Amsterdam, The Netherlands
The delightfully attractive city of Amsterdam is home to many of the world's great art treasures, and is a major center of the glamorous diamond trade as well. Unique architectural styles of the past blend with superb modern structures, and the web of curved and straight canals makes the city as easy to traverse by water as by land. The hospitality of the local people has been remarked upon by generations of travelers, and the Dutch's respect for and tolerance of the beliefs of others has attracted refugees from around the world for centuries.
Amsterdam Underground Festival
Off the Beaten Track
City Archive: A wealth of hidden historic treasures lay in the cellars of the City Archive. Here you'll find the first document to contain the name Amsterdam, a toll privilege from 1275; a 1942 bicycle theft report from Anne Frank; and a 1906 recording of Gustav Mahler's Fifth Symphony performed by the Convertgebouw orchestra and conducted by Mahler himself. Art Deco and Egyptian forms add to the decor of this unique cellar.
The Dutch have a great respect for the privacy of individuals and as such, their reserved, shy manner can be misconstrued as unfriendliness. Do not be offended; they are simply respecting your personal space. Despite this, they are outspoken and direct in their conversations and political correctness is uncommon. When meeting people for the first time, the Dutch will boldly introduce themselves, shake hands, make eye contact and wait for the other person to introduce themselves. Friends and relatives, however, will exchange three kisses on the cheeks.