Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Amsterdam is a city with roots in the Renaissance, but it is also on the cutting edge of technology, with more than 40 successful startup digital companies headquartered in its tech district that is itself defined by stunningly clean post-postmodern architecture. In addition, the city is an economic center and a major player, given the nearly 20-year and $2 billion refurbishment of its port, within the new Europe’s network of trading industries—most centrally Amsterdam’s diamond district in and around Centraal Station, a chaotic matrix of narrow streets that bustle with international energy.

Amsterdam, then, exists on the cusp of its reputation and where it is heading. If it is known among travelers for its floating flower market, picturesque canals, and striking architecture, as well as internationally ...

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