The wonderful 17th-century city center and the canals, give Amsterdam a face that's recognized across the world. The high number of art museums, cafes and ages-old squares are among the top attractions in Amsterdam, too. Among the more notorious Amsterdam highlights are the coffee shops and the Red Light District.
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The central core, around the square called the Dam, is horseshoe-shaped, and consists of a series of wide streets and narrow alleys. It also has some of the oldest waterways, once so important for the delivery of goods from around the Dutch trading world.This area is ringed by a girdle of canals, the major ones running outward in ever larger circles.