Our trip to Amsterdam was great! We went with two friends; one is from Amsterdam, and the other lived there during college. Touring a new city with natives is the only way to go. We were able to pack so much more into our little time there than we would have been able to otherwise.
One of the most striking things about Amsterdam is all of the bicycles. Bikes have the right of way, all the time. Pedestrians have to watch out, and so do cars. There are literally millions of bikes...on the roads, on the bike racks, attached to every street pole in the city...There was even a "central station" for the bikes: a 4 or 5 level parking garage just for bikes. It was unbelievable.
Amsterdam also has some great museums. We went to the Van Gough museum (Van Gough was from Amsterdam) and the Anne Frank House. The Anne Frank House was very well done. It's a very emotional museum to walk through, but it feels necessary and worth it as well. After World War II, Anne's father Otto campaigned to save the house from demolition, and turned it into a museum so that people could learn from their experience. The museum is dedicated to educating people about prejudices all around the world.
We also went to the annual "museum night" where you buy one ticket, and you can go freely to all of the museums in Amsterdam at night. Tour gides give tours by flashlight. We got to see a zoo, a botanical garden, and a science museum.
While we were in Amsterdam, we stayed in a cute little canal house hotel. Amsterdam is filled with canals. It was a major port city a long time ago, and today the canals are still used by locals, to give tours, and for numerous houseboats.
Check out our pictures...there are a lot of them!