Amsterdam, the capital city of the Netherlands, is fast becoming one of the hottest spots in Europe for a weekend break and once you visit, you will completely understand why.

Amsterdam has a well-deserved reputation for its liberal attitude towards a freer lifestyle, and although it is still possible to while away the hours in the city’s coffee shops (which legally sell more than just coffee), times are changing.  For example, there is now a smoking ban, and tighter control on the sale of certain substances.  As a result, people are beginning to see Amsterdam in a new light and taking full advantage of what this extremely pretty city has to offer.

The architecture and scenery in Amsterdam is almost chocolate box beautiful.  The canals that meander through the city are hugged by cobbled streets and tall, thin gabled buildings.  If you wish to do as the locals do, you can hire a bike to fully explore the leafy, charming streets.  For that extra romantic experience, hire a tandem and cycle down to Vondel Park with a picnic. 

Culturally, Amsterdam has plenty to offer; from the sublime to the ridiculous, Amsterdam has a museum for pretty much everything.  The Rijksmuseum houses works from two of the city’s most famous sons, Rembrandt and Van Gogh, whilst the sobering experience of the Anne Frank House is a must for any visitor.  For the lighter side of life, the city is home to the Heineken Museum (complete with samples), and there are even a couple of sex museums thrown in for good measure. 

This city truly is the sparkling gem in the Netherlands’ crown.




Picture courtesy of Joao Maximo


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