As a capital of the land of cheese, windmills and tulips, Amsterdam has a chance to be called as one of the most sustainable capitals in the world. How can you measure that? One of the major reasons contributing to the sustainability of Amsterdam and The Netherlands as a whole is the usage of bicycles. Dutch people are known for their love towards cycling: starting from early childhood, they teach their children to ride a bike and feel the freedom of moving freely in a fresh air. Whilst the climate in The Netherlands softly said is not always “sunny”, the majority of Dutch people still do use bikes as a principal mode of transport. Ecologically-clean, light-weighted, bicycles provide a pure way to move from one point to another. Moreover, the beautiful side of cycling is that it does not divide people into different classes: in Amsterdam and in many other Dutch towns, you can see even University professors or Bank clerks moving in a bike.
Following with the sustainability topic, it would be unacceptable to dismiss the significance of windmills in the Dutch lifestyle. Not surprisingly, you may see so many windmills along the Dutch lowlands: these icons of The Netherlands provide wind power- a sustainable form of energy. But apart from providing energy, the windmills have a symbolic meaning in the Dutch society and you can find eight windmills in Amsterdam, of which only two are open to the public.
In line with being a centre of commerce and sustainability star, Amsterdam delights its visitors with its artistic scene: Van Gogh, Rembrandt, Vermeer are names to be remembered when visiting Amsterdam.
Amsterdam is truly multicultural and pretty tolerant towards its migrants. Everyone is encouraged to have a freedom of word and choice, which gives an extra point for attracting people all over the world to this multifaceted capital.
Some call Amsterdam as a Northern Venice, but for brave voyagers it is more than that. Amsterdam is alluring in major part because of its charming canals and the fascinating artistic heritage left by the great painters. On top of that, Amsterdam is a city of contrasts- real contrasts between the rich and poor, sin and virtue, Muslims and Christians… However, it does not cease to keep its unbelievable tolerance towards the mixture of those, by teaching to be wise and patient to the many facets its arena of nationalities presents.
As American author John Green once said, “Some think Amsterdam is a City of sin, but in truth it is a city of freedom. And in freedom most people find sin”. So it is up to you, whether to go in the direction of sin or virtue when in freedom. Choose wisely, but rest assured: Amsterdam is a great scene for courageous, open-minded and open-hearted individuals that can make a real difference in a positive way.
Unique Ways to Explore Amsterdam
- Amsterdam boasts with plentiful of canals (165 in total), which makes it an ideal place to go on a water cruise. Apart from joining a regular boat tour, there is a chance to rent a boat or a canal bike and explore Amsterdam in whichever direction your heart desires. It is one of the most picturesque ways to dip into the charm of Amsterdam.
- Visit the Cat Cabinet (Kattenkabinet): a special museum nestled in a canal house in Amsterdam, devoted to the influence of cats in art and culture.
- If you still can’t get enough of the enchantment by the Dutch canals, walk into the Houseboat Museum on Prinsengraacht.
- Combine two benefits into one: discover an outdoor sculpture “The Bird” by Picasso, located in Vondelpark while strolling through the pretty alleys of the most famous park in Amsterdam.
- For sustainability advocates, there is the business park De Ceuvel where you get the possibility to taste ecologically-clean local products, have a rest in a hammock and explore other ways of sustainable lifestyle.
I am a Writer/Editor, inspired by the power of words. Alongside Writing, Travel is what makes me alive.
My travel map consists of 20 countries and more than 45 cities.
Article by Lilit Mkrtchyan
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