It is most certainly not one of the “undiscovered” cities of the world. It is not even new on the tourist scene. Amsterdam has been attracting visitors for years now. It is seen by many as a destination for stag parties and the like, with its reputation for leniency towards drug use (the many infamous coffee shops scattered around the city don’t even draw a second glance from passing locals) and of course the Red Light District where women from all over the world come to sell their “services” to those who wish to pay for it.
One would be forgiven, then, for assuming that Amsterdam is a dirty, drug filled, sex obsessed den of inequity. This, however, could not be further from the truth. Amsterdam is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever had the pleasure to visit. The people are so friendly and welcoming and make a person feel right at home. The architecture in the city is majestic with so many old buildings converted to modern use and kept in such a clean state.
There is so much to do and see, such as the van gogh museum, canal cruises etc. The Heineken Experience is not to be missed, aside from educating visitors on the science behind the lager and showing you how it is brewed, the Heineken experience is entertaining and fun, even if you are not a beer drinker.
The Anne-Frank house is also a must-see, there is quite a line to get into the house but it is well worth the wait. It is a truly moving experience to see how the tragic family lived in hiding from the Anti-Jewish regime during the second world war.
If you just want to sit in one of the major squares in the city and take in the atmosphere you will see talented buskers performing original songs and covers, exciting Capoeira demonstrations, daring stunts, escape artists and street magicians. The evening atmosphere in the city is vibrant and exciting, there is entertainment around every corner and people from all walks of life, different cultures, nationalities and ethnicities perform together and take in the entertainment side by side.
Of course the reputation of Amsterdam as a party city is not unwarranted. From nightclubs and ice-bars, to cocktail cruises and Irish pubs, Amsterdam has something to suit you, whatever your taste in night-life. When I visited the city at the beginning of July, my girlfriend and I stumbled across a Czech and Slovak bar and decided to stop for a drink, the barman was so welcoming and gave me a few free shots as it was my birthday. The other people in the bar warmed to us immediately and we felt as if we had been in our local bar at home.
It would be difficult for anybody to not feel at home in Amsterdam, its friendly atmosphere, welcoming residents and relentless entertainment make it an ideal choice for a city-break.