The ABC of Amsterdam
ABC of Amsterdam: Historic, modern, artistic, business-like, dynamic, relaxing, trendy, traditional: all the opposites imaginable reside in Amsterdam. The city offers a glorious array of everything: cultural events abound, business is visibly booming, tourists come for tulips, windmills and, predominantly, art. Impossible to list all the city’s qualities, but indubitably the Amsterdam ABC starts with Art, Business and Culture.
ABC of Amsterdam: Artistically, the city has much to offer: from the venerable Dutch Masters of the Golden Age and the Dutch School (the glorious and unparalleled art of Rembrandt and Vermeer), to Impressionists (Van Gogh), to contemporary art (Mondrian). Enjoy Rembrandt’s “The Night Watch”: dark, finely detailed and captivating, on display at the grandiose Rijksmuseum. Feel the anguish of “The Potato Eaters” or rejoice before the sunshiny colours of “Sunflowers” in the Van Gogh Museum. The Stedelijk Museum houses contemporary and modern art (Mondrian, Kandinsky) and many grand old canal houses have been converted into beautiful mansion museums (Willet-Holthuysen, Van Loon). For those averse to the hushed atmosphere of museums, Amsterdam has loads of exuberant fine-quality street art (including Banksy) that can be admired in the charming old quarter of Jordaan. A huge, imposing, seriously large (240 square metres), kaleidoscopic portrait of Anne Frank by street artist Edoardo Kobra dominates the NDSM wharf area in North Amsterdam.
Not all visitors come for the city’s artistic or cultural delights. There are numerous international businesses located in the “Financial Mile” of Zuidas, the fast-growing business district. A constant stream of business visitors appreciates Amsterdam’s convenient location at the heart of Europe and its excellent transport systems: Schiphol Airport is just an eight-minute train ride away. Amsterdam has a long history of trading and banking; it created the first stock exchange. Today, Amsterdam is home to many multinational giants: the European headquarters of Cisco Systems; the offices of Swedish furniture giant IKEA; the Adidas international marketing division; and global headquarters of Booking.com.
Theatre, opera, exhibitions, shows: there are cultural events in abundance. Amsterdam itself is Culture: the city, the facades of its historic buildings reflecting in the slow-moving waters of 17th-century canals, is unique (it boasts more canals than Venice). Ever a city of creative architecture and design, its historical architectural styles include classic, renaissance, art deco and the early-1900s “Amsterdam School” style, all blending harmoniously with Amsterdam’s newer buildings. Amsterdam warmly welcomes all visitors, art-lovers, businessmen, tourists; its picturesque houses and wide choice of quality accommodation fit every taste and budget. Even the cheaper hostels in Amsterdam boast pleasant clean rooms and first-rate service. The charming Sarphati Hostel near the lovely Sarphati Park is a prime example of excellent accommodation at budget prices.