Saturday, 9 June 2012

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The city of Amsterdam, located in North Holland, attracts around 4.6 million tourists each year. They flock from across the globe for various reasons, including the infamous red light district and the numerous ‘coffee shops’ in which you probably leave a lot happier than you entered. However, Amsterdam isn't all about the sleaze; it is home to a number of museums and attractions and, of course, it's famous canals.
I visited the capital of The Netherlands with my university, a trip which cost around £154 (inc. accommodation, coach, breakfast, an evening meal and travel insurance). I arrived at the Stayokay hostel, Zeeburg, on Friday night. We stayed for two nights (Friday and Saturday) before leaving by coach on the Sunday. I did find that this was enough time for me to see the sights I wanted, but you could always stay an extra day or two to do more. My itinerary was this:
Friday: Dansen Bij Jansen, a student night club.
Saturday: Anne Frank Huis, the Van Gogh Museum, the Sex Museum, Dansen Bij Jansen (again!!) and some other clubs.
Sunday: Artis Royal Zoo, Canal tour. 
Overall, Amsterdam is a very nice place. It is so unique in terms of its many canals and its distinct 17th century canal houses. A lot of the buildings are old with amazing architecture, and the sight of the many cyclists riding around this busy city is something that makes you watch with curiosity. Yet there is a very modern feel to Amsterdam as well, with its many shops, its large tram system and its trendy night clubs.Though expensive, Amsterdam has a lot to offer.
Everyone here speaks English, so if you can speak English or Dutch, you should be fine. The locals are very friendly and you can’t help but feel a relaxed atmosphere here, as if you can do whatever and nobody will judge. I can see why Amsterdam is so popular with partygoers and why it is an ideal place for stag/hen dos. It is also a great place for culture, with amazing sights and a lot to do.