The weird and wonderful city of Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a popular destination for people of all ages. It is a city famous for both its culture and debauchery. In the heart of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is a short 45 minute flight from London, but for  a country so close, its cultural values are a stark contrast from those we are used to.

The first thing you’ll notice about Amsterdam is the bicycles! Everywhere you look people are cycling in every direction. The cycling rules seem to be as lenient as the cannabis laws. If you want to get involved in the culture of this beautiful city, rent a bike and see where you end up, (watch out for canals and other cyclists.) Amsterdam is just as easy to walk around. Although the endless roads of canals and town houses means you may need a map.

Pop into a local coffee shop where you are handed a menu of different cannabis. If you are not a regular smoker, grab a space muffin or brownie. However if its not on your agenda to get high, coffee shops are a great place to soak up the local atmosphere and relax.

Another must see when visiting Amsterdam is the red light district. Famous for its sex shops, museums and brothels the Red light district leaves nothing to the imagination. Women of all nationalities parade in the windows, tapping and waving to draw in customers. Most suspect the Red light district to be full of groups of men, however there are also plenty of couples and groups of giggling girls. It really is like nothing you’ve ever seen before.

Although photos of the red light district activities are strictly forbidden, the sex mad city extends through most the high streets with shops full of sex toys, s&m costumes and animal condoms.

If you’re looking for a more educational trip, take a walk along the cobbled streets or jump on a tram to one of Amsterdam’s many museums. For a moving experience visit the house where Anne Frank and her family hid for two years during the Second World war. It is best to book tickets for this in advance as it is a very popular museum. Amsterdam is full of beautiful cathedrals and churches. If you like your beer take a trip to the Heineken factory or visit a cheese shop for free dutch cheese samples.

Amsterdam has many hotels and B&Bs to suit every price-range. Making it an exciting and affordable trip for everyone.

Pictures and videos: Jade Dos-Santos

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