In Amsterdam, it’s best to expect the unexpected. Yes, the coffee shops are a hoot and the red light district is like a shocking scandal on a tabloid newspaper: you don’t want to look yet you can’t peel your eyes away.
However, what makes Amsterdam unique is not the illegal-legal debacle, but the way of life. Bicycles, fitted with anything from baby seats to shopping carts, inundate the streets and canals walkways. The canal system is a one of a kind layout, of which you’ll stumble upon subconsciously.
Some pointers for anyone looking to go: food is ridiculously expensive and ridiculously awful. For once, McDonalds is perhaps the better option. Coffee shops, like bars and pubs, are more expensive in the centre with cannabis of a poorer quality. It’s best to venture a little bit further out in order to get more for your money. One last piece of advice: visit Anne Frank’s house. I was wary of not falling into a dreaded tourist trap, yet the tour was kept so tastefully humble that you’ll inevitably be moved by this emotional experience. It’s a city highlight, perhaps even more so than the coveted Van Gogh gallery and Rijksmuseum. It summarises Amsterdam perfectly: simple, yet effective.