Having spent time in Kobenhavn, it wasn’t as much of a shock in seeing so many bikes. It is nice though! It is estimated that Amsterdam has more bicycle than people. In walking around I would sit it is true!
There are literally bikes at every rack, street pole and pretty much anything else you can lock a bicycle to…
A majority of the bikes are utilitarian with fenders, rack(s), kickstand and fully enclosed chain guard. They also have internal geared hubs for bad weather. A 7-speed or less is all one really needs since the Netherlands is flat.
The city itself is pretty amazing as well. There streets are generally narrow and arranged in a non-gridded fashion. The large roads are generally the ring roads (S100) around the city and the rest of the roads are local streets.
Cars are not entirely absent from the city, but there are less than in other cities. (I’m thinking London was particularly bad). There are also mopeds and lots of pedestrians everywhere! Amsterdam also has an extensive bus and tram system that travels throughout the city. With all of these factors, it creates a vibrant busy city with multiple modes of transportation.
Most of the buildings utilize vertical mix use where there are shops on the bottom and housing above. Surprisingly the condition of the buildings (i.e. whether they look old or new, failing and in disrepair or newly painted) are quite nice and the buildings all seem to look new and not built in the 1800s/1900s. Most people take care in keeping their buildings in tip-top shape. I would imagine since downtown Amsterdam is the Central Business District (CBD) that the price of homes and shops is a critical reason that the buildings are kept in good condition. I have heard that the price of housing is comparable to New York, which for me isn’t surprising since the CBD is so compact.