The largest city and the capital of the Netherlands is the city of Amsterdam. The origin of the name Amsterdam comes from the word Amstel dam, which means a damn on the River Amstel. This word points to the origin of the city. The features which have made this city well known are the abundant coffee shops, the historic port called the Rijksmuseum, the numerous canals which have given Amsterdam the title the Venice of the North, and the red light district called de Wallen.

Because of the creative development in the field of trade, Amsterdam was known a very important port of the world in the Dutch Golden Age. It became a major hub for diamonds as well as finance.

When the city was established in the late twelfth century it was just a small sized fishing village. But with a population of more than seven hundred thousand people consisting of more than one hundred and seventy five nationalities, it has grown into the largest city in the Netherlands.

The main street in the city of Amsterdam is Damrak. This street goes up to Rokin. The area which is situated due east of Damrak is known as de Wallen, named after the walls of the city established in the medieval age. This is the oldest area of the city, and when translated, the name means the walls. It is in this area that the red light district is situated. The Jewish quarter of Waterlooplein is located due south of de Wallen.

The climate of Amsterdam is classified as being a moderate temperate climate. The weather is affected heavily by the north western gales and winds of the North Sea, which is located very close to the city on the west. The temperature in the winter season is mild, while the summer season is warm but it hardly ever gets hot.