Amsterdam allows guests to 'marry' locals in one day

These weddings are part of a new initiative to improve the relationship between people and tourists in the Netherlands.

The initiative called Untourist Amsterdam has started its activities right in the first week of June. Accordingly, when participating in the program "Marry An Amsterdammer", tourists will wear formal dresses in the wedding, give rings and swear. The wedding ceremony lasts about 35 minutes, and the "honeymoon" is the time for the couple to explore the city.

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This marriage is symbolic with no legal ties. According to Sabine Minsk, co-founder of a group of social activists in Amsterdam, this is an opportunity for the interaction between guests and people to make more sense. Thereby, tourists also make positive contributions to the city.

"There’s a whole menu of options but the essence of them all is that tourists can make a positive contribution while they are here and in doing so make their visit all the more gratifying," said Elena Simons from the Untourist Movement. "There’s a whole menu of options but the essence of them all is that tourists can make a positive contribution while they are here and in doing so make their visit all the more gratifying".

Other meaningful activities in the lovely "honeymoon" include walking with and feeding an elderly person in the Westerpark, picking up plastic waste under the canal...

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"Tourism can be so much more than grabbing a selfie at the canals," said Nico Mulder of amsterdam&partners. "I’m not saying nobody will go to the Van Gogh Museum or Anne Frank House any more, but it’s really positive to see tourists and Amsterdam citizens more as one, instead of opponents of each other."

The capital of nearly one million people of the tulip country declared from the beginning of May that it stopped promoting tourism due to too much pressure from a huge amount of tourists. Visitors coming to Amsterdam are expected to increase to nearly 29 million in the next 10 years, from the current 19 million.

The city government has launched a series of measures to prevent overloading, including banning new hotels from growing in the city center, banning some tours and increasing tourism taxes.

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Previously Amsterdam was just a small fishing village founded in the 12th century on the banks of the Amstel river. Today, the city with these romantic canals is the political, economic and cultural center of the Netherlands, with the silhouette of an ancient European city.

The whole view of Amsterdam is almost like a fairytale world with fascinating windmills, old houses, bridges and stilt houses. A special feature of this city is the interlocking canal system. Every day, there are countless boats and canoes traveling on these canals.

According to preliminary statistics, the whole city has about 1,380 bridges, 6,800 old houses built from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries and have been classified as cultural relics. Most of these old houses were built with either red or brown tiles. They have 20-30 windows and especially they don't have a balcony.

This amazing destination is also a city of many ancient buildings and museums. Currently, there are about 70 - 80 museums in Amsterdam on the world tourism map.

By: Emma Chavez

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