It’s very hard not to envisage images of hazy cafés and scantily clad women moving provocatively in red-lit windows when thinking of Amsterdam. Travellers the world over return from Mother Earth’s ultimate city of sin bursting with tales of the unexpected and if you go chances are you will create your own tales to tell also.
But there is more to this city than sex and drugs. Did you know that the Netherlands has the highest amount of museums per square foot than anywhere else in the world? Probably not. Were you aware that if you take a tram ride 10 minutes from the city centre you can engulf yourself with narrow streets occupied with nothing else other than the odd cyclist and a car every now and then? Chances are you weren’t.
The thing to remember when coming to Amsterdam is that, while we all relate it with its liberal attitudes to sex and drugs, it has far more to offer. There are traditional ‘brown cafés’ where you won’t be tempted to experiment with soft drugs. There are fascinating museums dedicated to everything from young Jewish girls to one-eared artists. There is also a noticeable lack of cars, making exploring it on bike extremely easy. See as much of it as possible if you go.