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Exploring Amsterdam’s Culture on Foot and by Bike
Whenever I am in #Amsterdam, I always prefer to see the city either by walking or #cycling. This way, I get to experience the local #culture as much as possible and for as long as I can. With full freedom to wander around the narrow lanes of this tiny city, one can sometimes end up discovering more than what they hoped for.
I’ve been to Amsterdam on a number of occasions. But each time I head to this tiny capital, which is the largest city in Holland, I find it difficult to resist the temptation of cycling. One would stereotypically associate cycling with a developing economy, but here in Amsterdam it is considered one of the main modes of transportation.
When I looked at the different shapes and sizes of the bikes here, it made me realize that Europe still has some culture and historical connections with its past. This appealed a lot to me. Though it wasn’t too much of an appeal to hear when my guide told me that the city also has a high bike crime rate (far more than cars being stolen, would you believe!), so therefore Amsterdam is known as the city where people have at least two locks for every bike on the street. It’s just amazing to observe. I found the peace and tranquility of cycling an inexpensive and healthy way to see the city.
I found the peace and tranquility of cycling an inexpensive and healthy way to see the city
I used Mike’s Bike Tours in Amsterdam, book one of his trusted cycling tours here
Mikes Bike Tours Amsterdam
Bike Tours in Amsterdam
When I am exploring a place for the first time, I always love to start from the centre of the city because not only is it easy to find but it also portrays a sense of safety for a newcomer. So, on my trip to Amsterdam, I started at Dams Square, near the central railway station.
Before I embarked on my journey, I took a few moments to appreciate the unmistakable building of “The New Church” (written “De Nieuwe Kerk” in Dutch). It is well worth a visit because it is not just a Church but a museum, and welcomes everyone from all kinds of faiths. There is also a historical exhibition in the Church itself.
Bike Tours in Amsterdam
With its tiny, quiet and extremely laid back narrow lanes, I found this relaxed city reasonably easy to navigate through. It’s also interesting to know that in Amsterdam, you can easily walk from one side of the city to the other in around half an hour. So, with cycling you have to make it a bit of an effort to lengthen your journey! From up in the air, if one looks down, then Amsterdam looks rather like a set of semi-circles stacked on top of each other, with the shortest semi circle in the middle, and the largest semicircle on the outside. The gap in between each semi circle represents a canal...and that’s exactly what Amsterdam is shaped like. The tiny towns and villages just outside Amsterdam offer a rich tradition and typical Dutch landscapes with windmills, dikes and in late spring, millions of blooming tulips.
...a rich tradition and typical Dutch landscape with windmills, dikes and in late spring, millions of blooming tulips
Should you wish to embark on a walking tour, then I would like to recommend 360 Amsterdam Tours – you can book a tour with them by going to their site
Cycling along the narrow canals, my nostrils and tongue were exposed to the tastes and smells of Amsterdam’s culture and heritage - cheese, tulips, cafes and the aroma of the scrumptious Dutch cuisine. But most importantly, cycling in Amsterdam allowed me to appreciate the architecture of the 17th century houses. The marvel of genius construction lays the firm foundations for something to gasp at. Around 10 minutes after cycling from the city centre, I arrived at Amsterdam’s museum district. My eyes were greeted by a large permanent concrete structure that spelled out Amsterdam in a combination of red and white colors.
Celebrating the life and works of the famous artist, and Dutch citizen, whose name the museum bears, Vincent Van Gogh, the museum is located lies around the corner from here. I found the museum itself to be a work of art because of the magnificent architecture and extensive exhibitions that were on display.
I found the museum itself to be a work of art because of the magnificent architecture and extensive exhibitions that were on display
These exhibitions ranged from a whole host of subjects from the 19th century art period. The contrasts in culture between what’s on display at the church and what’s on display a few steps away from the church cannot be so difference.
Tiqets - Van Gogh Museum Tour
Bike Tours in Amsterdam
One cannot help but be mesmerized by the sight.
One cannot help but be mesmerized...
Then again, that’s the beauty of Amsterdam.
I stayed at the Amsterdam De Roode Leeuw, right in the heart of the city centre.