Amsterdam is the capital and definitely the most well-known city in the Netherlands. Some call it the Sin City, some the city of canals and some city of the future. But what is the most accurate statement for this beautiful European city? If you have been to Amsterdam you know that all this is true and that there’s much, much more.
The name Amsterdam is derived from the city’s origins, Amstelredamme – it grew around a dam in the river Amstel. The currency in the Netherlands is the Euro as well as in almost all the countries within the European Union. In the 17th century, Amsterdam was the center of the world economy. It is known for its artistic heritage, elaborate canal system and narrow houses with gabled facades. This is probably the most planned city in Europe and this is why it’s so popular with lovers of architecture. Some of the most popular attractions to visit (during the daylight of course) are Anne Frank House, Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and Rembrandt House Museum. One small advice, whatever you do, just go by foot and experience city’s tolerant character.
Ok – we came to the most interesting part of the story. Nightlife in Amsterdam, well… First advice – play safe. If you’re looking for sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll, you’ll find all you need in Amsterdam without much arrangement up front. The Red Light District or De Wallen as locals call it is at the very heart of the city’s international notoriety. There are more than 20 sex shops, a Sex Museum, live sex shows, brothels, and everything else sex-related you could imagine – all in just one street. Oh, and one small tip – don’t take photographs in front of sex windows because you can get yourself in trouble.
If you’re looking to get high in Amsterdam, there are plenty of coffee shops in the city, especially close to the red light district. Every coffee shop has a menu but we suggest to ask the staff what they recommend and what effects each type of cannabis products has, just to be prepared for the ride. Because even if you’ve tried cannabis before, you should still be warned that selections in Amsterdam coffee shops are quite strong.
If you’re an electronic music lover, you should definitely consider Amsterdam Music Festival that takes place in The Amsterdam Dance Event – five-day electronic music conference and festival held annually in mid-October. With over 2500 artists from around the globe performing in 140 of the best clubs in Amsterdam, ADE’s festival has grown into the worlds biggest club festival for electronic music.
Plan your trip
Best times to visit Amsterdam are during tulip season in April, summer when the weather is mild and warm and fall until the end of October. If you want to see all the attractions we would suggest staying between 4 to 5 days. The key event is King’s Day in April, celebrated with flea markets, outdoor concerts and an abundance of orange, the national color. Also, consider visiting Rotterdam and Delft by train – that will be a unique experience to remember.
All in all, you will definitely enjoy this colorful, tolerant, different and lovely European center you will not easily forget.