Amsterdam: Portrait of a City

Rummaging around in the Waterlooplein flea market, you can find an unexpected side of Amsterdam, a souvenir of another city half-hidden in the interstices between history and tourism and screened by the famous 17th-century facade of gabled canal-side houses. You may catch glimpses of it, too, along the battle-scarred route of the Metro where demonstrators fought developers in the 1970s, on the moving canvas of trams leased out to artists by a playful city council. This is the city that Jan den Hengst and Jacques Constant have captured in this wide-screen preview: a living community with its own alternative lifestyles. Amsterdam is very much a contemporary portrait. All 150 photographs have been specially taken for the book, many of them panoramics stretching across two pages. They show not just the Rembrandts and the Vermeers of the Rijskmuseum, Van Gogh's sunflowers, the church spires and gun towers, the brown cafes darkened with age and the polychrome excesses of the Gothic Revival, though all these are here, but also the achievements of the Amsterdam School and the most inventive modern buildings, including the new glass and steel Sloterdijk station. It is a fresh, invigorating and informative insider's view of one of Europe's most popular holiday destinations. When you have decided what you would like to see, you can find out how to get there, where to stay, eat, drink or be entertained by turning to the Trip Planner on the inside covers. Here you will find all the practical information you need to plan a visit to Amsterdam, organized under convenient headings with a comprehensive index.