Amsterdam, the capital of the Netherlands, rose from the marshy peat bogs of the Amstel River in the 13th century. It is a city of tolerance and dignity, as well as a popular destination for fun-lovers. For a city known for legalized decadence, Amsterdam is clean, friendly, and efficiently run. Its streets are bustling, yet as orderly as clockwork. Hordes of cyclists and motorists share the roads in a brisk but civilized procession of constant movement. Old brick homes tilt precariously over quaint cobblestone streets. Romantic canals thread through Amsterdam in a network of tree-lined byways.
Amsterdam is a city of hedonism and austere beauty, home to a thriving red light district as well as some of the worlds most respected museums, such as the Van Gogh museum or the Rijksmuseum (State Museum). Cannabis is legal in Amsterdam, and tourists can indulge in one of the multitudes of brown cafes throughout the city. For a unique choice of accommodation, rent one of the many privately owned houseboats docked canal-side. Also Anne Frank’s House offers a tour of the attic where she and her family hid from the Nazis. The Vondelpark is a natural refuge from the bustle of the city, and in the summer offers free outdoor concerts.