Bicycles, waterways and bohemians.
Europe’s "sin city" is more than advertised. Sure, the hash bars – or “coffee bars” - are real, Heineken brews its famous beer here, and the legendary red light district (with legal, tax-paying prostitutes) provides the world’s most memorable window shopping, but there’s even stuff you can actually mention during Sunday dinner with the folks. For one, Amsterdam is made for long walks. Shady streets connect a web of 17th-century canals, and spread out from the center. On Prinsengracht canal, you can visit where Anne Frank hid during World War II – now a famous museum. If the area looks familiar, perhaps you're recalling works by local artists Van Gogh, Vermeer, and Rembrandt, which should be seen at the super Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. Dutch food is mocked in the third Austin Powers movie, but meaty plates served in Dutch beer gardens is an Amsterdam highlight. Hotels run the gamut, but consider setting up in a fully furnished houseboat along the canals – they’re not much costlier than a midrange hotel, and why not literally float if you’re dizzy every night anyway?