Amsterdam is by far one of the most interesting and alluring cities I have visited in Europe. While it’s known for it’s herbal delicacy, clogs and windmills, there is a whole lot more to this characteristic city. Here are three unusual and interesting things I learned during my first day in Amsterdam.
There are a LOT of bikes
There are millions of bikes lining the streets of central Amsterdam (slight exaggeration, there are actually over 800,000 bikes in Amsterdam). It made the prospect of cycling around the city daunting. There was a three story bike storage facility right outside our hotel too. Oh and there’s no need to wear a helmet either, so while you may need to worry about head injuries, there’s no need to worry about getting hat hair.
The leaning houses of Amsterdam
Many of the tall, skinny houses quite obviously leaned forward. Interestingly, in many cases this was done on purpose so that goods (such as furniture) could be hauled up to the higher levels without damaging the building.
The best way to see the city is by boat
Without a doubt you see a whole lot more on a cruise than by foot. Cruises are cheap enough, starting from 16 euro. I went on the pizza dinner cruise and while the pizza left much to be desired, the cruise was a fantastic way to navigate the canals and see the neighbourhoods from a different point of view.