Where: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Living in Amsterdam would be like living in Disneyland – and not in a good way.
Amsterdam is a gorgeous city. Both its old and its new buildings are well designed, and I’m especially a fan of the ultra-modern styling of many museums. The canals are nicer than the ones in Venice, and give the whole city an interesting layout. Windmills and traditional Dutch villages can be found not too far away. Even the suburbs are beautiful.
But there are also so many plasticky parts to Amsterdam. So much of its industry is focused on tourism, that I can’t imagine what it would be like to be a Dutch person there. More than that, every day you would have to deal with the thousands of tourists getting lost, walking in the bike lanes, and causing a nuisance.
The Dutch, to their credit, seem to take it in stride. Like the Nordic countries, they are a naturally happy people, very content with their lives, and friendly to foreigners. I never felt unsafe anywhere in Amsterdam, even when completely lost in an unknown neighbourhood at night, because the Dutch make their country feel so welcoming.
Amsterdam – so close to being perfect, but I think I would enjoy living in Copenhagen or Stockholm more. Same beauty and good vibes, but somehow it feels realer there.