Amsterdam is more than just a destination for hippies who are trying to be proactive in preventing glaucoma later in life. It has some splendid cultural activities for the traveler to take in. Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands. The city is constructed in a semi-circle with Dam square in the center. Canals weave through the city, often making it hard for the novice backpacker to figure his exact location. At quick glance, most of the streets look the same, so it is very easy to get caught walking in circles.
The first thing you will notice in Amsterdam is that everyone has a bike, and by bike I am not talking anything new. Since new bikes are often targets to be stolen, the name of the game is: the crappier the bike the better. Many of these bikes are brought up from the bottom of the canals at the end of the year. It’s common for local hooligans to toss in a few unlocked bikes from a bridge.
Getting around in Amsterdam with English is pretty easy. The town is constantly flooded with tourists, so you should have no problem meeting some unique people from all over the world. I met some interesting travelers from the States, as well as travelers from Canada and Russia, who I still keep in contact with.
If you like to actually gain some knowledge now and then, Amsterdam offers some interesting museums. For starters, the Van Gogh Museum, dedicated to the famous Dutch painter is open. The Rembrandt House, where the artist lived from 1638-1659 is available for tours, and last but not least, the Anne Frank House, where Anne wrote her diary hidden from the Nazis.