This article was originally published on EIKONLINE.COM
WARNING: This piece does contain drug related material… obviously, it’s Amsterdam.
The thing that caught me truly off guard about this city is how exquisitely beautiful it is.
Gothic church steeples, narrow winding alleyways and majestic bridges over the beautiful and intricate canal system.
Also every corner of this city is totally walkable, you can even hire bikes and cycle around – that is if you’re brave enough!
The locals are incredibly friendly and sweet, ask anyone for directions and sure enough they will help, if not walk you there themselves.
I’d say start your day with coffee (just coffee, unless you can handle something stronger – marijuana is available and legal to smoke and buy in nearly all “coffee shops”).
The pastries and strudels are delicious and an absolute must when hunger strikes, not to mention the local cheese – this is not a place for dieters.
After breakfast go directly to the Van Gough Museum – there are usually pretty big lines to enter any of the museums here and its best to get in early before the mania ensues.
The Van Gough Museum has an incredible permanent collection featuring more than 200 of his paintings and more than 500 of his drawings.
Then wander the streets and simply get lost.
Go see Dam Square and take in the Royal Palace.
If you’re looking for a good place for lunch, try Eetcafe De Too where you will find a little something for everyone – located on Nicolaas Beetstraat.
Be sure to visit the Sex Museum and become even more enlightened than you already ‘thought’ you were.
Then pop around the corner to the Condomerie, the condom shop where you can again find something for everyone.
They even have hand painted condoms merely for decoration.
While you are in this area be sure to wander about as it’s the Red Light District… Girls, boys, transsexuals, transvestites… an eye opening buffet of the flesh.
So by now maybe you’re feeling a little more at ease in this liberal city and are brave enough to head back in to a coffee shop (try any).
Perhaps not to smoke anything… but maybe eat a brownie, or cupcake!
With that who knows how much time has passed, either you are needing a nap, have already passed out or you’re ready to party….
Now the nightlife is varied from compulsory nudity to ANYTHING GOES….
Just do your research and find what you’re in the mood for.
One interesting place I stumbled upon was The Web where there was everything from men in suits to men in their birthday suits barring their boots.
The place has friendly staff and they even put out a buffet . . . and I do actually mean a buffet of food too.
I enjoyed the Spijker Bar too, relaxed and totally attitude free.
Amsterdam is a liberal man’s dream – and even if you’re not, It’ll make one of you – it’s a must for anyone any age even with just 24 hours. Go explore. Go enjoy.