Like Riding a Bike – The Amsterdam Way of Life

Over recent years, Amsterdam has proved one of Europe’s most popular short break destinations, and the perfect place to go for a relaxing escape from the tension and stress of city life. And yet, Amsterdam itself is a major city – so what makes it different from other European metropolises? Quite simply, it’s the relaxed approach to life that separates Amsterdam from other European capitals, and what makes Amsterdam the perfect place to go to get away.

This way of life is perhaps symbolised best in Amsterdam’s preferred form of travel: the bicycle. There are apparently more than a million bikes in Amsterdam, and when you consider that the population of the city is estimated at around about the same number, you begin to realise that the natives of the city are serious about being seriously easy-going! And yes, it may require more energy and take more time than driving or taking the tube – but when you’ve got all the time in the world, you can afford to take it!

As well as symbolising the relaxed attitude to city life, bikes also provide one of the best ways to enjoy this beautiful and artistic city. There are a number of stunning, bike-friendly parks and squares dotted through the city, including the famous Dam Square, the tranquil home of the Dutch Royal Palace, and the Vondelpark, which is perfectly situated near three major museums; the Rijksmuseum, the Stedelijk, and the ever-popular Van Gogh Museum.

As relaxing as a stress-free Amsterdam-style bike ride may be, a boat ride around Amsterdam’s famous canal system (which gives Amsterdam the deserved nickname of Venice of the North) is another great way to experience the beauty of the city – in particular the stunning 17th century architecture that lines the canal in the centre of the city. A boat ride also offers the chance to see some of the more modern examples of the Amsterdam school of architecture, in particular buildings such as Renzo Piano’s NEMO building, while Amsterdam’s centre of science, which is in the shape of a ship’s bow is an allusion to the Dutch Golden Age when Amsterdam’s was one of the most important ports in the world.

As well as being a great city to tour by bike or boat, Amsterdam is a great place to just walk around and soak in the culture, whether it’s wondering the famously friendly Red Light District or relaxing in one of the cities many relaxed, chilled-out coffee shops. Also, as is fitting for a capital city, Amsterdam is also home to fantastic museums, art galleries and venues that promote the history and culture of one of Europe’s most popular and friendly cities. There are also a wide array of fantastic restaurants and hotels in Amsterdam to suit every taste and budget.

So if you’re in need of a break, there’s no better place to visit than Amsterdam, where life’s as easy as riding a bike – and just as unforgettable!