Business Travellers’ Guide
Where to eat, play, stay and network in Amsterdam
Known for windmills, tulips, canals and cannabis, Amsterdam is a curious mix of commerce and culture. Once the world’s most important fifinancial centre (it’s said the fifirst stock exchange was founded here in 1602), the capital of the Netherlands enjoyed a Golden Age during the 17th century, thanks mainly to the Dutch East India Company, which put the city on the map as an international shipping and trading hub.
Today, Amsterdam is a quietly inflfluential business centre with strong fifinance and technology sectors and a booming startup culture. As the gateway to Europe and with a population that largely speaks flfluent English, Amsterdam is an effffortless city for business travellers. It’s compact and navigable by bike (even CEOs cycle here) and hardly anything is more than a 15-minute ride away.
In recent years, more urban areas such as De Pijp and the postindustrial NDSM Wharf in Amsterdam Noord have revitalised the city with hip eateries and boutiques, although the beautiful Old Town, with its waterways, canal houses, restaurants and shopping streets, offffers plenty for the time-stretched visitor.
An important note: Amsterdam is full of cafés and “coffffeeshops” and it pays to know the difffference. Cafés sell coffffee and cakes; coffffeeshops sell marijuana. With that sorted, here’s how to make the most of your stay in the Dutch metropolis.