Often touted as the place where nothing is illegal, Amsterdam is a unique mix of both edginess and sobriety. While you’d be hard pressed not to find a “wake and bake” café on every corner of the street, Amsterdam is more than just a pothead’s idea of paradise.
The city boasts a wide range of high rise skyscrapers that dominate its skyline. On the surface, it may seem like a busy metropolis that’s too rough and tough for a relaxing vacation. However, the beauty of this European city lies in its versatility, boasting a network of more than 165 waterways and 17th century mansions. Expect to find a healthy community of cyclers commuting alongside supercars, as the city is small enough to be covered even on foot.
When to Go?
Amsterdam maintains its charm throughout the year, but perhaps the best time to visit is during the summer, when outdoor cafes start to set up shop to give tourists a taste of the slow paced side of the city. Unlike most cities, Amsterdam has a lot of things to do indoors, so grey skies shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
Visiting during the winter season also boasts a few incentives, such as the Amsterdam Light Festival that takes place at the start of December.
Places to Visit
With over a million visitors each year, the Rijksmuseum is one of the most frequented tourist destinations in the world. There’s a reason for that; the museum contains works of art from the likes of Rembrandt and Vermeer, two of the most renowned artists during the 17th century. If you truly want to experience what Dutch culture is, a visit to the Rijksmuseum is a must.
Van Gogh Museum
Perhaps the most famous artist of all time, Van Gogh immortalized himself with a slew of 19th century paintings, notably ‘The Starry Night’ and ‘Irises’. The museum gives tourists a vague image into the thought process of the brilliant painter, boasting over 500 of his sketches as well as numerous paintings.
Even if you aren’t a pot smoker, a trip to Amsterdam wouldn’t be complete without visiting one of the local “wake and bake” cafes that are located within the city. The most famous of these is the Amsterdam Brown Café, which generally reaches maximum capacity due to the influx of tourists there.
However, it’s equally easy to strike up a conversation with one of the locals to get a detailed insight of life within the city.
- While the currency used is Euro, many establishments will not accept larger notes over 50euros. Keep some change with you wherever you go, but don’t bother with 1c coins as they aren’t used there
- Though the city is relatively lax in terms of what you consume, it is generally frowned upon to smoke or drink in public. However, it isn’t punishable by law