Ok ok, so Amsterdam has its reputation amongst students; there are things you go to Amsterdam to do - things that you can’t do at home. Legally. But the capital of the Netherlands has so much more to offer than that.
For starters, the Van Gogh museum houses the largest collection of the artist’s paintings and drawings in the world. Quite apart from playing host to his most well known works (including Sunflowers and Self-Portrait), it also has some of his rarer and lesser known pieces. All that and a cafe to have a drink in at the end, though if you prefer your drinks to have a bit more bite, there’s always the Heineken museum...
Amsterdam is a city of canals, which date back to the 17th Century. Quite apart from creating areas of serenity in the hustle and bustle of the busy inner city, you can hop on a canal tour at set points along the waterways and take in the sights the relaxing way.
Amsterdam is also the home of the Anne Frank museum. Though it’s not as easy as sunbathing on a beach somewhere, the museum is a stark and realist look at the horrors of WW2, made easily accessible to its visiting public. The museum is located in the very house where Anne and her family lived during their confinement, and its programme of exhibitions makes it one of the city’s most fascinating resources.
But if shopping is more your thing, then the Albert Cuyp market (which is the largest daytime flea market in Europe) is a must. Named after the 17th Century Golden Age painter Aelbert Jacobsz Cuyp, the market sells items from food to bedding, and everything in between. Hop on a bike local-style to get around with speed.
The city of Amsterdam really is one of the must-visit destinations in Europe, and thanks to the ferry crossing at Calais, you can do it relatively cheaply. Perfect for a city break or a call-in for travellers of Europe, there is also a wealth of affordable and accommodating hostels to choose from due to its popularity amongst young people. Moreover, it gets beautifully hot which means that unlike some places (mentioning no names, ENGLAND), you actually have a fighting chance of being able to tick off some of the attractions on your to do list.