Amsterdam
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Public transport in Amsterdam

Trams and buses are an ideal way of travelling around the centre. A PT Smart Card can be used for multiple journeys. Similarly, Amsterdam's underground metro system provides a cheap way to travel, although you lose out on the view. Ferries also travel the river heading to destinations north of the city. Ferries depart from behind Central Station.

Taxis in Amsterdam

Taxis are plentiful in Amsterdam, and easily hailed on the street. They can't always stop in the centre though, so it might be better to catch one from a rank, of which there are more than 50 around the city, all marked by a blue board. Taxis are metered and they don't charge if you are stuck in traffic.

Bicycles in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a city of bicycles and it's one of the most enjoyable, if hair-raising, ways of getting around the city. There are bike lanes on the right-hand side of the road to make things easier and many rental shops scattered around the city. Take care not to get the wheels stuck in the tramlines and wear a helmet.

Car hire in Amsterdam

Parking in Amsterdam's centre is something of a challenge. Added to this, the streets are narrow and clogged with traffic, trams and cyclists. However, compacts and Smart cars are still a great way of getting around and ideal for travellers wanting to venture further afield. All major rental companies have offices in the centre and at the airport.

Anne Frank's House, Prinsengracht 267

The secret annex where Anne Frank and her family hid for two years from the Nazis, and where she wrote her famous diary, is a heart-breaking museum but an important one well worth a visit. Try to time your visit so that you get there an hour or two before closing, when the crowds are less hectic.

Go green

Grab a picnic basket and head to either the Amsterdamse Bos, one of the largest city parks in Europe, or to the Vondelpark in the city centre. There are cool cafés inside the park as well as the National Film Museum, which is actually a cinema too. During summer there's a programme of free performances as well as plays and concerts in the park.

Canal tour

Amsterdam is famous for the canals that crisscross it. There's almost 100km of waterways to explore, either on foot or by boat, most of them lined with elegant buildings that house museums, galleries and hip cafes. A variety of tour operators offer different types of cruises, from romantic black tie dinners to history tours on open-top canal boats.

Rijksmuseum , Jan Luijkenstraat 1

This famous art museum displays more than 400 works of art by Rembrandt, Vermeer and other masters, as well as decorative arts including 17th century furniture and art objects. A visit offers a glimpse of what the interior of the canal houses looked like during the era in which Amsterdam first flourished as a centre of trade.

DAY 1: Soak up the Atmosphere in the Old Centre

Visit the medieval old centre. Start in Dam Square then wander the cobbled lanes of this historic area. Browse the boutiques of The Nine Streets before stopping for coffee or a beer in one of the coffeehouses. Finally take an eye-opening tour of the red light district for which the city is famed.

DAY 3: VondelPark

Buy some herring – a traditional Dutch delicacy – and head to the Vondelpark in the centre to picnic alongside most of the other residents of the city. If you're lucky there'll be a free concert going on. If you're not, and it rains, head to the cinema inside the park. Idle away what's left of the afternoon at a canal-side café.

DAY 2: Jordaan

The area known as Jordaan entices visitors with its chic fashion and vintage boutiques, leafy canals, happening restaurants, galleries and bars. Shopping here is a treat. The area was once a working class neighbourhood and the buildings here harbour some beautiful inner courtyards. The Anne Frank Museum is close by and you can sample Holland's most famous dessert – apple pie - at Winkel.

DAY 4: Museum Day

Cycle around the stunning Canal ring, taking in the tree-lined streets and beautiful 17th century houses. The museum quarter of Amsterdam provides plenty to sink your teeth into, including the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk. Afterwards, catch a movie at the art deco Tuschinski Theater close to the floating flower market.

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