond the legendary Red Light District. The city's 17th century canal ring, its crooked canal houses with their gorgeous gabled facades, and major museums like the Van Gogh and newly remodelled Stedelijk also give Amsterdam serious cultural credibility.

With such a big and broad selection of things to see and do, it's no wonder that Amsterdam has become a major travel destination that attracts more than 4,6 million tourists each year.

Amsterdam's compact size, cycling lifestyle, diverse population (more than 170 nationalities!), English-speaking natives, abundance of green space, reliable public transportation system, and central location within Europe mean it's not only a great place to visit, but also a great place to live.

These factors and more explain why the quality of life in Amsterdam consistently ranks among the best in the world.

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