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Amsterdam, the city of canals, is renowned for it's liberalism, art and is guaranteed to amaze anyone with the openness and freedom of choice afforded to its residents and tourists alike. The winding canals, ringing bells of streetcars and vibrant nightlife make this a popular stop in Europe and in the Netherlands.
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What to See

Koninklijk Paleis
The Royal Palace is located in Dam Square and dates as far back as 1648. You can do a tour of the palace or just walk around outside and admire the impressive architecture from Dam Square.

Chilling in Leidesplein
The sociable Leidesplein is a medium sized square in central Amsterdam filled with cafes, bars and of course a Bulldog coffee shop. During the summer, the square is packed to capacity with revelers and tourists enjoying a drink outside on one of the many terraces.

Nieuwe Kirk
The Kirk or church dates back to the 15th century and is also in Dam Square, next to the Koninklijk Paleis. The pulpit is particularly impressive.

Amsterdam Parks

Tulips in Amsterdam
There are plenty of parks in Amsterdam. The Dutch are well known for their love of flowers, especially tulips. Spring is the best time of year to see the fresh, vibrant and colourful array of tulips sprouting up to full bloom. Better known parks in Amsterdam are Vondelpark, where there is an excellent array of entertainment in the summer, Amstelpark with a miniature train and ponies, and the less known Flevopark.

Heineken Brewery Museum
Dating back to 1864, you will be treated to the story of beer! It is not far from the Rijksmuseum and daily tours are run in the mornings. You can find out more about visiting the Heineken Brewery at www.heinekenexperience.com

Red Light District
This part of Amsterdam is a curiosity in its own right. Coffee Shops, ladies of the night, bars and sex shows are on hand to distract anyone for a while.

The Red light district is where you will be able to visit all sorts of coffee shops and sample a taste from their menu. You can indulge without any fear of trouble but do be considerate and indulge only in coffee shops, avoid it in the open and in front of children.

Rembrandt, Vermeer and Hals all on display in this excellent museum.

Vincent van Gogh Museum
Dedicated to this incredible artist it contains most of his best paintings and some other notable artists. Make sure to plan your visit for early in the day to ensure that you get ahead in the queues.

The Rembrandtplein
The Rembrandtplein is named after the Dutch painting master Rembrandt, the plein is a square that really has a lot to offer the reveler during day or night. There are numerous cafes, restaurants, bars and of course, the ever present coffee shop. In the middle of the plein, there is a small park where you can grab a bench and take a break.

Anne Frank House
Visit the house where the young Anne Frank lived and wrote her diary during the Second World War and the Nazi occupation. The house is located in central Amsterdam and you can find more information at www.annefrank.nl

Diamond Factory Tours
Diamond cutting is still done by hand and you will be impressed at the skill involved in creating those glittering stones. Tours are offered by many of the larger diamond companies in the city, endorsing Amsterdam's association with diamonds which dates back over 400 years.

What to Do

Go to a Coffee Shop
A Bulldog Coffee Shop
Enjoy an Amsterdam coffee shop and choose a smoke from the "Menu" or just see how it is done.

There are a few hundred coffee shops in Amsterdam. Popular ones include the commercial and franchised Bulldog and the Grasshopper. If you'd like to avoid the commercial ones, just walk around for a while and pop into one on a quiet side street.

If you are really into the stuff, why not visit the cannabis museum and learn more about the weed.

Take to the Canals
The lovely canals
There are a number of companies offering boat trips to visit the city from the canal. You may want to choose an afternoon excursion to meander your way down the canals or head down there in the early evening where you will be treated to a meal on board and see the city lit up at night.

Picnic in Vondel Park
Vondel Park is a great place to enjoy the day outside if that is your pleasure and weather permitting. The park is host to outdoor concerts in the summer months.

Visit the Sex museum
Amsterdam is so liberal on sex laws that it is no surprise that the city boasts a sex museum. The museum is located on Damrak the main artery, near Centraal Station and charges a small entrance fee.

What to Eat

Other Cuisine
This cosmopolitan city has it all on offer - choose from Greek, Mexican, Turkish or Argentinean to mention a few!

Traditional Dutch
Meat eaters are in for a treat. Be sure to try some Dutch meat balls. There are a number of excellent Dutch restaurants in town. Take a look around for the one with the most appealing menu and prices.

Dutch Gin
Try some of the juniper alcohol!

The Dutch are some the worlds' true masters of beer. Heineken, Grolsch and Amstel to name but a few of their international exports.

The Dutch love their herring and onions. Enjoy the freshest herring around.

Well known and delicious Dutch cheeses include Gouda and Edam.

Sandwiches are called "broodje" in Dutch.

Where to Sleep

A great multitude of hotels are available in Amsterdam. Varying from the very expensive to the cheaper 1 and 2 star joints, you may want to book early during the high season. Find Amsterdam Hotels.

Youth Hostels
There are loads of youth hostels and cheap accommodation in Amsterdam. Prices vary from hostel to hostel but are generally affordable. If you want to be near all the action, your best bet is for one in the Red Light District. Search for and book an Amsterdam youth hostel.

Hotel Kabul
This youth hostel is perfect for the traveler on a budget. Located in the Red Light district it is well within walking distance of any city sight. The hostel has lockers in the rooms, shared facilities and comes with breakfast included.

Apartments and Bed and Breakfasts
Amsterdam is full of bed and breakfasts situated in various convenient locations in the city centre. Finding the available apartments and bed & breakfasts in Amsterdam is made easier by looking ahead of time, particularly in high season.

How to Move

Airport - City
Schipol Airport has regular trains to the city's beautiful centrally located train station - Centraal Station. The journey takes approximately 20 minutes. Find out more at www.schiphol.nl. Flights to Amsterdam international airport are daily from most European airports. Compare flights to Amsterdam with the various online providers before buying your tickets to get the best prices.

Bicycles in Amsterdam
Amsterdam has so many bikers you won't know where to walk. Be sure to keep an eye out if you decide to walk in the maroon bicycle lanes and listen for the warning bells!

To catch a taxi in Amsterdam, you need to go to one of the many taxi ranks located along the streets. You cannot hail a cab off the street. The fares aren't cheap and the drivers drive fast but it is a good way to get back to your hotel at night or if you are unfamiliar with the way.

You can rent a car to drive around the countryside and visit the rest of Holland.

Trams in Amsterdam
Amsterdam has an extensive tram system that will get you anywhere in the city. Buy a strippenkaart ahead of your journey at a newsstand or tobacconist saving you time and giving you more tram trips for your money. While walking around be careful of the oncoming trams and listen out for the warning bells as they approach.

A great way to get around Europe, the train allows you to buy tickets for a single country or to extend it to cover several countries including the Netherlands.

The Eurostar is a great way to get from Amsterdam to France's major cities like Paris, and onto London and Brussels at high speed.

Sights around the city are easily reached walking. It is always a good idea to have a pocket map on hand which will point you in the right direction.


Although Amsterdam is about as liberal as it gets, its people are friendly but reserved and stick to themselves. Don't be afraid though they won't bite.

Dutch is the main language but almost everyone speaks English and another European Language.

Time Zone
GMT +1


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