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Amsterdam Beyond the Coffeeshops

Get lost in the Dutch capital's distinctive charm and cultural landscape.

With 165 canals weaving through the city like a spider’s web, Amsterdam is a metropolis steeped in history and full of old-world charm. Get acquainted with the city that has so much more to offer than bud, beer, and brothels.

<b>A CANVAS OF CANALS</b> Frans Lemmens A CANVAS OF CANALS It’s no wonder Amsterdam is often called the “Venice of the North” — the capital of the Netherlands boasts more than 60 miles of waterway with 1,500 bridges joining its intricate network of canals together. Dating back to the Dutch Golden Age, Amsterdam’s Canal Ring ("Grachtengordel"  in Dutch, pictured above) spread through the historic city and allowed for urban expansion during the 17th century. In 2010, the unique landscape of the Canal Ring was added to UNESCO's World Heritage List. <b>INSIDE THE HOUSE OF ANNE FRANK</b> dennisvdw INSIDE THE HOUSE OF ANNE FRANK With more than one million visitors each year, the Anne Frank House is one of the city’s most popular destinations. While the house itself is nondescript, it offers a moving experience full of photographs and memorabilia from the Frank family, who spent two years hiding in a secret annex in the attic during the Holocaust. Pictured here, a handwritten page from the diary of Anne Frank, which she kept during her wartime confinement. It includes photographs of her on the beach during a holiday with her sister, Margot. Anne Frank Fonds Basel/Getty Images Pictured here, a handwritten page from the diary of Anne Frank, which she kept during her wartime confinement. It includes photographs of her on the beach during a holiday with her sister, Margot.
Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh, oil on canvas
selfportrait with felt hat by vincent van gogh oil on canvas 44x375 picture  451be887 eb93 42f8 9996 57d0c4770ddb
SuperStock; DEA PICTURE LIBRARY/De Agostini/Getty Images <b>THE LEGACY OF VINCENT VAN GOGH</b> Jasper Juinen/Getty Images THE LEGACY OF VINCENT VAN GOGH Perhaps the world’s most revered post-impressionist painter, Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) was a Netherlands native. Located in Amsterdam’s Museum Square, the Van Gogh Museum boasts the largest collection of Van Gogh’s work in the world, housing 200 paintings, 400 drawings, and 700 handwritten letters. To this day, it remains the most visited museum in the Netherlands, proving that the impression Van Gogh left on the world was certainly a lasting one. Located in Amsterdam’s Museum Square, the Van Gogh Museum boasts the largest collection of Van Gogh’s work in the world, housing 200 paintings, 400 drawings, and 700 handwritten letters. To this day, it remains the most visited museum in the Netherlands, proving that the impression Van Gogh left on the world was certainly a lasting one. <b>NOTABLY NARROW</b> Lindrik NOTABLY NARROW Narrow houses are a distinct feature of Amsterdam’s architecture, with slender buildings lining the city’s canal ring like shoulder-to-shoulder soldiers standing at attention. The reason behind the skinny facades? During Amsterdam’s Golden Age in the 1600’s, the city imposed a building tax which was determined by the width of a house, which meant that wealthier merchants were the ones with the wider homes. adisa The reason behind the skinny facades? During Amsterdam’s Golden Age in the 1600’s, the city imposed a building tax which was determined by the width of a house, which meant that wealthier merchants were the ones with the wider homes. Pictured here (look closely), the thin strip of building at Singel 7 is perhaps the narrowest house in Amsterdam, and arguably the world. It measures just over 3-feet wide. possum1961/iStock/Getty Images Pictured here (look closely), the thin strip of building at Singel 7 is perhaps the narrowest house in Amsterdam, and arguably the world. It measures just over 3-feet wide. <b>STOP AND SMELL THE TULIPS</b> jenifoto STOP AND SMELL THE TULIPS With more than 3 billion bulbs produced each year, the Netherlands is the world’s largest producer of tulips. Come April each year, the entire Dutch countryside becomes coated in the colorful flower, and the capital city is no exception. From bicycle baskets to open air markets, vibrant tulip bouquets can be seen — and smelled — throughout Amsterdam during the spring season. Visit <a href="https://foto.gettyimages.com/news/weather/tulip-mania-the-flower-that-marks-the-start-of-spring/"target="_blank">Tulip Mania</a> to learn more about the flower that marks the start of spring. Danita Delimont Visit Tulip Mania to learn more about the flower that marks the start of spring.
Bike to work
Cycle parking in Amsterdam Centraal Station
pidjoe; Apexphotos <b>LIKE A LOCAL</b> ac productions LIKE A LOCAL Riding on two wheels is a way of life in Amsterdam. The best way to blend in with the locals is to grab a bike and hit the pedal to the pavement. With more bicycles than residents to account for them, Amsterdam may as well be the bicycle capital of the world. Designated cycling paths line most of the streets, empowering locals to weave through the city on two wheels with groceries in tow and toddlers hitched to their backs. Daniel Hernanz Ramos; Apexphotos With more bicycles than residents to account for them, Amsterdam may as well be the bicycle capital of the world. Designated cycling paths line most of the streets, empowering locals to weave through the city on two wheels with groceries in tow and toddlers hitched to their backs.