Amsterdam is largely known for its liberal attitude towards sex and drugs. The Red Light District is an experience like no other, a small section of the city that is bustling with people eager to get a look at the women in the windows. At first, I wasn’t sure what to make of the bikini-clad ladies. Some were dancing and trying to engage customers, others were chatting to each other, others still were texting and looking rather bored. All in all, it was a bizarre but eye-opening scene.
Amsterdam is also attractive to many tourists due to the infamous ‘coffee shops’ that can be found all over the city centre. It’s certainly not difficult to find them and if you can’t see one right away, you will surely smell it first. From the outside, these shops will look a little intimidating but don’t worry, everyone is always welcoming and very relaxed. However, there is a lot more to this pretty city.
One thing you should do in Amsterdam is explore the museums. You can visit the Van Gogh museum or the Anne Frank House if you’re interested in some art and history. If you’re looking for something a little raunchier, you should visit places like the Erotic or the Heineken museums which focus on, as you can guess, sex and booze.
Amsterdam has a little something for everyone
If you like cheese, as I do, you will be very happy in Amsterdam. There are cheese shops dotted all over the centre. You can buy yourself a couple of slices or a massive wheel of your favourite cheese. Cheese lovers are catered for!
Travelling around cities is often a matter of practicality and not part of the holiday fun. In Amsterdam, however, the transport can be the highlight of the day. Bikes fill the city streets. A cycle on a warm evening is a wonderful way to see some of the surrounding areas of the centre and it’s a good way to burn off the pastries you will have eaten for lunch. Pack trainers; I lived in mine. Another fun form of travel around the city is across the rivers. You can rent out a Pedalo and do the work yourself, or for a more relaxed boat ride you can go on a canal tour and see the city from a completely different perspective.
Amsterdam has a little something for everyone: culture, night life and cheese. If you’re wondering where to go next summer, I’d put this city on your list.