The avant garde city of Amsterdam is an intriguing place to visit. When one conjures up an image of the city, one thinks of the Red Light District (since prostitution is legal here), and Brown Cafes where marijuana is openly smoked (since pot-smoking is illegal but tolerated in the city).
However, the city is not just about flaunting taboos. It is a lovely city with many canals and classic Dutch architecture.
The most popular tourist attraction in Amsterdam is Anne Frank House, the upstairs apartment where Anne and her family were hidden for much of the German occupation. The house-turned museum dramatically illustrates the type of life that Anne lived, perpetually in fear of discovery. It serves as a haunting reminder of the holocaust and is a must-see. Be prepared to wait in line for a considerable time, but the experience is worth every minute.
The Rijksmuseum is the city’s finest museum. It has an excellent collection of works by Rembrandt and other Dutch painters.
Do spend some time strolling through the Red Light District, simply because the advertising by prostitutes in their apartment windows is so unusual.
The Royal Palace can be found in Dam Square, a busy traffic nexus and meeting place.
Lovely Dutch architecture can be found throughout the city, often accentuated by bicycles (a commonly used method of transportation) and canals.
There are a number of significant churches in the city.
Be sure to take a canal cruise while in Amsterdam, to get a flavor for the ambience of this watery city..