Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The city's status as the capital of the nation is governed by the constitution. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population of 1,209,419 and a metropolitan population of 2,289,762. The city is located in the province of North Holland in the west of the country. It comprises the northern part of the Randstad, one of the larger conurbations in Europe, with a population of approximately 7 million.
Amsterdam's name is derived from Amstelredamme, indicative of the city's origin: a dam in the river Amstel. Settled as a small fishing village in the late 12th century, Amsterdam became one of the most important ports in the world during the Dutch Golden Age, a result of its innovative developments in trade. During that time, the city was the leading center for finance and diamonds. In the 19th and 20th centuries, the city expanded, and many new neighborhoods and suburbs were formed. The 17th-century canals of Amsterdam (in Dutch: 'Grachtengordel'), located in the heart of Amsterdam, were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in July 2010.
As Netherlands' commercial capital and one of the top financial centres in Europe, Amsterdam is considered an alpha world city by the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) study group. The city is also cultural capital of the Netherlands. Many large Dutch institutions have their headquarters there, and 7 of the world's top 500 companies, including Philips and ING, are based in the city.In 2010, Amsterdam was ranked 13th globally on quality of living by Mercer, and previously ranked 3rd in innovation by 2thinknow in the Innovation Cities Index 2009.
The Amsterdam Stock Exchange, the oldest stock exchange in the world, is located in the city center. Amsterdam's main attractions, including its historic canals, the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum, Stedelijk Museum, Hermitage Amsterdam, Anne Frank House,Amsterdam Museum, its red-light district, and its many cannabis coffee shops draw more than 3.66 million international visitors annually.
A new regulation in Amsterdam could greatly effect the country's famed tolerance for drugs. The goal is to drift away from the country's long-held view of the Netherlands as a free-wheeling utopia. Mayor Eberhard van der Laan is hoping to hammer out a compromise with the national government so the tourism industry won't take a hit.
▼GVB，地面電車可說是暢遊阿姆斯特丹的最佳方法， 16 條電車路綫貫穿整個城市，到達市中心的旅遊景點甚為方便。
The Magere Brug ("Skinny Bridge") is a bridge over the river Amstel in the city centre of Amsterdam. It connects the banks of the river at Kerkstraat (Church Street), between Keizersgracht (Emperors' Canal) and Prinsengracht (Princes' Canal).
The central section of the Magere Brug is a bascule bridge made of white-painted wood. The present bridge was built in 1934. The first bridge at this site was built in 1691 as Kerkstraatbrug and had 13 arches. Because this bridge was very narrow, the locals called it magere brug, which literally means "skinny bridge". In 1871 the state of the bridge was so bad that it was demolished and replaced by a nine-arched wooden bridge. Fifty years later this bridge also needed to be replaced. Architect Piet Kramer made several designs for a steel and stone bridge, but the city decided to replace it with a new bridge that looked the same as the previous, only slightly bigger. In 1934 the bridge was demolished and replaced. The last major renovation was in 1969. Until 1994 the bridge was opened by hand, but now is opened automatically.
Use of the bridge has been limited to pedestrians and cyclists since 2003. It is however opened many times a day in order to let through river traffic. The boats used for sightseeing tours are low enough to pass underneath the bridge when closed. The bridge is decorated with 1200 light bulbs that are turned on in the evening.
A story told to tourists about the origins of the 1691 version of the bridge is that it was built by two wealthy sisters who lived on opposite sides of the Amstel river and wanted to be able to visit one another every day (and were presumably too busy, or not in good enough health, to go the long way round via another bridge, of which there must surely have been at least one). In one variant of the story the sisters, although wealthy, were not quite wealthy enough to afford a bridge of adequate width for general use and so built a very narrow bridge, hence its name. In another variant of the story the sisters' last name was Mager, hence the bridge's name (rather than from its narrowness).
The bridge can be seen in a number of films, such as the James Bond film Diamonds Are Forever from 1971.
Dam Square, or simply the Dam (Dutch: de Dam), is a town square in Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands. Its notable buildings and frequent events make it one of the most well-known and important locations in the city.
▼阿姆斯特丹必買的Henri Willig Cheese & More。
▼I amsterdam，斗大的字樣就佇立在阿姆斯特丹國家博物館（Rijksmuseum Amsterdam）旁。無時無刻都適合照留念的人潮。
▼從阿姆斯特丹國家博物館（Rijksmuseum）繼續走下去，就會來到梵谷博物館（Van Gogh Museum）。
Van Gogh Museum
The Van Gogh Museum is an artmuseum in Amsterdam, Netherlands, dedicated to the works of the Dutch painterVincent van Gogh and his contemporaries. It has the largest collection of Van Gogh's paintings and drawings in the world. The museum had 1,600,300 visitors in 2011. It is the most visited museum in the Netherlands and the 23rd most visited art museumworldwide.