Amsterdam is the capital and most populous municipality of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and one of the greatest small cities in the world. From Amsterdam canals to world-famous Amsterdam museums and historical Amsterdam sights, it is one of the most romantic and beautiful cities in Europe. To see the city from a unique perspective you can take a canal cruise (e.g. 1 hour). Amsterdam has all the advantages of a big city: rich culture, lively Amsterdam nightlife, international restaurants, good transportation – but is quiet, and largely thanks to its extensive canals, has a little road traffic. In this city your destination is never far away. Riding bicycles is very popular in this city. (http://www.amsterdam.info/). And to me it seems that bicycle riders have more privileges on the roads than pedestrians or normal cars, since they also ride although the traffic light is red.
What we saw first was the fact that Dutch people really like to party. On almost every place in the city there were flyer of big festivals available. We were at the Awakenings Festival in Spaarnwoude. But there are lot more like Electronic Family, Loveland and so on.
There are several shops where you can taste cheese, and close to the Anne Frank House there is a cheese museum.
Anne Frank House is a museum with a story. It is the hiding place (secret annex) where Anne Frank wrote her diary during the Second World War. I was touched deeply when I was feeling the dark chapter of history right there. It was interesting (and sad) to see how such an extraordinary experience can force a young lively girl to grow up fast. What she believed and saw in the world during these dark days was stunning for a 15y old girl.
What definitely is not normal (at least for a born-and-raised man in Switzerland) are the Coffeeshops and the Red Light District. Coffeeshops in Holland are allowed to sell small amounts of cannabis and are strictly regulated and taxed. Hard drugs are still strictly prohibited. In some seed banks you can also buy magic mushrooms. Other shops claim that they have ecstacy, MDMA, Poppers and cocaine as well. But as it was told to us, those were fake because selling hard drugs is even in the Netherlands illegal!
The Red Light District (De Wallen), also known as Walletjes or Rosse Buurt, is a designated area for legalised prostitution and is Amsterdam’s largest and most well known red-light district. This neighborhood has become a famous attraction for tourists. It consists of a network of roads and alleys containing several hundred small, one-room apartments rented by sex workers who offer their services from behind a window or glass door, typically illuminated with red lights.