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Amsterdam: Culture, Cafes and Canals

Walk or cycle along Amsterdam's canals, explore the many galleries and enjoy tasty coffee in a trendy café. Or you can take a boat trip and stop at a floating flower market. This city is well connected to Europe and the rest of the world. More than 60 airlines offer flights to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, including several budget carriers. A city of culture, Amsterdam has nearly 40 museums and countless art galleries. The most popular museums are the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum with its famous collection of modern art. Theatrical performances, concerts and festivals are held regularly. History lovers can explore the area around the medieval Dam Square, one of Amsterdam's oldest districts. Children will enjoy Madame Tussaud's waxworks, the horrors of Amsterdam Dungeon and Artis, the city's zoo. At night Amsterdam's trendy bars, nightclubs and world-class restaurants come to live and keep the city going until the early hours of the morning. Amsterdam is known for its liberal attitude toward many things, including smoking cannabis. The city's “coffee houses” and red light district are tourist attractions, but Amsterdam is a safe city to visit. Amsterdam is safe even for lone female travelers and families. Violent crime is rare. Theft from hotel rooms is also rare, although theft from foreign cars can occur. Tourists should watch out mainly for pickpockets, especially in crowded places such as the markets. This is a city of cyclists and bikes can be rented cheaply. Most tourist attractions are also within walking distance. Public transport is cheap and efficient and options include trams, buses and the metro, as well as canal buses. There are accommodations for all budgets. The city has about 350 hotels, from budget rooms to boutique hotels to 5-star luxury properties. The oldest hotels such as the Krasnapolsky and the Amstel have a history of more than 100 years, whereas the Amsterdam Hilton and the Marriott are among the newer international hotels. The youth hostels provide cheap accommodation for those on a budget holiday. Visitors looking for an original experience can stay on a houseboat. There are also campsites in and around the city. Amsterdam has a ban on smoking in public places and that includes restaurants and concert halls.

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