Famous for its liberal principles and fashion-forward cultural scene, Amsterdam tops every international tourist's list. Its picturesque canals, graceful old churches, and open-air markets vie for attention with its thriving nightlife scene and infamous Red Light District. Ways to see the city include bike tours through the busy city center and boat tours down the canals, while must-see landmarks are the Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh Museum. The Dutch outdo almost everyone when it comes to modern art and architecture get a sense of it at De Appel Foundation for Contemporary Art. Don't miss the windmills, the tulips, the Sex Museum, or the Hash, Marihuana & Hemp Museum all quintessential "only in Amsterdam" sights. Feeling thirsty? Hit the Heineken Experience or the House of Bols Cocktail & Genever Experience or just sit at a sidewalk café on Rembrandtplein and people-watch alongside the locals.
Both elegant and casual, this beautiful city feels thoroughly modern with its relaxed social attitudes but also cherishes its rich heritage of arts, architecture and culture. What is considered vice elsewhere -- cannabis in the coffeeshops and other enticements in the red light district -- is accepted here. In the historic Old Center and surrounding Canal Ring, bridges crisscrossing the centuries-old canals and tree-lined brick-paved streets encourage endless exploration on foot and bicycle. To cite just three Amsterdam treasures: The Rijksmuseum highlights the golden era of the Old Masters, while the Anne Frank House and the Van Gogh Museum tell different tales of hope surviving through despair.