Amsterdam is one of the most extraordinary small cities in the world. Capital of the Netherlands, it is the most populous city in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. From its canals to world-class museums and historic attractions, it is an invitation to lovely strolls. I'd say it's one of the most romantic and charming city in Europe.
It is a town for all tastes! For those who like art, it has the famous Van Gogh museum, for those who like history, it has the Anne Frank's House, for those looking for something out of the ordinary, nothing more different than the "coffeeshops" (places where you are allowed to smoke pot) and the Red Light District (with the famous windows displaying prostitutes) and for those who like beauty, nothing more attractive than the several canals that run through the city, giving it a unique beauty. And what lovely people! Cheerful, receptive and supportive.
Amsterdam is also a tolerant city, practical, modern, avant-garde and diverse. The tolerance on issues such as religion, drugs, sex and individual freedoms and the party time atmosphere that seems permanent in the capital attracts tourists and curious people from all over the world, especially young people. It's amazing the smell of marijuana in a lot of places we went to. However, we saw many signs forbidding the consumption of marijuana in certain places. We were a little worried as we were traveling with our children. But, there wasn't any problem! The respect among people is huge!
It's a fairly small city. Many of the tours can be made on foot or by bike, which is also their favorite means of transportation. We were impressed with the size of the bicycle parking lots and the amount of parked bikes. For longer distances, use the trams. One can pay directly to the driver, but tickets bought at tobacco stores or newsstands come with discounts; the same goes for the buses. Their routes can be checked on maps distributed at railway stations and some stops. It is very easy to move around there! Just be careful enough with the area of the bikeways that are usually parallel to the pedestrian lanes. If you don't want to be ran over by a bike, observe the signs.
Museums are one of the main tourist attractions in Amsterdam. If you like, you will have as options: the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum, among others. Amsterdam has over fifty museums which attract millions of visitors each year.
It may seem cliché, but a boat tour through the canals, still is the attraction that embodies the city the most. You can admire the clever engineering that protected the city from seawater by building dikes and the city itself, as well as get some rest for your legs. You can enjoy a fantastic scenery without much physical effort. There are several companies offering boat rides on the canals. Prices do not vary much. It will depend more on the chosen route and length of the ride, which usually lasts an hour and guides are usually provided with audio in several languages on the headphones.
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