I AMsterdam

Golden Age canals lined by tilting gabled buildings are the backdrop for Amsterdam's treasure-packed museums, vintage-filled shops and hyper-creative design, drinking and dining scenes. </div> <div class="intro-narrative__expanded"> <h2 class="intro-narrative__title">Urban Explorations</h2> <p class="intro-narrative__text"><span class="js-intro-narrative">Amsterdam's canal-woven core is laced by atmospheric narrow lanes. You never know what you'll find: a tiny hidden garden; a boutique selling witty, stylised Dutch-designed homewares and fashion; a jewel-box-like <em>jenever</em> (Dutch gin) distillery; a flower stall filled with tulips in a rainbow of hues; an old monastery-turned-classical-music-venue; an ultra-niche restaurant such as an avocado or strawberry specialist or one reinventing age-old Dutch classics. Fringing the centre, post-industrial buildings in up-and-coming neighbourhoods now house creative enterprises, from art galleries to craft breweries and cutting-edge tech start-ups, as well as some of Europe's hottest clubs.</span></p> <h2 class="intro-narrative__title">Admiring Art</h2> <p class="intro-narrative__text"><span class="js-intro-narrative">You can't walk a kilometre without bumping into a masterpiece in the city. The Van Gogh Museum hangs the world's largest collection by tortured native son Vincent. A few blocks away, Vermeers<em>,</em> Rembrandts and other Golden Age treasures fill the glorious Rijksmuseum. The Museum het Rembrandthuis offers more of Rembrandt via his etching-packed studio, while the Stedelijk Museum counts Matisses and Mondrians among its modern stock. And for blockbuster displays, the Hermitage Amsterdam delivers: the outpost of Russia's State Hermitage Museum sifts through its three-million-piece home trove to mount mega exhibitions.</span></p> <h2 class="intro-narrative__title">Bike &amp; Boat Travel</h2> <p class="intro-narrative__text"><span class="js-intro-narrative">Two-wheeling is a way of life here. It's how Amsterdammers commute to work, go to the shop, and meet a date for dinner. Abundant bike-rental shops make it easy to gear up and take a spin. If locals aren't on a bike, they may well be on the water. With its canals and massive harbour, this city reclaimed from the sea offers countless opportunities to drift. Hop aboard a canal boat (preferably an open-air one) or one of the free ferries behind Centraal Station, or rent your own for a wind-in-your-hair ride.</span></p> <h2 class="intro-narrative__title">Feel Gezellig</h2> <p class="intro-narrative__text"><span class="js-intro-narrative">Amsterdam is famously <em>gezellig,</em> a Dutch quality that translates roughly as 'convivial' or 'cosy'. It's more easily experienced than defined. There's a sense of time stopping, an intimacy of the here-and-now that leaves your troubles behind, at least until tomorrow. The easiest place to encounter this feeling is a <em>bruin café</em> (brown cafe; traditional drinking establishment). Named for their wood panelling and walls once stained by smoke, brown cafes have <em>gezelligheid</em> (cosiness) on tap, along with good beer. You can also feel <em>gezellig</em> lingering after dinner in snug restaurants while the candles burn low.</span></p> (source: Lonely Planet) </div>

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