Bikes, Canals, Coffeeshops and the Red Light District. Basically that's what comes to mind when people think of Amsterdam.
And of course, everybody has a bike (2,2 per person to be exact), and yes we love our canals. Of course we have all been in a coffeeshop once, and ok, we might have been in the Red Light District 'just to see' what all the fuss is about.
A tiny disclaimer in advance; we are based in Amsterdam, we are Dutch, so we can't be independent :)
To clarify a bit more: Indeed, every citizen of Amsterdam has a bike, well, at least one working one, and two 'for the parts', to keep the first one working. We do everything by bike. We hate public transport! Not that the public transport is bad, but Amsterdam people want to be independent and prefer biking during rain showers over waiting 10 minutes on a tram.
Of course, we all have been once in a Coffeeshop, and no, not just for the coffee. But believe me, the coffeeshops rely on tourists. If they wouldn't come anymore, the would close due to a lack of customers.
And then the Red Light District; True, there are a number of men who go there frequently to 'shop'. Their marriage is shit, or they are alone and single. And don't forget the drunk tourists who celebrate their stag-weekends in this area. Again, believe me, the average Amsterdam citizen visits the Red Light District five times a year and I'll bet it will be just for a drink or dinner. (There are loads of normal bars and restaurants in that area).
So, please, next time when you think of Amsterdam, be advised that there is so much more!
See for more info, the other blogpost about Amsterdam.
Getting there and away: check flights!