Welcome to Amsterdam
Whether you go for storybook canals or laid-back coffeehouses, the Flower Market's springtime blooms or the Van Gogh Museum's sunflowers, Amsterdam will, in its inimitable style, captivate you. Friendly, open-minded and easygoing, the Amsterdammers flaunt their quirky creativity in Jordaan's boutiques and welcome all-comers like long-lost friends in canalside cafés. This is the city of Golden Age art and picturesque canals, legal reefers and red lights, grand merchants' houses and a million bicycle bells. Just remember to always stop and smell the roses like the locals, or should that be tulips?
In Amsterdam, they say, you can eat in any language. More than 50 national cuisines are represented in restaurants here -- and many of these eateries satisfy the sturdy Dutch insistence on getting maximum value out of every euro.more
Amsterdam affords sightseers an embarrassment of riches. There are miles and miles of canals to cruise, hundreds of narrow streets to wander, 7,000 historical buildings to see in the heart of town, around 40 museums of all types to visit, and diamond cutters and craftspeople to watch as they practice generations-old skills. The list is as long as every tourist's individual interests, and then some.more
From its earliest days Amsterdam has been a trading city. First, trade centered on the fish that the original dammers of the Amstel caught in the river and on the Zuider Zee; later, during the 17th century, Dutch East and West India companies' ships carried back spices, furs, flower bulbs, and artifacts, all of which would be bought and sold in Amsterdam.more
Nightlife in Amsterdam, like an Indonesian rijsttafel, is a bit of this and a bit of that. The cultural calendar is full, but not jammed. There's a strong jazz scene, good music clubs, and enjoyable English-language shows at the little cabarets and theaters along the canals. The club and bar scene can be entertaining if not outrageous; the dance clubs may indeed seem quiet and small to anyone used to the flash of clubs in New York City, Los Angeles, or London.more
Amsterdam is one of those "If you don't like the weather, wait for a minute" kind of places. Summertime temperatures don't often rise above 75°F (24°C), making for a pleasant, balmy climate. Year-round rain shouldn't come as a surprise in Amsterdam, although the temperature rarely dips below freezing in winter, remember that Amsterdam and much of Holland is below sea level, making fog, mist, and dampness your too-frequent companions.