I know Amsterdam is a reputation for being all about the sex and drugs, and while it's difficult to avoid the odd brothel or the smell of weed in the street, there's so much more to the city if that isn't your scene. Of course we took a stroll through the red light district, (if you say you wouldn't, I don't believe you...) but if you're more into history or museums than us, you won't be short of ways to send your time. We stayed in Hotel De Gerstekorrel just off of Dam Square, one of the busiest and most central squares in the city so although it was a little loud at night, you can't fault the location. We didn't do anything in particular while we were there, no museums or tours, just a lot of walking around, soaking it all up and enjoying the culture. It's a very laid back atmosphere which suited us perfectly and although we maybe didn't do all the usual tourist things, I don't feel we missed out on anything. It also happened to be Amsterdam Gay Pride while we were there which was good - all the canals were packed with party boats and people of all ages supporting. I think it's pretty safe to say we're more of the party type than the history type!
Canal from Oudezijds Voorburgwal
Outside Cafe Bredero
I had the most amazing 4 days ever and it's definitely one of the best cities I've ever visited and it seems like somewhere that one day, I could definitely see myself living. The only downside (handbag thief aside) is that it's not the cheapest for eating and drinking out although there is so much choice - I personally recommend The Grasshopper (great atmosphere, great cocktails, friendly staff, lovely view) and the Myrabelle Bar (quaint, local and cosy, the bar tender took our music requests and gave me probably the strongest vodka and orange juice I've ever had in my life!)