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Centuries of creativity
Described by many as a village, Amsterdam packs the cultural punch of a city many times its size. While still retaining a bit of a ‘sex, drugs and rock 'n’ roll' reputation, Amsterdam is now more about being a ‘creative city’ where the high standards set by such Golden Age painters as Rembrandt are maintained. The city has become a global hub for art, design, architecture and advertising, but one where all its attractions are just a short and scenic bike ride away.
Famous The first zoo on mainland Europe
The first zoo on mainland EuropeStay.com Editors' Note
Artis is the third oldest zoo in the world and it provides a great day out for children and adults. Along with the usual animals, Artis has an indoor ‘rainforest’ for nocturnal creatures and a 120-year-old aquarium that includes a simulated Amsterdam canal.
The zoo expanded a couple of years ago after a long battle for extra land, and now features a savannah that wraps around a light-infused restaurant. The narration in the planetarium is in Dutch, but an English translation is available.
Further extras include a geological museum, a zoological museum, an aquarium and, for kids, a petting zoo and playgrounds; you could easily spend all day here. And while there’s no guarantee, staff will often let you hang out long after closing hours.