Amsterdam is the Netherlands’ capital, known for its artistic heritage, elaborate canal system and narrow houses with gabled facades, legacies of the city’s 17th-century Golden Age. Its Museum District houses the Van Gogh Museum, works by Rembrandt and Vermeer at the Rijksmuseum, and modern art at the Stedelijk. Cycling is key to the city’s character, and there are numerous bike paths.
Amsterdam has always drawn a big influx of new inhabitants. Not only from native Dutch, who move there to study or work, but also internationally. According to the city administration, there's no city in the world that has more foreign inhabitants (175 of 194 countries world-wide are represented) than Amsterdam.
Historically, Amsterdam has especially been a trading city, which also led to a lot of industry: shipping, petrochemicals, manufacturing etc. The new growth area is ICT: one out of seven Amsterdam jobs are in that field. Finance, the media sector, the 'creative class' and tourism are also important in Amsterdam (Netherlands). Amsterdam Schiphol Airport is the 4th busiest airport in Europe. In 2007, the Netherlands were the 4th biggest investors in the United States, right after the UK, Canada and Japan (and before France, Germany and other much bigger countries).
As the economy becomes more global, ever more Dutch companies are moving their headquarters to Amsterdam. Especially around its 'South Axis', huge office buildings have shot up.