Amsterdam is a fascinating city. It is also a very controversial city. On one hand you will see the “red light district” with girls “offering their service” almost all around the clock, then you will smell sometimes passing by one of the “coffee shops” (where it is legal to smoke Mariuana), the smoke of them and you will find a lot of History, as you pass by one of the “Grachten” (the main canal routes through Amsterdam), lots of old buildings with step staircases, high buildings that seem to be very narrow but deep, to the typical gables in Amsterdam with it’s beams sticking out and a hook or wheel to transport things to the upper floors to the maritime museum where you can feel the great history of the Netherlands with it’s East Indian trading company (once upon a time the biggest trading company of the world and the first stock exchange company in the world). But the city does not only represent itself with old buildings and lot’s of history but also loved to be seen as a very young and fresh city. Specially in the summer time take the time to sit outside enjoy a drink and watch how many young people will pass bye, or explore the city in the “traditional way” by bike. renting bikes is easy and does not cost a lot but watch out. Amsterdam has many many bikes and most of the times the locks to the bikes cost more than the bike itself. Each year more than 28.000 bikes are pulled out of the canals.
But not only that they are being pulled out of the canals. Watch out when you are riding through Amsterdam. You will find bikes everywhere and for every purpose. You will find there bikes that have baskets for the shopping, or bikes that have also seats for the children to bring them to school, or elsewhere.
Besides that you will occasionally find one of the “kamikaze” bikes. These are the most dangerous and the most scary ones: They do not have brakes, they do not have any bells to warn you and they will not brake. Some people say, that this is the reason why people in Amsterdam stay so healthy because they have to jump out of the way of those kamikaze bikes, others say that this is the reason why the bike lanes are so red because of the wounds that people got from such bikes.
Besides the jokes you will see that the bikes play a very important role in the daily life of Amsterdam and characterize the city so much, like nothing else.