Amsterdam

The wonderful and the wild sides of Amsterdam fill the banks of the city's canals with sights, sounds, smells and sure-fire ways to have a good time.

What you need to know about Amsterdam

Language: Dutch is the national language but English is very, very wildly spoken in Amsterdam.

Currency: The Netherlands uses the Euro (€) as their currency, which is normally traded as one of the stronger currencies in the world.

Banking: ATMs are typical in shops, super markets and on most streets. All major bank cards are accepted by retailers generally.

Weather: The weather is hot but not too hot in the summer - easily over 20 degrees most days. Winter can be pretty wet as well as obviously colder.

Amazing Amsterdam

Brilliant waterways and canals are the setting for Amsterdam's galleries, museums, breweries, quirky attractions, shops and of course the party and drinking that give the city that little bit of an edge compared to other parts of the Netherlands and Europe.

The centre of Amsterdam is surrounded by numerous canals and winding alleys that can make it difficult to navigate at first. Unless you have a specific place to be we suggest just taking a stroll. The streets are incredibly safe and who knows what you might come across. It could be a charming little cafe, a small park to relax in; an independent shop with unique Dutch items to buy; a micro-brewery or gin distillery or most likely of all some tulips. They are everywhere in displays all around the city.

The more risqué can venture into the red light district; the area that has done much to cultivate Amsterdam's reputation for a place to party. The vibe changes significantly but you can still have a great time in the district without things getting too out of hand.

The Heineken Brewery tour is an exceptional couple of hours with interesting history, lots of insight and the opportunity to learn how to pour the perfect pint.... which is trickier than you might expect!

Bicycle and Boat Travel

Bicycles are in the local's DNA. There are bikes everywhere! It's the means by which locals drive to work, head down to do some shopping, and meet up out of the house for a meal. Bikes can be rented easily so you can two-wheel around and feel like a real Amsterdammer.

On the off chance that local people aren't on a bicycle, they likely could be on the water with canals at every turn, and an impressive harbour to go with them. Jump onto a boat as it heads down the canals and travel through the city in style.

There are trams as well so any form of travel is pretty much covered in Amsterdam.

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Bicycles by one of the canals in Amsterdam make for a wonderfully stereotypical view of the city.

Respecting Art

It would be impressive if you could go a mile in Amsterdam without finding an artistic magnum opus in the city. The Van Gogh Museum showcases the world's biggest gathering by tormented local child Vincent, and is an impressive collection to say the least, arranged over multiple floors.

A couple of squares away, Vermeers, Rembrandts and other Golden Age treasures fill the radiant Rijksmuseum. The Museum het Rembrandthuis offers a greater amount of Rembrandt from his studio, while the Stedelijk Museum can call upon Matisses and Mondrians as a part of its cutting edge stock.

Feel Gezellig

Amsterdam is broadly gezellig, a Dutch quality that means a homely miix of 'jovial' and 'comfortable'. It's more effortlessly absorbed while there than read about here.

Once you travel to the city there's a feeling of time ceasing to move, a closeness with your surroundings and a feeling of being utterly in the moment that enables you to leave all your worries of everyday life behind.

The most straightforward place to experience this inclination is a bruin bistro (brown bistro) where you can get some lovely lager to kick back with. The more adventurous can try the local delicacy in the cafes that sell marijuana. Regardless of whether you are a seasoned smoker or looking to try it for the first time, we recommend going to Dampkring which is one of the finer establishments for this sort of thing. The staff are friendly and there was even a cat wandering about (unless we were seeing things - joke!) to stroke and chill with. They also do zesty orange drinks that are delicious.