A friendly town with many who communicate in sufficient English, and has a reliable and organized transportation system with buses, trams, and long distance trains. Amsterdam is full of tourists with few locals especially in the center of the city or old city. Of course the Hollanders are a beautiful people, and their women are also very pretty, and in some places very tall. There are a ton of UK tourists here because there are many regular and short flights from London to AMS. Not to mention other means of transport from the UK to the Netherlands. Check out http://www.rome2rio.com/s/London/Amsterdam , I love this site.
I am not a Museum goer as museum goers go. None the less I still visit them as its one of the things to do, and you only live once. Make sure to visit the Van Gogh Museum and Rijksmuseum, and the other top museums. I wouldn’t visit the other museums unless you are a serious museum goes. I like what my very good friend says: A museum is nothing more than a collection of dead peoples stuff and it’s like going to a morgue (I guess it’s true for the most part). For me nature and the great outdoors itself is a museum, except more alive and real time. Get the 3 day pass, especially if you will be taking public transport, and have energy to visit many places. For the pass visit: http://www.iamsterdam.com. Otherwise, it will be a waste of money. Please note the Rijksmuseum still has a considerable entry fee even with the IAMS card, after all it’s not like Copenhagen where even without the pass many museums are free. For me the pass was mostly a waste because I walked pretty much everywhere since I love to walk. Also, I only visited about 3 to 4 museums: Van Gogh Museum, Rijksmuseum (separate charge), Amsterdam Museum (kind of fun), and some other museum.
What I did, and I recommend this for everyone: The Van Gogh Museum, the Canal Boat Tour, Grocery Store: AH Van Baerlestraat located at Van Baerlestraat 33A, 1071 AP Amsterdam, the public library – especially the 2nd floor with the view of the river and cool looking metal interior private spaces for study, VondelPark, Oude Kerk. Please walk (or Bike or Boat everywhere), I was pretty much on foot most of the time. Public transport is efficient, and it could get a bit expensive since they don’t have a weekly metro card or a monthly metro card as in NYC. I could be wrong! Maybe they do have a weekly or monthly transport pass? Still, when you can walk or bike such a beautiful town and country then who needs public transport!
My personal choice: For all those Pot lovers, I am sorry, its not my thing, that was something like 2 to 3 decades ago. Luckily Amsterdam is being cleaned up. I think it’s a good thing, and some of the results of the cleanup are already evident.
Day Trips Not taken: I went in late December during Christmas time, it snowed everywhere, and trains could go to the destination, they just didn’t guarantee a return train back I tried day after day to take day trips to The Hague, Rotterdam, Harlem, and another area that still has windmills, it snowed quite a bit.
Day Trips Taken: The Snow had cleared up 2 days before my trip to CopenHagen. I was tried of Amsterdam. I felt like adventure. I went to Antwerp. And It was to die for. I am glad I spent the time, money, and effort for it. See Antwerp blog. For now here are the Antwerp Pics:
Other Stuff: There is also an area which has many immigrants in Amsterdam. In many of those areas I automatically had to maintain my guard. It’s my natural instinct, and it’s rarely incorrect. Really. It came naturally growing up in Old 70s/80s New York City. I didn’t like that experience to say the least.
Overall, Amsterdam was a wonderful place to be, and has lovely canals, cool bikers, and beautiful people. I could see how it was the Dutch that made New York City. They have had and continue to have great sailors, engineers, artists, and especially business acumen. Along with a (Healthy) stress free life style, and naturally organic food (and I am hoping also non GMO food).
I will be visiting Amsterdam, and other places such as The Hague again. Hopefully in the summer.
Hope you enjoy some of the pictures below, and I really love the small cars, they are so cute, clean, and efficient!