Magazine topic: 
Life around the world

Paris is to the Eiffel Tower, as Amsterdam is to …

by : 
BethanyS

Lots of cities have iconic buildings or statues. When we think of some cities we can’t help but think of these landmarks. Rome has the Colosseum. New York has the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. We can’t think of London without thinking of Tower Bridge or the London Eye, and Paris cannot be separated from the Eiffel Tower. When you hear Sydney you think of the Opera House, but what do you think of when you think about Amsterdam?

Amsterdam is known for its artists like Van Gogh and Rembrandt. There are museums for both of these artists as well as many other galleries across the city. The Anne Frank House is also a popular destination. The queue often trails around the block because many people travelling to the Netherlands want to learn more about the famous holocaust victim. There are plenty of excellent museums, galleries and even the Heineken brewery. But Amsterdam doesn’t really have any iconic landmarks which would be recognised by millions around the world. You might be wondering if I’ve completely forgotten about windmills! Windmills are certainly iconic and there are some in and around Amsterdam. However, windmills are a symbol of the nation as a whole, not just of Amsterdam. 

When people think of Amsterdam, they think of bicycles, canals and narrow houses – and they’re right. Amsterdam is full of canals and some people choose to live there in houseboats. Picturesque bridges arc over the water. Along the canals are tall trees and even taller houses. The higgledy-piggledy houses are extremely narrow, each one a different height to its neighbour. They are beautiful. Looking at this charming city is delightful. 

So although Amsterdam has no Taj Mahal or Christ the Redeemer statue, it is very recognisable. Amsterdam has about 1500 bridges and over 100 kilometres of canals. It’s a unique and distinctive city. There aren’t that many iconic landmarks to take selfies with, but it is a wonderful city to look at, to walk or to cycle around and to simply enjoy. 

Discussion

What are your town or country’s iconic buildings?