Amsterdam Travel Guide

Overview

A familiar Amsterdam scene.
A familiar Amsterdam scene. © Jorge Royan
Amsterdam wears two faces. On one, it beckons youth with its notorious Red Light District and liberal views around marijuana use. On the other, it offers discerning travellers some of Europe's finest museums and art galleries. Its house boats, bicycles, cobbled streets, and quaint canals are a visual treat.

For tourists, Amsterdam's compactness is a plus. The old part of town is a story-book setting of narrow lanes, gabled houses and ancient bridges, and a pleasure to explore on foot. Visitors can shop boutiques for souvenirs such as Delft china or wooden clogs, or relax at cosy bars and pavement cafes.

At night even the most conservative visitors are drawn to the Red Light District's lively atmosphere, where prostitutes stand in shop windows and touts encourage passers-by to view raunchy floorshows. For the most part, travellers will find the best bars in the bustling Leidesplein and Rembrandtplein.